On Wednesday, May 22 at 7 PM in the Guild Hall, Dzovinar Derderian, from the Department of Middle East Studies at the University of Michigan, will present the final lecture in the Spring 2019 Series on Migration. Her talk, Voices of Vanetsi Pandukhts (travelers and migrants) in Constantinople, 1850s-1870s, explores migration within the Ottoman Empire in the nineteenth century. Please note that this is a different date than the one appearing on the original Spring 2019 Schedule. While our series on migration has addressed the migration of Armenians from the Ottoman Empire and Turkey, especially as a result of the Armenian Genocide, as well as movement of artifacts and manuscripts, Derderian’s talk offers a perspective on the consequential migration of Armenians within the Ottoman Empire, mostly from the Eastern provinces from Istanbul. The material from this Enrichment Evening draws on Derderian’s deep expertise as a historian of the Van region and the development of ideas about the Armenian nation. As always, a reception will follow. All are invited!
This talk will focus on pandukhts from Van in Constantinople. The word “pandukht” referred to people who were away from their patria. Pandukhts from Van in Constantinople included merchants, clergymen, students and most of all in the mid-nineteenth century, labor migrants. Pandukhts in the existing scholarship and popular discourse are often thought of as destitute and melancholic people. This talk will demonstrate how voices of the pandukhts became a site of power and their very physical presence in the Ottoman capital in large numbers represented a lever of negotiation. Van Armenians referred to pandukhts as representatives of their voice and mentioned the pandukhts in their petitions to put further pressure on the Constantinople Armenian Patriarchate.
Dzovinar Derderian recently received her PhD Candidate from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in the Department of Middle East Studies. Her dissertation is entitled “Nation-Making and the Language of Colonialism: Voices from Ottoman Van in Armenian Print Media and Handwritten Petitions (1820s to 1870s).” She has co-edited a volume entitled The Ottoman East in the Nineteenth Century: Societies, Identities and Politics (I.B. Tauris, 2016). She currently serves on the editorial board of Études arméniennes contemporaines and serves in the Executive Council of the Society of Armenian Studies.