Slash and Burn: How Two Manuscripts Survived a Violent Past with Dr. Sylvie Merian
April 18, 2018, at Tufts University
When Raphael Lemkin coined the term genocide he defined not only the intent to destroy a group of people but the deliberate aim of erasing their cultural legacy. Dr. Sylvie Merian focuses on two manuscripts now held at Harvard University's Houghton Library. Both manuscripts were violently attacked during the 1894-1896 Hamidian massacres in the Ottoman Empire. This brutal attempt to annihilate Armenian literary tradition is contextualized through several examples of the deliberate destruction of significant cultural artifacts, not only for the Armenians but also in world history. Examining the history of cultural genocide highlights the importance of artifacts as key to the survival of the Armenian people.
Sylvie L. Merian received her Ph.D. in Armenian Studies from Columbia University's Department of Middle East Languages and Cultures. She has published and lectured internationally on Armenian codicology, bookbinding, silverwork, manuscript illumination, and the history of the book. She is currently Reader Services Librarian at The Morgan Library & Museum in New York City. Morgan Library & Museum, New York City.
Sponsored by The Darakjian Jafarian Chair in Armenian History ● The Executive Administrative Dean at Tufts University ● The History Department at Tufts University ● The Armenian Club at Tufts University ● The National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR)
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