MEDFORD, Mass. — Tufts University, the Darakjian-Jafarian Chair in Armenian History, the Department of History, the Armenian Club at Tufts University, and the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) will sponsor the Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide at Tufts on Wednesday, April 6, at 7 p.m. The Tufts event will feature a lecture by Marc A. Mamigonian, director of academic affairs at NAASR, titled “Scholarship and the Armenian Genocide: The State of the Art and the State of Denial.”
The evening will be hosted by Ina Baghdiantz McCabe, professor of history and Darakjian-Jafarian Chair of Armenian History at Tufts University.
The commemoration and lecture will take place in Goddard Chapel. A reception will follow in the Coolidge Room in nearby Ballou Hall.
The past two decades have witnessed a dramatic increase in the quantity and quality of scholarship on the Armenian Genocide, with a significant number of important works of documentation and interpretation. The development of ever-increasingly compelling scholarly works has been paralleled by the evolution of traditional strategies of denial practiced since World War I and advanced during the Cold War era. While scholars have moved beyond simplistic questions of whether or not what occurred was a genocide, like tobacco industry lobbyists of the 1950s or today’s so-called global warming skeptics, apologists for the “Turkish position” labor to construct denialism as a legitimate intellectual position within a historical debate through the publication of ostensibly scholarly publications and presentations. Such manufactured controversy is a time-tested and often effective method of means of generating academic credibility.
This lecture will offer an overview of the current state of the art in Armenian Genocide scholarship as well briefly survey the development of Armenian Genocide denial and focus on more recent refinements and the penetration of denial into American academia, with an emphasis on the fundamental challenges of denialism, debate, and the quest for intellectual integrity.
Mamigonian has served as NAASR’s director of academic affairs since 2009, having from 1998 to 2008 acted as the organization’s director of programs and publications. An alumnus of the University of New Hampshire (BA, 1990) and Tufts University (MA, 1992), Mamigonian is the editor of the book The Armenians of New England and the Journal of Armenian Studies, and is the co-author of annotated editions of James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Ulysses published by Alma Classics in the United Kingdom. His most recent publication, “Academic Denial of the Armenian Genocide in American Scholarship: Denialism as Manufactured Controversy,” appeared in the journal Genocide Studies International in 2015.