FRESNO — Author Dr. Jerry Burger will speak about his book The Shadows of 1915 on Friday, February 17, at 7 pm., in the University Business Center, Alice Peters Auditorium, on the Fresno State campus. The event is part of the Armenian Studies Program Spring 2023 Lecture Series and is co-sponsored by the Armenian Museum of Fresno.
Burger will be introduced by Fresno-native Dr. Robert Vartabedian, Emeritus President of Western Missouri State University (St. Joseph), who will also moderate a discussion on the book.
How long is the shadow of genocide? How does it affect the offspring of the survivors? And how do survivors and their families retain a belief in justice when atrocities go unpunished? These are some of the questions addressed in Jerry Burger’s novel, The Shadows of 1915.
The story takes place in Central California in 1953, where Armenian immigrants and their families live one generation removed from the 1915 murder of more than a million Armenians at the hands of the Turkish government. An encounter between the sons of a genocide survivor and some Turkish college students forces each of the main characters to make difficult decisions that pit loyalty to family and community against personal and legal standards of right and wrong. It is a story about a displaced group of people and the consequences of real historic events that have rarely been examined in fiction. It is also a story about culture, family, recovery from tragedy, and the nature of justice.
Burger is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Santa Clara University, where he was a member of the faculty from 1984 to 2018. He is an internationally recognized expert on the psychological processes that contribute to inhumane acts like atrocities and genocide. His research in this area was the subject of a New York Times editorial and was featured in a 60-minute broadcast of ABC News’ “Primetime” and in the Discovery Channel documentary, “How Evil Are You?”. His many presentations on the topic include an invited address before the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France.
Shadows of 1915 will be available for purchase at the event.