Marian Miner Cook

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Human Rights and the Origins of the Refugee Crisis in the Middle East

Thu, October 6, 2022
Dinner Program
Michelle Tusan

Michelle Tusan, professor of history at UNLV, explores the origins of the response to stateless refugees by international institutions and humanitarian organizations. It has its roots in one of the forgotten stories of World War I when forced migration began as a problem in its modern form. The internationalization of the refugee problem—the then highly publicized case of Armenian, Assyrian, and Greek Ottoman Christian minorities—created the dual solution of the refugee camp and resettlement. This became a utopian and ultimately unrealizable solution to the problem of mass displacement in a period of rising xenophobia and nationalism.


Michelle Tusan is a professor of history at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) with expertise in the areas of modern British history, the British Empire, and women’s history. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1999. Before coming to UNLV in 2001, she was a Fellow in the Humanities at Stanford. A British historian by training, her teaching and scholarship broadly engage the relationship between geopolitics, culture, and human rights.

Her current book project, The Last Treaty: The Middle Eastern Front and the End of the First World War, is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities. In addition, she is the author of The British Empire and the Armenian Genocide: Humanitarianism and Imperial Politics from Gladstone to Churchill (2017/2019); Smyrna’s Ashes: Humanitarianism, Genocide and the Birth of the Middle East (2012); Women Making News: Gender and Journalism in Modern Britain (2005), and articles in the American Historical Review, The Journal of Modern History and Past and Present. She also has published a co-authored textbook, Britain Since 1688: A Nation in the World. She is the vice president/president elect of the North American Conference on British Studies. 

Professor Tusan’s Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Mgrublian Center for Human Rights at Claremont McKenna College.  


Food for Thought: Podcast with Michelle Tusan

Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum

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