Ayşenur: “My time as a fellow at Meertens Institute and the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS) has been transformative. I have had the privilege to learn from so many colleagues at both institutes on a wide range of subjects. Opportunities also gave me hands-on practical experience in addressing issues around cultural heritage, contestation in the aftermath of violent conflicts and genocides.”
Ayşenur Korkmaz holds a Ph.D. from the University of Amsterdam, the department of European Studies, and an MA from Central European University in Nationalism Studies. Her research interests lie in the nexus between mass violence, cultural heritage, and materiality in post-genocide landscapes.
Her Ph.D. work focuses on how the genocide survivors and their descendants in Armenia have been reflecting on the violent past, losses, and expulsion from the ancestral homeland (Ergir). Her work at NIAS-Meertens explores the political contestations over Armenian genocide memorials in Europe.
Korkmaz published several peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on the Hamidian Massacres, the Armenian genocide, post-genocide memories in Soviet Armenia, and Armenian roots tourism in eastern Turkey.
During her 10 months reseach fellowship she focuses on how the legacy of the Armenian genocide permeates contemporary heritage politics in the Netherlands, particularly at the nexus between Turkish and Armenian diasporic communities and the Dutch state. Under which conditions does the heritage of a violent past become contested? Why and how does cultural heritage contestation take the form of material and ritual commemorations and counter-commemorations? Ayşenur Korkmaz argues that the Armenian genocide memorials in Assen and Almelo provide an emotional and moral landscape not only for those who recognize and commemorate the genocide but also for those who deny it and take offense at its commemoration.
Ayşenur Korkmaz is research fellow at the Meertens Institute and Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the academic year 2023-2024.