Public History Articles
More of a methods piece (ok, full disclosure: it’s based on an anecdote that my adviser didn’t like for my intro chapter), this is a blog post in which I recount one of my first outings presenting new information from my dissertation research, the guy who told me I was wrong about everything, and what I think it all means. And why it’s important.
Searching for Armenian Children in Turkey (Work series on Migration, Exile, and Displacement) Column for Not Even Past, October 2017.
In 1915, the Ottoman government rounded up the civilian Armenian population and forced them to march hundreds of miles into the Syrian desert. Most never arrived, having been killed, starved, or frozen to death. When the deportation orders were issued, some Armenian parents left their children with Turkish neighbors, coworkers, and friends, and others were given away en route. Many of these Turkish families raised the children as their own, sometimes even concealing the secret of the origins. After the war, a small League of Nations program staffed by only three people, the Near East Refugee Aid (NERA) had one mission: to locate these child survivors of the Armenian Genocide. However, as I discovered when reading through this unexpected archival find, NERA’s agents often refused to recognize the relationship between Turkish parents and Armenian children as genuine, leading to yet a second round of traumatic separations.
Mapping & Microbes (The New Archive, No. 22), Column for Not Even Past, September 2017
A short article detailing my experience turning reports of epidemic diseases Egypt during WWI into visual form using ARCGIS mapping software. I compiled a spreadsheet of almost 800 records for the period between late 1914 and mid-1919 from the official Egyptian government journal al-Waqa’i’ al-Masriyya. The next question was what to do with this data. I was certain the diseases would tell me something, if I could just figure out how to get them to speak. After some trial and error, I began teaching myself to use ARCGIS and plug in data to represent the outbreaks visually. In the end, I have clusters of locations and specific dates to look for. But the maps have also given me more questions—Is there a correlation between a two-year outbreak of cattle plague and the rampant inflation in the cost of food during the war? Does the death of 139,000 Egyptians due to influenza at war’s end have anything to do with the eruption of a populist uprising just six weeks later? And why is this most deadly epidemic absent from the press and the pages of the official gazetteer?
Review of Paul M. Cobb, “The Race for Paradise: An Islamic History of the Crusades.” (World History Connected, 13:3, October 2016.)
Review of Afsaneh Najmabadi, “Professing Selves: Transsexuality and Same-Sex Desire in Contemporary Iran,” E3W Review of Books , 16:1 “Hybrid Archives & Crossed Disciplines,” (2016), 62-63.
Review of Giancarlo Casale, “The Ottoman Age of Exploration,” Not Even Past, January 2013.