Prof. Christina Maranci

NAASR to Celebrate Appointment of Maranci to Mashtots Chair at Harvard


BELMONT, Mass. — The National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) will celebrate the appointment of Dr. Christina Maranci as the Mashtots Chair in Armenian Studies at Harvard University, on Saturday, May 6, at the Charles Hotel in Cambridge. The evening will feature remarks by distinguished Harvard faculty, including the guest of honor Dr. Maranci. The Master of Ceremonies will be Adi Ignatius, Editor-in-Chief of Harvard Business Review. The cocktail reception begins at 6 pm, with dinner at 7 pm.

Established in 1955, NAASR initiated the movement to create and perpetuate Armenian Studies in the United States, including initiatives to establish the first two chairs in Armenian Studies at Harvard University and UCLA. It achieved its initial ambitious goal by establishing the first chair in Armenian Studies, at Harvard, and in 1959 marked the successful conclusion of the Harvard Chair campaign at a gala in Memorial Hall. The Mashtots Chair was the first at Harvard to be endowed by a community organization.

The evening program will include remarks by Dr. Robin Kelsey, Dean of Arts and Humanities and the Shirley Carter Burden Professor of Photography in the Department of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University. Dr. Khaled El-Rouayheb, the James Richard Jewett Professor of Arabic and of Islamic Intellectual History and Chairman of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard, will introduce Dr. Maranci, who is the third holder of the Mashtots Chair and the first woman and the first Armenian to do so.

NAASR will also honor Yervant Chekijian, who served as Chairman of the Board of NAASR from 2016-2022 and spearheaded the effort to construct a new headquarters building, and Marc A. Mamigonian, NAASR’s Director of Academic Affairs, who recently marked his 25th anniversary with the organization.

Maranci has been appointed in both the Departments of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and the History of Art and Architecture. She earned a BA in Art History at Vassar, and an M.A. and PhD at Princeton in the Department of Art and Archaeology. Her work explores the art and culture of Armenia in all aspects, but with special emphasis on the late antique and medieval periods. She is the author of four books and over 100 articles and essays on medieval Armenian art and architecture, including most recently, The Art of Armenia (Oxford, 2018). Her 2015 monograph, Vigilant Powers: Three Churches of Early Medieval Armenia (Brepols, 2015) won the Karen Gould Prize for Art History from the Medieval Academy of America and as well as the Sona Aronian Prize for best Armenian Studies monograph from the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR). She is co-founder of East of Byzantium, a workshop and lecture series designed to support doctoral students working on the Christian East.

Maranci has worked on issues of cultural heritage for over a decade, with a focus on the at-risk Armenian churches and monasteries in what is now Eastern Turkey. She is the author of op-eds and essays in The Wall Street Journal, Apollo, The Conversation, and Hyperallergic. She has also been featured on National Public Radio’s Open Source with Christopher Lydon. At present, she is working on a book about the city of Ani during the tenth and eleventh centuries.

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