(Armenian weekly)- The Promise Armenian Institute (PAI) at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Taner Akçam as inaugural director of the Armenian Genocide Research Program.
Akçam is Kaloosdian and Mugar Professor in Modern Armenian History and Genocide at the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies of Clark University, Massachusetts. He is widely recognized as one of the first scholars of Turkish descent to write extensively on the Ottoman-Turkish Genocide of Armenians in the early 20th century and one of the world’s most prolific scholars currently pursuing research and mentoring doctoral students in this important field. Many of Akçam‘s publications constitute an unprecedented examination of secret documents that show the deliberate nature of the Armenian Genocide. The scholar is also the founder of the Krikor Guerguerian Online Archive.
Akçam’s numerous books include “A Shameful Act: Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility” (Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt, 2006), “The Young Turks’ Crime against Humanity: The Armenian Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in the Ottoman Empire” (Princeton, 2012), “Killing Orders: Talat Pasha’s Telegrams and the Armenian Genocide” (Palgrave, 2018) and the forthcoming co-edited volume, “The Genocide of the Christian Populations in the Ottoman Empire and its Aftermath (1908–1923)” (Routledge 2022).
The acclaimed scholar is currently working on several projects that will continue after his arrival at UCLA in spring 2022. These include investigations of the auctioning of confiscated or plundered Armenian properties during the early days of the Turkish Republic, Ottoman press coverage during the late Ottoman era (1918–1922), an oral history project on the Dersim Genocide (1938) and investigations of the impact of the Armenian Genocide on the Turkish Republic’s founding principles, based on an analysis of Ottoman archival materials from the period 1918–1923.
The Armenian Genocide Research Program will be housed within the PAI and provide a home for scholarly activities relevant to the Genocide, including opportunities for PAI-affiliated postdoctoral scholars, graduate students and visiting scholars. Akçam will work closely with PAI inaugural director Ann Karagozian, distinguished professor of engineering, in building this new entity.
“We are thrilled to establish a new Armenian Genocide Research Program at UCLA and to welcome Taner Akçam as its inaugural director. Situated in Los Angeles, home to one of the largest Armenian diaspora communities in the world and, of course, the academic home of longtime renowned Armenian historian and Genocide scholar, Professor Richard Hovannisian, it is only fitting that UCLA establishes a program explicitly dedicated to the study of the Armenian Genocide,” said Karagozian.
“Taner Akçam has a demonstrated track record of groundbreaking research and mentored some of the most remarkable young scholars in the field of Armenian Genocide studies. His dedication and passion for advancing this field make him the ideal person to establish and carry out this new research program at UCLA,” she added.
PAI is a groundbreaking institute within the UCLA International Institute made possible by a $20 million gift from the estate of Kirk Kerkorian. With this latest appointment, PAI continues to position UCLA as a hub for world-class research and teaching on Armenian studies, as well as for coordinating interdisciplinary research and public impact programs on and in Armenia with schools and centers across UCLA and the Armenian diaspora. The Promise Armenian Institute’s size, scope and interdisciplinary approach make it the first of its kind in the world.
PAI and the UCLA International Institute warmly welcome Dr. Akçam to his important leadership role at the Armenian Genocide Research Program.