THURSDAY, October 22, 2020, at 11:00am Pacific / 2:00pm Eastern
The UCLA Promise Armenian Institute Distinguished Lecture Series, No. 2: Cemal Pasha’s Role in the Armenian Genocide
Taner Akçam, PhD, Professor of History and Kaloosdian and Mugar Chairholder in Modern Armenian History and Genocide Studies, Clark University
Ronald Grigor Suny, PhD, William H. Sewell, Jr. Distinguished University Professor of History at the University of Michigan and Emeritus Professor of Political Science and History at the University of Chicago
In this presentation, Professor Akçam will explore the contrasting popular and scholarly views of the role of Cemal Pasha in Ottoman and Armenian history. While a commonly-held view of non-historians considers Cemal Pasha to be one of the “Three Pashas” (along with Talat Pasha and Enver Pasha) who were largely responsible for the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire during the Armenian Genocide (1914-1923), many historians in fact have argued that he actually opposed the annihilationist policies directed toward Armenians. Some historians have argued that he actively worked to rescue Armenians, creating a rift between himself and the others in the Ottoman leadership. But according to new research based on recently discovered Ottoman documents by Professor Akçam, neither oft-repeated view of Cemal Pasha is entirely accurate. There were no major disagreements between the authorities in Istanbul and Cemal Pasha over Armenian policy; in fact, in many aspects the latter’s policies can be seen as even more radical than those of his collaborators in Istanbul.
Taner Akçam is the Kaloosdian and Mugar Chair in Modern Armenian History and Genocide in the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University. Akçam is widely recognized as one of the first Turkish scholars to write extensively on the Ottoman-Turkish Genocide of the Armenians in the early twentieth century. His latest book is Killing Orders: Talat Pasha’s Telegrams and the Armenian Genocide (Palgrave 2018). He is the founder of Krikor Guerguerian Online Archive, located at wordpress.clarku.edu/guerguerianarchive.
Ronald Grigor Suny is the William H. Sewell, Jr. Distinguished University Professor of History at the University of Michigan and Emeritus Professor of Political Science and History at the University of Chicago. He was the first holder of the Alex Manoogian Chair in Modern Armenian History at the University of Michigan, where he founded and directed the Armenian Studies Program. He is author of The Baku Commune: Class and Nationality in the Russian Revolution; The Making of the Georgian Nation; Looking Toward Ararat: Armenia in Modern History; The Revenge of the Past: Nationalism, Revolution, and the Collapse of the Soviet Union; The Soviet Experiment; “They Can Live in the Desert But Nowhere Else”: A History of the Armenian Genocide; Red Flag Unfurled: History, Historians, and the Russian Revolution; and co-author with Valerie Kivelson of Russia’s Empires; Stalin: Passage to Revolution; and Red Flag Wounded: Stalinism and the Fate of the Soviet Experiment. He is currently working on a book on the recent upsurge of exclusivist nationalisms and authoritarian populisms: Forging the Nation: The Making and Faking of Nationalisms.
Please note that Professor Akçam’s September 14, 2020 Zoom lecture When Was the Decision Made to Annihilate the Armenians?, is available for viewing, with a closed caption transcript.
For more information, please contact The UCLA Promise Armenian Institute at firstname.lastname@example.org, 310-569-6325, or visit The Institute’s website.
The Promise Armenian Institute at UCLA
Ararat Eskijian Museum (AEM)
National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR)
UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies
UCLA Richard Hovannisian Endowed Chair in Modern Armenian History