A daylong seminar on the Armenian genocide drew a capacity crowd Saturday to a 300-seat UCLA lecture hall, as academics from across the nation and Europe discussed the World War I-era slaughter.
The seminar was held on the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Armenian studies program at UCLA and was attended by the consul general of Armenia and his staff, said seminar organizer and UCLA history professor Richard G. Hovannisian.
Thirteen speakers presented their thoughts on such subjects as "The United States Response to the Genocide," "New Directions in Literary Responses to the Genocide in the New Century" and "The Armenian Genocide and International Law."
Although many Americans are unaware of this particular historical event, Armenians have long tried to bring attention to the killing and starvation of more than 1 million of their people by the ruling Ottoman Turks between 1915 and 1923. Even today, the Turkish government denies the allegations of genocide, and said the deaths were the result of war.
On Saturday, historians, including Hilmar Kaiser of Italy's European University Institute, said that research and the collection of documents were necessary to preserve the historical record of the period.