Avedis Derounian

NAASR to Host Webinar on Avedis Derounian Archive at NAASR


BELMONT, Mass. — The National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) will present a webinar on “The Avedis Derounian Archive at NAASR: A Vital Resource on US-Based Extremism” on Thursday, November 18, at 7 p.m. (Eastern)/4 pm (Pacific).

Researchers who have delved into the Derounian archive for their own work and are well qualified to reflect on what it tells us about Derounian’s times and are own will discuss his legacy.

The webinar will be accessible live on Zoom (registration required) and on NAASR’s YouTube Channel.

This special program will be moderated by Michael Bobelian, author of Children of Armenia: A Forgotten Genocide and the Century-long Struggle for Justice (Simon & Schuster, 2009) and Battle for the Marble Palace: Abe Fortas, Earl Warren, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and the Forging of the Modern Supreme Court (Schaffner Press, 2019), and a member of the NAASR Board of Directors.

A panel of experts will share their in-depth knowledge of Derounian and the historical context for his “undercover” investigations.

Guido Jimenez-Cruz, writer and filmmaker, currently working (with Leslie Dann) on “Under Cover: My Four Years in the Nazi Underworld of America.”

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Dr. Charles Gallagher, associate professor of history at Boston College, is author of Vatican Secret Diplomacy: Joseph P. Hurley and Pope Pius XII (Yale Univ. Press, 2008) and The Nazis of Copley Square: The Forgotten History of the Christian Front, 1939-1945 (Harvard Univ. Press, 2021).

Dr. Christopher Vials, professor of English and director of American Studies at UConn (Storrs), author of Haunted by Hitler: Liberals, the Left, and the Fight against Fascism in the United States (Univ. of Massachusetts Press, 2014) and co-editor of The Antifascism Reader (Verso Books, 2020).

In the late 1930s and 1940s Armenian-American author and journalist Avedis Derounian (1909-91) went underground and infiltrated and collected materials on the full spectrum of U.S.-based extremist groups, particular those sympathetic to or in league with the political aims of the Nazis. He wrote about his experiences under the pen name John Roy Carlson. His book Under Cover became a New York Times bestseller with at least 20 reprintings. He also wrote The Plotters (1946) and Cairo to Damascus (1951).

Donated to NAASR after his death in 1991, the collection is one of NAASR’s most significant personal archives, comprising more than 75 boxes of unpublished writings, notes, photographs, and other materials. His fascinating life experiences and dogged research, contained in his archive, reveal striking details about domestic fascist, pro-Nazi and other extreme right-wing groups of that time, and how Derounian and other writers and activists worked to expose these forces.

This program is made possible by a grant from Mass Humanities, which provided funding through the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC). Mass Humanities is a state-based affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.”

For more information contact NAASR at hq@naasr.org.



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