Dr. Vartan Matiossian to speak about his “What’s in a Name?” book on the Armenian Genocide

Dr. Vartan Matiossian

Dr. Vartan Matiossian, Executive Director of the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Church, will speak on “What’s in a Name: Language, the Politics of the Armenian Genocide, and Medz Yeghern” at 7:00 p.m. Friday, Jan. 28 on Zoom. The presentation is part of the Spring 2022 Lecture Series of the Armenian Studies Program and is supported by the Leon S. Peters Foundation.

Dr. Matiossian’s new book The Politics of Naming the Armenian Genocide: Language, History, and “Medz Yeghern” explores the genealogy of the concept of Medz Yeghern (“Great Crime”), the Armenian term widely used for the genocide of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. The subject has been both omitted and misinterpreted in historiography.

The presentation will make reference to the etymology and the history of the word yeghern, its use parallel to “genocide” after 1945, and its political and historical implications, drawing from a vast array of instances of its use and misuse by politicians, journalists and others, particularly Pope John Paul II, the 2008 apology campaign by a group of Turkish intellectuals, and the last four presidents of the United States.

Dr. Vartan Matiossian, a historian and literary scholar, has been Executive Director of the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Church (New York) since 2019. He obtained his Ph.D. in History from the Institute of History of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia in 2006. He lives in New Jersey.

He has published extensively in Armenian, Spanish, and English, including the translation of almost two dozen books and the editing of twenty-five volumes, as well as five books of his authorship in Armenian, one in Spanish, and two in English: Armenian Language Matters (New York, 2019) and The Politics of Naming the Armenian Genocide: Language, History, and “Medz Yeghern” (London, 2021). His next book in English, co-authored with Artsvi Bakhchinyan, is forthcoming from the Press at California State University, Fresno: An Armenian Woman of the World: The Life and Work of Armen Ohanian, the “Dancer of Shamakha.”

For information about upcoming Armenian Studies Program presentations, please follow their Facebook page or visit the Program website.

Posted by

The College of Arts and Humanities provides a diverse student population with the communication skills, humanistic values and cultural awareness that form the foundation of scholarship. The college offers intellectual and artistic programs that engage students and faculty and the community in collaboration, dialog and discovery. These programs help preserve, illuminate and nourish the arts and humanities for the campus and for the wider community.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.