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Seaver Faculty Member Nanar Khamo Publishes Short Creative Nonfiction Exploring Armenian Ethnic Identity

December 16, 2021  | 1 min read

On November 10, 2021, a day after the one-year anniversary of the signing of the ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the Journal of Compressed Creative Arts published Seaver College faculty member Nanar Khamo’s short piece of creative nonfiction exploring the recent manifestation of violence in the South Caucasus region from 2019 to the present. 

The piece, entitled “Hayastan,” is a meditation on diaspora, identity, and belonging. Questions of language are central to the piece, as Khamo thinks through her difficulties speaking her mother tongue of Armenian in relation to her decision to spend her professional career speaking French. 

“After the recent manifestation of turmoil in the South Caucasus, I’ve found myself more open with my Armenian identity with my students in a way that I never was before,” the visiting assistant professor of French shares. “In the past, I’ve hid behind both a cosmopolitan persona permitted by teaching foreign language and literature, as well as my ethnically ambiguous name. But why not embrace my identity, as students should embrace theirs?”

Nanar Khamo is a Visiting Assistant Professor of French at Pepperdine University. Her research brings together two fields for the first time: francophone postcolonial studies and genocide studies. She has published an article in French Forum and has numerous book reviews written for The French Review and Genocide Studies and Prevention. At Pepperdine, Dr. Khamo has taught both language and literature courses in French, in topics such as francophone literature (focusing on Mauritius, Rwanda, and Côte d’Ivoire), memory studies, and genocide studies.

To read the piece, please visit the Journal of Compressed Creative Arts website.