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Professor Henry C. Theriault was elected President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS) on Tuesday during the organization’s annual conference becoming the first Armenian to assume the position, Asbarez reported.

The conference also elected the Dr. Suren Manukyan, Deputy Director of the Armenian Genocide Museum & Institute in Yerevan as a member of IAGS’s Advisory Board.

In his nomination statement, Theriault warned of the threats facing human rights advances due to the dire political climate in the United States and Europe.

“Genocide studies has been at the forefront of recent human rights advances. Dire political climates in the US, Europe, and other areas threaten this progress. Racism, xenophobia, misogyny, etc. pervade public discourse and drive repressive legal and political regressions the world over. Genocide’s prevalence even threatens increase,” said Theriault.

“Against this, a vibrant IAGS is essential. Demagogues attack the sensibilities genocide studies engenders. Our work is a crucial challenge to their propaganda. IAGS must strive against this marginalization while innovatively expanding the field, especially creating space for emerging scholars particularly vulnerable to this backlash,” he added.

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