The Adana Massacres of 1909: Legacy and Perspectives, May 7, 2009, at the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) Center, 395 Concord Avenue, Belmont, MA.
The Adana Massacres of April 1909 took the lives of more than 20,000 Armenians in the province of Adana and elsewhere in Armenian-inhabited areas of the Ottoman Empire. In addition to the appalling loss of life and property, the massacres were a bitter blow to the Armenians who had expressed such optimism at the Young Turk Revolution of 1908. Many see in these massacres an indication of what was to come in the genocide of 1915.
1. Dr. Bedross Der Matossian, Revisiting the Adana Massacres of 1909: Revolution, Power, and Violence
2. Dr. Lou Ann Matossian, Missionary Witness: The Christie Family Papers on the Cilician Massacres of 1909
3. Aram Arkun, Armenian Self-Defense During the 1909 Massacres: The Case of Dörtyol (Chorkmarzban)
4. Dr. Dikran Kaligian, Impact of the Adana Massacre on ARF-CUP Relations
On December 24, 1933, an event occurred in Washington Heights in New York City that shocked the world and opened a chasm in the Armenian-American community: Archbishop Ghevont (Leon) Tourian was stabbed to death as he walked down the aisle of Holy Cross Armenian Church. Nine Armenian-American men were tried and found guilty of taking part in the crime.
For most of the 75 years since this event there has been little serious discussion of what the larger causes of this event were and what have been the long-term repercussions. This panel is an attempt to break the silence and engage in a thoughtful exploration of a tragic and polarizing event whose impact is still felt in Armenian-American life.
This panel, held at NAASR on Sept. 20, 2008, featured:
Journalist Terry Phillips, the author of the historical novel Murder at the Altar (2008) that recreates the events of December 1933 and depicts a later attempt of a fictional journalist to learn the truth.
● Historian Dr. Ben Alexander, whose dissertation, Armenian and American: The Changing Face of Ethnic Identity and Diasporic Nationalism, 1915-1950, deals in part with the issues surrounding the Tourian murder. In 2007 his article Contested Memories: Divided Diaspora: Armenian Americans, the Thousand-Day Republic, and the Polarized Response to an Archbishops Murder was published in the Journal of American Ethnic History.
● Father Stepanos Doudoukjian, who wrote his Masters thesis at St. Nersess Seminary on Oral History: An Intergenerational Study of the Effects of the Assassination of Abp. Leon Tourian in 1933 on Armenian Americans. He is Pastor of St. Peter Armenian Church, Watervliet, NY, and Director of Youth and Vocations at St. Nersess Seminary.
● Historian Dr. Dikran Kaligian, author of Armenian Organization and Ideology under Ottoman Rule, 1908-1914 (Transaction). In 2007 he was visiting professor of Modern Armenian History and Armenian Genocide Studies at Clark University and he serves as Associate Editor of the Armenian Review.