Royal Holloway University of London
Departmental Research seminars 2016/2017
Dr Becky Jinks (RHUL) – “Marks Hard to Erase”?: The rescue and repatriation of Armenian women survivors, 1919-1927
During the Armenian genocide of 1915, many thousands of women and children were kidnapped or sold from the deportation columns into Turkish, Kurdish, or Arab households, where they lived as wives, servants, or concubines. After the Armistice, various humanitarian organisations, including the American charity Near East Relief and the League of Nations, set about reclaiming these Christian women and children from Moslem homes as part of the relief work, and reintegrating them into the Armenian community. This paper will focus on American and European humanitarian responses to the “problem” of how to reintegrate Armenian women who had survived the 1915 genocide in Muslim households – especially those who had been tattooed on their hands and faces during their time with the Bedouin of northern Syria.
Introduction by Professor Humayun Ansari (RHUL):
A revised and expanded version of this paper will be published in the American Historical Review in February 2018