The Armenian Genocide

The Politics of its Public Recognition in France (1998-2015)
Historian and Director of AGBU Nubar Library (Paris)
6:30 PM – Griffin 6

Throughout the year 2015, commemorations organized for the centennial of the Armenian genocide revealed great disparities, globally, in the representations and level of consciousness regarding the events of 1915. In the geopolitics concerning the recognition of the Armenian genocide, the status of France is particular. The French Parliament officially recognized the Armenian genocide in 2001 – well before Germany, and in contrast to many Western countries (the USA, UK, Israel, etc.), while Turkey still denies it. In the French mass media and political sphere, minimizing or denying the reality of this formerly “forgotten” genocide became deeply controversial even though debates continue to rage about “Memory Laws”. Public recognition of the Armenian genocide in France actually turned into a political and social issue, and not just a question of international diplomacy.

Boris Adjemian is a historian and the director of AGBU Nubar Library (Paris). He is also the editor-in-chief of the bilingual academic journal Études arméniennes contemporaines ( and member of the editorial committee of Vingtième Siècle: Revue d’histoire. He defended his PhD in 2011 at École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales and Università degli Studi di Napoli. His first book, entitled La fanfare du négus: les Arméniens en Éthiopie (19e-20e siècles), was published by Éditions de l’EHESS in 2013. His research focuses on diaspora, the history of migration, and the memory of mass violence.