Today, in one of the classes linked to our learning community experience, Prof. Anna Ohanyan and I will be discussing this excellent article on the Armenian genocide and cultural/historical memory: "Lost in commemoration: the Armenian genocide in memory and identity," in Patterns of Prejudice Volume 48, 2014 - Issue 2: Armenians, Turks and Kurds Beyond Denial.
Here's an abstract of the article:
It is a commonplace in Genocide Studies to say that ‘Turkey denies the Armenian genocide’. The Turkish state's official policy towards the Armenian genocide was and is indeed characterized by misrepresentation, mystification and manipulation. But when one gauges what place the Armenian genocide occupies in the social memory of Turkish society, even after nearly a century, a different picture emerges. Even though most direct eyewitnesses to the crime have passed away, oral history interviews yield important insights. Elderly Turks and Kurds in Eastern Turkey often hold vivid memories from family members or fellow villagers who witnessed or participated in the genocide. This article is based on interviews conducted with (grand)children of eyewitnesses to the Armenian genocide. The research suggests there is a clash between official state memory and popular social memory: the Turkish government is denying a genocide that its own population remembers.