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Tufts University to commemorate Armenian Genocide

Tufts University, Armenian history Darakjian-Jafarian chair Ina Baghdiantz McCabe, the Armenian Club at Tufts University and the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research will sponsor the commemoration of the Armenian genocide 7 p.m. April 6 at Tufts’s Goddard Chapel, 419 Boston Ave., Medford, Medford Wicked Local reports.

The event will feature a lecture by Marc A. Mamigonian, director of academic affairs at NAASR, titled “Scholarship and the Armenian Genocide: The State of the Art and the State of Denial.” The evening will be hosted by McCabe.

A reception will be held after the commemoration in the Coolidge Room at the Tufts Ballou Hall.

The past two decades have witnessed a dramatic increase in the quantity and quality of scholarship on the Armenian genocide, with a significant number of important works of documentation and interpretation. The development of increasingly compelling scholarly works has been paralleled by the evolution of traditional strategies of denial practiced since World War I and advanced during the Cold War era. While scholars have moved beyond simplistic questions of whether or not what the event was a genocide, apologists for the “Turkish position” labor to construct denialism as a legitimate intellectual position within a historical debate through the publication of ostensibly scholarly publications and presentations. Such manufactured controversy is a time-tested and often effective method of means of generating academic credibility.

This lecture will offer an overview of the current state of the art in Armenian genocide scholarship and briefly survey the development of Armenian genocide denial and focus on more recent refinements and the penetration of denial into American academia, with an emphasis on the fundamental challenges of denialism, debate and the quest for intellectual integrity.

Mamigonian has served as NAASR’s director of academic affairs since 2009. An alumnus of the University of New Hampshire and Tufts University, Mamigonian is the editor of the book “The Armenians of New England” and the Journal of Armenian Studies. His most recent publication, “Academic Denial of the Armenian Genocide in American Scholarship: Denialism as Manufactured Controversy,” appeared in the Genocide Studies International in 2015.

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