Genocide Scholars Conference: In 2005 To Feature The Armenian Genoci


Contact: Richard Kloian, Director
Armenian Genocide Resource Center
5400 McBryde Ave, Richmond, CA 94805
Tel:(510) 965-0152, fax:(510)215-0444
Email: [email protected]

Monday May 17, 2004


By Richard Kloian

The largest international organization devoted to the study of genocide
has just issued a Call For Papers for its sixth biennial international
conference in Boca Raton, Florida in 2005, and has announced that
one of its major themes will be the Armenian Genocide.

An affiliate of the Institute for the Study of Genocide, the International
Association of Genocide Scholars was founded in 1994 by Israel
Charny, Helen Fein, Robert Melson and Roger Smith. The Association
of more than 200 scholars engages in research and teaching about the
nature, causes, and consequences of genocide, and advances policy
studies on the prevention of genocide. It meets biennially to compare
and share research in the field, discuss specific case studies, important
new works, links between genocide and gross human rights violations,
as well as the prevention and punishment of genocide.

At its second biennial conference in Montreal Canada in June 1997
the Association issued a unanimous resolution affirming that the
mass murder of Armenians in Turkey in 1915 was “a case of genocide
which conforms to the statutes of the United Nations Convention on
the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide.” They further condemned
“the denial of the Armenian Genocide by the Turkish government and
its official and unofficial agents.”

Many of the genocide scholars have published books and articles with
a major emphasis on the genocide and their works have become standards
in the field. A number have had to deal directly with state sponsored
genocide denial head on, especially as related to the Armenian Genocide.

Colin Tatz, Director of the Australian Institute for Holocaust
and Genocide Studies, in his 2003 book “With Intent to Destroy”
discusses Turkish denial and relates his personal encounters with
the Turkish Ambassador who attempted unsuccessfully to get him
to stop teaching his course on the Politics of Genocide because the
Armenian Genocide was emphasized. In his book he relates a
number of such encounters and discusses the influence of the
Turkish “denial machine” and its consequences.

In August 2000, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported that Helen
Fein, whose works are standards in the sociology of genocide, revealed
that the editors of Microsoft Encarta asked her to revise her entry on the
Armenian Genocide to include “the other side of the story” and to remove
the word “genocide,” which she resisted successfully. It was revealed that
they were bowing to pressure from the Turkish Embassy in Washington.
But such attempts only galvanizes scholars devoted to their work and
reinforces the need for teaching about genocide.

The current President of the Association, Robert Melson, has produced
numerous key articles on the Armenian Genocide and his book,
“Revolution and Genocide – On The Origins of the Armenian Genocide
and the Holocaust” stands as a major contribution to the field. The Vice
President of the Association, Dr. Israel Charny, in 1999, as Editor-in-Chief,
oversaw the publication of the first ever Encyclopedia of Genocide, now
used as a major reference source throughout the world and now available
on the web as an E-Book in which the Armenian Genocide has a major
emphasis along with the Holocaust.

At the last IAGS International Conference in Galway Ireland in 2003,
many papers and presentations discussed the Armenian Genocide,
which, as a separate field of study, has been drawing more interest
by specialists in the field over the years.

The text of the IAGS Press Release follows:

The Sixth Biennial Conference of The International Association of
Genocide Scholars (IAGS) will be held at Florida Atlantic University,
Boca Raton Florida, USA, June 4-7, 2005. In its Call For Papers, the
IAGS announces the general theme of the conference: “NINETY YEARS

“Following the Armenian Genocide and the Holocaust it was believed
that “never again” would genocide be allowed to occur. However, events
in Cambodia, former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, and for indigenous peoples
in other parts of the world, have demonstrated the continuing threat of
genocide. These have left survivors, perpetrators, bystanders, and
rescuers, and the world community confronting the legacy of
mass-murder and extermination.”

The International Association of Genocide Scholars welcomes proposals
for scholarly papers and sessions dealing with a variety of related
themes such as those below. All proposals are due by January 15, 2005.

Participation in conferences and panels is vetted and open only to
registered members. Membership in the IAGS is open to scholars,
graduate students, and other interested persons any place in the world
who address the study and prevention of genocide using scholarly
methods in good faith in the pursuit of truth. For membership
information please email Dr. Steven Jacobs at: [email protected]

Themes of the Sixth Biennial IAGS conference

I. The origins of and accountability for the Armenian Genocide
and/or the Holocaust.

II. The legacy of the Armenian Genocide and/or the Holocaust
for survivors, perpetrators, bystanders, and the world community,
including international law and organizations.

III. The origins of and accountability for genocides in Cambodia,
former Yugoslavia, Rwanda and for indigenous peoples.

IV. The legacy of genocide in Cambodia, former Yugoslavia,
Rwanda and for indigenous peoples, and for the world
community, including international law and organizations.

V. The denial of genocide.

VI. The representation of genocide in literature, art, film, and music.

VII. Commemoration, restitution, and reconciliation.

VIII. Identification of endangered communities and the prevention
of genocide.

“Participants should submit a brief (no more than one page) abstract
and a short resume (no more than one page), indicating which of the
eight themes their paper addresses. Scholars are encouraged to assemble
a group of papers as a theme panel, but participation by individuals is
limited to no more than two (2) panels in the role of presenter,
discussant, or chair.”

Please send two hard copies and email attachments in Microsoft Word
of abstracts, resumes, and proposals for panels to Dr. Stephen Feinstein,
Director, Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, College of
Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0125,
USA. Tel: 612-626-2235. [email protected]

All proposals are due by January 15, 2005. For more information
on the 2005 conference, past conferences, the organization and its
work, individuals are encouraged to visit the IAGS web site at:
, or they can send emails to: [email protected]