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Tsolin Nalbantian


Entertainment and Consumption: The Impending Destruction of the Armenian Memorial Trchnotz Puyn

[The graveyard in the foreground, with the main orphanage building in the background. Photo taken by author.]

I attended Armenian grade school in the suburbs of Philadelphia until I was thirteen years old. As we grew older, the extent of Armenian language classes within the curricula decreased, and by seventh and eighth grade it had been relegated to the realm of the “cultural.” We still had Armenian language and history lessons, and bible class was often taught in Armenian, but by and large we engaged with the language mostly through theatrical and musical school performances that ...

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Breaking House Rules: Hoodies, Hijabs, and Belonging in the Netherlands

[Amsterdam Public Library. Image by Gkamiya via Wikimedia Commons]

The Incident With panoramic views of both the city and its harbor, the Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam (OBA), proved to be an ideal place for me to take a break from working at either my home or office at Leiden University. I visited the OBA regularly since moving to the Netherlands in 2011, when I accepted a position as an assistant professor of Modern Middle East History. Its gigantic floor to ceiling windows drowned you in the sunshine, and led you to feel as if you were ...

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Batal: Fighting for Truth, Justice and the Armenian Way

[Annual Armenian Genocide March in Achrafiyya, Beirut, 24 April 2007. Photo by author.]

When I first moved to Beirut to start my doctoral research, I would spend hours at the apartment of my mother’s family in the neighborhood of Zarif. Sometimes I would bring work with me and sit on the chair reading as clouds of smoke from my aunts’ cigarettes and nargila varied in intensity around me. My attention would drift between conversing with my cousins and their mothers, and the reading at hand. I visited them almost daily. I did this, even though I had not grown ...

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Tsolin Nalbantian


Tsolin Nalbantian is an Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern History at Leiden University in the Netherlands. Her teaching and research interests include the role of minorities in the development of nation-state nationalism, diasporic communities in the Middle East, the politicization of identities, and the contemporary history of Syria and Lebanon.