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Feb. 15: Colloquium continues with lecture by award-winning author, poet, essayist, scholar

Friday, February 15, 2013

FREDERICK, Md.—The Center for the Humanities at Hood College will host an award-winning author, poet, essayist and scholar who will present his book and discuss his experience growing up in the shadow of his family's memories of their traumatic past.

Peter Balakian, Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor of the Humanities at Colgate University, will give a talk entitled Memory and Trauma: Writing a Memoir About the Armenian Genocide and Growing Up in the Suburbs Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. in the Hodson Auditorium in Rosenstock Hall.

In his prize-winning memoir,Black Dog of Fate: A Memoir, Balakian contrasts his quintessential suburban childhood in 1960s New Jersey with a growing awareness of his family's history as survivors of the Armenian genocide of 1915, the Ottoman government's systematic extermination of its minority Armenian subjects from their historic homeland. Only as an adult did he learn the truth behind his grandmother's stories of her youth, which were often cloaked in metaphor and symbolism.

Balakian, who directs the creative writing program at Colgate University, is the author of numerous books, including The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America’s Response, a New York Times notable book and best seller. He is the recipient of many awards and prizes, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. He has appeared widely on national television and radio programs, including 60 Minutes, ABC World News Tonight, Charlie Rose and Fresh Air.

Future colloquium events include a talk March 4 by historian Adam Arenson, who will discuss the role played by the American West in the Civil War; a screening of GULAG 113, a documentary that follows a survivor of the Soviet GULAG system as he journeys from his home in Canada to revisit key locations in the Soviet Union; and on April 16, the celebrated Baltimore craft artist Joyce C. Scott, guest speaker for the annual Rosenfeld Family Lecture, will trace her 30-year journey as a visual and performance artist.

The event is part of the College's annual colloquium series, which is funded in part by a National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant.

For more information about the colloquium, contact Rebecca Prime, Ph.D., Sophia M. Libman NEH Professor of the Humanities, at