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The Hamidian Massacres of 1894-97: Challenging Traditional PerspectivesRemains of an Armenian village in the province of Bitlis left by its inhabitants during the 1894-97 massacres. Image by Jelle Verheij.

The Hamidian Massacres of 1894-97: Challenging Traditional Perspectives

Over the course of three years in the mid-1890s (1894-1897), tens of thousands of Ottoman Armenians were killed in pogroms known as the Hamidian massacres—after Sultan Abdülhamid II (reigned 1876-1909). Despite being known contemporarily as "the great massacres" among Armenians and the importance of this period for Ottoman-Kurdish-Armenian relations, the massacres received very little scholarly attention, even by specialists in Armenian history, until the late 1990s. Only in the last two decades have research articles appeared, primarily case studies of individual massacres.

Dr. Jelle Verheij (University of Amsterdam) is the author of several works on the Hamidian massacres, and his research articles of the late 1990s were among the first on the subject. His Ph.D. thesis is a voluminous 800-page study that may pass for the first comprehensive monograph on the massacres. Dr. Owen Miller, the author of a thesis and several research articles on the Sasun massacre of 1894 and its background, will discuss with Jelle Verheij his findings and the need for revision of the traditional perspectives, touching on many of the key issues and players: the death toll, characteristics and motivation of the perpetrators, the roles of the Ottoman authorities, foreign powers and Armenian revolutionary parties.

Jelle Verheij, Ph.D.,  is an independent researcher (historian) specializing in the history of the 19th-century Ottoman Empire, Armenian-Ottoman-Kurdish relations and historical geography. Since the 1990s, Verheij has worked on the Hamidian massacres of 1894-97 and is the author of several articles on the subject (1998, 1999, 2012) and a Ph.D. thesis, The Armenian Massacres of the Hamidian period, 1894-97. An Empirical Inquiry, Amsterdam University, 2022.

Owen Miller received his Ph.D. in International and Global History from Columbia University in 2015. Before joining the Bilkent faculty, Dr. Miller taught at Columbia, Cornell University, Pratt, Emerson, and Union Colleges. His primary fields of research are Ottoman-US relations, lowland-upland relations, and global histories of missionaries. He is currently working on a monograph on a US missionary family in Hawaii, the Ottoman Empire, and the US South.

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Sponsor(s): Armenian Genocide Research Program, The Promise Armenian Institute

31 May 23
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

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