A Climate for Abduction, A Climate for Redemption: The Gendered Politics of Inclusion During and After the Armenian Genocide

April 26, 2018 Salem Free
Lerna Ekmekcioglu (Courtesy photo)
Lerna Ekmekcioglu (Courtesy photo)

This talk will focus on the forcible incorporation of Armenians into Muslim households and orphanages during World War I. Dr. Lerna Ekmekcioglu with begin with the rationale that Ottoman politicians used to conceive this policy, as well as the social and political situation that enabled Ottomans in Muslim society to successfully implement it. In addition, Dr. Ekmekcioglu will discuss post-war Armenian attempts to rescue the kidnapped, many of whom were rape victims, former concubines and wives, as well as their (technically) Muslim children and who were ultimately treated as full-fledged Armenians. The complex aftermath of this administrative policy offers a provocative focal point for discussion, as it did not necessarily reflect the victims’ (or their families’) perceptions of who could, after 1915, belong to the Armenian nation and who would be left out forever. 

Dr. Lerna Ekmekcioglu is McMillan-Stewart Associate Professor of History at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she is also affiliated with the Women and Gender Studies Program. She graduated from Getronagan Armenian High School in Istanbul and majored in Sociology at Bogazici University. She received her Ph.D. at New York University’s joint program of History and Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies in 2008. She held a one-year Manoogian post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan’s Armenian Studies Program. Together with Melissa Bilal, Ekmekcioglu is the co-editor of the 2006 book in Turkish titled A Cry for Justice: Five Armenian Feminist Writers from the Ottoman Empire to the Turkish Republic (1862–1933). Her first monograph, Recovering Armenia: The Limits of Belonging in Post-Genocide Turkey, came out from Stanford University Press in 2016. Currently she is collaborating with Melissa Bilal for a book and digital humanities project titled Feminism in Armenian: An Interpretive Anthology and Digital Archive, which focuses on the life and works of 12 pioneering women intellectuals from the 1860s to 1960s.

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Thursday, April 26, 2018, 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
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