Armenian, Assyrian and Hellenic Genocide News

Academic Conference on the Asia Minor Catastrophe

Posted: Monday, October 19, 2009 at 06:31 PM CT

The Pontian Greek Society of Chicago with the support of the Federation of Greek American Organizations “ENOSIS”, the Hellenic Link-Midwest and the Pontian Greek Federation of US and Canada invite you to attend an all day conference to be held at the Westin Hotel, 6100 River Road, Rosemont, Illinois on Saturday, November 7, from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

This conference entitled “Academic Conference on the Asia Minor Catastrophe” will focus on the Hellenic experience in Asia Minor, Pontus and Eastern Thrace during the early part of the 20th century and the events that followed the "Megali Catastrophe”. Several scholars are scheduled to present original papers on these events, which our organization has been granted permission to publish (please see attached program for a list of scholars and the titles of their presentations).

Academic Conference on the Asia Minor Catastrophe
Westin Hotel, 6100 River Road, Rosemont, Illinois
Saturday, November 7, 2009

Hosted by The Pontian Greek Society of Chicago

Morning Session

8:00 – 8:30 Coffee and social hour
8:30 – 9:15 Opening remarks
9:15 9:30 Mr. George Shirinian (Director of the Zoryan Institute, Toronto Canada)
9:30 – 10:45 Dr. Taner Akcam (Associate Professor – History Dept., Clark University, Worchester, MA)
The Greek "Deportations" and Massacres of 1913-1914. A Trial Run for the Armenian Genocide
10:45 – 12:00 Dr. Constantine Hatzidimitriou (Adjunct Professor St. Johns University, NY)
Official and Unofficial American Reactions to the Asia Minor "Catastrophe" - what the Documentary Evidence Reveals
12:00 – 1:00 PM Lunch

Afternoon Session

1:00 – 2:15 Matthias Bjornlund (Historian and Researcher)
Aspects of Western Sources and Interpretations of the Pontian Genocide
2:15 – 3:30 Dr. Alexander Kitroeff (Associate Professor of History, Haverford College, PA)
The Plight of the Greek Refugees After the Break-up of the Ottoman Empire
3:30 4:45 Dr. Van Coufoudakis (Dean Emeritus of the College of Arts and Sciences Purdue University, Indiana)
Turkey’s Deliberate and Systematic Violations of International Agreements since 1923
4:45 – 5:00 Closing remarks by Dr. C. Hatzidimitriou
Placing the events of the Anatolian Genocide in the Broader Context of Hellenic and World History

This event is a follow-up to the May 2008 conference titled “The Catastrophe in Asia Minor and Pontus” where the following important issues were addressed:

  • The establishment of a research center to attract the world’s leading scholars on this subject matter
  • The reprint of rare books focusing on the events in the region between 1908-1923
  • The translation of important books and documents from Greek and other languages to English
  • The establishment of a library where historically significant material will be organized, preserved, and made easily accessible

Over the last few years, our organization has worked on identifying, collecting, and reprinting historically significant books, which we hope to make available to scholars in a central location.

The upcoming paper presentations will allow us to publish material that is needed in the academic world. We believe it is not only humanity’s moral duty to remember the expulsions, massacres, and genocides that have marred history, but to promote awareness of such terrible events to prevent their future reoccurrence. Unfortunately, English-language documentation of the tragedy of Hellenism in Asia Minor and Pontus is rather scant and limited to old, fragile books that are falling apart in our nation’s libraries. Only through new, historically valuable works will we be able to inform our fellow citizens about the Greek genocide, and combat those who would deny the veracity of these documents for their own politically expedient reasons.

The ancient Hellenic civilization that arose in Asia Minor and Pontus contributed to the enrichment of human knowledge in fields ranging from philosophy, history and poetry to astronomy and mathematics - to this day, the world continues to benefit from these achievements, and we strongly believe it is the duty of every Greek and philhellene to preserve this rich cultural legacy while remembering and understanding the reasons behind its destruction in its ancestral homelands.

We sincerely hope that you will join us in making this event a success. Enclosed is the program with further details along with a registration form.

We kindly ask that you consider contributing to help underwrite the conference. All sponsors will be recognized in the Conference Program Book. Please complete the appropriate portion of the Registration Form and return it with your check made payable to Pontian Greek Society of Chicago, P.O. Box 6127 Bloomingdale IL., 60108-6127 in the enclosed return envelope.

Thank you for your support. We look forward to seeing you at the conference.

Dimitris Georgakopoulos
Kostas Tzanos
Hellenic Link
Dimitris Molohidis
Pontian Federation
George Mavropoulos
Pontian Greek Society

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