FRESNO — “Van Vaspurakan Armenians: From Renaissance to Resistance and Genocide” will be the topic of Dr. Yektan Türkyilmaz’s presentation at 7:30PM on Tuesday, February 6, 2018, in the University Business Center, Alice Peters Auditorium, Room 191 on the Fresno State campus. The presentation is part of the Spring Lecture Series of the Armenian Studies Program. A welcoming hors d’oeuvres reception will be held from 6:30-7:30PM immediately preceding the lecture in the University Business Center Gallery.

Dr. Türkyilmaz was appointed the 14th Henry S. Khanzadian Kazan Visiting Professor in Armenian Studies for the Spring 2018 semester.

Through a brief overview of the turbulent nineteenth and early twentieth centuries of Van/Vaspurakan Armenians, this lecture will underscore the ways in which studying this particular location challenges the conventional understandings regarding Armenian modernization, inter and intra-communal relations in the late Ottoman period and, particularly the Genocide. It will also try to suggest potential ways of opening up new horizons in rewriting the story of Van in various contexts.

The nineteenth and early twentieth centuries indisputably marked the most crucial span of time for Van/Vaspurakan Armenians. The period witnessed rapid economic growth, increased social diversification and mobilization, and cultural burgeoning. Yet, it was also a time when the most brutal massacres, systematic persecution and finally the catastrophic total destruction of social life in the area took place.

Van/Vaspurakan is particularly salient for the study of the Genocide. Between August 1914 and April 1915 the political barometer in the province measured the growing tensions along the fault line that stretched from the Russian Southern Caucasus and Northern Iran to Istanbul through Van.

Drawing on Armenian, Ottoman and Russian archival documents, periodicals, memoirs, photographic and cartographic materials and secondary sources this lecture will explore the rise and the tragic death of Van in century up to the Genocide.

Dr. Türkyilmaz received his PhD from the Department of Cultural Anthropology at Duke University. He taught courses at the University of Cyprus, Sabanci, Bilgi and Duke Universities addressing the debates around the notions of collective violence, memory making, and reconciliation. Türkyilmaz is currently a research fellow at the Forum Transregionale Studien in Berlin, Germany. Meanwhile, he is working on his book manuscript based on his dissertation, Rethinking Genocide: Violence and Victimhood in Eastern Anatolia, 1913-1915, concerns the conflict in Eastern Anatolia in the early 20th century and the memory politics around it.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Free parking is available in Fresno State Lots P5 and P6, near the University Business Center, Fresno State. A parking code, 273825, must be used at a kiosk to receive the free permit.

For more information about the lecture please contact the Armenian Studies Program at 278-2669, visit our website at or visit our Facebook page at @ArmenianStudiesFresnoState.

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