FRESNO — The Society for Armenian Studies is pleased to announce the establishment of “The Nina G. Garsoïan Graduate Research Grant for Ancient and Early Mediaeval Armenian History.” The grant of $500.00 will be awarded on an annual basis to a graduate student in the field of Ancient and Medieval Armenian History.
The grant is funded by Dr. Levon Avdoyan, who recently retired as the area specialist for Armenia and Georgia at the African and Middle Eastern Division of the Library of Congress. Avdoyan received his PhD from Columbia University in New York in ancient and Armenian history under the supervision of Garsoïan.
Avdoyan commented on the importance of the grant, saying: “Nina Garsoïan’s passion for the ancient and early mediaeval periods of Armenian history and culture led not only to many brilliant publications but also to the preparation of an entire generation of young Armenists. With her retirement from the Chair at Columbia, the study of the Armenian pre-Christian past went into eclipse in the United States, yielding to more modern studies. I intend, with this modest grant, to support the research activities of those young scholars who have rediscovered or are in the process of rediscovering the allure and intrigue of that past to restore the balance that Garsoïan’s generation worked hard to establish.”
The grant will constitute part of the Society for Armenian Studies (SAS) Graduate Research and Conference Grant for MA and PhD students awarded on semi-annual basis.
“The Society for Armenian Studies highly appreciates Dr. Avdoyan’s initiative of establishing the Nina G. Garsoïan Graduate Research Grant. I hope other scholars and individuals will follow in Dr. Avdoyan’s footsteps and establish named grants to support graduate and post-graduate members of the Society. Students who pursue graduate studies in the field of Armenian Studies usually have limited access to grants. One of the major objectives of the Society for the coming years is to the increase the size of grants so it can help a larger pool of applicants,” stated SAS President Prof. Bedross Der Matossian
Nina G. Garsoïan is a world renowned Byzantanist and Armenologist and author of multiple groundbreaking books and articles. She was the dean of the Princeton University Graduate School and the first holder of the Gevork M. Avedissian Chair in Armenian History and Civilization at Columbia University. She retired in 1993 and is currently Professor Emerita of Armenian History and Civilization. After her retirement, the Avedissian Chair has never been filled and still remains vacant.