Religious representatives of Armenian and Azerbaijani communities at talks in February 1905

Public Roundtable

When: Friday, 21st June 2024, 3:00pm - 4:30pm

Where: Alumni Lecture Theatre (S110), Webley Wing, Senate House, School of Oriental & African Studies, 10 Thornhaugh Street, London, WC1H 0XG (find on Google Maps)

About the event

The Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict has witnessed radical changes over the last four years, driving a narrative that the conflict has ended. Discussions among policy-makers and practitioners focus on new potentials for connectivity, normalisation and confidence-building. Yet in the world of ideas, history, identity and the past remain active battlefields, largely due to the continuing dominance of essentialising historical discourses asserting rival nationalist histories. This roundtable will discuss the past, present and potential roles of scholarship in deconstructing mutually exclusive histories and de-coupling the past from nationalist narrativity: 

-    What roles have scholars played in interpreting and narrating the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict? 

-    How have these roles changed from the late 1980s to the Second Karabakh War in 2020? 

-    What are the obstacles to an objective, impartial and multi-vocal historiography of Armenian-Azerbaijani relations? 

-    What are the silences – political and methodological – that characterise the scholarship on the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict? 

-    How can scholars contribute to a post-conflict paradigm of Armenian-Azerbaijani relations? 

This roundtable is being organised by the ‘Araz’ Scholars’ Initiative, which is a network of Armenian, Azerbaijani and international scholars who seek to challenge the polarising, politicised rhetoric around Armenian-Azerbaijani relations. We promote discussion about the persistent collective violence and instances of cooperation between these two nations grounded in a new space where all participants respect each other, and endeavour to seek truth critically and collectively rather than by its unilateral declamation. We aim to achieve this through the establishment of a new, interdisciplinary community of scholars, researchers, students and public intellectuals, who can contribute to shifts in regional and global discussions of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict from instrumentalising power interests to an inclusive and equitable debate founded on academic rigour.

The roundtable will be followed by a reception. 

Please note: this will be an in-person event only. We regret it will not be recorded and there is no option to join online.


Vicken Cheterian is a lecturer at the University of Geneva. He has worked on armed conflicts, genocides, revolutions, nationalist movements, issues of political Islam, media and development as well as environment and security. He has consulted with international organisations and government institutions. From 2012 to 2014, he was a Research Associate at the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies. He is author of numerous books and articles, including Open Wounds, Armenians, Turks, and a Century of Genocide (Hurst and Oxford University Press, 2015). 

Altay Goyushov received his PhD in the History of Political Islam from Baku State University in 1993. He has held fellowships in Germany, Italy, France and the United States, including fellowship at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, the Bourse “Directeurs d’Études Associés” at the FMSH in Paris, a Fulbright Scholarship at Georgetown University, Reagan-Fascell Fellowship at the National Endowment for Democracy and visiting professorships and appointments at Sapienza-Università di Roma, UCLA and the Institut Français d’Études Anatoliennes.

Jo Laycock is a Senior Lecturer in Modern History at the University of Manchester. Her research interests focus on multiple aspects of forced displacement from humanitarianism, emergency relief and resettlement to collective memory and the challenges of refugee and diasporic ‘homecomings’. In addition to numerous articles and edited volumes, she is the author of Imagining Armenia, published by Manchester University Press in 2009, and is currently working on a new monograph provisionally titled Unsettled States: Refugees, Relief and Development in Armenia and the South Caucasus. 

Laurence Broers received his PhD from SOAS in 2004 and has more than 20 years of experience as a practitioner supporting cross-divide initiatives between Armenians and Azerbaijanis. He is the founding editor and co-Editor-in-Chief of the academic journal Caucasus Survey and now serves as an Associate Fellow at the Russia and Eurasia Programme at Chatham House. He is the author and editor of several books on the politics and conflicts of the South Caucasus, including Armenia and Azerbaijan: Anatomy of a Rivalry (Edinburgh University Press, 2019). 


Bhavna Dave is Senior Lecturer in Politics of Central Asia. Her research focuses on geopolitics of the Eurasian region, ethnic and language policies, and state-society relations across Central Asia and labour migration in Eurasia. She is interested in the current reconfiguration of relations between Russia and states in the Eurasian region. She has published works on labour migration in Kazakhstan and Russia, language and ethnic identities, minorities, elections and patronage in Kazakhstan, EU-Central Asia relations, the role of the Russian Far East in Russia’s ‘pivot to Asia’ policy, social and security implications of China’s Belt and Road initiative in Central Asia, and India-Central Asia relations.


This event will be followed by a reception in the same venue running until 5:30pm.

All are welcome. 

Photo: Religious representatives of Armenian and Azerbaijani communities at talks in February 1905.


This initiative is funded by the EU.