No comments yet

Empire of Questions: The Late Ottoman Empire and Dersim ’38



Empire of Questions: The Late Ottoman Empire and Dersim ‘

    • Russian military map illustrating the distribution of Kurds, Armenians, Yezidis, Alevis, and Assyrians across the Ottoman, Iranian, and Russian empires, circa 1896.

Hybrid lecture by Dr. Cevat Dargin, the Nikit and Eleanora Ordjanian Visiting Professor in Armenian Studies at Columbia University’s Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies. This event is organized by the Armenian Genocide Research Program of the Promise Armenian Institute at UCLA  and co-sponsored by the Ararat-Eskijian Museum and the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR).

Friday, March 15, 2024
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM (Pacific Time)
Bunche Hall, Room 10383 (10th floor)
315 Portola Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095
Image for RSVP ButtonImage for Calendar ButtonImage for Calendar Button

Click here to register for virtual attendance.

The Western view of the late Ottoman Empire as the “Eastern Question” spawned interconnected issues tied to the racialization of ethnic and religious groups within the empire. The historical Albanian, Armenian, Jewish, Macedonian, Bulgarian, and Greek questions, alongside contemporary conflicts such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Kurdish issue spanning Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria, and the Berber question in North Africa, all find their origins in the legacy of the Eastern Question and the global context that shaped it. This lecture explores these intricate dynamics through the case of the Dersim region in Eastern Anatolia, where Armenian, Kurdish, and Kizilbash questions converged and clashed with the Ottoman and Turkish state formation. Join us as we examine the emergence of various groups as “questions” within the overarching Eastern Question and trace their subsequent solutions through various means of coerced homogenization in the global context of late nineteenth and early twentieth-century racial thinking.

Cevat Dargin is a historian of the modern Middle East and North Africa. Dargin explores intersectional historical processes among race, territory, and technology that reinvented governance in these regions and the larger world during the Age of High Imperialism, from the Scramble for Africa in the 1880s to the aftermath of World War I and into the interwar period. This is the period during which governance in many parts of the world transitioned from indirect imperial to centralized nation-state rule, with profound implications for today.

Cevat Dargin earned his PhD in Middle Eastern Studies from Princeton University in 2021. Following that, he served as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor during the 2022-23 academic year. Beginning in January 2024, he will join Columbia University’s Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies as a Visiting Assistant Professor. His article titled “Anticipatory Historical Geographies of Violence: Imagining, Mapping and Integrating Dersim into the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish State, 1866–1939” was recently published by the Journal of Historical Geography. He is currently working on his book manuscript, which explores the formation of the modern state at the intersection of race, territory, and technology in the late Ottoman Empire and post-Ottoman territories.
Sponsor(s): Armenian Genocide Research ProgramArarat-Eskijian MuseumNational Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR)




Post a comment