Fresno State Armenian Studies Program to Host Lecture by Dr. Vahé Tachjian

Fresno State University's Henry Madden Library

FRESNO, Calif.—Dr. Vahé Tachjian, director of the “Houshamadyan Project” will be the guest speaker of the California State University, Fresno’s Armenian Studies Program with a talk entitled, “Building the ‘Model Ottoman Citizen’: Life and Death in the Region of Harput-Mamüretülaziz (1908-1915)” at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 29. The lecture will take place in the University Business Center, Alice Peters Auditorium, Room 191, on the Fresno State campus.

The lecture is the first in the Spring Lecture Series of the Armenian Studies Program, with the support of the Leon S. Peters Foundation.

Using a “microhistory” perspective, this talk analyzes Armenian daily life in the Kharpert/Harput region in the extensive Ottoman Empire from the 1908 Young Turk Revolution to the 1915 Genocide. Specifically, the focus is on the Kharpert Plain that comprises the towns of Kharpert and Mamüretülaziz (Mezire, present day Elazığ) and the surrounding Armenian villages. Tachjian examines the articles, lectures, memoirs and letters of two notable intellectuals from Kharpert, Hovhannes Bujicanian and Donabed Lulejian. He discovers a rich, minority narrative from the margins. Armenians’ understanding of being model Ottoman citizens differed vastly from the government during the decisive last years of the Empire.

Vahé Tachjian is the director and chief editor of the “Houshamadyan Project.” He was born in Lebanon and earned a Ph.D. in History and Civilization at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris. His research covers the period of the French occupation of Cilicia, Syria, and Lebanon between the two World Wars, the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, and refugee problems in the Middle East. He is the author of “La France en Cilicie et en Haute-Mésopotamie: Aux confins de la Turquie, de la Syrie et de l’Irak, 1919-1933” (2004); editor of “Ottoman Armenians: Life, Culture, Society” (2014); the co-editor of “Ohannès Pacha Kouyoumdjian: Le Liban à la Veille et au Début de la Guerre: Mémoires d’un Gouverneur, 1913-1915” (2003); “Les Arméniens, 1917-1939: La Quête d’un Refuge” (2006); “The Armenian General Benevolent Union: One Hundred Years of History” (2006); and “Les Arméniens de Cilicie: Terroir, Mémoire et Identité” (2012).

Houshamadyan’s new book, “Ottoman Armenians: Life, Culture, and Society, Vol. 1,” will be available for purchase after the lecture.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Free parking is available, with parking code 273503, after 7:00 p.m. at Fresno State Lots P5 and P6, near the University Business Center.

For more information about the lecture please contact the Armenian Studies Program at 278-2669 or visit


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