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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)October 26, 2010

(MAHWAH, NJ) – A panel discussion will take place in November at Ramapo College of New Jersey on November 11 under the auspices of the Gross Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies and the Armenian National Committee of New Jersey to consider issues related to apology, justice, and reparations with regard to the Armenian Genocide.

Titled “From Democracy to Justice: Turks, Kurds, and Armenians in the 21st Century,” the panel will present how recently Armenian, Turkish, and other scholars are increasingly stressing the importance of making the Armenian Genocide an issue of justice.

More and more Turkish journalists and scholars have come to view the recognition of the deportation and massacres of Armenians as an important step towards the democratization of Turkey and a litmus test of their country’s freedom of speech. On the other hand, for the victims and descendants of the Genocide, concepts of justice and democracy factor less importantly than Turkey finally admitting to what happened and making amends.

The five speakers who will comprise the panel have all spoken in Turkey about issues related to apology, justice, and reparations:

Bilgin Ayata is completing her Ph.D. at the department of political science at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. Her research interests include the politics of displace- ment, trans-nationalism, social movements, and migration. Her dissertation examines the displacement of Kurds in Turkey and Europe. She currently lives in Berlin.

Ayda Erbal is writing her dissertation in the department of politics at New York University. She teaches two advanced undergraduate classes, “International Politics of the Middle East” and “Democracy and Dictatorship,” as adjunct professor of politics. Her work focuses on the politics of changing historiographies in Turkey and Israel. She is interested in democratic theory, democratic deliberation, the politics of “post-nationalist” historiographies in transitional settings, and the politics of apology. She is a published short-story writer and worked as a columnist for the Turkish-Armenian newspaper Agos from 2000-03. The lead singer and second percussionist of the polyglot Middle-Eastern band NOUR (www.myspace.com/nourmusic), Erbal is in the process of editing her first short narrative film “Harvest,” which she wrote and directed in Istanbul.

Levon Marashlian is a professor of History at Glendale Community College in California, teaching Armenian history and Diaspora current affairs, as well as Middle Eastern, Russian, and U.S. history and politics. He has also taught courses at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), California State University Northridge (CSUN), and Los Angeles Valley Community College.

He was invited to Ankara in 1990 to participate in the government-sponsored 11th Congress of Turkish History; paper, “Economic and Moral Influences on US Policies Toward Turkey and the Armenians, 1919-1923,” covered the Armenian Genocide and its aftermath and was published in Ankara by the Turkish Historical Society Press in 1994; also published in Turkish as a book: “Ermeni Sorunu ve Turk-Amerikan Iliskileri,” 1919-1923 (Istanbul: Belge Uluslararasi Yayincilik, 2000.)

Khatchig Mouradian is the editor of the Armenian Weekly and a Ph.D. student in Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University. His dissertation focuses on the destruction of the Armenians in the Syrian desert during the Armenian Genocide.
Prior to assuming the editorship of the Armenian Weekly, Mouradian was an editor of the Lebanese-Armenian Aztag Daily (2000-2007). Mouradian has lectured extensively and participated in conferences in Armenia, Turkey, Cyprus, Lebanon, Syria, Austria, Switzerland, Norway and across the U.S. He has presented papers on genocide and the media at several academic conferences such as the 5th and 6th Workshops on Armenian-Turkish Scholarship, held at New York University in 2006 and at the Graduate Institute in Geneva in 2008; the 2009 International Conference on Genocide and International Law at Haigazian University in Beirut, and the 2009 Middle Eastern Studies Association (MESA) conference in Boston.

Henry C. Theriault earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy in 1999 from the University of Massachusetts, with a specialization in social and political philosophy. He is currently Chair of Philosophy Department at Worcester State College, where he has taught since 1998. Since 2007, he has served as co-editor-in-chief of the peer-reviewed journal Genocide Studies and Prevention. His research focuses on philosophical approaches to genocide, especially genocide denial and critical thinking and evidence standards, long-term justice, ethical analyses of perpetrator motivations, and the role of violence against women in genocide. His publications include “Rousseau, Plato, and Western Philosophy’s Anti-Genocidal Strain,” in Metacide: Genocide in the Pursuit of Excellence, edited by James R. Watson and Erik M. Vogt (Rodopi, forthcoming); “The Albright-Cohen Report: From Realpolitik Fantasy to Realist Ethics,” Genocide Studies and Prevention 4:2 (August 2009); and “Genocide, Denial, and Domination: Armenian-Turkish Relations From Conflict Resolution to Just Transformation,” National University of Rwanda Centre for Conflict Management Journal, (April 2009). His other publications include: Politics and Demography: Armenians, Turks and Kurds in the Ottoman Empire (Cambridge, 1991), “Finishing the Genocide: Cleansing Turkey of Armenian Survivors, 1920-1923,” in Richard Hovannisian, ed., Remembrance and Denial: The Case of the Armenian Genocide (Detroit, 1998).

The discussion will take place on Thursday, November 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the Trustees Pavilion. The presentation is free and open to the public.  For more information or to reserve a seat, please call 201.684.7409.

For media inquiries, contact Anna Farneski, assistant vice president, Marketing and Communications, 201.684.6844.

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Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, has been named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by CollegesofDistinction.com, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on Niche.com, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.

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