More than a hundred years after the Armenian Genocide, an event at MSU Libraries will offer the campus community an opportunity to learn about a little-known aspect of that history: the underground network of humanitarians, missionaries, and diplomats who helped save thousands of lives in Syria. The event on October 4 at 7 pm will feature Dr. Khatchig Mouradian, whose new book from MSU Press presents a social history of genocide and resistance in wartime Aleppo; challenges depictions of Armenians as passive victims; and argues that despite violent and systematic mechanisms of control and destruction, unarmed resistance to genocide saved many lives. The event is free and open to all, and people may choose to attend in person in the Green Room (W444) of the Main Library or virtually on Zoom.
MSU Dean of Libraries Joseph Salem said Mouradian’s visit to the Library will advance and strengthen important conversations about global history, culture, research, and humanity. “We’re deeply engaged in and committed to the work of transformative research at MSU Libraries,” Salem said. “Mouradian’s research, and the book that came out of that research, can help us understand the Armenian Genocide in new ways. We celebrate his work and we encourage our campus community and those in our wider community to join us for this event, which is one of many ways we are working to expand underrepresented perspectives not only in our collections but also in our programs and discussions.”
Mouradian’s book, The Resistance Network, was published by Michigan State University Press earlier this year. It pieces together hundreds of accounts, official documents, and missionary records, and it incorporates new sources and perspectives. MSU Middle East Studies Librarian Deborah Margolis, who helped organize the program, said the book and the event have considerable interdisciplinary appeal. “Readers will find an exploration of the roles of women and children, and they’ll find that Mouradian’s work is informed by Holocaust studies,” Margolis said. “Those elements distinguish this book from other accounts of this history, but one of the most significant features of Mouradian’s work is the geographic component. Mouradian worked with Armenian and Ottoman sources, and those sources give us voices we haven’t heard before – voices we need to hear.”
Margolis also shared her enthusiasm for the book’s potential to impact Michigan high school students. “I’m very excited that social studies teachers have been specifically invited to this event. Education about the Armenian Genocide is mandated by Michigan law, and there is a good chance some teachers will adapt content from Mouradian’s book into their lessons. That would be another example of how transformative research continues to transform students, and it would be another example of the role MSU Libraries have in making that happen!”
Khatchig Mouradian, PhD, is a lecturer in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies at Columbia University, and the Armenian and Georgian Area Specialist at the Library of Congress (African and Middle Eastern Division). His visit to Michigan State University is part of MSU Press’s 75th anniversary. The event is Cosponsored by Department of History, Muslim Studies Program, Serling Institute for Jewish Studies and Modern Israel, Center for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, Asian Studies Center, Peace & Justice Studies.
Book signing will be available at the conclusion of the program. Those who wish to attend virtually should register to receive Zoom link here: https://bookings.lib.msu.edu/event/8294663
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