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Internment and Destruction: Concentration Camps During the Armenian Genocide

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Genocide march routes and locations of concentration camps in Ottoman Syria (Image: Aram Andonian Archives, AGBU Nubar LIbrary, Paris)

The Promise Armenian Institute at UCLA presents "Internment and Destruction: Concentration Camps During the Armenian Genocide" by Dr. Khatchig Mouradian. This lecture is co-sponsored by the UCLA Richard Hovannisian Endowed Chair in Modern Armenian History, UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies, the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR), and the Ararat-Eskijian Museum.

Friday, May 7, 2021
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM (Pacific Time)

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Many Armenian Genocide survivors wrote about their concentration camp experience in newspaper articles and memoirs published in the decades after World War I, yet it took almost a century for the first scholarly examinations of their internment to appear. Focusing on the Meskeneh concentration camp on the lower bend of the Euphrates, this lecture situates the internment and destruction of Armenians in Ottoman Syria within the global history of concentration camps. Providing an overview of the structure, administration, life, and resistance in concentration camps based on Armenian accounts, Ottoman archives, and western diplomatic records, Mouradian argues that this glaring manifestation of total war – one directed towards the empire’s very own Armenian subjects – constitutes an important moment of transition in the use internment as a weapon of annihilation. 


Khatchig Mouradian

Khatchig Mouradian is a lecturer in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies (MESAAS) at Columbia University. He is the author of The Resistance Network: The Armenian Genocide and Humanitarianism in Ottoman Syria, 1915-1918.

In 2021, Mouradian was appointed the Armenian and Georgian Area Specialist in the African and Middle Eastern Division (Near East Section) at the Library of Congress.

Mouradian has published articles on concentration camps, unarmed resistance, the aftermath of mass violence, midwifery in the Middle East, and approaches to teaching history. He is the co-editor of a forthcoming book on late-Ottoman history, and the editor of the peer-reviewed journal The Armenian Review.

Mouradian has written for the Washington Post, and has been interviewed and quoted in The New York Review of Books, BBC, FOX TV, France 24, The Economist, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Newsweek, Al-Monitor, The Worcester Telegram and Gazette, Burlington Free Press, The Jewish Advocate, Al-Ahram (Egypt), Truthout, and several other news outlets, on issues related to the Middle East, human rights, mass violence, Armenian, Ottoman, and Middle Eastern culture, politics, and history.

Mouradian served as the Henry S. Khanzadian Kazan Visiting Professor at California State University – Fresno (Fall 2016). From 2015-2016, he was a visiting assistant professor at the Division of Global Affairs at Rutgers University. Mouradian has taught courses on imperialism, mass violence, urban space and conflict in the Middle East, the aftermaths of war and mass violence, and human rights at Worcester State University and Clark University in Massachusetts, and Stockton University in New Jersey.

In 2020, Mouradian was awarded a Humanities War & Peace Initiative Grant from Columbia University. Mouradian is also the recipient of the Society for Armenian Studies Best Conference Paper Award (2015), and a Calouste Gilbenkian Research Fellowship to write the history of the Armenian community in China in the 19th and 20th centuries (2014). Mouradian is the recipient of the Armenian Relief Society’s Agnouni Award (2018), and the first Hrant Dink Justice and Freedom Award of the Organization of Istanbul Armenians (2014).

Mouradian holds a PhD in History from the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University, a graduate certificate in Conflict Resolution from UMass Boston, and a B.S. in Biology from Haigazian University, where he has also completed graduate coursework in Clinical Psychology.

Sponsor(s): The Promise Armenian Institute, Center for Near Eastern Studies, UCLA Richard Hovannisian Endowed Chair in Modern Armenian History, National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR), Ararat-Eskijian Museum