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Melissa Bilal presents “The Guitar and the Tome of Sorrows: Gender, Music, and Memory in the Nineteenth Century Armenian Intellectual Awakening”

In this talk, I will argue for the centrality of music in the nineteenth century gendered imaginations of the ancestral Armenian homeland and of the “awakening” of Armenian people to its calamitous history. My presentation will specifically focus on Elbis Gesaratsyan (1830-1911), the editor of the first Armenian women’s journal published in Ottoman Constantinople. I will contextualize Gesaratsyan’s writings in Gitar [Guitar, 1862-1863] to discuss the interrelatedness of discourses on gender, sexuality, body, emotion, culture, history, nation, modernity, land, and music in the nineteenth century Armenian intellectual narratives.

Sponsored by Women’s and Gender Studies

Lunch will be served

Events are open to all community members. We welcome people of every identity, ability/disability, and background, and will strive to meet all needs for full participation.