“In this special episode, our new Keyman Postdoctoral Fellow Anoush Tamar Suni interviewed David Leupold on his new book Embattled Dreamlands: The Politics of Contesting Armenian, Kurdish and Turkish Memory, which explores the intertwined histories of Armenian, Turkish, and Kurdish communities with a particular focus on the violent history of the Genocide of Ottoman Armenians in 1915. Moving through multiple issues like histories of violence, exclusionary national narratives and their counternarratives, multiple toponymies, the everyday experience of the land, the conversation sheds light on how these contested histories inform the lives of the past and inhabitants of these geographies that transcend the boundaries of nation states. At the end of the episode, Dr. Leupold also offers a nuanced reading of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict by explaining how the memory regimes of nation states create a vicious circle of violence built on denying the trauma of the other.”

David Leupold is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at the Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient Berlin in the research unit “Representations of the Past as a Mobilising Force.” Previously, he was a Manoogian postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Michigan. Dr. Leupold received his Ph.D. in Social Sciences from Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin in 2018. His research has appeared in the journal Iran and the Caucasus, and this year, his monograph, entitled Embattled Dreamlands: The Politics of Contesting Armenian, Kurdish and Turkish Memory, was published by Routledge. Dr. Leupold’s new book explores the intertwined histories of Armenian, Turkish, and Kurdish communities with a particular focus on the violent history of the Genocide of Ottoman Armenians in 1915. With his proficiency in Turkish, Kurdish, Armenian, Russian, Farsi, German and English, Dr. Leupold brings together a wide variety of historical and contemporary written sources as well oral history interviews that he conducted during fieldwork in both Armenia and in southeastern Turkey.

Anoush Tamar Suni is the 2020-2022 Keyman Modern Turkish Studies Postdoctoral Fellow at Northwestern University. She earned her PhD in anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2019. For her doctoral dissertation, entitled “Palimpsests of Violence: Ruination and the Politics of Memory in Anatolia,” she spent over two years (2015-2017) in the region of Van, in southeastern Turkey, conducting ethnographic research. She is currently working on her book project, which investigates questions of memory and the material legacies of state violence in the region of Van with a focus on the historic Armenian and contemporary Kurdish communities. Prior to coming to Northwestern, she was a Manoogian Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Armenian Studies Program and the Department of Anthropology at the University of Michigan.