Taner Akcam lecture on May 20 at Harvard


National Association for Armenian Studies and Research
395 Concord Avenue
Belmont, MA 02478
Phone: 617-489-1610
E-Mail: [email protected]
Contact: Marc Mamigonian


Turkish scholar Dr. Taner Akçam will give a lecture entitled “From
Empire to Republic: Turkish Nationalism and the Armenian Genocide”
on Thursday, May 20, at 7:30 p.m., at the Starr Audito-rium of Harvard
University’s Kennedy School of Government, 79 John F. Kennedy Street,
Cambridge, MA.

The lecture, Akçam’s first in the Boston area, will examine
the relationship between Turkey’s transition from Ottoman Empire
to Turkish Republic in the opening decades of the 20th century,
the Armenian Genocide of 1915, and the process of democratization
in Turkey today. It will be co-sponsored by the Zoryan Institute
for Contemporary Armenian Research and Documentation, the National
Association for Armenian Studies and Research, the Mashtots Chair in
Armenian Studies at Harvard, and the Harvard Armenian Society.

Author of Groundbreaking Study

Akçam is the author of the recently published groundbreaking study From
Empire to Republic: Turkish Nationalism and the Armenian Genocide,
as well as Dialogue Across An International Divide: Essays Towards
a Turkish-Armenian Dialogue, and numerous other books and articles.
Through his research, writings, and lectures, he has worked tirelessly
to help the Turkish people come to terms with their history and to
bridge the gap between Turks and Armenians.

He has said of his approach to the issues covered in his new book,
“Any effort towards democ-ratization in the region today must begin
with a dialogue about history and, most importantly, the events that
transpired during the transition from Empire to Republic. Scholarly
activity has been locked into a cycle of verification or denial of
what happened in history, as opposed to analyzing the socio-political
and historical factors that allowed that history to unfold.”

Pioneer Among Turkish Scholars

“[Akçam] is one of the first Turkish academics to acknowledge and
discuss openly the genocide of the Armenians by the Ottoman Turkish
government in 1915,” commented genocide scholar Vahakn Dadrian.
“This book represents the first scholarly attempt to both document the
Genocide and understand that genocide from a perpetrator, rather than
victim perspective, and to contextualize fully the events of 1915
within Turkey’s political history, and western political policies
towards the region more generally.”

Taner Akçam was born in northeastern Turkey and became interested in
politics at an early age. He was active in Turkish politics until
he fled to Germany as a political refugee. For many years, in the
face of great adversity, he has worked to create a dialogue between
Turks and Armenians. He received a Ph.D. from Hanover University
in Germany. Currently he is Visiting Associate Professor of History
at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.

Admission to the lecture is free (donations are appreciated).
A question-and-answer period will follow the lecture. Dr. Akçam’s book
>From Empire to Republic will be on sale and available for signing.
It is strongly recommended that audience members arrive early as
seating is limited.

Parking is available at the Harvard Square Parking Garage at the
corner of Eliot and JFK streets or at the Charles Hotel Parking Garage.

More information on Dr. Akçam’s lecture may be obtained from NAASR
by calling 617-489-1610, by fax at 617-484-1759, by e-mail at
[email protected], or by writing to NAASR, 395 Concord Ave., Belmont, MA
02478; or by contacting the Zoryan Institute by phone at 617-497-6713
or e-mail at [email protected]