Keynote Speakers

AkcamTaner Akçam, Ph.D. : Professor of History, Kaloosdian & Mugar Chair in Armenian Genocide Studies, Clark University. Historian and sociologist Taner Akçam received his doctorate in 1995 from the University of Hanover, with a dissertation on The Turkish National Movement and the Armenian Genocide Against the Background of the Military Tribunals in Istanbul Between 1919 and 1922. Akçam was born in the province of Ardahan, Turkey, in 1953. He became interested in Turkish politics at an early age. As the editor-in-chief of a student political journal, he was arrested in 1976 and sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment. Amnesty International adopted him as a prisoner of conscience. A year later, he escaped to Germany, where he received political asylum. In 1988 he started working as Research Scientist in Sociology at the Hamburg Institute for Social Research. His first research topic was the history of political violence and torture in the late Ottoman Empire and early Republic of Turkey. Between 2000 and 2002 Akçam was Visiting Professor of History at University of Michigan. He worked also as Visiting Associate Professor at the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at University of Minnesota. He has been a member of the history department at Clark University since 2008.

peter-balakian1Peter Balakian, Ph.D. : Donald M. And Constance H. Rebar Professor in Humanities, Professor of English, Director of Creative Writing, Colgate University. Peter Balakian is the author of 7 books of poems including Ziggurat (2010) and June-tree: New and Selected Poems, 1974-2000 (2001) and Ozone Journal (2015). His prose books include Vise and Shadow: Selected Essays on Lyric Imagination, Poetry, Art, and Culture (2015), The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America’s Response (HarperCollins, 2004), won the 2005 Raphael Lemkin Prize and was a New York Times Notable Book and a New York Times and national Best Seller. His memoir, Black Dog of Fate won the 1998 PEN/Martha Albrand Prize for the Art of the Memoir, and was a best book of the year for the New York Times, the LA Times, and Publisher’s Weekly, and was recently issued in a 10th anniversary edition. He is co-translator of Girgoris Balakian’s Armenian Golgotha: A Memoir of the Armenian Genocide 1915-1918, (Knopf, 2009), which was a Washington Post book of the year. He is also the author of a book on the American poet Theodore Roethke and the co translator of the Armenian poet Siamanto’s Bloody News From My Friend. Between 1976-1996 he edited with Bruce Smith the poetry journal Graham House Review. He is the recipient of many awards and prizes and civic citations including a Moves Khoranatsi Medal from the Republic of Armenia, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the Emily Clark Balch Prize for poetry from the Virginia Quarterly Review, and the Anahit Literary Prize. Born and raised in Teaneck and Tenafly, New Jersey, Balakian holds a BA from Bucknell University and a Ph.D. in American Civilization from Brown University. He is Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor of the Humanities, Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing at Colgate University, where he has taught since 1980. He was the first Director of Colgate’s Center For Ethics and World Societies, and was the 2012 recipient of the Alice and Clifford Spendlove Prize in Social Justice, Diplomacy and Tolerance. The annual prize honors an individual who exemplifies the delivery of social justice, diplomacy and tolerance in his or her work. Past recipients include former President Jimmy Carter.


The Armenian Genocide in Legal Perspectives


bodanskyProfessor Dan Bodansky: Foundation Professor of Law, ASU, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. Daniel M. Bodansky is a preeminent authority on global climate change whose teaching and research focus on international environmental law and public international law. He teaches courses in international law and sustainability and is a key player in the College of Law’s new Program on Law and Sustainability. Prior to his arrival at the College of Law in 2010, Professor Bodansky was the Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Emily and Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law at the University of Georgia School of Law. He has served as the climate change coordinator and attorney-advisor at the U.S. Department of State, in addition to consulting for the United Nations in the areas of climate change and tobacco control. Since 2001, Professor Bodansky has been a consultant and senior advisor on the “Beyond Kyoto” and “Pocantico Dialogue” projects at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. He serves on the board of editors of the American Journal of International Law, is the U.S.-nominated arbitrator under the Antarctic Environmental Protocol, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Society of International Law. Awards include an International Affairs Fellowship from the Council of Foreign Relations, a Pew Faculty Fellowship in International Affairs, and a Jean Monnet Fellowship from the European University Institute. Professor Bodansky’s scholarship includes three books and dozens of articles and book chapters on international law, international environmental law and climate change policy.


rothenbergProfessor Daniel Rothenberg: Professor of Practice, School of Politics and Global Studies, Lincoln Fellow for Ethics and International Human Rights Law. Daniel Rothenberg has more than 15 years of experience combining field research, project management and scholarship on international human rights and the rule of law. His research focuses on human rights documentation and analysis and transitional justice, with a focus on genocide, truth commissions and post-conflict reconstruction. Rothenberg has designed and managed rule of law projects in Afghanistan, Iraq and throughout Latin America including programs to train human rights NGOs, aid indigenous peoples in using international legal remedies, support gender justice and collect and analyze thousands of first-person narratives from victims of severe human rights violations. Before joining the faculty in 2010, Rothenberg was Managing Director of International Projects at the International Human Rights Law Institute at DePaul University College of Law, Senior Fellow at the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School, Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Michigan, and a Fellow in the Michigan Society of Fellows. Rothenberg is the author of various articles and monographs as well as With These Hands: The Hidden World of Migrant Farmworkers Today (University of California), Memory of Silence: The Guatemalan Truth Commission Report (Palgrave), as well as the forthcoming co-edited volume, Drones and the Promise of Law (Cambridge University Press).

mark-geragos-0091Mark Geragos: Attorney, Geragos & Geragos. As the Principal with the internationally known Trial Law Firm of Geragos & Geragos, APC, Mark Geragos has represented some of the most prominent figures in the world over the last thirty years. A partial list of Mr. Geragos’ clients include renowned Whitewater figure Susan McDougal, Grammy Award-winning artist Chris Brown, Platinum-selling artist Kesha Sebert, former first brother Roger Clinton, Academy Award-nominated actress Winona Ryder, Pop star Michael Jackson, hip hop stars Nathaniel “Nate Dogg” Hale and Sean “Diddy” Combs, Nicole Ritchie, former Congressman Gary Condit, Usher Raymond, and former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson. Mr. Geragos is one of two lawyers ever named “Lawyer of the Year” in both the criminal and civil arenas. He is the Immediate Past President of the National Trial Lawyers Association. California Law Business Magazine named Mr. Geragos “One of the 100 Most Influential Attorneys in California” three years in a row. Mr. Geragos has been voted by his peers as one of Los Angeles’ SuperLawyers for over ten years and is rated among the preeminent lawyers by Martindale-Hubbell. Mr. Geragos was one of the lead lawyers in a pair of groundbreaking Federal Class Action lawsuits against New York Life Insurance and AXA Corporation for insurance policies issued in the early 20th century during the genocide of over 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Turk regime. These two cases settled for close to $40 million. In addition, Mr. Geragos’ $59 million jury verdict in a trade secrets case against pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Corporation was both “Top Ten Verdicts in 2008 in California” by the Daily Journal, as well as “Top Fifty Verdicts in the United States” by the National Law Journal. Mr. Geragos is a legal analyst for CNN. He has lectured extensively and authored numerous articles and Law Review publications. Mr. Geragos authored “Mistrial: An Inside Look at How the Criminal Justice System Works… and Sometimes Doesn’t,” which won the grand prize at the 2014 Los Angeles Book Festival and was on several best seller lists. Mark Geragos was born in Los Angeles, California. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from Haverford College in 1979 and his Juris Doctor from Loyola Law School in 1982. He was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1983.

Najwa-NabtiProfessor Najwa Nabti: Director, Undergraduate Law and Master of Legal Studies Programs, University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law. Najwa Nabti is the Director of the Undergraduate Law and Master of Legal Studies Programs at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law. For six years, she was an Appeals Counsel in the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), specializing in gender-based crimes and persecution as a crime against humanity. In that capacity, she served on the OTP Prosecuting Sexual Violence Working Group, documenting its legacy concerning the investigation and prosecution of sexual violence crimes and ascertaining lessons learned. Ms. Nabti previously worked on immigration and asylum claims involving gender-based violence, and investigated sexual and domestic violence in refugee camps in Thailand. Ms. Nabti served as a law clerk to Judges Hisashi Owada and Peter Tomka at the International Court of Justice, and Judge Stephen McNamee at the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. She obtained her Juris Doctor in 2002 from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Clinton.RobertProfessor Robert N. Clinton: Foundation Professor of Law, Faculty Fellow, Center for Law, Science & Innovation. Professor Clinton serves as Chief Justice of the Winnebago Supreme Court and as an Associate Justice for the Colorado River Indian Tribes Court of Appeals, the Hualapai Tribal Court of Appeals, and the Hopi Court of Appeals and as a Judge pro tem for the San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians. He also served for twenty years as an Associate Justice of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Court of Appeals, served as a temporary judge or arbitrator for other tribes, and acted as an expert witness or consultant in Indian law and cyberlaw cases. Robert N. Clinton currently serves as the Foundation Professor of Law at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University and as an Affiliated Faculty member of the ASU American Indian Studies Program. He is also a Faculty Fellow in the Center for Law, Science, & Innovation. Professor Clinton was born and raised in the Detroit, Michigan metropolitan area. He did his undergraduate work at the University of Michigan where he received a B.A. in political science in 1968 and attended the University of Chicago Law School, receiving his J.D. in 1971.Professor Clinton has visited as a scholar or teacher at the law schools of the University of Michigan, Arizona State University, Cornell University, University of San Diego and the Faculty of Law of Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. Additionally, he has taught in the Pre-Law Summer Institute for American Indian and Native Alaskan Students sponsored by the American Law Center, Inc. Professor Clinton serves as Chief Justice of the Winnebago Supreme Court and as an Associate Justice for the Colorado River Indian Tribes Court of Appeals, the Hualapai Tribal Court of Appeals, and the Hopi Court of Appeals and as a Judge pro tem for the San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians.He also served for twenty years as an Associate Justice of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Court of Appeals, served as a temporary judge or arbitrator for other tribes, and acted as an expert witness or consultant in Indian law and cyberlaw cases. Professor Clinton teaches and writes about federal Indian law, tribal law, Native American history, constitutional law, federal courts, cyberspace law, copyrights, and civil procedure. His publications include numerous articles on federal Indian law and policy, constitutional law, and federal jurisdiction. He is the co-author of casebooks on Indian law and federal courts, The Handbook of Federal Indian Law (1982 ed.), multiple editions of American Indian Law: Native Nations and the Federal System, Colonial and American Indian Treaties (a collection on CD-ROM ), and over 25 major articles on federal Indian law, American constitutional law and history, and federal courts, most of which are available online from the Publications link on this website.

The Armenian Genocide in a Comparative Perspective  


jason.brunerProfessor Jason Bruner: Asst Professor of Global Christianity, School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies, Arizona State University. Jason Bruner is an Assistant Professor of Global Christianity in the School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies at Arizona State University. He is a historian of Christianity with a specific interest in the cultural and religious history of East and Central Africa in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He is currently working on a book manuscript titled Living Salvation in the East African Revival, which is a historical study of a Christian revival movement in late colonial Uganda.


Barlow-Der-MugrdechianProfessor Barlow Der Mugrdechian: Director, Center for Armenian Studies, Fresno State University. Barlow Der Mugrdechian is the Coordinator of the Armenian Studies Program and Director of the Center for Armenian Studies at Fresno State. He was appointed to the position in August of 2008. In 1985, he was hired at California State University, Fresno by the Armenian Studies Program and he has taught courses in Armenian language, history, literature, culture, art, church and a variety of other topics on Armenia and the Armenians for the past thirty years. He received his M.A. and C. Philosophy degrees from UCLA, where he majored in Armenian Language and Literature through the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Literatures. Der Mugrdechian is the co-editor with Dickran Kouymjian of the newly-releasedDavid of Sassoun: Critical Essays on the Armenian Epic (The Press at California State University, Fresno, 2013). Der Mugrdechian edited the volume, Between Paris and Fresno: Armenian Studies in Honor of Dickran Kouymjian, (Mazda Press, 2008), 761 pp. The Festschrift encompasses articles from forty-five scholars from throughout the world, writing in a variety of disciplines, to honor Dr. Dickran Kouymjian. In 1996 Der Mugrdechian received the 1995-1996 Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. In December of 2000, Der Mugrdechian was honored with an honorary Doctorate Degree from Yerevan State University. In 2008 Der Mugrdechian was named as the editor of the “Armenian Series” at The Press at California State University, Fresno. Armenian titled books in a variety of disciplines will be published in the Series. Der Mugrdechian also translated Alice Navasargian’s, Iran-Armenia: Golden Bridges. Twentieth Century Iranian-Armenian Painters. Ed. Shahen Khachaturian. (AAA Publishing: Glendale) in 1997 and has published articles and book reviews in the area of Armenian literature and history.

Anna-Cichopek-GajrajProfessor Anna Cichopek-Gajraj: Asst. Professor of History, School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies, Arizona State University. Anna Cichopek-Gajraj is an assistant professor of East European Jewish History in School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies at ASU. She earned her Ph.D. in History from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 2008 and has an M.A. in History from the Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Poland. Her fields of expertise include modern East European Jewish history (in particular Poland and Czechoslovakia/Slovakia), history of modern Poland and Polish/Jewish relations, Holocaust and post-Holocaust studies, history of antisemitism, comparative and social history, and theories of ethnicity, violence, and nationalism. Her M.A. thesis on the pogrom in Cracow in August 1945 (winner of the Jan Józef Lipski Prize for the Best M.A. Thesis in Poland) was published as a book in 2000 [in Polish]. Her new book, Beyond Violence: Jewish Survivors in Poland and Slovakia in 1944-1948 (Cambridge University Press, 2014), is a comparative study of the non-Jewish/Jewish relations in Poland and Slovakia after the Second World War. She has also contributed to Contested Memories: Poles and Jews during the Holocaust and its Aftermath (Zimmerman, 2003) and has articles and reviews published in Shofar, East European Jewish Affairs, and AJS Review, among others. She is currently working on Jewish immigration from Poland to the US in the postwar years 1945-1954.

James-Riding-In2Professor James Riding In: Assc Professor, American Indian Studies, Arizona State University. James Riding In, a citizen of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma, received an AA degree from Haskell Indian Junior College, a baccalaureate in history from Fort Lewis College, and a master’s in American Indian studies and a doctorate in U.S. history from UCLA. He is an associate professor of American Indian Studies at Arizona State University, where he teaches courses dealing with the issues of sovereignty, repatriation, sacred sites, activism, and human rights. His scholarly works have been published in numerous academic journals and books. He is the co-editor of Native Historians Write Back: Decolonizing American Indian History (2011), a past president of the American Indian Studies Association, and a featured writer of the National Museum of the American Indian’s writer series. He is the editor of Wicazo Sa Review: A Journal of Native American Studies.

                                                                 Armenian Futures: Reconciliation and Remediation


Jewish-Community-CenterSteve Tepper: Executive Director, East Valley Jewish Community Center. Steve Tepper is currently the CEO/Executive Director for the East Valley JCC. In addition to his duties at the JCC, Steve is also staffing the development of the Center for Holocaust Education & Human Dignity, our state’s first and only Holocaust museum dedicated to preventing hate, intolerance, and future genocides.



Hubert-Humphrey-FellowArmen Sargsyan: Hubert Humphrey Fellow, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Arizona State University. Armen Sargsyan is a journalist, scriptwriter and producer at Media Initiatives Center in Armenia (www.media.am), and was recently granted the prestigious Hubert Humphrey Fellowship at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. Armen Sargsyan is involved in the production team of Media Initiative Center that produces documentary films examining conflict narratives from various societal perspectives. The narratives include the origin of the conflict, its phases of development and its challenges. Armen took part in the project Armenia Turkey Media Dialogue Project that expanded interaction between journalists and filmmakers of Armenia and Turkey. He produced 12 independent short documentaries in Armenia and in Turkey made by young professionals from both countries. Armen Sargsyan’s last project was the film production series “Memories Without Borders,” which challenges audiences to ask: what do we choose to remember about others, and what do others choose to remember about us? Previously Armen Sargsyan hosted award winning Armenian talk show “Before We Vote,”  an innovative coverage of current affairs in politics, economics and human rights. His research film “South Tyrol: The Weather In The Mountains” about WWI impact on Austria and Italy won the Yerevan Press Club professional prize on covering the conflicts.

Rabbi-Dr.-Shmuly-Yanklowitz2Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz: Executive Director, Valley Beit Midrash. Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz is the Executive Director of the Valley Beit Midrash, the Founder and President of Uri L’Tzedek, and the Founder and CEO of The Shamayim V’Aretz Institute. Rav Shmuly completed his Masters at Yeshiva University in Jewish Philosophy, a Masters at Harvard in Moral Psychology and a Doctorate at Columbia in Epistemology and Moral Development. He is the author of seven books on Jewish ethics and was listed in Newsweek’s “America’s Top 50 Rabbis for 2012 and 2013.

Björn-KrondorferProfessor Björn Krondorfer: Endowed Professor of Religious Studies, Director, the Martin Springer Institute, Northern Arizona University. Björn Krondorfer is Director of the Martin-Springer Institute at Northern Arizona University and Endowed Professor of Religious Studies in the Department of Comparative Cultural Studies. His field of expertise is religion, gender, culture, (post-) Holocaust studies, Western religious thought, and reconciliation studies. He is the recipient of the Norton Dodge Award for Scholarly and Creative Achievements. Publications include Male Confessions: Intimate Revelations and the Religious Imagination (Stanford UP), Men and Masculinities in Christianity and Judaism (London, SCM), and Remembrance and Reconciliation (Yale UP). He also published three volumes in German on the cultural and theological legacy of the Holocaust. His scholarship helped to define the field of Critical Men’s Studies in Religions; currently, he explores the connections between memory, restorative justice, and social/moral repair. Nationally and internationally, Krondorfer facilitates intercultural encounters and works on reconciliation and social repair, including Germany, Poland, South Africa and Israel/Palestine.

alex-alvarez-195Professor Alex Alvarez: Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Northern Arizona University. Dr. Alex Alvarez is a Professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Northern Arizona University. From 2001 until 2003 he was the founding Director of the Martin-Springer Institute for Teaching the Holocaust, Tolerance, and Humanitarian Values. His main areas of study are in the areas of collective and interpersonal violence, including homicide and genocide. His first book, Governments, Citizens, and Genocide, was published by Indiana University Press in 2001. His other books include Murder American Style (2002), Violence: the Enduring Problem (2007, 2013 2nd ed.), Genocidal Crimes (2009), and Native America and the Question of Genocide (2014). He has also served as an editor for the journal Violence and Victims, was a founding co-editor of the journal Genocide Studies and Prevention, was a co-editor of the H-Genocide List Serve, and is an editorial board member for the journals War Crimes, Genocide, and Crimes Against Humanity: An International Journal, Genocide Studies International, and Idea: A Journal of Social Issues. He has been invited to speak and present his research in various countries such as Austria, Bosnia, Canada, England, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden.


From the Ashes: Perspectives on Post-Genocide Culture


Lee-BeboutProfessor Lee Bebout: Asst. Professor, Department of English, Arizona State University. Professor Bebout teaches in the fields of Chicano/a and American studies and Critical Race Theory at ASU. He received his PhD in American Studies from Purdue University, and his book Mythohistorical Interventions: The Chicano Movement and Its Legacies, was published in 2011.



Ani-KalayjianjpgDr. Ani Kalayjian: Professor of Psychology, Columbia University, President, Armenian American Society for Studies on Stress and Genocide. Dr. Kalayjian is an expert on the psychological effects of trauma in disaster victims, and the author of the authoritative handbook, Disaster & Mass Trauma: Global Perspectives in Post Disaster Mental Health Management. She has worked extensively with veterans of the Gulf and Vietnam wars, with survivors of the Holocaust and Ottoman-Turkish Genocide of the Armenians, and with survivors of earthquakes and hurricanes. She is the founder and president of the Association for Trauma Outreach and Prevention (ATOP), formerly known as the Association for Disaster and Mass Trauma Studies, which is affiliated with the United Nations Department of Public Information. Through ATOP, Dr. Kalayjian travels around the world lecturing on sociopolitical violence and the psychosocial and spiritual effects of trauma, as well as on avoiding such trauma through conflict transformation, peace education, mind-body-eco-spirit health. The MeaningfulWorld Humanitarian Outreach Program developed by Dr. Kalayjian utilizes the 7-Step Integrative Healing Model, through which various aspects of dispute, conflict, or disagreement are assessed, identified, explored, processed, worked through, and reintegrated with the lessons learned from the process. Dr. Kalayjian holds a Masters and Doctor of Education degree from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Patty-Ferguson-BohneeProf. Patty Ferguson-Bohnee: Faculty Director, Indian Legal Program, ASU Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. Patty Ferguson-Bohnee is a Professor at ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. She has worked in Indian Law, election law and policy matters, voting rights, and status clarification of tribes. As a Fulbright Scholar to France, Professor Ferguson-Bohnee researched French colonial relations with Louisiana Indians in the 17th and 18th centuries. She is a member of the Pointe-au-Chien Indian tribe.

Creators of the Creative Collective 99 and Counting. 99 And Counting is a creative collective featuring the thoughts, opinions, and experiences of Armenians in the diaspora and non-Armenian advocates, providing thousands of readers with the opportunity to understand the relevance and continued importance of the Armenian Genocide. (99andcounting.com).

Naira-KuzmichNaira Kuzmich: Author and PhD Candidate, University of Missouri. Naira Kuzmich was born in Yerevan, Armenia and raised in the Los Angeles enclave of Little Armenia. Her stories and essays can be found in The Threepenny Review, Guernica, West Branch, Ninth Letter, Blackbird, and elsewhere. Currently she’s a Ph.D. student in English at the University of Missouri.

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