WATERTOWN, Mass.—On Sun., April 15, Taner Akcam , the Kaloosdian and Mugar Professor of Armenian Genocide Studies at Clark University, will discuss new perspectives on the Armenian Genocide based on his latest book at a program at the Armenian Library and Museum of America (ALMA).
The book, The Young Turks’ Crime Against Humanity: the Armenian Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in the Ottoman Empire, has just been released by Princeton University Press. In it, Akcam introduces new evidence from more than 600 secret Ottoman documents that demonstrate in unprecedented detail that the Armenian Genocide resulted from an official effort to engage in demographic engineering and assimilation in order to rid the Ottoman Empire of its Christian subjects.
These previously inaccessible documents, from deep inside the bureaucratic machinery of Ottoman Turkey, along with the author’s expert context and analysis, show how a dying empire embraced genocide and ethnic cleansing.
The book follows another major study by Akcam released last fall, Judgment at Istanbul, co-authored with genocide scholar Vahakn Dadrian, in which the indictments and verdicts of the Turkish Military Tribunals held at the end of World War I were published in English for the first time. These tribunals court-marshaled wartime cabinet ministers, Young Turk Party leaders, and a number of others for crimes committed against the Armenians.
One of the first scholars of Turkish origin to publicly acknowledge the Armenian Genocide, Akcam has published a serious of groundbreaking books and articles on the subject, including A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility. He also lectures and participates in conferences throughout the United States and abroad.
Born in of a small town in northeastern Turkey, Akcam graduated from the Middle East Technical University in Ankara. Active in the Turkish student democracy movement, he was arrested and sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment. After one year he managed to escape to Germany, where he earned his doctorate from Hanover University, writing a thesis on Turkish nationalism and the Armenian Genocide. He was associate professor of history at the University of Minnesota before joining the faculty at Clark in 2008.
The ALMA program will begin at 2 p.m. on the third floor gallery, 65 Main St., in Watertown, and is free and open to the public. A reception and book-signing will follow the program.
For more information, contact ALMA by calling (617) 926-0171 or e-mailing [email protected]