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Armenian Printing Revolution, and Imagining the “Confessional Nation” across the Armenian Diaspora, 1680-1800

October 11, 2023 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm


Please join us for Early Modernity, The Armenian Printing Revolution at the University of Michigan.

Early Modernity and Mobility explores the disparate yet connected histories of Armenian printing establishments in early modern Europe and Asia. From 1512, when the first Armenian printed codex appeared in Venice, to the end of the early modern period in 1800, Armenian presses operated in nineteen locations across the Armenian diaspora. Linking far-flung locations in Amsterdam, Livorno, Marseille, Saint Petersburg, and Astrakhan to New Julfa, Madras, and Calcutta, Armenian presses published a thousand editions with more than half a million printed volumes in Armenian script.

Drawing on extensive archival research, Sebouh David Aslanian explores why certain books were published at certain times, how books were sold across the diaspora, who read them, and how the printed word helped fashion a new collective identity for early modern Armenians. In examining the Armenian print tradition Aslanian tells a larger story about the making of the diaspora itself. Arguing that “confessionalism” and the hardening of boundaries between the Armenian and Roman churches was the “driving engine” of Armenian book history, Aslanian makes a revisionist contribution to the early modern origins of Armenian nationalism.

Date & Time:

Wednesday, October 11th | 4:00 – 5:30 PM EST

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On-Campus Location:
Weiser Hall 555
500 Church Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1042.

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About the Speaker:

Sebouh David Aslanian is professor and Richard Hovannisian Endowed Chair in Modern Armenian History at the University of California, Los Angeles and the inaugural director of the Armenian Studies Center at the Promise Armenian Institute. He is the author of the award-winning From the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean: The Global Trade Networks of Armenian Merchants from New Julfa. Aslanian has published widely on the early modern world and Armenian history and is the author of the recent Early Modernity and Mobility: Port Cities and Printers across the Armenian Diaspora, 1512-1800 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2023).


October 11, 2023
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
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