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Conference Proceeding

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From its origins in the World War I era, denial of the Armenian Genocide emerged in American universities during the Cold War. Today, a growing body of critical scholarship and documentation of the Armenian Genocide has rendered traditional strategies of silencing and denial increasingly untenable.

Today, like the tobacco industry lobbyists of the 1950s, apologists for the “Turkish position” labor to construct denialism as a legitimate intellectual position within a historical debate. Such manufactured controversy is a time-tested means to lend academic credibility to Armenian Genocide deniers, like their contemporary brethren, such as the so-called “skeptics” of global warming.

This article will trace, briefly, the early development of Armenian Genocide denial but will focus on more recent refinements and the penetration of denial within American academia. Parallel examples of denialist rhetoric will be compared across genocides as well as in the natural sciences. Concluding comments will address the fundamental challenge of denialism, debate, and the quest for intellectual integrity.


This paper is provided solely for the use of the participants in the conference "Manufacturing Denial and the Assault on Scholarship and Truth." It is under no circumstances to be distributed beyond this group of individuals.