Current Institutional Affiliation
Doctoral Candidate, University Of Chicago

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2015
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago
Evildoers, Rebels, Anarchists: Armenian Revolutionary Parties and Violence in Oppositional Politics in the Late Ottoman Empire

The last quarter of the nineteenth century was marked by the spread of the use of violent methods in oppositional politics throughout the globe. Concepts and ideological terminology made available by the global popularization of anarchism, socialism, and revolutions were adapted by social and political radicals within specific contexts. This dissertation seeks to study the practice of political violence by members of the two major Armenian revolutionary parties in the Ottoman Empire (the Hnchak Party and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation) between 1887 and 1908 within the context of a wider culture of individual and collective violence. The revolutionaries organized individual assassinations, bombings, and organized self-defense units in the countryside as a means to popularize their agenda, and engage with various audiences. Through extensive archival research in the Ottoman state archives in Turkey and the archives of the Foreign Office in the British National Archives, I intend to explore the logics and cultures of political violence as executed by its perpetrators, and as perceived and understood by its spectators. The identification and comparison of various practices of revolutionary violence in different settings as well as the intended and actual audiences of political violence constitutes one of the major goals of the project. The ideologies and practices of policing in Ottoman state institutions vis-a--vis the revolutionaries and Ottoman Armenians at large will also be examined as a constitutive part of the history of the Armenian revolutionary violence in this period. I hope to contribute to the debate on how political cultures and logics of violence are formed and reproduced by individuals and organizations that seek to represent such marginalized groups within society by focusing on an example from a period considered by many scholars as the formative years of modern political violence.