2019 ARMENIAN-THEMED ARTICLES IN PEER-REVIEWED JOURNALS
This piece provides references and abstracts of 79 English-language articles on Armenian-related topics that were published in 2019 either in electronic and/or print format in non-Armenian peer-reviewed journals. Articles related to Armenian topics were published in over fifty different journals. (Some of the articles were first published electronically in 2018 and published in print in 2019.) The articles are situated within the disciplines of archeology, architecture, anthropology, comparative literature, history, sociology, linguistics and political science. Articles dealing with Ottoman studies, memory studies and diaspora communities featured most prominently in the 2019 collection of articles in peer-reviewed journals. Although the majority of the articles related to the 19th and 20th centuries, and the contemporary period, a number of articles covered the early-modern period, the medieval and ancient eras. While only four articles directly or indirectly dealt with the historical event of the Armenian genocide, over a dozen articles dealt with topics surrounding the memory, recognition or denial of the genocide. More than a dozen other articles can be categorized as policy papers as they make recommendations for future government policy or provide some predictions about possible future developments. About 15 articles focused on the politics of governments or states, which means that there is a greater focus on socio-cultural actors/agents and practices. The journals in which Armenian-themed articles appeared more than once in 2019 include Caucasus Analysis, Iran and the Caucasus, Journal of Genocide Research, Memory Studies, Nationalities Papers, History and Anthropology, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Dialectical Anthropology and British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies.
Adriaans, Rik. “The Humanitarian Road to Nagorno-Karabakh: Media, Morality and Infrastructural Promise in the Armenian Diaspora.” Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power 26.1 (2019): 69-87.
Armenia Fund Telethon is an annual media event broadcast from Los Angeles that calls on all Armenians to give donations for humanitarian aid and infrastructure projects in Armenia and the unrecognised Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork during the 2013 and 2014 editions dedicated to the new Vardenis–Martakert highway connecting the two territories, this article examines the transnational ritual sphere through which de facto state formation in Nagorno-Karabakh is transformed from a political issue into a humanitarian question for diaspora households worldwide. While the new road facilitates mobility, its participatory materialisation appeals to distant addressees with the promise of helping Karabakh Armenians stay put and strengthening Armenian claims on de jure Azerbaijani territories. Challenging scholarly accounts of the Armenian diaspora as past-centred, subjective and symbolic, the Telethon’s humanitarian governance constructs Nagorno-Karabakh as materially diasporic and subjectivities in Los Angeles as objectively tied to the present-day conflict in the South Caucasus.
Akçam, Taner. “When Was the Decision to Annihilate the Armenian Taken?” Journal of Genocide Research 21.4 (2019): 457-480.
Bahaettin Şakir, the head of Teşkilat-ı Mahsusa, wrote in a letter on 3 March 1915 that the Central Committee of Union and Progress had decided to exterminate the Armenians, giving the government wide authority to implement this plan. His letter has never been considered authentic and has been ignored by researchers in our field. Most scholars placed the possible date(s) for a final decision at the end of the March (or beginning of April). Based on some newly available Ottoman documents, I will revisit the question of the final decision and will also introduce several new documents related to earlier decisions and to the role of governors in the decision-making process.
Altingoz, Mehmet and Saleem H. Ali. “Environmental Cooperation in Conflict Zones: Riparian Infrastructure at the Armenian-Turkish Border.” The Journal of Environment and Development 28.3 (September 2019): 309-335.
Due to historical grievances, Armenia and Turkey experience severe international conflicts and do not maintain diplomatic ties. Yet, as a vestige of the Soviet period, when Armenia was not an independent country, both nations share the Arpacay/Akhuryan Dam, and riparian cooperation exists at the local level. We observed that local cross-border water institutions are authorized to manage the dam and do so via polycentric management principles. We suggest that such a devolved model of governance facilitates this unique cooperation. Furthermore, there is a positive relationship between private management of water resources in such areas and the ability to sustain cooperation. However, so far, the positive impacts of this cooperation on improving international relations have been little, if any. We suggest that what makes cooperation possible in this context also inhibits its expansion to broader peacebuilding. We also suggest that increased localization of management, coincident with improved relations, maximizes cooperation potential.
Baeva, Olga and Armen Kazaryan. “Armenian Church Architecture in the Town of Nakhichevan-on-Don: From Russian Neoclassicism to National Revival.” RIHA Journal (July 20, 2019).
This article examines the stylistic development of church architecture in the town of Nakhichevan-on-Don, founded in 1779 by Armenians resettled from the Crimea by Catherine II. The study uncovers three main trends in the work of the Armenian church architects: At first, they operated within the context of late eighteenth-/ early nineteenth-century Russian Neoclassicism (Classicism in the terminology of Russian historiography). Then there was a period of conservatism in Armenian architecture in the heyday of Historicism in Russia in the third quarter of the nineteenth century. Thereafter, we witness attempts to revive the national style with methods borrowed from late nineteenth-century Russian architecture. The survey demonstrates how monumental architecture was related to state policy and the poly-ethnic context of the early modern empire. Thus it contributes to a better understanding of the cultural development of national communities in Russia.
Bandak, Andreas. “Repetition and Uncanny Temporalities: Armenians and the Recurrence of Genocide in the Levant.” History and Anthropology 30.2 (2019): 190-211.
This paper presents a meditation on how memory and repetition are played out when experienced as both a historical event and an ongoing and returning possibility. Amongst the Armenian community in Lebanon repetition takes on a particular salience in the form of a haunting from the foundational genocide of 1915, a genocide that in recent years has been brought back with the events in Syria where family and kin have faced severe hardships, random killings, and destruction of entire villages. In this paper I over various fieldworks in Lebanon return to the incident of the cleansing of Kessab, an important Armenian village in Syria, and how such an event in today’s Syria points to past, present, and future forms of haunting but also the reconfiguration of affect. The same event draws different landscapes of the imagination, landscapes of fear, haunting, return, but also of resilience and responsibility in the meeting with the time to come.
Bayarsaikhan, Dashdondog. “Kirakos Gandzakets’i, as a Mongol Prisoner.” Ming Qing Yanju 22.2 (March 2019): 155-163.
Armenian Historian Kirakos Gandzakets’i was captured by Mongol noyan Molar during the first wave of Mongol conquest of the Caucasus. He was in captivity for about a year. This gave him a certain understanding of the history and religion of the Mongols as well as some knowledge of Mongolian. On Molar’s orders, Kirakos was taken to serve the Mongols’ secretarial needs, writing and reading letters. In this paper I argue that the Armenian source of Kirakos Gandzakets’i is a first-hand history on the early Mongols in the Caucasus, and the Mongolian vocabulary that Kirakos gives in his work ranks among the earliest Mongolian glossaries in non-Mongol sources.
Ben Aharon, Eldad. “Superpower by Invitation: Late Cold War Diplomacy and Leveraging Armenian Terrorism as a Means to Rapprochement in Israeli-Turkish Relations (1980-1987).” Cold War History 19.2 (2019): 275-293.
This article puts forth the argument that Israel’s desire to repair its deteriorating relations with Turkey between 1980 and 1985 drove Israeli diplomats to leverage Armenian terrorism as an issue of shared concern with Turkey. Specifically, the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (hereafter, ASALA), apparent affiliation with a similar brand of Palestinian terrorism, which was supported by the Soviet Union, was used to court Turkey. This overlooked factor also provides a template with which to understand Israel’s policy on the contested memories of the Armenian Genocide during the 1980s. In the context of a late Cold War superpower rivalry, this article demonstrates how Israeli diplomats assigned the US to mediate between Ankara and Jerusalem. This context highlights the degree to which Cold War dynamics were two-sided: how regional powers such as Israel attempted to influence the policies of the superpower US in the later Cold War years through leveraging global terrorism for diplomatic gains with Turkey.
Bezirgan-Tanış, Bengi. “History-Writing in Turkey through Securitization Discourses and Gendered Narratives.” European Journal of Women’s Studies 26.3 (2019): 329-344.
Since the official history-writing is a defining aspect for the formation and consolidation of nation-states, it is crucial to explore the attempts to legitimize particular discourses regarding historical atrocities. The selective representations of the past, in this regard, contradict counter-memories and propagate hegemonic patterns of remembrance and/or forgetting of past crimes. This article accordingly addresses how the representations of counter-memories as threats to national security and the silencing of gender-specific experiences and remembrances by sanctioned historical narratives become manifest in the history-making of the Turkish nation-state. By focusing on the Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide as two cases of crimes against humanity, it is intended to discuss the shifting positions and roles that the Turkish state adopts in the remembering and forgetting of historical offences. The article argues that through prioritizing national security and national interests, the securitization of memory reconstructs collective traumas of distinct ethnic and religious groups on the basis of a nation-state’s perceived internal and external threats. It also claims that the competing voices of women and their distinct experiences and patterns of remembrance and forgetting past atrocities are suppressed for the sake of the preservation of national security. By incorporating the issue of gender into the debate on the securitization of memory, this article elucidates the mismatch between positions of femininity and masculinity within the official national historiography of the Turkish state.
Bilal, Melissa. “Lullabies and the Memory of Pain: Armenian Women’s Remembrance of the Past in Turkey.” Dialectical Anthropology 43.2 (June 2019): 185-206.
“This article reads Armenian women’s lullabies and narratives of the past as reserves of memory (Nora 1989). It interweaves these two forms of expression together in order to situate the memory work lullabies do within the remembrance practices of Armenians in Istanbul. The ethnographic research  this article draws on aimed at unearthing the lived experiences of the Armenian Genocide from the perspectives of women within my native community.  It also aspired to conceive gendered microhistories of Armenian life in a specific locality in postgenocide  Turkey. It delved into the unwritten histories of cohabitation, conflict, discrimination, dispossession, violence, and displacement that shaped Armenians’ experience of “home.” Interviews I share in this article were conducted in Istanbul with Armenian women who were born into families of survivors who continued living within the borders of republican Turkey. Some of these women migrated from their hometowns to settle in Istanbul at different stages of their lives, while others were born and raised in Istanbul. Fragments of stories I present throughout the article verbalize their remembrance of the details of their lives and their perceptions of home, belonging, and loss. Lullaby texts that accompany their narratives are songs they inherited from their grandmothers or mothers and transmitted to their siblings, children, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, grandnieces, and grandnephews. Their memory narratives of their families’ survival relay the particulars of the gendered experience of the genocidal violence.”
Bláhová, Pavlína. “Nagorno-Karabakh: Obstacles to the Resolution of the Frozen Conflict.” Asia Europe Journal 17.1 (2019): 69-85.
The enduring deadlock in peace negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh has created a special, “frozen” phase in the conflict cycle. Several cases of skirmishes, escalating in 2016 during the Four-Day War, demonstrate the security threat the conflict represents. Simultaneously, ongoing unsuccessful peace talks and escalations and de-escalations of violence at the line of contact indicate the failure to transform the conflict in either a peaceful or a violent way. This paper seeks to identify conditions contributing to the stalemate of the conflict. The key factors contributing to the conflict’s “frozenness” are the political leadership of Armenia and Azerbaijan and third parties represented by the Minsk Group. The failure to achieve a peaceful transformation is given by political hostilities carried out through negative labelling, uncompromising statements and the self-victimisation of the belligerents. Such activities deepen the grievances within the Azerbaijani and Armenian populaces, which in response to such behaviour does not support any concessions in negotiations. At the same time, the Minsk Group does not provide any concrete model for a peaceful settlement nor does it apply pressure on the belligerents to grant concessions. A violent transformation of the conflict is not possible due to the presence of third parties in the region which deter the belligerents from full-scale war. These findings indicate that in order to avoid the future failure of negotiations and violent escalations at the line of contact, the political leaderships of Armenia and Azerbaijan need to withdraw from mutual hostilities, the negotiation agenda and framework need to be changed and the third parties involved have to actively participate in the peace process.
Chernobrov, Dmitry and L. Wilmers. “Diaspora Identity and a New Generation: Armenian Diaspora Youth on the Genocide and the Karabakh War.” Nationalities Papers (In Press).
In this paper, we explore the role of the early 20th century Armenian genocide and the unresolved Karabakh conflict of the 1990s in identity among the new generation of Armenian diaspora – those who grew up after the establishment of the independent Armenian state in 1991. We draw on original interviews with diasporic youth in France, the United Kingdom and Russia – diasporas which were largely built in the aftermath of the genocide and the Karabakh war. Diaspora youth relate to these events through transmitted collective memories, but also reconnect with the distant homeland’s past and present in new ways as they engage with new possibilities of transnational digital communication and mobility. Their experiences of identity shed light on how the new generation of diasporic Armenians defines itself in relation to the past; how this past is (re)made present in their interpretations of the Karabakh conflict and in everyday behaviors; and how diasporic youth experience the dilemmas of ‘moving on’ from traumatic narratives that for a long time have been seen as foundational to their identity.
Christianian, Jirair. “The Inscription at Tamrut Castle: The Case for a Revision of Armenian History.” Le Muséon 132.1-2 (2019): 107-122.
In 1981, Robert W. Edwards had discovered a six-line Armenian inscription in the previously unreported castle of Tamrut of the Armenian Kingdom in Cilicia. Unfortunately, picture-taking conditions made it difficult to obtain a photograph that would allow for a full reading of the inscription. A high-resolution scan and digital image processing have now allowed the author to interpret the important parts of the inscription. These include the medieval name of the castle, T’ambrowt – thus establishing a link with the modern name of the castle, the year of construction of 1253 AD, and references to King Het’um I and his father Kostandin, Lord of Papeṙōn, in whose memory the castle was built. This information allows us to conclude that despite agreements with the military Crusader orders to protect the southern flanks of the kingdom, and the treaty of vassalage to the Mongols, Het’um I was in a position to build new fortifications to protect his kingdom, and exercised an autonomous policy of military activity. Evidence of construction – or renovation – preserved in other castles of the kingdom may be dated to Het’um I’s reign, in which case it would support these conclusions, even though much of the military construction of Cilician Armenia is traditionally ascribed to King Lewon I or the baronial period which preceded his coronation.
Cinemre, İlhami Tekin. “The Rise of Armenian Historiography in the Late Antiquity: Mythology and History.” Journal of History Culture and Art Research 8.2 (June 2019): 1-12.
The Iranian civilization, which was the basis of the Armenian culture until the Conversion to Christianity, was far from the historiographic tradition in comparison to Greeks and Romans even if they portrayed their own history by means of reliefs. In this respect, there is a cultural affinity between the absence of historiography before Christianity in the Armenian society and the absence of a literary tradition in pre-Islamic Iran. However, this cultural relationship which lasted until the fourth century, modified after the adoption of Christianity by the Armenians and caused to emerge the idea of historiography among the Armenians. Thus, there is a parallel between the beginning of the custom of historiography and the acceptance of Christianity in the Armenian society.
The general structure of the Armenian historiography, originally based on patristic roots, was shaped after the Battle of Vartanants (Avarayr) in 451 and turned into an ideological struggle for Armenians. This idea shows that the Armenians tend to create historical depth and common destiny in the late antiquity. Following this, the collapse of the Sassanid Empire and the arrival of Muslims to the world of Armenians naturally opened a new era in Armenian historiography. This period was built directly on the idea of “opposition” and “other”. This study aims to establish a direct connection between the acceptance of Christianity by Armenians and the start of historiography tradition by the intellectual Armenians and examine the reasons why historiography flourished for Armenians.
Clements, Henry. “Documenting Community in the Late Ottoman Empire.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 51 (2019): 423-443.
This article traces a conflict that erupted in the late 19th century between the Armenians and the Süryani. This conflict, I argue, precipitated nothing less than the creation of the Süryani community itself. The dispute began over the key to a closet in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, but it quickly evolved. Soon, the Armenians and the Süryani were clashing over holy places all around Jerusalem. The dispute centered on an Ottoman administrative arrangement which had been institutionalized nearly 400 years earlier: yamaklık. The Ottoman investigators, however, were unfamiliar with this archaic arrangement and had to be reeducated as to its terms and its history. The Süryani and the Armenians offered divergent accounts. Where the Armenians furnished hard documentation, however, the Süryani could produce only claims to tradition and local practice. In this article I argue that, through this protracted conflict, the Süryani came to understand the importance of the documentary record in a post-Tanzimat Ottoman world. They thus turned to an alternative strategy that would conform to this documentary sensibility and render their community visible to the state: a series of petitions with thousands of Süryani signatures from around the Ottoman Empire.
Dağtekin, Emine and Semra Hillez Halifeoğlu. “Evaluation of Diyarbakir Armenian Churches in Lower Mesopotamia Region.” Online Journal of Art and Design 7.1 (2019): 132-147.
Diyarbakir is located in Asia, in Lower Mesopotamia, and in the Southeast Anatolia Region of Turkey. The Southeastern Anatolia Region is a region where prominent centers of early Christianity are located. The Ottomans managed the administration of the regions where the Armenians lived since the 14th and 15th centuries. However, the Armenians, who accepted the Christianity first, were allowed to act as a separate community despite some restrictions. The Armenians, as a widespread and settled community in Anatolia, lived in Diyarbakir by taking influential roles in urban population until the 20th century. This study aims to carry into future the 4 churches belonging to Armenians living in Diyarbakır until the beginning of the 20th century by evaluating the churches in terms of history, plan and facade layouts, decoration items, usage and structural conditions and the study proposes to protect these assets. The consciousness created by the preservation of historical buildings and the survival of cultures in the city at the 2000s has created a positive social force for the restoration of the churches. With the restoration, the Armenians, who lived for centuries but migrated from the city, were able to carry their culture to the new generations and they visited the city as well as the buildings. Hence, the restoration of the architectural product has led to the reestablishment of the cultural bonds. This study has been compiled and updated from the second author’s thesis titled “Protection and Usage Conditions of Armenian Churches Located in the Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey”, which the second author completed in the consultancy of the first author.
Dağtekin, Emine and Semra Hillez. “Armenian Churches in the Province of Gaziantep, Turkey.” Iran and the Caucasus 23.1 (2019): 50-63.
Southeast Anatolia in Turkey is a region where important centres of early Christianity could be found. In Gaziantep, which was named “Little Bukhara” during the reign of Egyptian Mamluks, many Armenian churches have been documented. However, most of them have been destroyed or used for different purposes. The paper is dedicated to the study of three Armenian churches in Gaziantep where Armenians lived until the early 20th century. The history, the plan and frontal structures, ornaments of these churches are presented for the first time.
Demirel, Cagla and Johan Eriksson. “Competitive Victimhood and Reconciliation: The Case of Turkish-Armenian Relations.” Global Studies in Cultural Power (April 2019):
This paper argues that conflicts tend to be intractable if collective victimhood has become a component of national identity, and when conflicting communities claim to be the ‘real’ or ‘only’ victims, and that their suffering justifies crimes past and present. Turkish and Armenian narratives of competitive victimhood are analysed drawing on public opinion polls from Turkey and Armenia, and personal interviews with Turks and Armenians. The study corroborates past theory and research that competitive victimhood prevents reconciliation, particularly if it has become an essential part of national identity. The paper also shows that Turkish–Armenian relations remain at the bottom stage of the reconciliation ladder. Yet, some of our empirical observations suggest that when grass-roots level interaction between Turks and Armenians is facilitated (which has been prevented not least because of the closed border), there is room for the abandonment of competitive victimhood at least on an interpersonal level, if not on a general societal or political level.
Der Matossian, Bedross. “The Development of Armeno-Turkish (Hayatar T‘rk‘eren) in the 19th Century Ottoman Empire: Marking and Crossing Ethnoreligious Boundaries.” Intellectual History of the Islamicate World (2019): 1-34.
Armeno-Turkish played an important role in the lives of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. At a time in which more than half of the Armenians of the Empire did not speak Armenian, Armeno-Turkish came to fill an important gap. It led to the proliferation of literacy among Armenians and allowed them to mark and strengthen their ethno-religious boundaries vis-à-vis other ethno-religious groups in the Ottoman Empire, while simultaneously allowing for the crossing of these boundaries which, in general, were characterized by fluidity. The 19th century represents an important phase in the development of Armeno-Turkish. Its development cannot be attributed to one factor; rather to a host of factors that include the impact of the Armenian Zart‘ōnk‘ (awakening), the spread of Catholicism and Protestantism, the impact of the Tanzimat Reforms (1839-1876), the development of Armenian ethno-religious boundaries, and the role of print culture. Finally, Armeno-Turkish raises important questions regarding identity formation, belonging, and cross-cultural interaction.
Doğangün, Gökten and Yelda Karadağ. “EU’s Cross-Border Cooperation and Conflict Transformation at Contested Borders in the European Neighbourhood: Lessons from the Turkish-Armenian Border.” Geopolitics 24.3 (2019): 625-649.
In the post-Cold War period, the European Union’s neighbourhood policy towards its emerging eastern neighbours aims to surround the European Union (EU) with a ring of secure, stable and prosperous neighbouring countries. Advancing conflict transformation through cross-border cooperation initiatives constitutes a crucial part of the European neighbourhood policy. Cross-border interaction and cooperation are expected to lessen the heavy burden of sealed borders by decreasing isolation and indifference and promoting mutual interaction, dialogue and confidence-building between conflicting parties. However, there are several ethno-political contestations whose historical animosities cast a shadow on the effectiveness of the EU’s neighbourhood and cross-border cooperation policies for conflict transformation. The Turkish-Armenian case testifies to the persistence of physical and mental borders that stem from competing historical memories, longstanding grievances and contesting national claims, as well as from regional dynamics. This article aims to assess the impact of the EU’s neighbourhood policy and cross-border cooperation initiatives on conflict transformation on the Turkish-Armenian border. The EU’s policies have remained partially relevant and effectual by initiating interaction and dialogue at the civil societal level. Advancing conflict transformation at the political level, however, would require the EU to develop a more comprehensive framework that considers the cross-cutting context of the competing historical memories and regional dynamics and shifts that currently undermine the impact of further transformative attempts.
Ertür, Başak. “Law of Denial.” Law and Critique 30.1 (2019): 1-20.
Law’s claim of mastery over past political violence is frequently undermined by reversals of that relationship of mastery, so that the violence of the law, and especially its symbolic violence, becomes easily incorporated into longues durées of political violence, rather than mastering them, settling them, or providing closure. Doing justice to the past, therefore, requires a political and theoretical attunement to the ways in which law, in purportedly attempting to address past political violence, inscribes itself into contemporary contexts of violence. While this may be limited to an analysis of how law is an effect of and affects the political, theoretically this attunement can be further refined by means of a critique of dynamics that are internal to law itself and that have to do with how law understands its own historicity, as well as its relationship to history and historiography. This article aims to pursue such a critique, taking as its immediate focus the ECHR case of Perinçek v Switzerland, with occasional forays into debates around the criminalisation of Armenian genocide denialism in France. The Perinçek case concerned Switzerland’s criminalisation of the denial of the Armenian genocide, and concluded in 2015 after producing two judgments, first by the Second Chamber, and then by the Grand Chamber of the ECHR. However, although they both found for the applicant, the two benches had very different lines of reasoning, and notably different conceptions regarding the relationship between law and history. I proceed by tracing the shifting status of ‘history’ and ‘historians’ in these two judgments, and paying attention to the deferrals, disclaimers and ellipses that structure law’s relation to history. This close reading offers the opportunity for a critical reappraisal of the relationship between law, denial and violence: I propose that the symbolic violence of the law operative in memory laws is a product of that which remains unresolved in law’s understanding of historicity (including its own), its self-understanding vis-à-vis the task of historiography, and its inability to respond to historical violence without inscribing itself into a history of violence, a process regarding which it remains in denial.
Feldman, Daniel L. and Haris Alibašić. “The Remarkable 2018 ‘Velvet Revolution’: Armenia’s Experiment Against Government Corruption.” Public Integrity 21.4 (2019): 420-432.
In 2018, massive street protests against its corruption forced the long-dominant political party in Armenia to relinquish power to its nemesis, who himself had been imprisoned for leading protests ten years earlier. The peaceful transition earned the name the “Velvet Revolution.” The new Armenian government hosted the principal author of this essay at a week-long conference on anticorruption policy in Yerevan, its capital, with judges, prosecutors, and investigators selected for their integrity and competence. Based on the attitudes and concerns they expressed, publicly available documents reflecting years of research on the Armenian government and corruption and the circumstances of the Velvet Revolution, the authors sought to determine whether particular background conditions and/or characteristics of the peaceful rebellion were especially conducive to the successful implementation of a more fully democratic leadership, opposed to corruption and committed to the rule of law. In the literature addressing such questions in other national contexts, the authors found a similar pattern of background conditions and characteristics, leading to their conclusion that such elements can indeed foster successful transitions. Further research should assess future developments in Armenia, and determine how widely the lessons of its experience can be applied.
Ferrara, Antonio and Niccolò Pianciola. “The Dark Side of Connectedness: Forced Migrations and Mass Violence between the Late Tsarist and Ottoman Empires (1853–1920).” Historical Research 92.257 (2019): 608-631.
Through a re‐reading of the historiography of the late Ottoman and Tsarist empires, this article repositions the extermination of Ottoman Armenians during the First World War into the connected history of the trans‐imperial region around the Black Sea since the Crimean War. It argues that the connection between episodes of violence against civilians and forced migrations in the Pontic rim is essential to properly understand late‐Ottoman exterminatory policies. It does so by showing how forced migrations fueled mass violence and agrarian conflicts in the areas of settlement, and shaped the expectations of late‐imperial elites.
Fittante, Daniel. “Constructivist Theories of Political Incorporation.” Ethnicities 19.5 (2019): 809-829.
Drawing upon ethnographic data collected in Glendale, California, this study applies constructivist theories of ethnic politics to political incorporation research. The analysis demonstrates how the evolving loci of political incorporation—from marginalized racial minorities in urban centers to multi-ethnic migrants in prosperous suburbs—have given rise to new agents (ethnopolitical entrepreneurs) in new spaces (ethnoburbs). In these evolving spaces, community leaders emphasize, consciously and unconsciously, specific attributes, which determine, in part, whether co-ethnics support selected candidates. Specific emphases lead to both the nomination of prospective politicians as well as the political incorporation of newcomers. By applying constructivist theories of ethnic politics to the study of political incorporation, this article expands and refines discourses in both fields of study. Based upon a case study of the intra-ethnically diverse yet highly mobilized Armenian community in Glendale, California, the paper’s findings synthesize the strengths of both analytical perspectives.
Frahm, Ellery, Andrew W. Kandel and Boris Gasparyan. “Upper Palaeolithic Settlement and Mobility in the Armenian Highlands: Agent-Based Modeling, Obsidian Sourcing, and Lithic Analysis at Aghitu-3 Cave.” Journal of Paleolithic Archaeology 2.4 (2019): 418-465.
Excavations at Aghitu-3 Cave in Armenia revealed stratified Upper Palaeolithic archaeological horizons (AHs), spanning from 39 to 36,000 cal BP (AH VII) to 29–24,000 cal BP (AH III) and from which we identified the sources of 1120 obsidian artifacts. Not only does AH III—deposited at the onset of the Last Glacial Maximum—have the most artifacts from non-regional sources but also the artifacts originate from the greatest variety of sources, including two ≥ 270 km on foot in different directions. The amount of retouch and density of lithics—as expressed by whole assemblage behavioral indicators (WABI)—suggest a trend from more expediency to more curation between the deposition of AHs VII and IV. This was followed by a substantial shift back to expediency during the deposition of AH III, corresponding to greater logistical mobility. Here, we use agent-based modeling (ABM) to interpret these data. Greater interactions between foraging groups are not an unavoidable outcome of a shift from residential to logistical mobility. Some variables (i.e., lithic stock, use intensity, provisioning strategy) can be ruled out, while other variables (i.e., decreased source abundance, a shift to direct procurement) appear inconsistent with the archaeological data. Territory spacing, in contrast, has a clear and predictable effect. A small decrease in territory spacing can yield notable increases in inter-group contact opportunities and can be explained by an increase in population densities as the climate cooled. Following this scenario, we assume that, as AH III accumulated, the cave’s occupants not only moved farther distances but also more frequently encountered neighboring group.
Fratantuono, Ella. “Producing Ottomans: Internal Colonization and Social Engineering in Ottoman Immigrant Settlement.” Journal of Genocide Research 21.1 (2019): 1-24.
In the past decade, historians of the Armenian Genocide have productively explored broader trends in Ottoman population politics to situate the genocide within the totality of Ottoman social engineering techniques and to highlight continuities between the Second Constitutional Period (1908-1918) and the Kemalist era (1919-1950). This article contributes to the effort to understand state building, internal colonization, and state-enacted violence across regimes by examining Ottoman archival documents related to immigrant settlement. Rather than focusing exclusively on the Young Turk period, this article traces Ottoman conceptions of its territory and population from the 1850s forward. In 1857, concerns about population density and population productivity inspired the Tanzimat High Council to issue a new set of migration regulations, which encouraged immigration by promising free land, tax exemption, and religious freedom for colonists from Europe and the United States. The issuing of the 1857 regulations occurred almost simultaneously with the initiation of a decades-long mass Muslim migration from the Crimean Peninsula, Caucasus, and Balkans into the shrinking territory of the Ottoman state. In 1860, the Empire established a centralized Immigrant Commission (Muhacirin Komisyonu) for receiving, categorizing, and settling the Muslim immigrants. Most immigrants did not meet the selection criteria established in the 1857 regulations. Nevertheless, immigrant settlement became a key component in nineteenth-century Ottoman internal colonization and social engineering. Ultimately, settlement policies and data generated about the population and territory allowed officials to enact assimilative and expulsive policies based not only on ethnic or religious characteristics but also on tropes of productivity and civilization. Examining immigrant settlement as internal colonization situates the Ottoman Empire within global patterns of state building and imperialism and reveals continuity in how officials conceived of population productivity and population removal, allowing historians to understand better political, infrastructural, and ideological precursors to the Armenian genocide.
Galip, Özlem Belçim. “The Armenian Genocide and Armenian Identity in Modern Turkish Novels.” Turkish Studies 20.1 (2019): 92-119.
Despite the official policy of genocide denial, the Armenian Genocide has been more widely discussed within Turkish society in the twenty-first century, particularly by the intelligentsia, than ever before. However, the more critical approach to the denial of genocide among many in the Turkish intelligentsia is not generally reflected in Turkish literary narratives. Literature is regarded by politicized and nationalist Turkish authors and historians as a discursive space in which to strengthen Turkish official discourse, the voice of denial. The official voice of the state can be clearly discerned in novels published in the period around 2015, due to the historical significance of the hundredth anniversary of the Genocide. However, there are some exceptions – narratives in which the writers seek to engage in cultural resistance, aiming to voice their own political criticism as a mode of social critique. Adopting a sociological approach and a theoretical framework based on historical criticism, this article explores the way Turkish novelistic discourse has responded to the discussion of the Armenian Genocide and Armenian Identity, and examines the representation of otherness (i.e. non-Muslims) in ten contemporary Turkish novels, most of which were published after 2000, when the Armenian issue became more controversial due to certain internal and external factors.
Gasparyan, Arsen. “Understanding the Nagorno-Karabagh Conflict: Domestic Politics and Twenty-Five Years of Fruitless Negotiations 1994-2018.” Caucasus Survey 7.3 (2019): 235-250.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict negotiations have been continuing for more than two decades now, but a settlement still remains elusive. This paper is an exploration of the reasons for that failure, and it argues that the real obstacle for the peaceful settlement in Nagorno-Karabakh was the domestic politics of the parties to the conflict. By clarifying and testing alternative perspectives, this paper seeks to resolve an important debate about the causes of the OSCE Minsk process failure.
Gatta, Marisa Della. “A ‘Nation in Exile’: The Renewed Diaspora of Syrian Armenian Repatriates.” British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 46.3 (2019): 339-357.
Since the escalation of the Syrian conflict and refugee crisis in 2011, almost a fifth of Syrian Armenians in Syria have fled to Armenia. Most of them are descendants of the Armenian Genocide (1915) victims, who found shelter in Syria a century ago. Contrary to expectations on ethnic repatriation, their displacement and attachment to Syria emerge. The study assesses this peculiar case of the origin and return of a ‘traditionally diasporic’ community by combining models offered by diaspora studies with analysis of qualitative research on Syrian Armenian returnees who fled war-torn Syria. Continuing on the pathway initiated with the ‘Great Repatriation’ of Armenian diasporans to Soviet Armenia of 1946, the return to Armenia is a prolonged trajectory of diasporic displacement. Syrian Armenians returning to Armenia experience a conflict-generated diaspora of diaspora in the supposed homeland of Armenia. Explanations include the dissociation between the imagined Armenian homeland and the legally constituted one in present-day Armenia, and between the latter and the motherland of Syria. This challenges the essentialist account of the Armenian diaspora and, ultimately, the hypothesis surrounding Syrian Armenian marginalization and gradual ‘exit strategy’ in Syrian society.
Grigoryan, Aleksandr, Knar Khachatryan and Vahram Ter-Matevosyan. “Armenia-Turkey Border Opening: What Determines the Attitude of Armenians?” Caucasus Survey 7.1 (2019): 25-43.
In spite of all previous efforts, the land border between Armenia and Turkey remains closed. Being one of the last reminders of the Cold War era, it significantly hinders the development of Armenia and eastern regions of Turkey. However, a closed border is more than a physical obstacle, as it also shapes the worldview and perceptions of the respective societies. Using the recent survey on “Public Opinion Poll: The Ways for Normalization of Armenian-Turkish Relations”, we identify the determinants of respondents’ attitudes towards the opening of the border. Among other results, we find that more awareness of the current Armenian-Turkish relationship increases the likelihood of the approval of the border. However, when selecting those respondents, who are either loyal to or approve the opening of the border, the awareness of the protocols’ content decreases the likelihood of the approval of the opening border. Our findings are supported by the contact theory which we use as a conceptual framework.
Grigoryan, Armen. “Armenia’s Path to Democratization by Recursive Mass Protests.” Caucasus Survey 7.2 (2019): 157-175.
This study analyses the “Velvet Revolution” of 2018 in Armenia, making a comparison with previous democratization attempts in order to facilitate understanding of some of the long-term tendencies which eventually made the revolution possible. Mass protest movements in Armenia, beginning with non-successful post-electoral protests in 2003–2004 and ending with the civil disobedience campaign resulting in regime collapse in 2018 are analyzed, and some comparisons with other cases of regime change and following developments are offered. The study contributes to the understanding of why this particular mode of regime change succeeded at that particular moment, and the implications for the post-revolution period.
Hallett, Fiona, Allan David and Hallett Graham. “Reconsidering Inclusion: Western Theory and Post-Soviet Reality.” Disability Studies Quarterly 39.2 (2019):
This article analyses the views of individuals from a post-Soviet context in order to better understand current thinking around difference and disability. In this study, the multiplicity of human experience articulated by the research participants highlights immediate, rather than philosophical, priorities. The particular social, cultural and political history of the Republic of Armenia offers an insight into the challenges of, and opportunities for, the development of inclusive practices in the former Soviet Union. As such, it could be argued that the West has much to learn from national contexts that might be dismissed as exclusionary.
İnce, Mustafa. “Abraham Paşa: The Life of an Ottoman Armenian who Mediated between İstanbul and Cairo in the Late Ottoman Era.” International Journal of Turcologia 14.27 (2019): 65-79.
Abraham Paşa (1837-1918) was an Ottoman Armenian who was active in Istanbul and Cairo. Originally a moneylender of Egypt, he moved on to being a civil servant of the Ottoman Empire and the Tanzimat reforms played a great role in this speedy rise to power and fame. At the same time, his service for Egypt coincided with the most dramatic era of Egyptian history in the nineteenth century. Yet, knowledge on his efforts for that province are negligible in the literature. He earned a reputation of an extravagant lifestyle, followed by the tragic loss of his fortune in Istanbul. In this sense his life actually paralleled with the economic situation of the empire, that is with drastic rises which ended up in sharp collapses. His life illustrates the career of a non-Muslim Ottoman, who thanks to his ties with the palaces of Istanbul and Cairo and his financial skills made his way to the peak of the imperial officialdom.
Karamanian, Armen Samuel. “ ‘He Wasn’t Able to Understand What I Was Saying’: The Experiences of Returnees’ Speaking Western Armenian in ‘Eastern’ Armenia.” PORTAL Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies 16.1-2 (November 2019): 120-140.
Since Armenia’s independence in 1991, thousands of diasporans have made the decision to return and settle in the ancestral homeland. The returnees, who speak Western Armenian, one of the two standardised forms of modern Armenian, are switching to the use of Eastern Armenian, the official variant of the homeland. Using two determinants of language perception—standardisation and vitality—this paper analyses the reactions received by thirty returnees who emigrated from nine countries, when speaking Western Armenian to an Eastern Armenian-speaking society. The vitality of the language shows signs of increasing through an encouragement by locals aware of the language’s historical significance, and an admiration of its ‘beauty’ and terminology. A heightened vitality has led returnees to feel confident about its use during social interactions and the possibility of the standard being incorporated into the nation’s linguistic narrative. However, confusion and ridicule due to a differing pronunciation, vocabulary, terminology, and the inability to be understood by some in Armenian society, has led to discomfort by returnees who are shifting to the usage of Eastern Armenian. At present, the use of Western Armenian in the homeland remains within the confines of family, friends and returnee circles. Despite the changing status of Western Armenian through a notable welcoming of the language into the linguistic narrative of the country, some segments of Armenian society do not perceive Western Armenian as an acceptable standard for broader use in Armenian society and national institutions. The homeland’s inconsistent, and at times questionable, acceptance of the language perpetuates the status quo that Western Armenian remains an unacceptable standard within the homeland and for use only in the diaspora.
Leupold, David. “‘Fatally Tied Together’: The Intertwined History of Kurds and Armenians in the 20th Century.” Iran and the Caucasus 23.4 (2019): 390-406.
More than a century years ago Talât Pasha declared famously that in the Eastern Provinces “The Armenian question does not exist anymore”. Today, far from being resolved, the former binary coding (Armenian/Turkish) is even further complicated by a third element— the ongoing Kurdish question (doza Kurdistanê). While most research and journalistic works frame the Armenian issue and the Kurdish issue as two separate events that merely coincide(d) in the same geographical space, this work explores their interdependence and the historical trajectories of two peoples fatally “tied together” across a spatio-temporal scale. In my paper I identify two opposing lines of continuity through which both peoples are tied together: friendly and fatal ties. With regard to the first (friendly ties), I turn to the SSR Armenia and her role in fostering Kurdish culture and advancing Kurdish nationalism. Hereby, I argue that a marginalized community of Kurmanji-speakers—the Yezidis, previously othered as “devil-worshippers” (şeytanperest)— emerged as the vanguard in forging a novel, secularized Kurdish national identity. With regard to the latter (fatal ties), I link the irrevocable erasure of Ottoman Armenians to the emergence of an imagined “Northern Kurdistan” stretching over large parts of historic Armenia. This, finally, raises the question of Kurdish complicity in the Armenian Genocide—as state-mobilized regiments, tribal members and ordinary residents—in a geography where, as Recep Maraşlı put it, the descendants “are the children of both perpetrators and victims alike”.
Kirakossian, Hasmik. “The Orthographic Rules of the Eighteenth Century Armeno-Persian Gospels of Matenadaran (Ms. 8492, Ms. 3044).” Iranian Studies (2019): 1-36.
The Persian Gospel codices of the Matenadaran collection, written in Armenian script in the eighteenth century in Shamakhi and Ganja, are important sources for the study of the interethnic, interfaith, and intercultural circumstances of historical Shirvan (located in Transcaucasia) of that period. These manuscripts are also considered to be essential sources for the study of inter-linguistic issues of Armenian and Persian, the Armenian orthographic rules of that period, and one of the local versions of Persian, spoken in Shirvan. In the eighteenth century, Persian was the interethnic contact language of this area and the manuscripts examined here were written for the Christian Armenians of the region. This article presents how the Armenian alphabet reflects the phonetic system of eighteenth century Persian spoken in Shirvan using the orthographic rules of Armenian.
Khachikian, Oshin. “Who benefits from ethnic capital? Group Norms, Social-Class and Education among Armenian-Americans in Los Angeles.” Ethnic and Racial Studies (July 2019): 1-20.
Sociologists show that the high levels of college-educated adults found in specific immigrant communities become a social resource, called ethnic capital, which is accessed in co-ethnic community organizations and promotes academic achievement for even the working-class descendants of these groups. But how does ethnic capital guide youth mobility? And does it benefit co-ethnic families who do not participate in these organizations? I investigate these questions through original, qualitative fieldwork with forty-two working-class, second-generation Armenian-Americans in Los Angeles. By comparing how social support for college preparation varies with organizational participation, I find that despite categorically converging with participants in graduate degree aspirations, non-participants access weaker mobility resources which distances them from perceived ethnic norms of achievement and a symbolic belonging to the co-ethnic community. I conclude that how ethnic capital benefits families varies but favours those who already possess material resources to enroll their children in co-ethnic organizations.
Khachikian, Oshin. “Protective Ethnicity: How Armenian Immigrants’ Extracurricular Youth Organisations Redistribute Cultural Capital to the Second-Generation in Los Angeles.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 45.13 (2019): 2366-2386.
Research shows the children of educationally-select immigrant groups benefit from a cultural advantage that allows them to realise higher educational outcomes than scholars would predict based on their parental education level alone. Among native-born families, childrearing practices, such as participation in youth extracurricular activities outside of school and home, have been shown to guide youth educational outcomes. But scholars have not fully explained how these cultural practices matter for the children of immigrants. Based on comparative ethnographic research, I examine how Armenian immigrant parents of divergent education levels converge in their desire to cultivate ethnic identification among their children by enrolling them in youth extracurricular activities found in ethnic community organisations. I argue that although working-class immigrants bring their children to these organisations to cultivate their children’s ethnic identification, they also unknowingly expose them to the organisationally embedded cultural capital offered at these sites that youth later draw on for their educational mobility. I conclude that cultivating ethnic identification among educationally-select immigrants functions as a protective social factor because it extends unanticipated material gains to the children of working class coethnics, a phenomenon I call protective ethnicity.
Khatcherian, Nora Emma. “Armenian crafts in the Ottoman Empire: Armenian Identity and Cultural Exchange.” National Identities 21.5 (2019): 485-505.
This article analyzes how the dominant narrative of Armenian national identity shapes perceptions of Armenian culture and offers examples of Ottoman Armenian craft art to bring to light an under acknowledged, yet intrinsically valuable, dynamic within Armenian cultural identity. Within studies of art history, cultural exchange between Ottoman Armenians and Turks has been ignored due to its inconvenience to the conflictual understanding of Armenian-Ottoman relations central to Armenian national identity. These artifacts speak out against reductive norms and offer an important addendum to the understanding of what it meant and continues to mean to be Armenian.
Khudaverdyan, A. Yu, A. A. Yengibaryan, S.G. Hobosyan and A.A. Hovhanesyan, A.A. Saratikyan. “An Early Armenian Female Warrior of the 8‐6 c. BC from Bover I site (Armenia).”International Journal of Osteoarcheology (November 2019).
Exploration of the weapon‐related traumas on human remains allows us to reconstruct the episodes of violence. This paper is an attempt of reconstructing the life and death of a female buried in the Early Armenian necropolis of Bover I (Shnogh, Lori Province) based on a multidisciplinary approach integrating archaeological, written, and palaeopathological data derived from the skeletal analysis. The remains unearthed in Tomb N 17 belonged to a woman who seemed to live as a professional warrior and was buried as an individual of rank. During our work, we identified a rich array of traumatic lesions, which shed light on her daily activities, occupation, and warfare practice. We also analysed a trapped metal arrowhead in her femur. For this region, projectile injury to bone, induced by an arrow wound, strongly suggests interpersonal aggression. The same individual also suffered blows to the pelvic bone, femur, and tibia. This tomb is the second burial discovered in Armenia that provides evidence on female warriors.
Koinova, Maria. “Diaspora Coalition-Building for Genocide Recognition: Armenians, Assyrians and Kurds.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 42.11 (August 2019): 1890-1910.
This article brings a fresh perspective to the causal mechanism of coalition-building among diasporas pursuing genocide recognition, particularly horizontal alliances between the Armenian, Assyrian, and Kurdish diasporas. Why, how, and how durably do diasporas build coalitions to address past atrocities? Building coalitions for genocide recognition requires three important factors: a common adversary, a host-land, conducive to proliferation of transitional justice claims, and a single contentious issue on which diasporas can focus. Coalitions based on common experiences of victimhood and identity can elicit long-term cooperation and high-level involvement, as among Armenians and Assyrians. Coalitions primarily based on strategic interests to pressure a common adversary, without common experience, show less organizational involvement, as among Armenians and Kurds. The article discusses diaspora mobilizations around the 2015 Armenian genocide centennial and Turkey’s EU accession with a wider sociospatial perspective of political processes related to Armenia, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria.
Koureas, Gabriel. “Parallelotopia: Ottoman Transcultural Memory Assemblages in Contemporary Art Practices from the Middle East.” Memory Studies 12.5 (October 2019): 493-513.
This article engages with the conversations taking place in the photographic space between then and now, memory and photography, and with the symbiosis and ethnic violence between different ethnic communities in the ex-Ottoman Empire. It questions the role of photography and contemporary art in creating possibilities for coexistence within the mosaic formed by the various groups that made up the Ottoman Empire. The essay aims to create parallelotopia, spaces in the present that work in parallel with the past and which enable the dynamic exchange of transcultural memories. Drawing on memory theory, the article shifts these debates forward by adopting the concept of ‘assemblage’. The article concentrates on the aesthetics of photographs produced by Armenian photographic studios in Istanbul during the late nineteenth century and their relationship to the present through the work of contemporary artists Klitsa Antoniou, Joanna Hadjithomas, Khalil Joreige and Etel Adnan as well as photographic exhibitions organised by the Centre for Asia Minor Studies, Athens, Greece.
Lessersohn, Nora. “Write to Return: The Memoir of Hovhannes Cherishian and the Restoration of the Armenian Hearth.” Memory Studies 12.5 (October 2019): 565-575.
In this essay, I will analyze the memoir of Hovhannes Cherishian (1886–1967), an Ottoman Armenian shoemaker and genocide survivor from what is now southern Turkey, as an attempt to “restore the ruined ancestral [Armenian] hearth” and render “part of the lost legacy of [his] forebears” back unto “the possession of the Armenian community.” By analyzing examples of transcultural memories from Cherishian’s text, I will highlight the ways in which Cherishian uses his memoir to restore (and thus return to) a complex, multicultural, pre-genocide Ottoman Armenian existence. I will first locate Cherishian’s memoir in nostalgia and memory studies as a way to draw out his role as an author. I will then explore aspects of Cherishian’s text that reveal that which he lost to the genocide—and thus that which he restores through his memoir. In conclusion, I will discuss briefly the importance of memory sources for writing Ottoman and Armenian history.
Lietaert, Ine. “The Usefulness of Reintegration Support: The Dual Perspectives of Returnees and Caseworkers.” The British Journal of Social Work 49.5 (2019): 1216-1233.
Abstract Many European countries have developed assisted voluntary return and reintegration (AVRR) programmes to support the return and reintegration of migrants who do not have a legal residence permit. There is substantial involvement of social-care professionals in the implementation of these programmes. However, the contested nature of AVRR programmes has limited an in-depth understanding of the exact nature of reintegration support and the ways it affects migrants’ lives after return. Through exploring the usefulness of AVRR support from the perspectives of those receiving it and experienced caseworkers providing it in the context of the Belgian AVRR return programme to Armenia and Georgia, this article contributes to a better understanding of the possibilities and constraints of reintegration support. Based on interviews with seventy-nine returnees during the initial two years after their return, interviews with the caseworkers and observations of day-to-day interactions between both parties, four different understandings of the ‘usefulness’ of reintegration support are delineated: reintegration support (i) as central and necessary financial support; (ii) as insufficient, decontextualised and deceptive support; (iii) as selective support; and lastly (iv) as humane and negotiated support. These understandings then evoke reflections on the implications for those stakeholders developing or implementing AVRR support programmes.
Lloyd. Teke and Fatma Armagan. “Intersectional Power Dynamics and Extended Households: Elderly and widowed women’s international migration from Armenia.” Gender, Place & Culture 26.3 (2019): 362-383.
Drawing upon interviews and fieldwork conducted in Armenia and Turkey with 25 Armenian migrant women and their non-accompanying family members, the present article examines how gendered norms intersecting with age, marital and motherhood statuses have structured the migration decision-making process as it occurs at the household level. These migrant women were mostly elderly, widowed and from extended households, where male income support to the family was either insufficient or wholly absent for a variety of reasons. Building on the Household Survival Strategies (HSS) approach, this article examines the dynamism and complex kinship norms in extended-households and how these have led some women to assume the role of migrant labourers in a patriarchal context that would ordinarily deny them mobility. While empirically this study sheds light on women’s migration from an understudied geography, it also deepens our understanding of the interplay between patriarchy, intersectionality and women’s agency outside of the traditional nuclear household.
Martirosyan, Hrach.“Armenian Personal Names of Iranian Origin from Siwnik‘ and Arc‘ax.” Iran and the Caucasus 23.1 (2019): 75-82.
This paper aims to present seven Armenian personal names of Iranian origin from the Armenian historical provinces of Siwnik‘ and Arc‘ax: Dadi/Dadoy, Kohazat, Marhan, Mrhapet, Niw-dast, Niw-Xosrov, and *Oyz/Uz. These names are scantily attested in literature (almost all of them being hapaxes) and are, therefore, little known to scholarship.
Majstorovic, Darko. “The 1913 Ottoman Military Campaign in Eastern Thrace: A Prelude to Genocide?” Journal of Genocide Research 21.1 (2019): 25-46.
This article argues that the leadership of the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) experimented with methods of mass expulsion for the first time during the Balkan Wars in 1912-1913. The success of these methods of mass violence contributed to their renewed application in World War I. Much has been written about the crimes committed against civilians by Serbian, Bulgarian and Greek armies in this period, but little about the Ottoman operations in Eastern Thrace in 1913. Neither European nor Turkish historiography has examined the issue closely, partly because the Ottoman campaign in Eastern Thrace was very short and of relatively little military significance, and partly because historians interested in the study of violence in the late Ottoman Empire have devoted their attention to the Armenian genocide, which began less than two years after the recapture of Thrace. And yet, it is during this brief period, from July to September 1913, that the Unionist leadership of the Ottoman Empire developed a very specific, new and systematic form of violence that would later be used against other Christian populations, including the Armenians. In this context, the 1913 Ottoman campaign is worth examining closely not just as an important aspect of the Balkan Wars, but also as a prelude to practices that would later be tragically used on a wider scale during World War I and World War II.
Mionel, Viorel. “From Religious Segregation to Cultural Heritage: The Case of the Armenian Community in Bucharest.” Journal of Urban and Regional Analysis 11.1 (2019): 69-86.
Religious segregation is a process with a very long history, but which has been little analyzed within the Romanian scientific literature. The paper proposes a detailed discussion of how the Armenian community in Bucharest was geographically segregated because of religious reasons by the rest of the Orthodox inhabitants of the city almost five centuries ago. The analysis made by the national and international literature on this subject reveals substantial gaps, with multiple theoretical difficulties in explaining how religious segregation can end up in cultural heritage. Incorporating the urban segregation theory and urban culture, the research proposes an exploratory case study as a conceptual basis for future similar studies. The analyzed data have shown that, in time, due to the expansion of urban space and to certain religious concessions, cities can be the beneficiaries of high-value physical elements with an impact on urban culture, architecture and landscape, all thanks to religious segregation
Muradian, Gaiane. “Breaking Communication Stereotypes: The Discourse of Armenian Velvet Revolution.” Journal of Education, Society and Behavioural Science 30.2 (2019): 1-7.
In its most basic sense, communication – the transmission and reception of information between the addresser and addressee, the generation of certain meaning, and the powerful source of information in the society – is a social multidimensional semiotic system which today, along with traditional oral and written discourse modes, is realized through numerous other media or modes – live-streaming and online text messaging as well as pictures, graphic designs, cartoons, colors, music, clothing, theatre-like scenes/actions, etc. The collection of these modes or elements, contributes to how multimodality affects different rhetorical situations, or opportunities for increasing the audience’s reception of an idea or concept. Hence, the present paper aims at outlining the different modes of multidisciplinary communication tactics with a focus on the complex nature of language/discourse/text and other multimodal communication practices in terms of the aural, spatial and visual resources or modes used to compose the message of the 2018 Armenian Velvet Revolution. The case study shows that the Armenian Velvet Revolution is a master-class in the application of multimodality, i.e. various modes of communication to convey information and impact the public, thus securing the success of the Revolution
Nercissians, Emilia. “The Historical Anthropology of the Seventeenth Century Entrepreneurial Activities of the Armenian Merchants in New Julfa,” Journal of Global Entrepreneurship Research 9.22 (2019): 1-13.
This paper reviews the socio-cultural, anthropological reasons for merchant success of Armenian immigrants to New Julfa in the seventeenth century. This includes the importance of entrepreneurial, anthropological studies, and cultural aspects on individual and social levels. The key enabler is the networking and support entities. A case research provides a historical example to analyze their success with theoretical arguments. The importance of new business from social creativity in minorities, combined with risk-taking seems inversely distributed from the diaspora.
Olley, Jacob. “Remembering Armenian Music in Bolis: Komitas Vardapet in TransculturalPerspective.” Memory Studies 12.5 (2019): 547-564.
This article explores the relationship between music, memory and transcultural processes in late Ottoman Istanbul by studying the writings of the Armenian composer and musicologist Komitas Vardapet (1869–1935). It describes the changing political and intellectual landscape in which Komitas and his contemporaries redefined the collective musical memory of the Armenian people through a process of secularisation and internationalisation. I argue that there was a shift from local transculturalism, in which musical memories were to some extent shared between different ethnic and confessional groups in the Ottoman Empire, to a more global and modern transculturalism, in which consciously differentiated and often antagonistic national musical memories were constructed and disseminated across non-local spaces through new media and discursive strategies. In the process, rural music practices were appropriated from their local and unofficial contexts by urban, cosmopolitan elites and purposefully inscribed as monuments of Armenian cultural memory which have endured to the present.
Ozturk-Tuncel, Duygu and Mitat Celikpala. “Turkey’s Rapprochements with Greece and Armenia: Understanding Path Breaking Steps.” Southeast European and Black Sea Studies 19.3 (2019): 431-449.
This comparative analysis considers the Turkish-Greek rapprochement and the Turkish-Armenian rapprochement processes with a three-dimensional approach. Although the deep-rooted conflicts between neither Greece and Turkey nor Armenia and Turkey were resolved via these processes, the bilateral relationships between the countries have significantly differed. This paper argues that two key main reasons lie behind this difference: the nature of the initiatives taken during the two processes and the influence of external actors on the course of the bilateral relations between Turkey and Greece, on the one hand, and Turkey and Armenia on the other hand.
Papazian, Sabrina. “The Cost of Memorializing: Analyzing Armenian Genocide Memorials and Commemorations in the Republic of Armenia and in the Diaspora.” International Journal for History, Culture and Modernity 7 (2019): 55-86.
In April of 1965 thousands of Armenians gathered in Yerevan and Los Angeles, demanding global recognition of and remembrance for the Armenian Genocide after fifty years of silence. Since then, over 200 memorials have been built around the world commemorating the victims of the Genocide and have been the center of hundreds of marches, vigils and commemorative events. This article analyzes the visual forms and semiotic natures of three Armenian Genocide memorials in Armenia, France and the United States and the commemoration practices that surround them to compare and contrast how the Genocide is being memorialized in different Armenian communities. In doing so, this article questions the long-term effects commemorations have on an overall transnational Armenian community. Ultimately, it appears that calls for Armenian Genocide recognition unwittingly categorize the global Armenian community as eternal victims, impeding the development of both the Republic of Armenia and the Armenian diaspora.
Payaslian, Simon. “The Downing of a C-130 and Host-State Utilization of the American Armenian Community.” The International History Review (2019).
This study examines the relationship between the Soviet shooting down of the C-130 aircraft over Soviet Armenia in September 1958 and the investigations spearheaded by Samuel Klaus, Special Assistant to the State Department’s Legal Adviser, in preparation of the legal case for presentation at the International Court of Justice. Klaus believed that the case required eyewitness testimony from both sides of the Turkish-Soviet border. He organized a series of interviews of American Armenians who had visited Soviet Armenia soon after the incident and proposed to interview American Armenian expatriates in Soviet Armenia as well. Considering it was impossible to conduct interviews in Soviet Armenia, Klaus sought to facilitate their return to the United States, as several expatriates, disillusioned with the Soviet Union, had sent petitions to President Eisenhower seeking his assistance to return to the United States. Although the Office of the Legal Adviser eventually did not submit the case to the ICJ, the investigations launched by Klaus set in motion the process of their return home.
Pendse, Liladhar R. “The Armenian Periodical Press of Baku 1877-1920: A Survey.” Slavic and East European Information Resources 20.1-2 (2019): 50-73.
The periodicals of Baku Armenians represent a relatively unexplored archive of the social, cultural, and literary memories of a community that no longer exists in Azerbaijan. In this article, the author provides a brief overview of the world of Armenian periodicals that existed in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in the Russian Empire. The Armenian National Library has digitized some of these periodicals and they are readily available to a variety of users. Librarians, historians, and digital humanities scholars can use this readily available corpus of texts for further analysis.
Mamedov, Mikail, “A Lost World: Evgeniy Voykunskiy’s Maiden Dreams, the Karabakh Crisis, and the End of Old Baku,” Nationalities Papers (October 2019): 1-17.
This article examines the first novel about the Karabakh crisis and ethnic cleansing of the Armenian population in the city of Baku. Maiden Dreams (Devich’i Sny), published in 1995, was written by Evgeniy Voyskunskiy, an author born in Baku and generally known for science fiction novels. The novel explores the tragic fate of the city, and it includes stories of persecution and pogroms against the Armenian population in Azerbaijan in the late 1980s and early 1990s in light of the Karabakh conflict. Maiden Dreams is the story of Baku from the beginning of the 20th century to the turbulent period late in the century when violence and ethnic cleansing had transformed the cosmopolitan, multi-ethnic capital into a homogeneous city with no space for “others.” This article examines the novel from both literary and historical perspectives.
Phillipson, David W. “An Armenian Involvement in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Ethiopia.” History in Africa 46 (June 2019): 137-145.
Two Armenian ecclesiastics from Jerusalem, Isaac and Dimothéos, visited Abyssinia in 1867–1869. The latter’s detailed account of their journey was promptly published, grandiloquently dedicated (with formal permission) to Queen Victoria. The journey has nonetheless received little attention from historians, and the reasons it was made have been poorly understood. An intention to seek release of Europeans imprisoned by King Tewodros (Theodore) of Ethiopia was overtaken by events, the captives’ release being achieved by an expedition from British India before the Armenians arrived. Emphasis was consequently placed on involvement with local politics and ecclesiastical intrigue, both of which are discussed in this paper.
Pisowicz, Andrzej. “A Review of Armenian Proverbs from the Territory of Iranian Azerbaijan (the Salmast Dialect).” Studia Litteraria 14 (2019): 197-208.
In order to assemble as rich a body of material as possible, he used a classic work of Armenian proverbs written by Aram Ghanalanian.1 The first of these publications is a collection of proverbs (in Armenian: arrac’)2 in the Salmast dialect, while the second – a glossary (barracank)3 containing an explanation of the dialect words edited in literary East Armenian. With the meaning ‘looks’ there occurs the dialect form k-iska (in which resides the element known from the word ačkh ‘eye’) reciprocating in meaning the East Armenian (EArm) nay-um e. Armenians are proud of the fact that they were the first nation on earth to adopt Christianity as the state religion (the beginning of the 4th century). […]it comes as no surprise to learn of the frequency with which animals appear in the proverbs from Salmast. In Armenian dialects, as opposed to the two literary variants of the language (East Armenian, West Armenian) – not to mention the Grabar (Old Armenian) of the 5th century – there appear a significant number of borrowings from the languages of Islam surrounding the Armenians: from Arabic, Persian and Turkic (Azerbaijani).
Radnitz, Scott. “Reinterpreting the Enemy: Geopolitical beliefs and the Attribution of Blame in the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict.” Political Geography 70 (April 2019): 64-73.
How do geopolitical beliefs affect the attribution of blame for violent conflict? It is usually assumed that citizens in post-conflict societies come to adopt official nationalist discourses that fixate on the other side. Yet scholars of critical geopolitics recognize the importance of affect and localized interactions in shaping beliefs about the political world. This paper analyzes how geopolitical imagination shapes Azerbaijanis’ attribution of blame for the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, using data from a quasi-experimental study in Azerbaijan. Despite official narratives that demonize Armenia, the beliefs of Azeris in the study diverge in important ways from the official line. In particular, a disproportionate number of subjects “scaled up” culpability for the conflict and assigned a significant amount of blame to Russia. Subjects were prone to perceive Armenia as a Soviet-Russian proxy and to view Armenian behavior as subordinate to Russian interests rather than intrinsically derived. I argue that this causal accounting for the conflict reflects commonsense beliefs about how power is exercised, which were shaped by Azerbaijan’s structural position vis-à-vis Russia and historical tropes that emphasize subversion, duplicitousness, and hidden agendas. The findings focus attention on how geopolitical imaginations can shape the ways contemporary events, including conflict, are interpreted. They also demonstrate the need to dig beneath the official discourse to reveal the sometimes surprising ways it is contested or subverted.
Riegg, Stephen Badalyan. “British Travelers and the Armenian Question During the First Half of the 19th Century.” Nationalities Papers 47.1 (January 2019): 136-148.
Marshaling an array of travelogues from British adventurers who visited the Russian-Ottoman-Persian borderlands during the first half of the 19th century, it is clear that the Armenian Question arose in the British consciousness earlier than previously thought. Influenced by their origins and the political circumstances of the countries through which they journeyed, British travelers highlighted in their narratives the political status of the Armenians and the trends affecting them throughout the borderlands. Ethnoreligious and socioeconomic strife between Armenians and other various groups remained a persistent theme that linked the disparate accounts and authors. Frequently overlooking core religious, cultural, political, and social factors and identities that distinguished the Turks, Persians, and Kurds, British travelers issued essentialized explanations for Armenian struggles that highlighted their status as a religious minority surrounded by ostensibly hostile majorities. Well before the outbreak of the Crimean War, British adventurers contextualized Armenian misery within the British-Russian geopolitical rivalry. Thus, early British adventurers established the cultural and political groundwork for the more famous discussions of the Armenian Question during the last decades of the 1800s.
Sargsyan, Nelli. “Experience-Sharing as Feminist Praxis: Imagining a Future of Collective Care.” History and Anthropology 30.1 (2019): 67-90.
What kinds of political possibilities can be created in the face of postsocialist precarity at the intersection of socialist inheritance and violence accelerated under militarist and neoliberal governance in Armenia? This is the question I grapple with in this paper by drawing on in-depth interviews with politically active feminists. Taking a cue from my interlocutors, I question the dominant definition of the terms ‘activism’ and ‘activist’ – labels that in the Armenian context become ascribed to select groups of people as a means of discrediting and dismissing their political efforts. I focus on the slow and creative experience-sharing work that oriented toward collective care cultivates political consciousness to imagine a more livable life.
Sengupta, Santanu. “Freighting English Law: Interpreting Maritime Spaces, Law and the Armenian Strategies in the Indian Ocean.” Global Networks 19.4 (September 2019): 477-498.
In this article, I examine the formation of the English East India Company’s legal regime in the Indian Ocean between the mid‐eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. I look at how this process affected maritime trade and space from the vantage point of Armenian merchants’ interactions with the colonial regime in the courts of law. The productive tensions arising from the colonial regime’s new protocols and the merchants’ leveraging tactics make for a complex story of Anglo‐Armenian dialogue. I argue that indigenous agency in the colonial courts complicated the binary colonial/indigenous structure. The idea of legal pluralism that emerges from the article suggests that the identity of an imperial subject or the definition of law was neither a given nor simply imposed through colonial coercion but was a complex product of a long‐term dialogue and rationalization.
Selva, Sanjna. “Through the Lens of Childhood: An Alternative Examination of the Armenian Genocide.” Aisthesis 10.1 (2019): 57-64.
The fate of children during the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1922 was one that was rife with trauma, characterized by loss, and inherently complex under the shifting legal parameters that defined a tumultuous interwar climate. During the genocide, entire villages, cities, and swaths of farmlands were desecrated, men were killed or conscripted into labor, leaving women and children displaced and sent to poorly-conditioned refugee camps and settlements. As a result, the forced transfer and trafficking of children from parental unit to institution became a common reality for many desperate families who were coerced into believing that they had no other options.
In my paper, I analyze the unique institutions that picked up where parental units left off: the orphanages that proliferated in the Ottoman-ruled Middle East during the Armenian Genocide, specifically in present-day Lebanon and Turkey. These orphanages played a paradoxical role: providing subsistence to thousands of displaced Armenian children while enabling child trafficking, a central crime of the genocide. My paper builds from a range of primary sources focused on detailed oral histories of formerly trafficked children. Donald E.Miller and Lorna Touryan Miller’s Survivors: An Oral History of the Armenian Genocide, offers an intricate look into how the orphanages functioned from the children’s perspectives, while Bertha Nakshian Ketchian’s memoir In The Shadow Of The Fortress and Karnig Panian’s memoir Goodbye, Antoura, provide unparalleled records of two survivors’ individual and detailed emotional experiences in orphanages in Ottoman-occupied Armenia and Antoura, Lebanon respectively. Through these primary sources, I explore the lived experiences of Armenian orphans, highlighting the emotional impacts of abandonment, loss, and loneliness experienced, as well as the impact of familial separation on the upbringing of the children.
I also raise the devastating irony that many of these children were not indeed orphans and had, in fact, been trafficked. Drawing on the specific research of Keith David Watenpaugh, a leading American historian of the contemporary Middle East, human rights, and modern humanitarianism, and an expert on the Armenian Genocide, this paper will turn a critical lens upon the interwar humanitarian sector, exploring how orphanages were manipulated into entities that, instead of effectively combating the lived trauma of the children, succumbed to moral and monetary corruption, thereby creating “the orphanage industry.”
On a larger scale, I explore how certain deliberate processes within the orphanages, such as forced religious conversions of Armenian children to Islam, and a loss of traditional Armenian culture, bore generational effects and created a culturally-displaced Armenian diaspora. In addition, human rights violations such as sexual, physical, and emotional abuse endured by the children within these institutions, shed a light on the human rights laws that were developing at the time. Panning out further, my paper offers a critical evaluation into the state and foreign powers that were responsible for establishing these orphanages, exploring intersections with nationalism, colonialism, and a Western savior complex that was reminiscent of a shifting concept of modernity in the changing Ottoman world.
Şekeryan, Ari. “The Transformation of the Political Position of the Armenian Community in Istanbul vis-à-vis the Declaration of the Republic of Turkey.” Turkish Studies (2019).
This article analyzes the transformation of the political position of the Ottoman Armenian community by focusing on the community’s reactions vis-à-vis a major turning point in modern Turkish history: the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey. The article demonstrates how and why the Ottoman Armenian community reacted as it did when the status of the state as a Republic was proclaimed by the Grand National Assembly in October 1923. The major argument the article puts forward is that following the results of the Turkish-Armenian War in the Caucasus, the Greco-Turkish War in Western Anatolia, and the retreat of the French from the Cilicia region, the majority of the Ottoman Armenian community which remained within the borders of ‘New Turkey’ shifted its political position to accommodate the policies of the ruling power in order to protect their physical and cultural existence during this period of political turmoil. Benefiting from primary sources, including Ottoman Armenian and Ottoman Turkish newspapers, archival documents, and parliamentary minutes, this article focuses on the position of Ottoman Armenians following the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey, and thus contributes to the historiography on the Armistice period.
Şekeryan, Ari. “Romioi-Armenian Friendship in the Ottoman Empire during the Armistice Period (1918-1923),” British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 46.1 (2019): 139-157.
The Romioi–Armenian friendship, which emerged after the signing of the Armistice of Mudros in October 1918, portrays a unique chapter in the history of Romioi–Armenian relations. During this distinct period, the two communities forged strong bonds over their mutual opposition against the Ottoman state. They drafted common political plans and strategies, established friendship organizations in Istanbul, organized gatherings, and the Armenian and the Ecumenical Patriarchates even entered into a discussion to unite the two churches. Thus, the relationship between the Armenian and the Romioi communities during the Armistice period holds significance in the broader context of the history of Greek–Armenian relations. This article explores the extent of the Romioi–Armenian friendship during the Armistice period through an extensive collection of primary sources including Armenian and Ottoman Turkish newspapers in order to demonstrate how the community leaders worked to improve relations between the Armenian and Romioi communities.
Shapiro, Henry R. “The Great Armenian Flight: Migration and Cultural Change in Seventeenth-Century Ottoman Empire.” Journal of Early Modern History 23.1 (2019): 67-89.
The seventeenth century was a turning-point in the cultural and demographic history of the Ottoman Empire. Beginning in the late sixteenth century, Ottoman-Armenian subjects began to flee en masse from the Celali Revolts, war with Persia, and famine in Eastern Anatolia to more secure territories in Western Anatolia, Istanbul, and Thrace. This article documents the arrival of Armenian refugees in Thrace using Ottoman Turkish court records from the coastal town of Rodosto (Tekirdağ). After describing the micro-history of an Armenian refugee crisis, this article suggests that these migrations played a catalyzing role in the rise of a distinct “Western Armenian” culture and society, which developed for the first time in the seventeenth-century Ottoman Empire. The rise of this new society was an event of great importance in Ottoman history, as the Armenians would become a critical part of Ottoman economic and cultural life in the empire’s coastal trade cities.
Sheklian, Christopher. “Promises of Property: Religious Foundations and the Justice and Development Party’s Ambiguous Attitudes towards Religious Minorities.” Turkish Studies 20.3 (2019): 403-420.
The policies of the Turkish Justice and Development Party (AKP) towards religious minorities exhibits a fundamental ambiguity. Though the AKP has supported a number of high-profile changes in policy towards Armenians and other non-Muslim minorities, the party has left the underlying legal structure intact. This article describes developments in the treatment of non-Muslim vakıfs (often translated at ‘religious foundations’) under the AKP, specifically the restoration of the Holy Cross Armenian Cathedral on the island of Akdamar and the reopening of the Surp Giragos Armenian Church in Diyarbakır. Using these examples, the article demonstrates how the tensionbetween changing policy and enduring legal structure points to an ‘ambiguous attitude’ on the part of the AKP towards Turkey’s religious minority populations.
Six-Hohenbalken, Maria. “May I be a sacrifice for my grandchildren–Transgenerational Transmission and Women’s Narratives of the Yezidi Fermna.” Dialectical Anthropology 43.2 (2019): 161-183.
This paper addresses the (post)-memories of the generations of offspring of survivors of the genocidal processes in the Ottoman Empire during World War I. About 12,000 Yezidis managed to flee to Armenia and establish a diasporic community. Based on ethnographic fieldwork within this community, including interviews with members of subsequent generations, this article focuses on the narratives and experiences of women as well as gender-specific violence. The gathered empirical data makes it possible to elaborate on the hardly documented history, on its lasting effects, and on gender-specific differences in these narrations. Despite certain politics of silencing, memories of genocidal persecution were passed down from one generation to the next. The most recent case of genocidal persecution of Yezidis in Shingal (Iraq) 2014 affected the very foundations of the Yezidi community both in Armenia and the transnation—and at the same time revived their joint remembrance of the fate of their ancestors who had once sought refuge in Armenia.
Selvelli, Giustina. “Preserving the Postmemory of the Genocide: The Armenian Diaspora’s Institutions in Plovdiv.” Acta Universitatis Carolinae Studia Territorialia 18.2 (June 2019): 89-116.
This paper intends to shed light on the memory of the Armenian Genocide among the Armenian diaspora in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. I will focus on the patterns of promoting remembrance found in the local Armenian press and literature, on initiatives of the Armenian General Benevolent Union/Parekordzagan (AGBU) to celebrate the ninetieth and hundredth anniversaries of the Genocide, and on analyzing the cityscape of Plovdiv in terms of the monuments, the museum, and the cemetery of its Armenian community. To that end, I will employ information collected during interviews, articles from Plovdiv’s main Armenian newspaper, and data I gathered while visiting the community’s public spaces. I will demonstrate the importance of collective memory and remembrance of the Genocide to the preservation of the internal cohesion of the Armenian community of Plovdiv and its ethnic identity. Taking a socio-anthropological approach, I will argue that the maintenance and promotion of a specific “postmemory” of the Genocide depends heavily on the activities and initiatives of the main diaspora organization, the AGBU, on its selection of specific symbols, and on the emotional content of its communications.
Stone, Michael E. “The Armenian Embroidered Bible.” Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha 29.1 (2019): 3-11.
The pseudepigraphic literature of the ‘Old Testament’ in the Armenian language is an extraordinarily rich corpus. For example, the texts relating to Joseph are eight in number, four otherwise unknown and two translated from Greek. This rich literature comprises a number of genres, including parabiblical narrative, homilies and sermons, erotapokritic texts, scholastic lists, allegory and more. By examining the forms of literature, some preliminary conclusions are drawn as to matrices of origins of different types of works.
Stone, Michael E., Yana Tchekhanovets, and Ofer Pogorelsky. “Armenians in the Negev.” Le Muséon 132.1-2 (2019): 123-137.
The paper discusses two unpublished Armenian finds from 1930s excavations at Nessana in the Negev Desert: a graffito written on stone and an incised finger-ring, both dated, on the basis of palaeography and style (respectively), to around the seventh century. This Armenian presence in Nessana is explained as part of the pilgrim traffic through the Negev to Mount Sinai. The finds bear historical significance in several aspects: first, they fill in a missing link between the known epigraphical traces of pilgrims from Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Nazareth and the ones from the Sinai, whereby they further illustrate the Armenian participation in Holy Land pilgrimage. Second, the finds underline the central role of Nessana as a hub of pilgrim traffic in the Negev, attested also by other sources. Moreover, they contribute to our understanding of Nessana’s layout by reinforcing the claim that following the dismantlement of Nessana’s military unit the fort was turned into a hospice.
Ter-Matevosyan, Vahram. “A Conflict that Did Not Happen: Revisiting the Javakhk Affair in Georgia.” Nations and Nationalism 25.1 (2019): 340-360.
During and after the collapse of the Soviet Union, several violent conflicts erupted in different parts of its (former) territory. The South Caucasus region has experienced three ethnically rooted violent conflicts, yet other ethnic disputes in the same region remained dormant. Despite an extensive literature on the South Caucasus conflicts, research on those ethnic disputes that could have erupted during the collapse of the Soviet Union is scarce. This article discusses the case of the Armenian populated region of Javakhk (Javakheti) in Georgia. It explores the questions of how, unlike the Abkhazian and South Ossetian movements that were able to effectively mobilize against Georgian calls for sovereignty leading up to the Soviet collapse, Armenian populated territories in Georgia remained relatively quiet. Considering that the primary ethnic minority groups within the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic could each be linked by concerns over demographic shifts, economic discrimination/resource allocation, and political representation, the absence of conflict in Javakhk, as well as in Kvemo Kartli, is somewhat surprising. Based on existing theories of nationalism and ethnic conflicts and field interviews with the leaders of the popular movements in Javakhk, the paper examines the underlying reasons for the lack of conflict there.
Ter-Matevosyan, Vahram and Edita Ghazaryan. “Navigating between international recognition paradigms: prospects and challenges for Nagorno Karabakh.” Caucasus Survey 7.3 (2019): 181-196.
The Nagorno Karabakh conflict remains a perplexing challenge for the regional security of the South Caucasus. In spite of decades of negotiations under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group, the final resolution of the conflict remains a distant goal. Against this background, since 2012 several US and Australian states as well as the Basque Parliament started to support the right of the people Nagorno Karabakh to self-determination. The resolutions passed by these states were not only unprecedented but were also inconsistent with the foreign policies of their federal governments. The present paper examines the underlying reasons for nine US states (California, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Michigan, Georgia, Hawaii, Maine, Louisiana, and Colorado), and the most populous state of Australia, New South Wales, to have recognized the right of the people of Nagorno Karabakh to self-determination. The paper also looks at the legal and political implications deriving from these resolutions as well as possible prospects for this pattern of recognitions. The paper argues that recognition of de facto states by federal sub-states is a new, albeit isolated, phenomenon. It may potentially enhance visibility of de facto states and help them to gain more support for their pursuit of international recognition.
Terzyan, Aram. “Bringing Armenia Closer to Europe? Challenges to the EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement Implementation.” Romanian Journal of European Affairs 19.1 (2019): 97-110.
The Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA), inaugurated in March 2017, has breathed new life into waxed and waned EU-Armenia partnership. There is a lot of scholarship on the domestic state of affairs in Armenia and consideration of the combined effects of power transition, tough economic contexts, geopolitical fragility and other ways in which the specific Armenian reality’ affects the way that EU policies are received and implemented (Kostanyan and Giragosian, 2016; Delcour, 2015; Delcour and Wolczuk, 2015; Delcour, 2018). This paper aims to build upon existing scholarship and addresses the following research question: What are the implications of the ‘velvet revolution’ for Armenia’s relations with the EU within the CEPA? The paper contends that despite the power transition, political and economic conditions underlying Armenia’s arbitrary decision to join the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and constraining country’s profound advancement towards the EU have largely remained unchanged. Therefore, the EU’s ‘competing governance provider’ Russia maintains its economic and political grip on Armenia, with its ensuing adverse effects on the EU-Armenia rapprochement, and more specifically on the effective implementation of the CEPA.
Thomas, Rebecca L., Grace Felten, Lisa Yagaloff and Marine Yarmaloyan. “Returning Home: the Experiences of Resettlement for Syrian-Armenian Refugees into Armenia.” Journal of International Migration and Integration (2019): 1-16.
Syrian-Armenian communities were established after the Armenian Genocide, in 1915, when Armenian survivors and their descendants built new lives in Syria’s urban centers. Since then, Syrian-Armenians have maintained their Armenian culture and regard Armenia as their “homeland.” Beginning in 2011, Syria has been embroiled in a deadly civil war, and many Syrian-Armenian refugees have chosen to resettle in Armenia where they are welcome. This article focuses on the experiences of Syrian-Armenian refugees struggling to build new lives in Armenia by analyzing the findings from 24 in-depth qualitative interviews. It examines challenges and barriers to resettlement, including finding steady employment and affordable housing. It also highlights the benefits of resettling in Armenia such as the country’s welcoming stance toward Syrian-Armenians and the refugees’ deep commitment to Armenian culture. It concludes with a discussion of what the international community and committed professionals can do to help Syrian-Armenian refugees, utilizing their resiliency and adaptability in transitioning to new lives in Armenia.
Tekgül, Duygu. “Faith-Related Interpreting as Emotional Labour: A Case Study at a Protestant Armenian Church in Istanbul.” Perspectives (July 2019): 1-15.
Emotional labour refers to displaying, eliciting or suppressing emotions in order to meet role expectations in a given context. Typically associated with care work in professional settings, this notion has repercussions for our understanding of community interpreting, especially religious interpreting. The present study discusses faith-related interpreting as emotional labour, highlighting the interpreter’s active emotional involvement. Data have been collected through ethnographic methods at a Protestant Armenian church in Istanbul, serving first generation immigrants from Armenia as well as members of the Turkish-Armenian community and ethnic Turkish converts to Christianity. Here, a volunteer interpreter renders the sermon simultaneously from Armenian into Turkish. The interpreting service serves two purposes: to provide a transnational bridge, and to reach out to Turkish-speaking visitors in line with the missionary and evangelizing agenda of the church. The study explores the emotional labour that the interpreter undertakes to these ends, focussing on her strategies of emotional mirroring/amplification during simultaneous interpreting and the wider context of community interpreting, which is an integral part of community services provided in the church.
Vassilkov, Yaroslav V. “The Armenian Epic ‘Daredevils of Sassoun’ and the Mahābhārata: Similarity of the Ethnographic Substratum.” Archaeology, Ethnology and Anthropology of Eurasia 47.2 (2019): 140-147.
The author summarises the results of his search for parallels between the Armenian epic “Sasna cṙer” (“Daredevils of Sassoun”) and the Mahābhārata. The comparative study has revealed considerable similarity in the “ethnographic substratum” of both epics, particularly that relating to the archaic social organization mirrored by the epic. The earliest layer of both the Armenian and the Indian epics preserves the memory of a rural, largely pastoral society, in which an important role was played by young warrior brotherhoods. In the Armenian epic, this is indicated by recurrent motifs: the young heroes’ rampage followed by exile, the foundation of their own outpost in the backwoods, young warrior brotherhoods, their defense of herds and warding off enemy attacks, battle frenzy (a common characteristic of all the Sassoun heroes), their immutable mentor and leader (“uncle”) Keri Toros, allusions to orgiastic feasts, traces of premarital freedom by young men and women, etc. Among the Armenians, these motifs were supported by the existence until recent times of the institution of youth age-set groups, described by ethnographers. A comparative study of the Armenian epic reveals its hitherto unnoticed socio-historical aspects. Its wider use for studying other epic traditions (not only Indo-European but also those of other peoples inhabiting the Caucasus and the Eurasian steppes) will contribute to Comparative epic studies.
White, Benjamin Thomas. “A Grudging Rescue: France, the Armenians of Cilicia, and the History of Humanitarian Evacuations.” Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism and Development 10.1 (2019): 1-27.
Humanitarian evacuation is today a well-known practice, but as an articulated policy it only dates back to the evacuation from Macedonia of Kosovo Albanian refugees in 1999. This article investigates a much earlier example, the evacuation of Armenians from Cilicia (now in southern Turkey) by France in 1921. It shows how the evacuation of entire populations over long distances became thinkable, in an age of mass displacement and emerging humanitarian consciousness, and practicable, as military logistics were applied to humanitarian crises. It analyzes the political decision to evacuate, showing how it sprang from the interaction of factors in the eastern Mediterranean, in France, and internationally. On the basis of this case study it establishes humanitarian evacuations as an object of historical enquiry, and sets an agenda for future research.
Zolyan S.T. “How to Do Things with the Word: Barack Obama on the Armenian Genocide.” Russian Journal of Linguistics 23.1 (2019): 62-82.
The overarching premise of the paper is the idea that Barack Obama’s discursive strategies used in connection with the Armenian genocide in the annual commemoratory Statements could be considered “evasionist” because of the omission of the term ‘genocide’ and its substitution with the semi-official neologism of ‘Meds Yeghern’, transliteration of the Armenian name of the 1915 genocide. Such evasionist discourse in presidential statements avoids unambiguous assessments and expressions, thereby catering to recipients with different political attitudes and expectations. By analyzing different connotative and meta-linguistic mechanisms of taboo in modern political discourse, we show how Obama radically transforms the semantic principles of his predecessors’ discourse, maintaining identical goal-setting characteristics. It is argued that the transliteration of the Armenian name of the genocide can mean “everything and nothing” – for the Armenian audience, it implies full validation of their viewpoint and language, while for the rest of the world, it is only a meaningless sign. The paper demonstrates that the linguistic and semiotic resources that make up Barack Obama’s discourse on the Armenian genocide are based on intentional ambiguity and ambivalent interpretational strategies where intertextual linkages replace referential semantics. A hermeneutic approach appears to be the most adequate instrument for interpretation of such types of discourse, i.e. an interpreter is authorized to explicate inter-textual meanings and messages, which are implicitly incorporated within the text.
Yılmaz, İlkay. “Governing the Armenian Question through Passports in the Late Ottoman Empire (1876-1908).” Journal of Historical Sociology (December 2019): 388-403.
The literature on the history of passports has been generally discussed in the context of freedom of movement around the globe during the 19th century. However, with its administrative regulations and practices, the Ottoman Empire offered a different view of passports and mobility controls. Through perceiving new threats from the political issues of the late 19th century and directing its attention mainly at the Armenian and Macedonian Questions, one of the critical issues facing the Ottoman government during the Hamidian Era (1876–1908) was controlling the geographic mobility of the individuals who were perceived as a threat based on Ottoman security policies. This paper brings a particular case of this history into focus: the administrative control of the mobility of Armenians. Despite the fact that extensive research has been done on the Armenian Question, so far, little has been written on the policies restricting their mobility. This paper aims to explore the passport regulations and practices to shed light onto the relationship between state formation, Ottoman threat perceptions and the marginalisation of the Armenian community. I offer a new look at the securitisation of the Armenian Question.