DARTMOUTH, N.H.—Award-winning investigative reporter and author Dawn Anahid MacKeen will deliver a public lecture on the Dartmouth University campus on Wednesday, October 12, starting at 5:00p.m. Sponsored by the Dickey Center for International Understanding, the talk will highlight the courage of MacKeen’s grandfather in the face of genocide over one hundred years ago, and his surprising legacy.
MacKeen is the author of The Hundred-Year Walk (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015), the story of her grandfather’s meticulously recorded survival of the 1915 Armenian Genocide and her own travels to Syria and Turkey to retrace his death march. Since the publication of her book, MacKeen has given talks across the country in the hope of preserving an important piece of her family’s past and the history of her culture.
What she has found in writing the book and in its aftermath is more than she ever imagined when she began over ten years ago. “I’ve been continually moved by the response to the book,” says MacKeen. “So many readers have written to tell me how they had considered themselves knowledgeable about history, but didn’t know about what had happened to the Armenians. They learned about it through my grandfather’s survival, all detailed in his recently discovered journals. They have also been amazed at how much the events in Syria today resemble what happened a century ago, with the genocidal campaigns of the Islamic State.”
Dartmouth Professor Stephen Powell noted the historical value of the book as well as its present-day relevance when he arranged MacKeen’s visit, and has made The Hundred-Year Walk required reading for his Tuck Business School students. “At Tuck we have a vibrant relationship with Armenia,” he says. In fact, Dartmouth students have the unique opportunity to travel to Armenia as part of projects that aid in their preparation for global business. “When I read this book I was so moved…many books have been written about the Armenian Genocide, but this one is unique in that it tells the story of one man whose journals survived the catastrophic events of 1915-1917.”
MacKeen will continue to raise awareness with talks at the Holy Trinity Armenian Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Sunday, October 16, and at Bergen Community College in Paramus, New Jersey, on Wednesday, October 19. Both events are sponsored by the Tekeyan Culture Association.