By Lucas Karamanoukian
WESTWOOD, Calif. — A two-day, multi-faceted conference entitled Armeno-Indica concluded on March 18, 2022 at the Fowler Museum at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). The international lecture series was centered around the cultural and historical identity of the Armenian diaspora living in India from the seventeenth to the twenty-first century.
The conference was originally scheduled for 2021 to celebrate the bicentenary of the founding of the Armenian College (established 1821) in Kolkata but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The keynote address was delivered by Sanjay Subrahmanyam, Distinguished Professor of History and Irving and Jean Stone Chair in Social Sciences at UCLA.
Sponsors of the meeting included the Fowler Museum, the Richard Hovannisian Endowed Chair in Modern Armenian History, the Promise Armenian Institute UCLA, the UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies, University of Southern California Dornsife Institute of Armenian Studies, and the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research.
Spanning two days of explorative lectures, topics of learning included 1) Trade, Law, and Go-Betweens, 2) Language and Literary Revival, and 3)Armenian Historiography and Print Culture, and 4) History in the Present on Day One; and 1) Monuments, Patronage, and Indo-Persianate Identities, and 2) The Historical Imagination and the Circulation of Revolutionary Ideas in Late 18th Century South India on Day Two.
The event materialized with the participation of an international retinue of scholars encompassing studying the historical, cultural, legal, economic, and literary fabric of the Armenian diaspora in India over the last four centuries.