The Prelacy is hosting the book launch of “The Politics of Naming the Armenian Genocide: Language, History and ‘Medz Yeghern,’” by historian and literary scholar Vartan Matiossian, on Wednesday, Dec. 8, at 7:00 pm. It is the first public event at the Eastern Prelacy headquarters since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020.
Dr. Matiossian, who is also the Executive Director of the Prelacy since 2019, will make an extensive and illustrated presentation of the book, which explores the genealogy of the concept of Medz Yeghern (“Great Crime”), the Armenian term widely used for the genocide of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. The subject has been both omitted and misinterpreted in historiography. “I was not particularly interested in the genocide of the Armenians as a central subject of my scholarship until the name Medz Yeghern came onto the international stage at the beginning of this century and became a tool of denial by actors who lacked either the authority or the necessary knowledge to establish its meaning,” said Dr. Matiossian. He has drawn upon an impressive collection of sources in Armenian as well as other European languages.
The book, published by I.B. Tauris, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing, is the inaugural volume in the Armenians in the Modern and Early Modern World series. “Matiossian’s interdisciplinary approach and meticulous research illuminates for scholars and general readers the genealogy of the concept and traces its journey in the 20th and the 21st century,” said Professor Bedross Der Matossian (University of Nebraska, Lincoln), series editor.