Blind Dates Project presents STRATEGIES OF (UN)SILENCING

Blind Dates Project presents STRATEGIES OF (UN)SILENCING

American University of Armenia

October 17, 2012
Blind Dates Project presents STRATEGIES OF (UN)SILENCING

October 26–27, 2012

American University of Armenia
Alex and Marie Manoogian Hall
40 Marshal Baghramyan Avenue
Yerevan 0019, Armenia

SoUS seeks to explore the intersections among artistic practice, literature, and ethics/law. By identifying overarching themes that have been marginalized across time and place, the aim is to loosen the knots of repressed memories, silenced (hi)stories, and unresolved sentiments/perceptions associated with dominant narratives that are sustained by oppositional paradigms. As continuation of a series of discussions that began in context of a New York–based curatorial undertaking titled Blind Dates: New Encounters from the Edges of a Former Empire, the conference will examine what ‘remains’ of the human geography that once constituted the vast Ottoman territory. While also inviting comparisons/contrasts in tackling the ‘residues’ of similar or parallel ruptures, including those involving the Soviet regime and the Cold War. New discursive cartographies based on shared affinities among the incongruent or the fragmented will be considered, as well as accounts of unities that do not resort to uniformity.
Panel One: October 26, 11am
Constructing and Deconstructing Empires: National Narratives Reconsidered
Moderator/ Discussant: Vahan Bournazian, human rights attorney and educator

Conflicting Visions of Liberation
Vardan Azatyan: Associate Professor of Art History, Yerevan State Academy of Fine Art

The Harem from Orientalism to Popular Culture: Post-Ottoman Women’s Fashion
Aikaterini Gegisian: London–based visual artist represented by the Kalfayan Gallery in Athens

National Narratives and Narrative Forms
Hrach Bayadyan: Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies, Yerevan State University

Armenian Representation in Turkey during the Post WWII Period
Talin Suciyan: PhD Candidate and Teaching Fellow, Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich

Anthropological Curiosities at the Frontier: Kars, Pamuk and Others
Zeynep Sariaslan: Research Fellow, Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Zurich

Evening: 7:30pm
Keynote Address: Amitav Ghosh
Bonds between Prisoners: Indians and Armenians in the ‘Death Camps’ of Syria, 1916–1918
Award-winning novelist Amitav Ghosh is the author of Sea of Poppies and River of Smoke
Panel Two: October 27, 11am
(Im)Possibilities of (Un) Silencing Violence and Trauma
Moderator/ Discussant: Siranush Dvoyan, literary critic and lecturer in comparative literature

Texts, Spies and Loyalty: The Politics of Ottoman-Armenian Print Culture
Nanor Kebranian: Assistant Professor of Armenian Studies at Columbia University


Traumatic Infidelities: The Experience and its Translators in Mabel Elliott and Zabel Yesayan
Shushan Avagyan: Translator and lecturer, American University of Armenia

Charents-Oshakan: On a Case of Ontological Incompatibility
Ashot Voskanyan: PhD in Philosophy and advisor to Armenia’s Foreign Ministry Africa and Asia Division

Silent speech and the politics of intimacy
Kathleen MacQueen: Art Historian and a writer based in New York

Nowhere: An excerpt from a novel-in-progress
Viken Berberian: Author of The Cyclist and Das Kapital
Panel Three: October 27, 3pm
Ruptures and Ruins: (Re) Imagining Imperial Remnants
Moderator/Discussant: Initiator and producer of the SoUS conference, Neery Melkonian is a New York–based independent critic/curator who serves as the External Director of the Blind Dates Project—a reformulated edition of which is planned to migrate to Istanbul and Yerevan in 2013

A Travel Guide to the East of the Empire
Zülal Nazan Üstündağ: Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology at Boğaziçi University

Time for Ruination: The Life of Armenian Aesthetics
David Kazanjian: Associate Professor of English, Comparative Literature and Literary Theory, University of Pennsylvania

A New Dictionary for Image-Forming Art: Soviet/Post Soviet Portraiture
Arevik Arevshatyan: Yerevan–based mixed media visual artist, stage designer and an essayist

Disputed Criticality: Tensions within the Field of Contemporary Art in Istanbul
Erden Kosova: Istanbul–based art critic and editor of

Locating a Revanchist Continuum in Post-Ottoman Istanbul
Paul Benjamin Osterlund: Graduate student in Turkish Studies at Sabanci University

For program details, bios and abstracts of participants, please visit 
Fiscally sponsored by NYFA, SoUS is made possible by a grant from Open Society Foundations-Armenia, with contributions by individual patrons including: Christopher Atamian; Ken Darian; Law Office of Souren Israelian; Varouj Koundakjian, and Joyce Ellen Reilly.





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American University of Armenia
October 17, 2012

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