Varak Ketsemanian

Postgraduate Research Associate
Green Hall 0-N-21

Varak Ketsemanian received his PhD at the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. His dissertation, titled “The Armenian Constitutional Order in the Late Ottoman Empire: From Reform to Crisis,” looks at Ottoman constitutional thought and practices between 1840s and the early 1900s. Focusing on Ottoman-Armenians, Ketsemanian's work is a study of the social history of how the communal administration of Ottoman-Armenians evolved and changed throughout the 19th century and how communal regulations were applied throughout Anatolian provinces. Situating Ottoman-Armenians within the wider context of imperial reforms and global trends, Ketsemanian studies the impact of communal and administrative transformations on the fabric of the Ottoman State by the fin de siècle. Ketsemanian has also served as a lecturer at the American University of Armenia. His publications have appeared in the Journal of Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association and the International Journal of Middle East Studies, along with many chapters in edited volumes. His edited book (with Emre Can Dağlıoğlu) Memoirs of Boghos Shadig (1874–1951): A Revolutionary from Baku to Marseille is forthcoming with Michigan State University Press. Ketsemanian is currently working on his book manuscript, provisionally titled Between Reform and Crisis: Constitutionalism and Revolutionism Among Ottoman-Armenians (1840s–1908). During Fall 2022, he will be teaching an undergraduate seminar called “Violence, Urban Conflict and the Making of the Modern Middle East.”



Selected Publications

Memoirs of Boghos Shadig (1874-1951): A Revolutionary from Baku to Marseille [working title] (forthcoming with Michigan State University Press, 2023) co-edited with Emre Can Dağlıoğlu.

“Taşnakların 1908’deki Istanbul Bürosunun Peşinde” co-authored with Daniel Ohanian, Toplumsal Tarih Dergisi (277; January 2017). 

 “Straddling Two Empires: Cross-Revolutionary Fertilization and The Armenian Revolutionary Federation’s Military Academy in 1906-1907,” in Journal of Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association 4/2 (November 2017): 339-363. 

 “The Hunchakian Revolutionary Party and the Assassination Attempts against Maksudzade Simon Bey and Khoren Ashekian in 1894, in International Journal of Middle East Studies 50 (October 2018): 735-755.  

 “Peasants, Pastoralists, and Revolutionaries: A Glimpse into Armeno-Kurdish Relations in Late Ottoman Eastern Anatoliain The Social Democrat Hunchakian Party at Crossroads ed. Bedross Der Matossian (I.B. Tauris, 2023). 

“The Armenian Legion at the Crossroads of Colonial Politics 1914-1918,” in The Armenian Legionnaires: Sacrifice and Betrayal in World War I ed. by Susan Pattie (IB Tauris; August 2018): 8-27. 

 “Ideologies, Paradoxes, and Fedayis: Historiographical Challenges, and Methodological Problems in the Study of the Armenian Revolutionary Movement (1890-1896),” in Kurds and Armenians in the Late Ottoman Empire ed. Ara Sarafian and Ümit Kurt (Fresno: The Press at California State University, Fresno; 2020): 119-160. 

 “A Family Archive on the History of Tomarza Armenians in the 20th Century,” in Ottoman Armenians: Life, Culture, Society, Vol. 2, ed. Vahe Tachjian and Elke Hartmann (A Houshamadyan Publication: 2022).

20. Yüzyılda Tomarza Ermenileri: Bir Aile Arşivi'nin “Küresel Mikro Tarihçesi,in Kayseri ve Çevresi: Tomplumsal, Kültürel ve Ekonomik Tarihi (Hrant Dink Foundation Publications, forthcoming 2022) 

“The Armenian Constitutional Order: A Provincial Perspective” in Constitutionalism in the Ottoman and Qajar Empires (forthcoming by Brill, 2022) 

 “Communal Constitutions in the Late Ottoman Empire: A Translation and Commentary on Hrant Asadur’s Sahmanatrut’iwně yev Hay Azkě (1879)” in The Cambridge Companion to Constitutionalism: A Global Intellectual History eds. Egas Bender Moniz Bandeira and Banu Turnaoğlu (forthcoming by Cambridge University Press, 2023)  

 “Plural Late Ottoman Society” in The I.B. Tauris Handbook of the Late Ottoman Empire: History and Legacy, eds. Hans Lukas Keiser and Khatchig Mouradian (forthcoming I.B Tauris, 2023)