LOS ANGELES — The Shoah Foundation, headed by executive director Stephen Smith, will be present in Yerevan for ceremonies marking the centenary of the Armenian Genocide. The delegation, composed of Dr. Smith, Karen Jungblut, director of Documentation and Research; Prof. Wolf Gruner, director of the Center for Advanced Genocide Studies; and Prof. Richard Hovannisian of UCLA and USC, will attend the two-day Global Forum, where Smith and Hovannisian will give brief addresses and on April 24 lay a wreath from the Shoah Foundation at the Genocide Memorial. From Yerevan, the delegation will travel to Istanbul to participate in the outdoor program to take place in Taksim Square on the evening of April 24. The Shoah Foundation is placing 30 Armenian survivor interviews on its website during the month of April. Hovannisian has been filmed to introduce the first five in the series, which may be accessed on the USC Shoah Foundation web site (https://sfi.usc.edu/search/node/hovannisian)
While in Yerevan, Hovannisian will also be honored on April 21 on the occasion of the publication of the Armenian translation of Volume II of his Republic of Armenia. The event is sponsored by the Institute of History of the Academy of Sciences and the International Center for National and International Studies. Volumes three and four in the series are currently being translated as well.
Hovannisian has participated in a number of genocide-related programs during the first part of 2015. In January, he was the featured speaker at the conference of Association of Holocaust Organizations meeting at the University of Southern California. He then traveled to Jerusalem to meet with Holocaust and Genocide scholars and give a public lecture in the Tarkmanchats School for members and seminarians of the brotherhood of Saint James and for the Armenian community. That month, both his personal and academic lives were featured in a USC Armenian Institute conversation titled “Half Immigrant,” with History Department Chair William Deverell as moderator. Hovannisian was a discussant in the California State University (CSU) Northridge conference “Accounting and Accountability,” organized by Dr. Vahram Shemmassian of the Armenian Studies Program on January 31, and spoke at the Abril Bookstore on his most recent volume, The ArmenianCommunities of Asia Minor.
On February 11, Hovannisian joined radio host Ian Masters and David L. Philips of Columbia University in the Hammer Museum in Westwood in a lively discussion on “The Armenian Genocide: A Hundred Years of Denial.” He also gave an illustrated talk to the Armenian Youth Association of California on the Armenian communities of the Kesaria (Kayseri) region, and was in Vancouver, Canada on February 28, for a lecture sponsored by the Armenian Genocide Centenary Commemoration Committee. The talk include film segments prepared by Ani Hovannisian Kevorkian on Armenian Dikranagerd (Diyarbekir) and the Armenian-speaking Hamshen people of the Black Sea.
A variety of centenary-related programs were organized in March. A major three-day conference titled “Responsibility 2015” was organized by the Eastern Region of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation in the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York’s Times Square, March 13-15, with participants from America, Europe and the Middle East and with keynote speaker international law specialist Geoffrey Robinson. From among the dozen innovative sessions, Hovannisian discussed the state of Armenian Genocide research and during an authors’ luncheon that featured a number of American-Armenian writers reflected on the scope of his publications. While in New York, he gave an extensive filmed interview for the joint project of the Zoryan Institute and AGBU to prepare educational videos for the AGBU webtalk series, scheduled to begin in April.
Hovannisian returned to Los Angeles to address an educators’ workshop and dinner, “An Evening of Learning,” sponsored by the Facing History and Ourselves Foundation, in which he discussed key issues relating to teaching about the Armenian Genocide, as mandated both in the 1980s and in 2014 as a part of the Social Studies Curriculum Framework of the State of California. In addition, Hovannisian was previously filmed by Facing History for a unit placed on its web site on the centenary of the Armenian Genocide