New national values and representations were being formed among Ottoman Armenians in the 19th century and the Woman's Question was an inseparable part of the formulation of a new national identity, Hasmik Khalapyan writes.
Hasmik Khalapyan is a lecturer at the American University of Armenia. She is Academic Director of AGBU Armenian Virtual College and Editorial Director of the Virtual College’s Multimedia E-Book Series. After earning her MA from Miami University, she received her PhD in History from Central European University, Budapest, Hungary. She has carried out research in Ottoman history in archives and libraries in Armenia, Austria , France and Turkey. Her research interests include: concepts and histories of social change in local/global perspective; Ottoman history; women’s movements worldwide in comparative perspective; theories and histories of empires and colonialism; gender and international law. She has been published in international journals and edited volumes in English, and has been translated to Turkish.
Although Armenian women did not directly participate in the public discourse on the family structure and institution of marriage during the 19th to early 20th centuries in the Ottoman Empire, they articulated their concerns against gender inequalities through the voices of the fictional characters they created in their writings.
“A male writer is free to be average, but never a female writer.” This is what 19th century writer Srbouhi Dussap told Zabel Yesayan when she announced she wanted to be a writer. Hasmik Khalapyan traces the extraordinary lives of Armenian women writers of the Ottoman Empire.
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