Fatma Muge Gocek, Andrei Markovits, and Genevieve Zubrzycki each have new books which have just been released.
Gocek's book, Denial of Violence: Ottoman Past, Turkish Present, and Collective Violence against the Armenians, 1789-2009, seeks to decipher the roots of the Turkish state's denial that the forced deportation of Armenian subjects of the Ottoman Empire in 1915, where approximately 800,000 to 1.5 million Armenians perished, was genocide. To capture the negotiation of meaning that leads to denial, Göçek undertook a qualitative analysis of 315 memoirs published in Turkey from 1789 to 2009 in addition to numerous secondary sources, journals, and newspapers. She argues that denial is a multi-layered, historical process with four distinct yet overlapping components: the structural elements of collective violence and situated modernity on one side, and the emotional elements of collective emotions and legitimating events on the other.
Markovits' book, From Property to Family: American Dog Rescue and the Discourse of Compassion, describes a “discourse of compassion” that actually alters the way we treat persons and ideas once scorned by the social mainstream. This “culture turn” has also affected our treatment of animals inaugurating an accompanying “animal turn”. In the case of dogs, this shift has increasingly transformed the discursive category of the animal from human companion to human family member. One of the new institutions created by this attitudinal and behavioral change towards dogs has been the breed specific canine rescue organization, examples of which have arisen all over the United States beginning in the early 1980s and massively proliferating in the 1990s and subsequent years.
Zubryzcki's book, Krzyzy w Auschwitz: Tozsamosc narodowa, nacjonalizm i religia w postkomunistycznej Polsce, is the Polish translation of her 2006 book, The Crosses of Auschwitz: Nationalism and Religion in Post-Communist Poland. Now accessible to a Polish audience, The Crosses of Auschwitz, demonstrates how the 1998 event where ultranationalist Polish Catholics erected hundreds of crosses outside Auschwitz, crystallized latent social conflicts regarding the significance of Catholicism in defining “Polishness” and the role of anti-Semitism in the construction of a new Polish identity. Since the fall of Communism, the binding that has held Polish identity and Catholicism together has begun to erode, creating unease among ultranationalists. Within their construction of Polish identity also exists pride in the Polish people’s long history of suffering. For the ultranationalists, then, the crosses at Auschwitz were not only symbols of their ethno-Catholic vision, but also an attempt to lay claim to what they perceived was a Jewish monopoly over martyrdom.
Congratulations Muge, Andy, and Genevieve!