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CAS Workshop (Day 2) | Dispossession and Its Legacies: Comparisons, Intersections, and Connections

Organizers: Matthew Ghazarian and Helen Makhdoumian, 2021-22 Manoogian Postdoctoral Fellows with faculty advisors Hakem Al-Rustom, Alex Manoogian Professor of Modern Armenian History, and Melanie Tanielian, Director of the Center for Armenian Studies.
Friday, February 11, 2022
10:00 AM-6:00 PM
Off Campus Location

Register in advance for the webinars. You need one registration to attend the two-day workshop:

After registration, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions on how to join the workshops.

Download the workshop program:

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This workshop focuses on the historical instances and aesthetic representations of dispossession, its violence, and its persisting legacies in the former Ottoman Empire and its diasporas. The organizers hope to bring Ottoman, Middle Eastern, and Armenian studies into conversation with settler colonial studies, critical Indigenous studies, and global histories of colonialism and capitalism. Invoking dispossession as a point of comparison and the framework for the discussion, the workshop joins recent work in Armenian studies and Ottoman studies, which has begun to explore chains of displacement and dispossession under conditions of what some have called internal colonization (Üngör and Polatel; Bloxham). The aim is to put these works into conversation with the distinct yet inseparable fields of settler colonial and Indigenous studies, and ask how they might inform, learn from, and complicate understandings of territorial removal, the settler/native binary, and Indigenous transnationalisms.

The two panels work towards an expansive understanding of dispossession. The first panel, “Displacement and Dispossession in the Late Ottoman Empire,” explores waves of displacement and the creation and seizure of property. It takes up the influx of Muslim refugees into Ottoman domains, the connected dispossessions of the Hamidian Massacres and Armenian Genocide, shifting property regimes in the Ottoman Mashriq, and famine and dispossession in the Ottoman East.

The second panel, “Memory, Narrative, and Aesthetic Form,” takes up representations of dispossession and its legacies, with a focus on film, literature, and testimony. It features analyses of a film on the silences of a Greek Orthodox woman dispossessed from the Black Sea region in 1916, of settlement and state memory work in an Armenian American and American Indian novel, and of lived memory practices pertaining to the 1915 Armenian and 1994 Rwandan genocides.

The workshop concludes with a roundtable discussion on dispossession, memory, settler colonial studies, and indigeneity in Ottoman and Armenian studies. In it, panelists reflect on how these concepts have factored or could factor into their work, and how these frameworks, largely rooted in other fields, might speak to the Middle East and Anatolia.

Co-sponsors: Department of American Culture, Department of English Language & Literature, Department of History, Donia Human Rights Center, Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies, Department of Sociology, and Society for Armenian Studies.

If there is anything we can do to make this event accessible to you, please contact us at Please be aware that advance notice is necessary as some accommodations may require more time for the university to arrange.

Image credit: Commercial chart, World. George Philip & Son, Ltd. The London Geographical Institute. Philips' Mercantile Marine Atlas. Second Edition, 1905. Courtesy of Stanford Libraries David Rumsey Historical Map Collection.
Building: Off Campus Location
Location: Virtual
Event Type: Workshop / Seminar
Tags: Armenia, History
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Center for Armenian Studies, International Institute, Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies, Donia Human Rights Center, Department of American Culture, Department of History, Department of Sociology, Department of English Language and Literature