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The Guitar and the Tome of Sorrows: Gender, Music, and Memory in the Nineteenth Century Armenian Intellectual Awakening

Presented by Melissa Bilal

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.

Location: E51-275

Earlier Event: February 23
WGS Intellectual Forum: Kishonna Gray
Later Event: March 3
Women Take the Reel: 13th