Tufts to commemorate centennial of Armenian Genocide

The Commemoration of the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide will be held at Tufts on Wednesday April 15 at 7 p.m. in Goddard Chapel.

The event is sponsored by Professor of History and Darakjian and Jafarian Chair in Armenian History Ina Baghdiantz McCabe, the Department of History, Tufts Armenian Club and the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR).

Dr. Claire Mouradian of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CRNS) in Paris will speak at the event. She will give a lecture called “A Century of Oblivion: The Time Has Come to Listen to the Voices of the Victims” in the Ballou Hall Coolidge Room after the commemoration ceremony. In her lecture, Mouradian will share first-hand accounts written by Armenian Genocide survivors to their relatives in the United States.

According to McCabe, commemorations for the Armenian Genocide have been held since 1999. In the past, speakers such as Samantha Power, Michael and Kitty Dukakis and Jay Winter have spoken at Tufts and elsewhere to mark the anniversary of the genocide.

McCabe explained that the theme of most of the past commemorations has been genocide in a general sense. This year, however, it will focus specifically on the Armenian Genocide and the voices of the people affected by it, she said.

“[Mouradian] will be exploring private letters written in the Ottoman Empire during the event,” McCabe said. “She will be looking at how the genocide affected family relations and how it affected people.”

McCabe explained that the event is usually attended both by the Tufts community and people in the Armenian community in the surrounding area.

According to McCabe, there is going to be a reception after the commemoration in Ballou.

McCabe started planning this year’s event last year, as it takes about 10 to 11 months to organize.

The organizational work she did for the event included booking a speaker and publicizing the event, which she did with the help of  the NAASR and locally based Armenian papers, McCabe explained.

“I have several organizations that help me publicize the event,” she said.

McCabe said she thinks that it is important to have this event “to have awareness of these tragic events [and] to be aware of what it does to a group of people.”