The Transnational Life and Agency of Aroussiag Iskian: Retracing the Steps of an Obscure Armenian Woman from Marsovan [Merzifon] to New York. 

Location Ankara - Hybrid Event

Date and time Tuesday 25 October 2022
16:00 - 17:30 (London GMT)
19:00 - 20:30 (Ankara UTC+3)

Speakers Gizem Pilavcı
British Institute at Ankara

Event Summary

This lecture revolves around the unstudied figure of Aroussiag Iskian, née Torykian, of Marsovan, in the global context of late 19th- and 20th-century displacement, transnationalism, and coloniality by offering a microhistorical analysis of her life and her agency as a well-educated Armenian woman and genocide survivor, in an attempt to restore her voice and rewrite her into history. With its extensive spatial scope, this examination of Aroussiag ventures beyond the confines of area studies and explores the dense entanglements in translocal, transimperial, and transnational connectivities in the spaces she traversed. In tracing her steps and unveiling her intersectionality that cut across different axes and landscapes, the lecture also engages with the multiple layers of Aroussiag’s neglect by the historical enterprise.  

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Event Speakers

Gizem Pilavcı

British Institute at Ankara

Gizem Pilavcı is a historian of the Ottoman Empire predominantly specialising in Armenian experiences and agency in the late modern period. She has an M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Chicago and an M.St in Syriac Studies from the University of Oxford. Her D.Phil, completed at the University of Oxford in 2021, aimed to explore the activities, experiences, aspirations, and social impact of particular members of the Manas family by taking an ‘interactive history’ approach. She is currently in her second year at the BIAA as a postdoctoral research fellow. Her research horizon extends beyond the study of the Armenians to Syriac Christians, whose (hi)stories form the predominant focus of her research agenda for this year.