What Happens After Genocide? Find out at USC Ground Zero Coffeehouse

February 17, 2015

University of Southern California
Los Angeles, California, USA
Contact: Salpi Ghazarian, Director
[email protected]


2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Ottoman
government’s systematic annihilation of its Armenian population. This
state violence came to be characterized as ‘genocide’ when the term
was coined several decades later, and the Armenian experience was used
as a justification for the need for such a term.

Both the event itself, as well as the ways in which it is depicted and
named, are the topic of many conferences, books, exhibits and other
events around the world this year. Among them, there is the just-
published book, Great Catastrophe: Armenians And Turks In The Shadow
Of Genocide. The author, Tom de Waal, will be the guest of the USC
Institute of Armenian Studies at a lunchtime conversation to be held
on Monday, February 23, 2015, at 12 noon at the USC Ground Zero

The book documents the troubled and deteriorating relationship between
Armenians and Turks in the decades following the genocide, especially
focusing on the last half century as Armenians became more vocal in
demanding that the Turkish government acknowledge the crime of its
predecessors, even as the Turkish government became more strategic and
persistent in its denial of the historical events and culpability. The
unresolved issues continue to affect relations between the two
countries which share a (closed) border, and have a broader impact on
relations in what is already a problematic region.

De Waal will be in conversation on the topics covered in his book and
beyond with Professor Robert English, Director of the USC School of
International Relations and an expert on the politics of Russia and
the former USSR. English was in the region, including Armenia, in the
years marking the collapse of the Soviet Union. He is the author of
five books, including Russia and the Idea of the West: Gorbachev,
Intellectuals and the End of the Cold War.

De Waal is a senior associate in the Russia and Eurasia Program at the
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, specializing primarily in
the countries and conflicts of the South Caucasus region, as well as
in the wider Black Sea region. He has worked extensively as a
journalist and writer, including for the BBC World Service in London,
and continues to make documentaries for BBC Radio. He is the author of
the authoritative book on the Karabakh conflict, Black Garden: Armenia
and Azerbaijan Through Peace and War which has been translated into
Armenian, Azeri, Russian and Turkish, and of The Caucasus: An
Introduction, 2010.

Salpi Ghazarian, the director of the USC Institute of Armenian
Studies, says, “We invite the community to the USC campus for this
program. This, like our previous lunchtime programs, is not a
lecture. It’s a conversation between two people who have spent many
years studying the region and its challenges and concerns. It’s an
especially important conversation to be having on the anniversary of
the Genocide, as the term itself continues to be a serious political

Lunch will be served. The event will be live streamed at:

Directions and parking information:

We advise guests to park in Parking Structure D, which is located on
the corner of Jefferson and Figueroa (across from the Shrine). See
attached map for the location of the event (USC Ground Zero

Please call 213.821.3943 if you have any questions regarding the
event, including parking and directions.

About the Institute
Established in 2005, the USC Institute of Armenian Studies supports
multidisciplinary scholarship to re-define, explore and study the
complex issues that make up the contemporary Armenian experience –
from post-Genocide to the developing Republic of Armenia to the
evolving Diaspora. The institute encourages research, publications and
public service, and benefits from communication technologies that link
together the global academic and Armenian communities.



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