By Aram Arkun
WASHINGTON — Society for Armenian Studies (SAS) Vice President Bedross Der Matossian welcomed guests back on November 22 to the final session of the conference “Armenians in the Ottoman Empire in the 19th-20th Centuries.” Like the second panel of the session of the previous day, it was devoted to the Armenian Genocide and its aftermath.
Dr. Carina Karapetian Giorgi, visiting assistant professor of sociology at Pomona College, was the first speaker. Her 2013 dissertation from the University of Manchester is an examination of the lives of Armenian women migrants to the US from 1990 to 2010. She found this migration to be an unexamined growing phenomenon, which she felt, constitutes a disruption in conventional gender relations within Armenia. Her current research project is examining the Armenian matrilineal ritual and tradition of tasseography or coffee grounds reading from a queer theoretical and quantum physics perspective. Her conference paper was called “Critical Reevaluation of the Historiography of the Armenian Women during the Armenian Genocide.”
Giorgi reexamined from the feminist gender queer perspective Armenian memoirs of genocide. She felt that a void existed on the large role gender played in survivor experiences, as in her opinion, the focus of mainstream Armenian scholarship has been refuting denialists. Her presentation combined two future separate articles on visual and written accounts of Armenian women.