Panel Discussion on Turkish-Kurdish-Armenian Relations (Cambridge, Mass.)

On April 20, a panel discussion entitled “Subjects and Citizens: (Un)Even Relations between Turks, Kurds, Armenians” will be held at Bentley University’s Adamian Academic Center, Wilder Pavilion, on 175 Forest St. in Waltham. The event, organized by Bentley University’s Global Studies Department and the Armenian Review, begins at 7 p.m. The panel is made up of a group of scholars, including Ugur Umit Ungor (University of Sheffield, UK), Bilgin Ayata (Johns Hopkins), Henry Theriault (Worcester State College), and Dikran Kaligian (Regis College). Asbed Kotchikian (Bentley Unversity) will moderate. Weekly editor Khatchig Mouradian will deliver opening remarks. The panel aims at looking at the history and examining the power relations  between Armenians, Kurds, and Turks after the apparent homogenization of eastern Anatolia as a result of the mass killings and deportations of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire. The panel will discuss these relations and the prospects of rapprochement among the three groups. Ugur Umit Ungor is a lecturer at the University of Sheffield. He was born in 1980 and studied sociology and history at the Universities of Groningen, Utrecht, Toronto, and Amsterdam. His main area of interest is the historical sociology of mass violence and nationalism in the modern world. He has published on genocide, in general, and on the Rwandan and Armenian Genocides, in particular. He finished his Ph.D., titled “Young Turk Social Engineering: Genocide, Nationalism, and Memory in Eastern Turkey, 1913–1950” at the department of history of the University of Amsterdam. Bilgin Ayata is completing her Ph.D. at the department of political science at John Hopkins University, Baltimore. Her research interests include the politics of displacement, trans-nationalism, social movements, and migration. Her dissertation examines the displacement of Kurds in Turkey and Europe. She currently lives in Berlin. Henry C. Theriault earned his Ph.D. in philosophy in 1999 from the University of Massachusetts, with a specialization in social and political philosophy.  He is currently associate professor of philosophy at Worcester State College, where he has taught since 1998.  Since 2007, he has served as co-editor-in-chief of the peer-reviewed journal “Genocide Studies and Prevention” and has been on the Advisory Council of the International Association of Genocide Scholars.  His research focuses on philosophical approaches to genocide issues, especially genocide denial, long-term justice, ethical analyses of perpetrator motivations, and the role of violence against women in genocide. Dikran Kaligian is a visiting professor in the history department at Regis College and managing editor of “The Armenian Review.” He received his doctorate from Boston College. He is the author of Armenian Organization and Ideology under Ottoman Rule: 1908-1914 (Transaction Publishers, 2009). Asbed Kotchikian is a lecturer in political science and international relations at Bentley University. His area of research includes the foreign policies of small states, the modern political history of the post-Soviet south Caucasus, and issues of national identity. The event is free and open to the public.


  1. Is this part of the Armenians and the Left / Progressive Politics conference, or is that not being organized this year?

  2. Is this called a discussion? :) There is not one single Turkish person who lived more than a summer vacation in Turkey. I guess this will be more like “Let’s Talk Crap About  Turks” tea party instead. Funny but sadly true at the same time :)

  3. No disparaging remarks about this conference cum panel discussion are necessary nor warranted.  This discussion will have much more relevance to the truth than many conferences and other meetings that have been held in Turkey where freedom of speech has been severely restricted under heavy government censorship, and still is limited under anti-democratic legislation.

    In the 21st Century, a person does not need to live in a country in order to do research on aspects of that country such as laws and cultural features.  So G’s remarks here have little value if any at all. Who is G, is this a lobbyist for the government of Turkey?

    Perhaps Mr. Ungor and Ms. Ayata have relatives in Turkey who might be persecuted because of what these two academics say and write. Speaking truth to power is never a totally safe thing to do, and people should appreciate anyone who does — anyone who is courageous enough to do so gets my praise.

  4. it might be wise were we to examine americans prescriptions for advancing justice through individual liberty and rule of agreed upon laws of the land(principles,actually),then adopt those ourselves(come on in the epiphany is great)…..

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