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Dr. Pamela Steiner, Granddaughter of Henry Morgenthau, Discusses the Armenian Genocide and Collective Trauma

YEREVAN, Armenia – On April 30, 2015, the American University of Armenia (AUA) welcomed Dr. Pamela Steiner, Intercommunal Trust Building Project Fellow at the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at the Harvard School of Public Health and granddaughter of Henry Morgenthau, U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire from 1913-1916. The event was hosted by the Harvard Club of Armenia.

Dr. Steiner’s talk focused on the idea of collective trauma between peoples, using the Armenian Genocide as an example of how the effects of trauma can continue on throughout future generations. “My purpose is to raise awareness about collective trauma and collective transmitted trauma,” she said. “This is in order to contribute to a peoples psychological recovery, so that they can develop better, healthier, and more sustainable democracies and productive relations with their neighbors.”

Dr. Steiner’s research comes from years of practicing psychotherapy, especially with those who have experienced trauma. She has worked extensively with Armenians, Turks, Israelis, and Palestinians, seeking to understand the psychology of violence between communities, as well as the psychology of healing and building productive relationships in post-violent environements.

“In a perfect world, there would be accountability. Armenians deserve reparations and recognition. But the very grim reality is that you may never get any of it. And you have to live anyway.”

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.