A Woman Scholar’s Reflections on Denial: Ottoman Past, Turkish Present and the Collective Violence against the Armenians, 1789-2009

A lecture by Fatma Müge Göçek

March 8, 2013
1:00 – 3:00 PM

With the intent to analyze the origins and continuity of the collective violence committed against the Armenian through Ottoman and republican history up to the present, the talk analyzes the narrative of 297 contemporaneous memoir writers and their 315 texts. The analysis provides a historically based explanation not only for the emergence of such collective violence, but its continuation across two hundred twenty years from 1789 to 2009. And it further argues that the layering of denial across time makes it even more challenging for contemporary Turkish state and society to acknowledge the violence.

Co-sponsored by the Simone de Beauvoir Institute, MIGS, and CEREV

Born, raised and educated in Istanbul, Turkey, Fatma Müge Göçek is a Professor of Sociology and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her research focuses on the comparative analysis of history, politics, gender and collective violence. Her published works include East Encounters West: France and the Ottoman Empire in the 18th Century (Oxford University Press, 1987), Reconstructing Gender in the Middle East: Tradition, Identity, Power (Columbia University Press, 1994 co-edited with Shiva Balaghi), Rise of the Bourgeoisie, Demise of Empire: Ottoman Westernization and Social Change (Oxford University Press, 1996), Political Cartoons in the Middle East (Markus Wiener Publishers, 1998), Social Constructions of Nationalism in the Middle East (SUNY Press, 2002), The Transformation of Turkey: Redefining State and Society from the Ottoman Empire to the Modern Era (I.B. Tauris Publishers, 2011), and A Question of Genocide: Armenians and Turks at the End of the Ottoman Empire (Oxford University Press, 2011 co-edited with Ronald Grigor Suny and Norman Naimark). She has recently finished a book manuscript entitled Deciphering Denial: Ottoman Past, Turkish Present and the Collective Violence against the Armenians, 1789-2009.


Center for Ethnographic Research and Exhibition in the Aftermath of Violence