The Modern Assyrian Heritage Project sponsors and hosts scholars, researchers, and professionals working to advance modern Assyrian studies to present their work to the community. These lectures are public, free, and open to both campus and community. The MAHP records and preserves the lectures for archiving in the Sarguis Modern Assyrian Heritage Collection in Vasche Library, and for viewing here.
"Cultural and Political Legacies of Genocide: Assyrians, Armenians, Yezidis, and Kurds under Ottoman and Iraqi Rule," 7:30 pm on 3 May 2018, Bizzini Hall 204
Dr. Hannibal Travis (Florida International University)
Scholars of genocide and human rights studies demonstrate the link between the failure to punish and commemorate genocide with a risk of a recurrence. After achieving its independence in 1932, there emerged in northern Iraq an identifiable "zone of genocide" near its borders with Turkey and Syria. In this talk, Dr. Travis analyzes why the cultures of modern Assyrians and Yezidis in northern Iraqi came under assault repeatedly between 1887 and 1937, and again between 1977 and 2017. He will explore the historical and legal interconnections between the Ottoman Empire's Christian genocides, its genocide denial, and the contemporary dangers of genocide/denial in Iraq and Syria. Dr. Travis argues that scholars must confront questions concerning the former Ottoman Empire's history and present situation, including questions of identity, historiography, legal categorization, and political evolution. This event is free and open to the public.
"A Brief History of the Assyrian Scripts," 3 November 2017
Wilfred Bet-Alkhas (San Jose State University)
A lecturer in Assyrian Language at San Jose State University, "rabi" Wilfred Bet-Alkhas is known in the Assyrian communities around the world as the editor and publisher of ZINDA magazine and has twice served as Education Chairman for the Assyrian American National Federation. This talk is a historical introduction to the modern Assyrian scripts. It covers the development of the Assyrian writing system over 3,000 years of history and introduces the pedagogies Bet-Alkhas uses to teach Assyrian to non-native speakers. This lesson derives from Bet-Alkhas’s current work on a Modern Assyrian language textbook, to be published in the coming year.
A recording of Wilfred Bet-Alkhas's lecture can be viewed online via Stanislaus State's Mediasite.