(FLArmenians) – The Sarasota World Affairs Council (SWAC) hosted Dr. Susan Harper for an informative presentation on the Armenian Genocide entitled ‘Genocide and American Humanitarianism: Lessons from World War I and Its Aftermath’ at New College of Florida, in Sarasota, FL. The event took place on Tuesday, January 26 at 6:30 PM in the Sainer Auditorum.
Susan Harper is a non-resident scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She was Senior Officer at The Pew Charitable Trusts, a graduate of Yale University, and a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University. She discussed the role that the genocide in Armenia played in setting the precedent that has affected American response to genocide in all conflicts since World War I. The knowledge and compassion of Americans in reaction to the catastrophe in Armenia were not successful in stopping the killings, and a terrible precedent was born in 1915, which has haunted the United States and other Western countries throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.
Harper has researched and presented on the Armenian Genocide for almost two decades.
During the 19th Library of Congress Vardanants Day Armenian Lecture Series at the Library of Congress last year, Dr. Harper presented “American Humanitarianism in the Armenian Crucible, 1915-1923.”
During that presentation, Harper reported her findings about physician missionaries who as part of the overall Near East Relief effort traveled to Armenia and other countries to deliver medical aid in the aftermath of the Armenian Genocide. Harper’s presentation focused on the contributions of Dr. Mabel Elliott who tended to the medical needs of refugees in Armenia, Turkey, and Greece, and who authored one of the compelling accounts of the era, “Beginning Again at Ararat.”
Held on May 7, 2015 the Vardanants Day lecture coincided with the opening day of events organized by the National Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee and the Ecumenical Service held at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. later that evening.
In addition, Dr. Harper previously participated in the conference organized in September, 2000 by the Armenian National Institute and the Library of Congress where she presented a paper on the missionary Mary Louise Graffam who witnessed the Armenian Genocide. Her and other presenters’ papers were published by Cambridge University Press in “America and the Armenian Genocide of 1915,” under the editorship of Dr. Jay Winter.
The Sarasota World Affairs Council lecture with Dr. Susan Harper was free for the general public, but reservations were suggested. A reception with the speaker followed for SWAC members.