Historians in Action: How and Why We Reclaim an Armenian Feminist Past

Professor Melissa Bilal of the American University of Armenia will first provide an overall introduction to Feminism in Armenian: An Interpretive Anthology and DigitalArchive, a collaborative project with Lerna Ekmekçioğlu (MIT) that aims to end the ever-present invisibility of activist women in Armenian historiography and collective memory. She will then focus on one of the authors featured in this project, namely Yelbis Gesaratsian (1830 – ?) editor of the first Armenian women’s journal in the Ottoman Empire. Drawing on Gesaratsian’s writings, Professor Bilal will discuss the interrelatedness of discourses on gender, sexuality, body, emotion, culture, history, nation, modernity, land, and music in the nineteenth-century Armenian intellectual narratives.