FRESNO—Ayşenur Korkmaz, a Ph.D candidate from the University of Amsterdam, will present a talk titled, “‘No Place Like Home’: Ergir and the Ex-Ottoman Armenians in Soviet Armenia” at the University of California, Fresno. The presentation will take place on Wednesday, October 30 in the University Business Center, Alice Peters Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.
The presentation is part of the Armenian Studies Program Fall 2019 Lecture Series and is supported by the Clara Bousian Bedrosian Fund.
The lecture will explore spatial attachments among the ex-Ottoman Armenians who survived the Armenian genocide and settled in their ‘new homeland’ – Soviet Armenia. It addresses the question of how the refugees dealt with loss and displacement and reflected on their former hometowns, referred to as ‘Ergir,’ a spatial construct denoting a symbolic ‘Armenian homeland’ or a ‘local homeland’ in Anatolia.
Korkmaz argues that the refugees conceptualized Ergir not only in relation to their expulsion, but also the socio-political factors that influenced them in Soviet Armenia in three periods. The first era of reflection on Ergir was the 1920s and 1930s, replete with nostalgic sentiments. The second was the suppression of the theme of Ergir, between 1936 and 1960, particularly during political crackdowns in Stalin’s era. The third period saw the revival of Ergir and marked a new phase in the conceptualizations of ‘homeland’ in which the displacement from Anatolia in 1915 and 1916, as well as the Stalinist purges, have been enmeshed into one tragedy of the ex-Ottoman Armenians.
Ayşenur Korkmaz is a European Studies PhD researcher at the University of Amsterdam. She earned her Master’s degree in Nationalism Studies from the Central European University, with honors. Her main areas of interest are the late Ottoman Empire, Soviet Armenia, as well as anthropological concepts of homeland, sacralization, and materiality. She has published several articles on the Hamidian Massacres, and the lives of Ottoman Armenian intellectuals in the nineteenth century, as well as on the Armenian genocide. Korkmaz’s current doctoral research explores the post-genocide articulations of the Armenian homeland (Ergir), through materiality and rituals.
The lecture is free and open to the public. Free parking, with a permit, is available in Lot P6 or P5. Free parking codes are available through the Armenian Studies Program. Fresno State is located at 5241 N Maple Ave, Fresno, CA 93740.