Elyse Semerdjian

Author Dr. Elyse Semerdjian Will Discuss ‘Voices of Women Survivors’ of Genocide in Toronto Talk


TORONTO — The Zoryan Institute has announced a book talk with Dr. Elyse Semerdjian, titled, “Sifting through Remnants: Locating the Voices of Women Survivors.” This free event is taking place on Saturday, September 16, 2023, at 2 p.m. at the Armenian Community Centre of Toronto, Hamazkayin H Manougian Library.

Using select testimonies from the Zoryan Institute’s Armenian Genocide Oral History Archive for her own research, Semerdjian’s latest publication, Remnants: Embodied Archives of the Armenian Genocide, explores how the Ottoman Armenian communal body was dismembered, disfigured, and later re-membered by the survivor community, using a feminist lens. By gathering individual testimonies and archives, Dr. Semerdjian highlights the stories of women and children who were rescued during the war, and explores the traces left in the memories and bodies of women survivors.

In addition to hearing from the author herself, this talk will also highlight the Zoryan Institute’s oral history collection that informed some of Dr. Semerdjian’s research, including excerpts from the Institute’s interview with a tattooed Armenian Genocide survivor, Aghavni Kabakian.

Semerdjian is the Robert Aram and Marianne Kaloosdian and Stephen and Marian Mugar Chair of Armenian Genocide Studies at the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University. She is a specialist in gender and the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire, and the author of “Off the Straight Path”: Illicit Sex, Law, and Community in Ottoman Aleppo (2008) and Remnants: Embodied Archives of the Armenian Genocide (2023).


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