Book launch THE BRITISH EMPIRE AND THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE by Professor Michelle Tusan University of Nevada, Las Vegas

  • Wiener Library 29 Russell Square London, England, WC1B 5DP United Kingdom

This talk explores the British Empire’s response to the 1915 Armenian genocide in which an estimated one million Armenians were killed. A leading power in the region and the world at the time, Britain and its Empire played a key role in determining the global response to these events as they unfolded in the Ottoman Empire. Newly uncovered archival material on imperial policy dating back to the 19th century and war crimes trial held after WWI to punish perpetrators show why it proved impossible to stop the violence and prosecute those responsible for the atrocities despite the emergence at the timeof the category of ‘crimes against humanity’ and one of the first ever international humanitarian campaigns. From Gladstonian idealism to Churchill’s imperial realpolitik, the British response to the Armenian genocide reveals the high stakes and legacies of the failure of a global hegemonic power to lead the prosecution of the architects of one of the classic cases of genocide in the modern period.

Michelle Tusan is Professor of History at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the author of Smyrna’s Ashes: Humanitarianism, Genocide and the Birth of the Middle East. She has published widely on the history of humanitarianism and human rights.

This talk explores the British Empire’s response to the 1915 Armenian genocide in which an estimated one million Armenians were killed. A leading power in the region and the world at the time, Britain and its Empire played a key role in determining the global response to these events as they unfolded in the Ottoman Empire. Newly uncovered archival material on imperial policy dating back to the 19th century and war crimes trial held after WWI to punish perpetrators show why it proved impossible to stop the violence and prosecute those responsible for the atrocities despite the emergence at the timeof the category of ‘crimes against humanity’ and one of the first ever international humanitarian campaigns. From Gladstonian idealism to Churchill’s imperial realpolitik, the British response to the Armenian genocide reveals the high stakes and legacies of the failure of a global hegemonic power to lead the prosecution of the architects of one of the classic cases of genocide in the modern period.

Michelle Tusan is Professor of History at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the author of Smyrna’s Ashes: Humanitarianism, Genocide and the Birth of the Middle East. She has published widely on the history of humanitarianism and human rights.