Experts to Probe Regional Factors Impacting Armenian Cause at ANCA Grassroots

November 21, 2013

The Syrian Crisis, the Kurdish Issue, Turkish Minorities and Armenian factors to be examined during ANCA Grassroots “Western Armenia” Panel

GLENDALE—On Saturday, November 30, a panel of international experts will gather at the Loews Hollywood Hotel to participate in the ANCA Grassroots ‘Western Armenia’ panel.

Panelists Bilgin Ayata, Henry Theriault, and Ruken Segul will discuss how regional factors and the socio-political changes, such as the Kurdish issue, the Syrian crisis, progressive movements in Turkey, and Azerbaijan’s aggression, impact the pursuit of the Armenian Cause. The panel will be moderated by Editor of the Armenian Weekly Khatchig Mouradian.

“The Western Armenia panel brings together a true powerhouse of esteemed academicians who have a thorough understanding of issues in the region. The ANCA Grassroots organizing committee put a lot of effort into bringing together this dynamic and credible group and we are excited to have them share their insights with the attendees of the much awaited conference,” stated ANCA Western Region Executive Director, Elen Asatyan.

Dr. Bilgin Ayata teaches International Relations at the department of Political Science, Freie Universität Berlin. Previously, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the KFG Transformative Power of Europe and at the Center for Area Studies at the Freie Universität. She has obtained her PhD in Political Science from John Hopkins University, Baltimore and her MA from York University, Toronto. Her research interests focus on forced migration, ethnic conflict, diasporas and politics of memory. Her regional focus encompasses the Middle East, the MENA region and Europe, in particular Turkey and the Kurdish conflict. In her dissertation, Ayata has examined Kurdish displacement with a transnational approach linking various forms of forced migration and their political repercussions.

Her latest research examined Turkish public debate about the renovation and musealization of the Armenian Church Surp Khach in Van. She has published on internal displacement, diaspora politics, minority governance in Turkey and Armenian-Kurdish reconciliation. Ayata will be traveling from her hometown Berlin, Germany to join the ANCA Grassroots Conference.

Dr. Henry Theriault is Professor and Chair of Philosophy at Worcester State University, where he teaches courses on genocide, mass violence against women, and related topics. He has published and lectured widely on his research which focuses on the relationship of genocide and sexual violence, victim-perpetrator relations in the long-term aftermath of genocide, genocide prevention, genocide denial, and reparations. He is co-editor of Genocide Studies International, the new peer-reviewed journal from the University of Toronto Press and the Zoryan Institutes’ International Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies and of Transaction Publishers’ Genocide: A Critical Bibliographic Review book series. Theriault is also the lead author of the forthcoming report of the Armenian Genocide Reparations Study Group.

Ruken Sengul has widely researched and published on violence and human rights in Turkish Kurdistan since the late-1990s. She has degrees in Political Science and International Relations and Sociology, and is currently completing her dissertation in cultural anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin. Based on long-term historical-ethnographic research in the city of Diyarbakir, her dissertation aims to offer counter geneaologies of identity, community and history here, as part of which she traced the multiple –historical, political and affective- transitivities between the Armenian pasts and Kurdish presents of the city at the registers of state sovereignty, masculinity, political struggle and memory. In another work-in-progress she explores the ways in which “what happened to the Armenians” has been reckoned with, interpreted and acted upon in the imaginings of Kurdishness in the twentieth-century Kurdish literature across different genres and political junctures.

Aside from serving as the Editor of the Armenian Weekly and the Program Coordinator of the Armenian Genocide Program at the Center for the Study of Genocide, Conflict Resolution, and Human Rights at Rutgers University, Khatchig Mouradian is a PhD Candidate in Genocide Studies at Clark University. He is currently writing his dissertation on the destruction of the Armenians in the Syrian Desert during the Armenian Genocide. Mouradian has lectured extensively and participated in conferences in Armenia, Turkey, Cyprus, Lebanon, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, Austria, Switzerland, Norway and the U.S. Over the past three years, he has visited Western Armenia more than a dozen times, documenting the destruction of Armenian heritage and interviewing locals.

The successful ANCA Grassroots Conference will return on Thanksgiving Weekend, this time in the heart of Hollywood at Loews Hotel. The event brings together academicians, artists, historians, legal experts and political officials who will make presentations about varied topics regarding the myriad aspects of the pursuit of Hye Tad.

The conference is open to the community, but requires registration. Register now by visiting or by calling 818.500.1918. To obtain updates on the conference, like the ANCA Western Region Facebook page at, visit or

The ANCA Grassroots Conference will bookend the annual ANCA Gala Banquet, which will take place on Saturday, November 30 at the Roy Dolby Ballroom and will feature a special menu created for the banquet by renowned chef Wolfgang Puck.

This year’s honorees include, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Primate of Artsakh Archbishop Barkev Martirosyan, Legendary Coach Jerry Tarkanian, Lifelong Philanthropist Manas Boujikian, Assemblymember Katcho Achadjian, and Activist and Filmmaker Ara Soudjian.

The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.


For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Elen Asatryan
Email / Tel: (818) 500-1918
Armenian National Committee of America
Western Region
104 N. Belmont, Suite 200, Glendale, CA 91206 * Tel. (818) 500-1918