FRESNO — Armenian Studies Program Coordinator Prof. Barlow Der Mugrdechian announced that Dr. Ümit Kurt has been appointed as the 15th Henry S. Khanzadian Kazan Visiting Professor in Armenian Studies at Fresno State for the Fall 2018 semester. The Kazan Visiting Professorship was established through a generous endowment established by Henry S. Khanzadian Kazan.
Dr. Kurt has written extensively on confiscation of Armenian properties, wealth transfer, local elites, the Armenian Genocide, mass violence, inter-ethnic strife, local historiography, early modern Turkish nationalism, and the Aintab Armenians.
Dr. Kurt will be teaching a three-unit course in the Fall Semester, “The Armenian Genocide in Comparative Perspective.” This course is a comparative study of mass killings in the twentieth century, especially the Armenian Genocide. Many questions remain about why these egregious acts occurred. The course will analyze mass killings and the forces that explain them. Three cases of genocide will be analyzed and compared 1) the Armenian Genocide of 1915, 2) the Holocaust 3) the Rwandan genocide. The course concludes with how one can best detect and prevent future Genocides.
As part of his duties, Dr. Kurt will give three public lectures at Fresno State: 1) “A Rescuer, an Enigma, and a Génocidaire: Cemal Pasha” (September 21); 2) “Proactive Local Perpetrators: Mehmet Yasin (Sani Kutluğ) and Ali Cenani”; and 3) “The Curious Case of Ahmed Necmeddin Bey: A Look into the Sociopolitical Climate in Aintab on the Eve of 1915.” All of the public lectures are free and open to the public.
Dr. Ümit Kurt received his Ph.D. from the Department of History at Clark University in 2016. He received his M.A. degree in European Studies from Sabancı University in 2008 and undergraduate degree in Political Science from Middle East Technical University in 2006. He taught in the Faculty of Arts and Science in Sabancı University, from 2012 to 2014.
He is currently working as a Polonsky Fellow at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute.
Dr. Kurt is the author of The Great, Hopeless Turkish Race: Fundamentals of Turkish Nationalism in the Turkish Homeland, 1911-1916 (Istanbul: İletişim Publishing House, 2012) and is the editor of Revolt and Destruction: Construction of the State from Ottoman Empire to Turkish Republic and Collective Violence (Istanbul: Tarih Vakfı Publishing House, 2015) and History and Historians in Turkey: Concepts and Practices (Ankara: Heretik, 2018). He is also the author, with Taner Akçam, of The Spirit of the Laws: The Plunder of Wealth in the Armenian Genocide (New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2015).
For more information about the public lectures, please contact the Armenian Studies Program at 278-2669, visit our website at www.fresnostate.edu/armenianstudies or visit our Facebook page at @ArmenianStudiesFresnoState.