Our Work

The Zoryan Institute serves the cause of scholarship and public awareness relating to issues of universal human rights, genocide, and diaspora-homeland relations.

Here are some of our key ongoing initiatives.

Genocide & Human Rights University Program

A world renowned course in comparative genocide and human rights studies taught by the leading experts in the field.

“The GHRUP is a learning model creating dialogues about history and reconciliation as well as forming a community and network of committed, informed citizens and scholars worldwide.” - Joyce Apsel

"I've never learned so much in such a short period of time, and, more importantly, been so motivated to action by what I've learned." - GHRUP Graduate

Breakthrough Projects

The Permanent People’s Tribunal

The Permanent People’s Tribunal

The Zoryan Institute contributed greatly to the first international forum to affirm the Armenian Genocide, providing undisputable research, documentation and eyewitness accounts required to defend the armenian case.

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French Law on Criminalizing Genocide Denial and Zoryan Institute’s Opposition

French Law on Criminalizing Genocide Denial and Zoryan Institute’s Opposition

As an organization founded on the principles of upholding human rights, the Zoryan Institute took a
stand against the French National Assembly 2006 bill, criminalizing denial of the Armenian Genocide.

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CMHR – Canadian Museum of Human Rights

CMHR – Canadian Museum of Human Rights

The Zoryan Institute becomes a catalyst in fostering a relationship between the Canadian Museum of Human Rights and The Armenian Genocide Museum.

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ECHR – European Court for Human Rights

ECHR – European Court for Human Rights

The Zoryan Institute played a key role in the Perincek vs. Switzerland case held at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.

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“State Oppression, Violence against Minorities, and the Possibilities for Remedial Secession and Independence”

“State Oppression, Violence against Minorities, and the Possibilities for Remedial Secession and Independence”

The Zoryan Institute, in partnership with the George Washington University Law School, held a two-day conference that analyzed the irreconcilability of two contradictory UN Principles, self determination and territorial integrity. The tension between these two principles is a cause of mass human rights violations worldwide, thus needs to be explored.

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German Bundestag Recognises The Armenian Genocide

German Bundestag Recognises The Armenian Genocide

The June 2016 recognition of the Armenian Massacres as a “Genocide”, by the German Bundestag, may not have been accomplished without Wolfgang Gust’s book “ The Armenian Genocide: Evidence from the German Foreign Office Archives, 1915-1916" published by The Zoryan Institute.

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Creation of The Common Body of Knowledge

Creation of The Common Body of Knowledge

The “Common Body of Knowledge” is an ongoing project undertaken by The Zoryan Institute in collaboration with major universities and scholars. It is part of a process that addresses the need for information surrounding the history and past injustices committed towards the citizens of the Ottoman Empire, particularly the Armenians and Christian minorities.

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Turkish Language Publications

Turkish Language Publications

The Zoryan Institute has taken upon itself to translate and publish numerous books on the Armenian Genocide in the Turkish language in an effort to make information available and accessible to the civil society in Turkey.

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Dialogue For Reconciliation

The Zoryan Institute, through its ongoing research and publications in the field of universal human rights, aims to add to the pool of resources and educational materials that help create dialogue between people in conflict. To date the Institute has focused on the following:

Indigenous Peoples of Canada - Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

As a Canadian institute devoted to the study of preventing the devastating recurrence of genocide, The Zoryan Institute raises awareness to help ensure that past injustices do not further divide Canadians. Examining the abuses against Canada's Indigenous population through legal, political, cultural and social perspectives, the Zoryan Institute aims to advance the dialogue for reconciliation.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s official report, acknowledges that:

Without truth, justice, and healing, there can be no genuine reconciliation. Reconciliation is not about “closing a sad chapter of Canada’s past,” but about opening new healing pathways of reconciliation that are forged in truth and justice.

Turkish - Armenian Dialogue

The Armenian Genocide, despite all of the evidence and documentation in various languages, including Turkish, has yet to be recognized by the Turkish government. In 2016 the German Bundestag also acknowledged and affirmed Germany’s participation and complicity in Ottoman Turkey’s crime of Genocide against Armenians and Christian populations in Anatolia. However, Turkey continues to deny the incontestability of the facts surrounding the Armenian Genocide and Ottoman Turkey’s role in it.

This denial of the historic facts has resulted in over a century of tension between Armenians and Turks. The Zoryan Institute aims to reconcile this difference by developing a historiography of the period through the Common Body of Knowledge, including a series of initiatives from conferences, classes, publications and open letters to encourage dialogue.

Conferences

Our annual conferences aim to enhance public understanding and influence public opinion and policy-makers regarding current social and political issues. The Zoryan Institute strives to provide new perspectives on vital issues, using the highest academic standards, while highlighting contested questions, and encouraging new paths towards ideas, sources and understanding. We present our themes in comparative and interdisciplinary modes and the speakers come from a wide range of disciplines with many different perspectives and expertise. These include historians, social scientists, legal theorists, policymakers, and journalists.

Virtual - Zoom

“Gender & Intersectionality in Post-Soviet Armenia”
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University of Toronto, Munk School of Global Affairs

Climate Change and Population Growth: Future Threats and Possible Solutions
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American University of Armenia, Yerevan

Armenia’s Transformation in a Comparative Context: Restart-ing Democratization?
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American University of Armenia, Yerevan

International Symposium on Transitional Justice
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Archived Conferences

Oral History

Oral history is an essential tool in understanding how individuals and communities truly experience forces and events throughout history. By preserving firsthand accounts that round out written historical records and memoirs, oral history adds meaning and context to historical events, and fills gaps that are not documented in the literature.

The Zoryan Institute has a wealth of experience conducting and preserving post-conflict oral history testimonies. The Zoryan Institute's oral history projects initiated in 1983, when the Institute undertook a major oral history project aimed at documenting on videotape the memoirs of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide. The renowned Armenian Genocide Oral History Collection remains an invaluable resource to scholars, writers, journalists, film-makers, government agencies and other organizations. Since then, the Zoryan Institute has been involved in many additional oral history initiatives, and recently opened the Zoryan Institute and AUA Center for Oral History located at the AGBU Papazian Library of the American University of Armenia. The Center will allow Zoryan Institute's collections and analyses more widely available and accessible, and provide research assistance to those interested in oral history.


The Zoryan Institute's Oral History Work

Archiving

The Zoryan Institute houses a large quantity of reference and archival material, including monographs, periodicals, microfilm, photographs, memoirs, personal correspondence, official documents, etc.

Archiving

The Institute holds a large quantity of reference and archival material, including monographs, periodicals, microfilm, photographs, memoirs, personal correspondence, official documents, and oral histories.