the fire these times

79/ Erasures, Borders and the Afterlife of the Armenian Genocide (with Sophia Armen)

This is a conversation with Sophia Armen, an Armenian-American writer, scholar and organizer, about the legacy of the Armenian Genocide today.

We spoke about race in the Ottoman Empire and then in the Turkish republic, how the genocide changed Armenian cosmology, the cruel absurdity of borders and various other topics. We also got into Palestine as well as our various positionalities. Sophia shared a lot about her own family’s story in what is now Turkey.

Topics Discussed:

  • The legacy of the Armenian genocide and Sophia’s personal story
  • Pan-Turkish nationalism and its denial of the Armenian heritage of the modern Turkish state
  • How the Armenian genocide changed the entire Armenian cosmology, including the sea
  • The cruel absurdity of borders
  • Armenians in Turkey today
  • The Palestinian cause today and Turkey’s role
  • The Turkish government’s lobbying in the US
  • Our specific positionalities
  • How simply reversing the clash of civilizations thesis is also racist
  • Racialization, ‘whiteness’, and Armenian-Americans in history and today

Book Recommendations:

Film Recommendation:

  • Ararat directed by Atom Egoyan

My Book Recommendations

  • An Armenian Sketchbook by Vasily Grossman
  • Goodbye, Antoura: A Memoir of the Armenian Genocide by Karnig Panian
  • Armenian Golgotha: A Memoir of the Armenian Genocide, 1915-1918 by Grigoris Balakian
  • The Armenians of Aintab: The Economics of Genocide in an Ottoman Province by Ümit Kurt

If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer.

Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options.

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Music by Tarabeat.

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