After Genocide : from Trauma to Rebirth : a Gendered Perspective - September 17-18-19th 2016 - Yerevan

Organised by Women in War (Paris) in partnership with the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography in Yerevan and AGBU (Armenian General Benevolent Union).

This unique conference brings together international researchers and activists united by their commitment to documenting the gender dimension in past and present genocides. The study of the particular experiences of women in historical genocides such as the Armenian Genocide of 1915 and the Holocaust have only recently emerged, and even scarcer are considerations of the way these events have affected the descendants of such events, be it on the side of victims or that of perpetrators.


For three intense days at AGBU we shall hear, in Armenian, English and French, historians, sociologists, anthropologists, psychologists, lawyers, artists writers and activists who bring together their experiences and research : the intersection of their work will bring a unique dimension to this conference.

Recognized massacres with a genocidal purpose and mass expropriations generating exile from a gendered perspective will form the starting point of this conference. These will include the Armenian genocide, the Holocaust, Nanking, the genocides in Bosnia and Rwanda, mass killings in D.R. Congo, Cambodia, Central America, the Middle-East. At the core of these explorations, an attempt to build bridges between comparable experiences.
Questions on ongoing genocide will also be asked, including legally sanctioned reparations. We shall consider the fate of Yazidis, that of Christians in the Middle-East, the long-term consequences of chemical warfare (as in Vietnam), potentially genocidal policies (as in Turkey regarding the Kurdish population), the plight of widows, the possibilities of reconciliation in preventing the recurrence of genocide.

After the commemorations of the centenary of the Genocide, it seemed very important to examine what the next generations inherit, transmit and build. For us all, for our descendants in Armenia, as well as those in countries who have experienced genocide, this international conference will provide novel and challenging approaches.

Under the aegis of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, in partnership with the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography in Yerevan and AGBU and the help of generous and kind sponsors in Yerevan, in particular DVV international as well as the Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah in France, ASCN in Switzerland, Kvinna till Kvinna in Sweden and UFAR this conference is organized by the French NGO ‘Women in War’ which holds annual conferences in emblematic zones : after Sarajevo and Beirut, this one in Yerevan is its most ambitious and challenging event.

The entire conference will be filmed, available in streaming and thereafter visible on Women in War’s abd AGBU You-Tube Channel, and websites. Papers will be published in Armenian and English. .

As with all events organized by Women in War, access to the conference is free, but priority is given to those who register in advance with AGBU.

Sponsored by the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie and the Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah (Paris)
DVV International
Kvinna till kvinna (Sweden)
Academic Swiss Caucasus Network (ASCN) 
Université Française en Arménie (UFAR)
under the auspices of the MFA

Programme :


Presentations: Director of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography in Yerevan.
(Dr Pavel Avetysian), OIF (Dilek Elveren), Women in War (Carol Mann), AGBU


I. THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE AND AFTER moderated by Ruben Melkonian
1. Laurence Ritter (EHESS): Les survivantes. Les femmes dans les familles d’Arméniens islamisés et d’Arméniens cachés de Turquie, porteuses de mémoire et gardiennes du secret
2.  Ruzan Tsaturyan (Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Yerevan): Remembering tastes and smells: food voices of ‘Ergir’ in Armenia (the case of Nerqin Bazmaberd)
3. Tamar Hayrapetyan (Institute of Archaeaology and Ethnography, Yerevan), Violence and Atrocities during the Armenian Genocide (Mets Yeghern) and Ethnic Cleansings of Karabagh Confrontation: the Problems of Post-Traumatic Re-socialization.
4. Diana Yayloyan (Ankara University):  the perception of Armenian genocide among contemporary Armenians living in Turkey and Armenia


II TRAUMA SURVIVAL RECONSTRUCTION (part 1): presented by Raymond Kervorkian, historian, Paris
1. Janet Jacobs  (University of Colorado ) Gender and the Intergenerational Transmission of Trauma: Family Narratives and the Construction of Identity among Descendants of the Holocaust  
2. Shamsi Kazimbaya: (Jpiefgo Rwanda) and Dimitrie Sissi (lawyer, activist Kigali): sexual and gender violence in Rwanda
3.Elmaja Bavcic (University of Sarajevo) : Women, siege and recognition – responsibility to remember
4. Cafer Sarıkaya (Boğaziçi University, Istanbul): Only Lokum Remains: The Islamized Armenians in the Black Sea Region and the Resistance Story of a Flavour

Parallel sessions
III.TRAUMA SURVIVAL RECONSTRUCTION AND AFTER (part 2) moderated by Lusine Kharatyan, DVV, Yerevan.
1. Anna Koch (University of York): Coming Home? The return of German Jews to their homes after 1945
2. Anaïs Garcia (LISST-CAS, UMR CNRS):  A qui appartient le corps des femmes mayas : Programmes de stérilisations et mémoires du génocide au Guatemala
3. Domitille Blanco (Centre Max Weber, Université de St.Etienne) : Face à la solitude des rescapés rwandais en exil, les "mamans"
4. Anna Aleksanyan (Clark University): The Predicament of re-Armenization of Armenian Women after the Genocide

IV GENOCIDE AND TRANSMISSION moderated by Harutun Marutyan, Academy of Sciences, Yerevan.
1. Aysenur Korkmaz (Sabanci University Istanbul): ‘Twenty-five Percent Armenian’: Oral History Accounts of the Descendants of Islamized Armenians in Turkey
2. Martha Mandujano Galvan (University of Oklahoma) and JoAnn DiGeorgio-Lutz, (University of Texas): Gendered Remembrance, Collective Memory, and Genocide Memorialization
3. Mari Toivanen (University of Turku, Finland): memory of the Anfal genocide experienced by Kurdish migrants
4. Nona Shahnazarian (Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Yerevan): Armenian refugees from Azerbaidjan, memory, trauma and recovery



1. Dalia Ofer (Hebrew University, Jerusalem): Women Survivors of the Holocaust in Israel:From Destruction to Reconstruction: Experience and Memory
2 Luc Benaïche Institut de recherches Asiatiques IrAsia, Aix-Marseille Université): Considérations sur les violences faites aux femmes dans le Kampuchéa Démocratique et l’éclatement des structures sociales traditionnelles cambodgiennes
3. Karen Boswall (University of Sussex) the inheritance of silence in Mozambique
4. Deanna Cachoain and Bengi Guldogan (Sabanci University, Istanbul): (Re)inventing Stories and Objects after the Armenian Genocide: A Feminist (Re)imagining a Shared Unknown Past in Çüngüş

Parallel sessions

VI. THE WEIGHT OF SILENCE moderated by Yeghia Tashjian, AUB, Beirut.
1. Carol Mann (Université Paris 8): Daughters of perpetrators: the case of Natalie Menigon, Ulrike Meinhoff, Margherita Cagol
2.  Sebastian Maisel (Grand Valley State University): The 74th Ferman against the Yezidis: The continuation of a century-old genocide
3. Lucine Saghoumian (Yerevan): Gender secrets
4. Samah Saleh (An Najah University, Nablus): Transmission of the Naqba through three generations of Palestinian women
5. Melanie Altanian (University of Berne): How insights of feminist philosophy can help render intelligible the intrinsic moral wrong of genocide denial

1. Beata Mairesse Umubyeyi (novelist): « EJO : Quand l'après génocide des Tutsi du Rwanda se raconte en fiction, au féminin »
2. Anita Mouchoian (Hagazian University Beirut): Memory, Postmemory, and Beyond: Tracing Trans-generational Trauma Carried through the Voice and Narrative of Armenian Women
3. Sharon Bar Kochva (Maison de la Culture Yiddish): The Holocaust from a Woman’s Perspective: Yiddish Writings of Chave Rosenfarb.
4. Charikleia Kefalidou (Université Paris IV): Transmission of trauma and culture in Armenian diaspora literature of the 20th -21st century
5. Dana Walrath (University of Vermont) Transmuting Transgenerational Trauma: Visual Storytelling, Re-humanization, and Kinship across Genocides, A Granddaughter’s Story

VIII. MEMORY, EDUCATION, COMMEMORATION moderated by Levon Abrahamian
1. Kathleen Zeidler (University of Leipzig): 20 years after – Women’s role in the public commemoration of “genocide” in Belgrade 2015 
2. Jean-Yves Potel (historian): Quelles responsabilités face à la Shoah ? Du déni à la fin de l'innocence. Réflexions sur le cas polonais (1943-2016)  
3.  Kay Andrews (University College, London): Gendered mapping of a memorialisation ceremony – the 70th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau
4. Jean-Louis Margolin (Aix-Marseille Université, Institut de Recherches Asiatiques): La dimension du genre dans le massacre de Nankin

IX GENDERED INSENSITIVITIES: moderated by Lara Aharonian, director of Women's Resource Centre, Yerevan
1 Yilmaz Tebessum (Istanbul University): Mutilated Bodies Sexual violence and Homo Sacer
2. Zoe Waxman: (University of Oxford): ‘The Anne Franks who survived rape don’t write their stories’: sexual assault, testimony, and the Holocaust
3. Pedzisai Maedza (University of Cape Town): The Kaiser’s concubines: Re-membering African women in eugenics and genocide
4. Kamee Abrahamian (Pacifica Graduate Institute) : Kim Kardashian: The Dark Horse of Armenian Society
5. Nermina Trbonja (University of Sarajevo): Hyper-virilized transmission of genocide in Bosnia



X. SECRET WOUNDS: presented by Janine Altounian (Plenary)

1. Professor Catherine Coquio (Université Paris VII): les Antigones d'après
2. Annie Benveniste (Université Paris VIII) : Comment vivre quand tant de proches ont disparu ? Mémoire de l’Occupation nazie en France par des émigrées juives de l’ex-Empire ottoman
3. Max Kohn: L’affection de la langue yiddish par les effets de la Shoah   
4. Alphonse Maindo (Université de Kisangani): La honte, le silence et le rejet des victimes des viols de masse en République Démocratique du Congo : l’impossible réinsertion sociale ?

1. Hamedi Camara (Université Paris-Sud): Le génocide en droit international : les réparations des crimes commis contre les femmes     
2. Edita Gzoyan (Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute):  Women Survivors of the Armenian Genocide: League of Nations’ Humanitarian Response
3. Ruth Amir (Yezreel Valley College): Women and Children in Post WWI International Law: Conceptually Autonomous or Mutually Implicated? 
4. Prof. Dr. Karolina Ristova-Aasterud (University Ss. Cyril and Methodius, Skopje, Macedonia): Gendered Justice and International Humanitarian law 

XII From Massacre to Genocide: questions that need to be asked, Moderator: Carol Mann
1. Naomi Kikoler et Sareta Ashraf (Global Centrefor the Responsibility to Protect): The Genocide issues today 
2.  Meral Cicek (REPAK, Erbil): A gendered perspective on Yezidi genocide in the Middle East.
3.Yeghia Tashjian (AUB): Are Christians in the Middle-East undergoing a genocide and how does the gender factor play into this ?
4. Margaret Owen (Widows for Peace through Democracy):  The plight of widows after genocide
5. Nhu-Mai Nguyen-Dac (VAVA): les armes de guerre chimiques et le génocide transgénérationnel au Vietnam.


CONCLUSIONS: moderators Nona Shahnazarian and Carol Mann
with Raymond Kervorkian, Janine Altounian and Michel Marian

After Genocide : from Trauma to Rebirth
Voir la video
Durée de la vidéo: 
Durée : 20 mn
Presentation by Dr. Janine Altounian at "After Genocide: From Trauma to Rebirth" Conference