The Zoryan Institute Hosts Book Talk Highlighting the Experiences of Tattooed Women Survivors of Genocide with Dr. Elyse Semerdjian
18 Sep 2023
TORONTO, September 18, 2023: This past Saturday, the Zoryan Institute hosted a book talk with Dr. Elyse Semerdjian, titled, “Sifting through Remnants: Locating the Voices of Women Survivors” at the Hamazkayin H Manougian Library of Toronto.
Dr. Semerdjian’s latest publication, Remnants: Embodied Archives of the Armenian Genocide, explores the traces left in the memories and on the bodies of tattooed and scar-bearing women survivors of the Armenian Genocide. The book uses a feminist lens to reveal how the Ottoman Armenian communal body was dismembered, disfigured, and later re-membered by the survivor community.
Through powerful imagery of tattooed survivors, including reference to the audio-visual testimony of Armenian Genocide survivor Aghavni Kabakian from Zoryan Institute’s Armenian Genocide Oral History Archive, Dr. Semerdjian weaved engaging and moving stories about survivor experiences, the significance and meaning behind the symbolism used in the tattoos, and the mental and physical scars that these tattoos left behind.
The presentation was followed by a dynamic Q&A session from a very engaged audience, comprised of community members, graduate students, GHRUP alumni, and human rights activists.
Dr. Elyse Semerdjian is the Robert Aram and Marianne Kaloosdian and Stephen and Marian Mugar Chair of Armenian Genocide Studies at the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University. She is specialist in gender and the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire, and the author of “Off the Straight Path”: Illicit Sex, Law, and Community in Ottoman Aleppo (2008) and Remnants: Embodied Archives of the Armenian Genocide (2023).
Remnants: Embodied Archives of the Armenian Genocide (2023) is available directly from the publisher, Stanford University Press, for $30.00 USD. Use the code SEMERDJIAN20 to receive 20% off at check-out.
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