Left to right: Dr. Richard Hovannisian, Asya Darbinyan, Varak Ketsemanian, Dr. Sylvia Kasparian, Ambassador Grigor Hovhannissian, Dr. Rouben Adalian, and SAS President (2017) Prof. Barlow Der Mugrdechian at the Armenian Embassy

Society for Armenian Studies Holds Annual Membership Meeting in Washington, DC


WASHINGTON — The Society for Armenian Studies (SAS) held a series of activities and a conference to mark its 44th Annual Meeting, held this year in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, November 18. Members were welcomed by SAS President Barlow Der Mugrdechian (California State University, Fresno), who presented reports on various activities of the Society. Earlier that same day, the SAS Executive Council met to focus on strategic planning and to map out the future direction of the organization.

“The Annual Meeting is an opportunity for our members to provide feedback to the Executive Council,” stated Der Mugrdechian. “SAS utilizes this opportunity to meet to formulate new directions to discuss the upcoming year’s activities.”

A reception, hosted by Grigor Hovhannissian, Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to the United States, was held at the Armenian Embassy in Washington D.C., following the Annual Meeting.

“We were delighted to meet and greet the participants of the 44th SAS Annual Meeting at the Embassy of Armenia in Washington DC, among them Professor Richard Hovannisian, one of the patriarchs of the Armenian Studies in the world, and the SAS President Barlow Der Mugrdechian,” said Hovhannissian. In his remarks the ambassador also noted the important role of the SAS in promoting research and publications in the field of Armenian Studies. Community members and SAS scholars mixed in a warm atmosphere and the Ambassador presented SAS with a beautiful art volume on the works of the artist Jean Kazandjian.

In addition to the Conference on “Transmitting Western Armenian to the Next Generation,” co-organized by the Armenian Communities Division of the Gulbenkian Foundation, SAS sponsored two panels as part of MESA.

The first panel, organized by Owen Miller and Ümit Kurt, and titled “The Great Fear of 1895: Armenian Reform, Rumor and Violence Across the Ottoman Empire,” took place on Sunday, November 19. Three papers were given: Owen Miller (Union College), “George Perkins Knapp of Bitlis and Massacres of 1895”; Emre Can Daglioglu (Clark University), “Reform and Violence in the Hamidian Era: 1895 Anti-Armenian Riots in Trabzon”; and Ugur Peçe (Harvard University), “The Year of Rumor: Crete in the Shadow of the Armenian Massacres of 1895.” The discussant for the panel was Edhem Eldem (Bogaziçi University).

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The second panel, entitled “Humanitarianism in the Ottoman Empire During World War I” was organized by Stacy Fahrenthold and took place on Tuesday, November 21. It included papers by Melanie S. Tanielian (University of Michigan), “Nourishing Bodies and Souls: The Maronite Church’s Relief Effort in Mount Lebanon during the Great War”; Stacy Fahrenthold (California State University, Stanislaus), “American Relief and Émigré Politics in the Syrian Mahjar”; Asya Darbinyan (Clark University), “Can Refugees Speak? Humanitarian Crisis at the Ottoman-Russian border (1914-1917)”; and Khatchig Mouradian (Columbia University), “Not like a Lamb to the Slaughter: Humanitarian Resistance during the Armenian Genocide.”

The Society for Armenian Studies represents scholars and teachers in the field of Armenian Studies. It publishes the peer-reviewed Journal of the Society for Armenian Studies, available on its website: societyforarmenianstudies.com. For more information about the Society or membership, please contact SAS President (2018) Bedross Der Matossian at bdermatossian2@unl.edu.

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