Harry Harootunian - "The Unspoken as Heritage" - James Chandler & Thomas Lamarre

Wednesday, May 3, 2023 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Harry Harootunian

Harry Harootunian will discuss The Unspoken as Heritage. He will be joined in conversation by James Chandler and Thomas Lamarre.

This event will be held in person at The Seminary Co-op. At this time, masks are required for in-store events.


About the book: In this meditation on loss, inheritance, and survival, renowned historian Harry Harootunian explores the Armenian genocide's multigenerational afterlives that remain at the heart of the Armenian diaspora by sketching the everyday lives of his parents, who escaped the genocide in the 1910s. In the 1910s historian Harry Harootunian's parents Ohannes and Vehanush escaped the mass slaughter of the Armenian genocide, making their way to France, where they first met, before settling in suburban Detroit. Although his parents rarely spoke of their families and the horrors they survived, the genocide and their parents' silence about it was a permanent backdrop to the Harootunian children's upbringing. In The Unspoken as Heritage Harootunian—for the first time in his distinguished career—turns to his personal life and family heritage to explore the genocide's multigenerational afterlives that remain at the heart of the Armenian diaspora. Drawing on novels, anecdotes, and reports, Harootunian presents a composite sketch of the everyday life of his parents, from their childhood in East Anatolia to the difficulty of making new lives in the United States. A meditation on loss, inheritance, and survival—in which Harootunian attempts to come to terms with a history that is just beyond his reach—The Unspoken as Heritage demonstrates how the genocidal past never leaves the present, even in its silence.

About the author: Harry Harootunian is the Max Palevsky Professor of History, Emeritus, at the University of Chicago, and the Former Chair of East Asian Studies and Professor of History at NYU. Currently, he is the Associate Research Scholar at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Science. His recent books include Uneven Moments, The Unspoken as Heritage, and Archaism and Actuality; Japan and the Global Fascist Imaginary.

About the interlocutors: James Chandler teaches in the Departments of English and Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago. He has published extensively on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literature--especially in Romantic studies, Irish Studies, and Scottish Studies--and also on the history of cinema. His books include England in 1819: The Politics of Literary Culture and the Case of Romantic Historicism, An Archaeology of Sympathy: The Sentimental Mode in Literature and Cinema, and Doing Criticism: Across Literary and Screen Arts. This past year he held the Avery Distinguished Fellowship at the Huntington Library to work on his current book project: Figures in a Field: Wordsworth and Edgeworth. Since 1989 he has served as General Editor of the monograph series Cambridge Studies in Romanticism.

Thomas Lamarre teaches in the departments of Cinema and Media Studies and East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. Publications on media, thought, and material history include work on communication networks in 9th century Japan (Uncovering Heian Japan); silent cinema and the global imaginary (Shadows on the Screen); animation technologies (The Anime Machine) and infrastructure ecologies (The Anime Ecology). Major translations include Kawamata Chiaki’s Death Sentences, Muriel Combes’s Gilbert Simondon and the Philosophy of the Transindividual, David Lapoujade’s William James, Empiricism, and Pragmatism, and Isabelle Stengers’s Making Sense in Common

Event Location: 
Seminary Co-op Bookstores
5751 S. Woodlawn Ave
Chicago, IL 60637