Richard Hovannisian (film still)

Prof. Richard Hovannisian to Present Latest Book on Armenians of Iran at NAASR Program


BELMONT, Mass. — The National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) will host an illustrated presentation by Prof. Richard G. Hovannisian of his new publication, Armenian Communities of Persia/Iran: History, Trade, Culture, on Friday, May 6, at 7:30 p.m., in Batmasian Hall on the third floor of the NAASR Vartan Gregorian Building, 395 Concord Ave.  The program is co-sponsored by the Armenian Mirror-Spectator, the Armenian Society of Boston, and the Society for Armenian Studies (SAS).

This will be an in-person event and also presented online live via Zoom (Registration Link: and YouTube (  For those attending in person, NAASR recommends the wearing of masks to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

Armenian-Iranian interactions date back to the depths of antiquity. At times, Armenia and Iran were friends and allies, even sharing common dynasties, and at other times fierce and unrelenting adversaries. Whatever their political relationship may have been, their commonalities in pre-Christian and pre-Islamic social structures and cultural attributes, including linguistic affiliation, are striking. The boundaries between the Iranian and Armenian worlds were porous in many ways. The Armenian presence in Iran is attested from the Achaemenid centuries to the present. Although the Armenian Iranian community has decreased significantly since the nineteenth century, it still constitutes the most significant Christian element in Iran, finding means to preserve in large measure it religion, language, and traditions and to navigate between Armenian and Iranian identities.

This volume of 23 chapters by specialists in the field spans the centuries from antiquity to the present. It is based on two conferences held at UCLA in the series titled “Historic Armenian Cities and Provinces.” Prof. Hovannisian will be joined during this presentation by NAASR Library Curator Ani Babaian who contributed a chapter to the volume. Armenian Communities of Persia/Iran is available for purchase from the NAASR Bookstore.

Hovannisian is past holder of the Armenian Educational Foundation Chair in Modern Armenian History at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and a Presidential Fellow at Chapman University. He is a founder and six-time president of the Society for Armenian Studies and has published thirty books and numerous scholarly articles, including five volumes on the Armenian Genocide and 15 volumes by Mazda Publishers on historic Armenian cities and provinces.


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