The Armenian Genocide, Poetry of Witness and Postmemory

Peter Balakian, Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor of the Humanities, Colgate UniversityBalakian

The past year has marked the centenary of the Armenian Genocide. In this presentation, the award-winning writer Peter Balakian will ask how literature can witness and commemorate historical trauma. He will begin by discussing the impact of the Armenian genocide on several major Armenian poets of the 1915 generation. Considering the genocide’s impact on his own poetry, Balakian will then reflect on how the trauma of 1915 has echoed across generations and emerged as a version of postmemory—the belated remembrance of the victims’ descendants. 

Hosted by: Initiative in Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies

In conjunction with: Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Department of English, Department of French and Italian, Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, Department of History, Department of Religion, European Union Center, Program in Comparative and World Literature, Program in Jewish Culture and Society, Spurlock Museum, The Future of Trauma and Memory Studies Reading Group

Video of lecture here.

Location: Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum, 600 South Gregory, Urbana

Date: 4/18/2016 4:00pm

Read Helen Makhdoumian's write-up of Peter's visit.