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MacCurdy to Lecture on Operation Nemesis at NAASR

MacCurdy’s grandfather, Aaron Sachaklian, was instrumental in Operation Nemesis (Photo courtesy of Marian Mesrobian MacCurdy)

BELMONT, Mass.—A talk about Operation Nemsis by Dr. Marian Mesrobian MacCurdy will highlight the 2017 NAASR Christmas Open House on Dec. 14 at the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) Center.

The Armenians have suffered a personal and collective trauma born not only of genocide but also of its denial. Despite the military tribunals held after WWI, justice eluded the Armenians. The Turkish government has never acknowledged the truth of the Armenian Genocide and, on the contrary, adds exponentially to the trauma and continues to engage in active denial. This presentation focuses on how Operation Nemesis, resistance, and community-building helped to counteract the inter-generational trauma of the unacknowledged Genocide.

Silence perpetuates trauma; exposing the truth lessens it, as can building community. This lecture will examine those issues in relation to the Armenian community in the U.S. It will also look at resilience—what makes some people able to cope effectively even after multiple traumas, while others struggle. Action, even extra-legal action, can attenuate a trauma response, especially if it results in self-protection or perceived justice. This is one of the key contributions that the Operation Nemesis narrative has made to Armenian culture: Resistance can counter not only the effects of oppression but also the sense of victimhood. The act of resistance itself can be therapeutic to survivors.

The Open House will take place from 6 p.m. until 11 p.m. with a break at 7:30 p.m. for the lecture. Everything in the NAASR Bookstore will be 35-75 percent off.

Dr. Marian Mesrobian MacCurdy is retired professor and chair of the Department of Writing at Ithaca College, and currently visiting professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She has published scholarly articles, personal essays, and poetry in such journals as Raft, the Journal of Poetry Therapy, and the Journal of Teaching Writing. She is the author of Sacred Justice: The Voices and Legacy of the Armenian Operation Nemesis, as well as The Mind’s Eye: Image and Memory in Writing About Trauma (2007) and Writing and Healing: Toward An Informed Practice, with co-editor Charles Anderson (2000).

For more information about this program, contact NAASR at 617-489-1610 or hq@naasr.org.

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