Thursday, April 14, 7:00PM (University Hall, McNamara Alumni Center)
*2016 Ohanessian Lecture*
PETER BALAKIAN, Colgate University
The Armenian Genocide and Cultural Destruction
Presented by the Ohanessian Chair, cosponsored by the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies
Using an interdisciplinary, cultural studies approach, Balakian explores Raphael Lemkin’s often overlooked concept of cultural destruction in the case of the Armenian Genocide. Lemkin’s thinking was significantly shaped by the Armenian Genocide, as seen here in his newly published memoirs and other documents in the collection of his papers held at the American Jewish Archives. Balakian considers the Ottoman government’s vandalism and destruction of Armenian cultural monuments, the mass killing of Armenian intellectuals, torture using crucifixes, and forced conversion to Islam. In deepening the idea of culture and its relationship to genocide, he draws upon several models in the social sciences and humanities. The conclusion assesses the long-term impact of cultural destruction on Armenians in the diaspora and the Republic.More information here. Registration form here. Facebook event here. Peter Balakian is the Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor of the Humanities, and Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing at Colgate University. He is the recipient of many awards and civic citations including a Movses Horenatis Medal from the Republic of Armenia, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, The Spendlove Prize for Social Justice, Tolerance, and Diplomacy and The Emily Clark Balch Prize for poetry from the Virginia Quarterly Review. He has appeared widely on national television and radio, and his work has been translated into a dozen languages and foreign editions. Professor Balakian is the author of seven books of poems, four books of prose and two translations. His newly published books are Ozone Journal and Vice and Shadow: Essays on the Lyric Imagination, Poetry, Art, and Culture (University of Chicago Press).