YEREVAN, Armenia – On Wednesday, April 23, 2014, the American University of Armenia (AUA) hosted Dr. Rubina Peroomian for a public lecture entitled “A Journey through the Armenian Genocide Literature,” in honor of Genocide Remembrance Day.
Dr. Peroomian, explaining the value of artistic literature surrounding the Armenian Genocide, shared, “I believe that it is in this genre of literature that one comes closer to the universal truth that is at the roots of these documents and these factual figures. It is in this kind of literature that the psychology of a nation that has gone through this psychological trauma—this exceptional traumatic experience—is reflected, is expressed. It is this kind of literature that brings us closer to the concept, to understand the inconceivable, the difficult concept of genocide. It is not possible to understand the Armenian Genocide without reading the artistic literature of it, the literary responses to the Armenian Genocide.”
Dr. Peroomian’s lecture examined a wide variety of Armenian Genocide literature. She compared and contrasted the literature of the Armenian and Jewish experiences, indentifying parallels and differences in their responses to trauma. She noted how subtly Soviet-Armenian literature addressed the Genocide due to censorship, and pondered on the Armenians who continued living in Turkey after the Genocide, as the Turkish-Armenian literature of the time shed little light on the situation.
She continued by exploring survivor stories, in an attempt to understand the pyschological effects of the Genocide, noting that although the explicit narrative of the Armenian Genocide is absent in their work, the effects are nonetheless present in the themes that their literature addresses and the outlook that it expresses. She also pointed out that memoir writing is a relatively recent phenomenon in Armenian Genocide literature. Therefore many survivor stories were never shared, or were not discovered until the survivors had passed away.
The lecture was followed by an engaging Q&A session, during which audience members posed questions about the plausibility of international recognition of the Genocide, and asked how Armenians, especially Armenian youth, can become active members in the discussion surrounding the Genocide.
Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality, graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.
Dr. Rubina Peroomian, giving her lecture entitled “A Journey through the Armenian Genocide Literature” in AUA’s Alex and Marie Manoogian Hall.
Dr. Rubina Peroomian is an accomplished scholar in the field of Armenian Genocide literature.
Dr. Peroomian’s lecture explored the literature of the Armenian Genocide.
Members of the AUA community, as well as the greater public, attended the lecture.