MEDFORD, MA — Tufts University, the Darakjian-Jafarian Chair in Armenian History, the Department of History, and the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) will sponsor the annual Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide at Tufts on Tuesday, April 12, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. The Tufts event will feature a lecture by Michael Bobelian, author of the acclaimed Children of Armenia: A Forgotten Genocide and the Century-Long Struggle for Justice (Simon & Schuster, 2009). Bobelian’s lecture will be entitled “America and the Armenian Genocide: The Quest for Justice from Wilson to Obama.”
The commemoration and lecture will take place in Goddard Chapel on Tufts’ Medford, MA, campus. A reception and book signing will follow in the Coolidge Room in nearby Ballou Hall.
In his talk, Bobelian will explain how and why the Genocide disappeared from memory and reveal the Armenian response to Turkey’s recalcitrant denial of its crimes, a journey started in street protests that ultimately ended up in the halls of Congress. In doing so, he will present how America, once the champion of the Armenians, became Turkey’s closest ally and the central battleground in the decades-old Armenian campaign for justice. The United States was the greatest champion of the Genocide’s victims, with President Woodrow Wilson and other American leaders advocating for humanitarian and political assistance. The U.S. sent $116 million ($1.5 billion in current value) in aid to Armenian victims, the first major international humanitarian aid movement in history.
After this immediate support, however, the atrocities were wiped from public consciousness and the perpetrators were never held accountable. This veil of silence was so absolute and lasted so many years that an event widely acknowledged in its time became known as the “Forgotten Genocide.”
Bobelian’s Children of Armenia has been praised in several national publications, including the Washington Post, Foreign Affairs Magazine, the Washington Times, and the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Michael Berenbaum, former project director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum called the book “A powerful and provocative work.” In his review of Children of Armenia, UCLA Professor Richard Hovannisian simply said: “The book is captivating.”
Bobelian is a journalist, lawyer, and author whose work has covered issues ranging from corporate wrongdoing to foreign affairs. His articles have appeared in Forbes.com, Legal Affairs Magazine, and the Washington Monthly. He has also appeared on C-Span’s BookTV, NPR’s Leonard Lopate Show, and NPR New Hampshire. Michael has delivered lectures at several universities, including MIT, UC Berkeley, and Columbia University.
More information about the lecture is available by calling 617-489-1610, e-mailing hq@naasr.org, or writing to NAASR, 395 Concord Ave., Belmont, MA 02478; or by contacting Prof. McCabe at ina.mccabe@tufts.edu.

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