Upon the 100th anniversary of World War I and the genocide of the Armenians, it is important to recognize the Armenian Genocide as a pivotal turning point in the history of genocide prevention, international law, and human rights. In fact, Raphael Lemkin, who coined the term genocide, did so in response to the systematic massacres of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. Students and teachers studying this history will examine some of the key challenges of the 20th and 21st centuries: genocide prevention, the dangers of nationalism, the limits of sovereignty, justice after genocide, and nation building.
Banner art: The Artist and His Mother by Arshile Gorky, ca. 1926-1936, courtesy of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.