Society for Armenian Studies to Hold Conference on ‘Armenians in America’

Society for Armenian Studies
Society for Armenian Studies

Society for Armenian Studies

BOSTON, Massachusetts—The Society for Armenian Studies (SAS) is planning an international conference, “The Armenians in America,” to take place on Thursday, November 17, 2016, in Boston, Massachusetts.

The SAS is the international association of Armenian Studies scholars and teachers and is holding its 42nd Annual Meeting on the same day. The conference and meeting will be held in conjunction with the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) Annual Conference, which bring hundreds of scholars in a variety of disciplines together annually to present papers and to participate in panels.

The SAS organized conference on “The Armenians in America,” will have two panels, beginning at 1:00PM in Salon B (4) of the Boston Marriott Copley Place Hotel and is open to the public.

In the first panel on “Travel, Collective Memory and Homeland among Armenian-Americans,” chaired by Marc Mamigonian (National Association for Armenian Studies and Research, NAASR), four participants will present papers: Margaret Manoogian (Oregon State University) and Anny Bakalian (Emerita Associate Director MEMEAC, CUNY), “Connections for Families Disrupted: Travels to Anatolia by Diasporans”; Carel Bertram (San Francisco State University), “Coming to Terms with Home and Homeland”; and Sona Nersisyan (Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, National Academy of Sciences of Armenia), “Homeland Perception and Identity Construction: the Case of Los Angeles Armenian Community.”

In the second panel on “Diversities of Armenianness in American and Diasporic Contexts,” chaired by Vahe Sahakyan (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor), the presenters will be: Anatolii Tokmancev (UCLA), “Armenian Jehovah’s Witnesses: Nationalism in a Strictly Non-Nationalist Sect”; Shushan Karapetyan (UCLA), “Language in Diaspora: Problematizing Ideology, Identity, and Symbolism” and Helen Makhdoumian (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), “Inheritance of Exile: Negotiating Memory, Home, and Belonging in Armenian-American Literature about the Lebanese Civil War.”

The SAS is sponsoring a panel during the regular MESA sessions at 1:45PM on Friday, November 18, entitled “New Issues, Perspectives, and Sources in Armenian Studies,” chaired by SAS President Barlow Der Mugrdechian (California State University, Fresno), with the participation of Anna Aleksanyan (Clark University) “Ritualized Rapes and Body Destruction of the Armenian Women During the Genocide”; Emre Can Daglioglu (Clark University), “Revisiting the Ottoman courts-martial of 1919-1920 Under the Light of New Archival Documents”; Varak Ketsemanian (Princeton University), “The Hunchakian Revolutionary Party from 1891-1895”; and Arda Melkonian (UCLA), ““Human Trafficking” during the Armenian Genocide.” Ümit Kurt (Harvard University) will be the discussant for the panel.

SAS is also co-sponsoring, with the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association, a roundtable discussion on “Knowledge Production, Exclusion, Inclusion: The Repositioning of Armenians in Ottoman and Turkish Historiography,” with the participation of Carel Bertram (San Francisco State University), Bedross Der Matossian (University of Nebraska-Lincoln), David E. Gutman (Manhattanville College), Alyson Wharton (University of Lincoln [UK]), Rachel Goshgarian (Lafayette College), and Yasar Tolga Cora (University of Michigan), and Lerna Ekmekcioglu (M.I.T.). The roundtable will take place at noon on Saturday, November 19.

More than ten other Armenian-themed papers will be given by scholars during the course of the MESA conference, November 17-20. For a full program of MESA sessions, please visit their website.

The SAS is administered by a seven member Executive Council: President, Barlow Der Mugrdechian; Vice-President, Bedross Der Matossian (Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln); Secretary, Lilit Keshishyan (UCLA); Treasurer, Arpi Siyahian (NuTech Ventures), and advisors Vartan Matiossian (Armenian National Education Committee), Sergio La Porta (California State University, Fresno and Editor of JSAS), and Vahe Sahakyan (University of Michigan).

The Society for Armenian Studies is headquartered at the Armenian Studies Program at California State University, Fresno and its website is at The SAS can be reached by email at or by phone at 559-278-2669.


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