Society for Armenian Studies to Host Conference on 45th Anniversary

SAS 45th Anniversary Flyer feat photo
The Society for Armenian Studies will mark its 45th anniversary with an international conference  on the Armenian Diaspora, from October 12 to 13

The Society for Armenian Studies will mark its 45th anniversary with an international conference on the Armenian Diaspora, from October 12 to 13

LOS ANGELES—Scholars from Italy, Mexico, France, Armenia, England, Portugal, Holland, Germany, and the United States will gather at the University of California, Los Angeles to participate in a major conference, “Diaspora and ‘Stateless Power’: Social Discipline and Identity Formation across the Armenian Diaspora during the Long Twentieth Century.” The conference, which will be held on October 12 to 13, marks the 45th anniversary of the founding of the Society for Armenian Studies. The two-day conference also honors Khachig Tölölyan, the preeminent scholar of Diaspora Studies in general and the Armenian Diaspora in particular.

The conference is free, open to the public, and will take place in Rolfe Hall, Room 1200 on the UCLA campus. Paid parking will be available in Parking Structure 5, at Sunset and Royce Avenues.

The conference is co-sponsored by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, the Richard Hovannisian Endowed Chair in Modern Armenian History (UCLA), the Narekatsi Chair in Armenian Studies, the Meghrouni Family Presidential Chair (University of California, Irvine), the Institute of Armenian Studies (University of Southern California), the Armenian Studies Program (California State University, Fresno), the Armenian Studies Program (California State University, Northridge), and the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research.

The themes which will be covered during the conference include: Armenian Immigrants in the Transnational Context, Social Memory and Cultural Production in the Armenian Diaspora; Institutions, Governmentality and the Shaping of Armenian Diasporic Diversities; Armenian Communities in the Middle East, and (Soviet) Armenian-Diasporic Relations. A special panel is dedicated to the Armenian Diaspora Survey Project organized by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. Khachig Tölölyan will deliver the keynote speech entitled “From the Study of Diasporas to Diaspora Studies.”

For the complete Conference program go to the SAS website at: SAS Diaspora Conference Program

Tölölyan is one of the founders of the field of diaspora studies and the founding editor of the prestigious journal Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies, a Zoryan Institute publication. Initially published by Oxford University Press, Diaspora is currently published by the University of Toronto Press. Tölölyan established the basis of Armenian Diaspora Studies and played a leading role in examining the Armenian Diaspora from a theoretical perspective.

The SAS 45th Anniversary Banquet, sponsored by the Organization of Istanbul Armenians, will be held on Saturday, October 12 at 7 p.m., at the Organization of Istanbul Armenians Banquet Hall located at 19726 Sherman Way in Winnetka. During the banquet, the Society for Armenian Studies will honor its past presidents: Richard Hovannisian, Nina Garsoïan, Avedis K. Sanjian, Richard G. Hovannisian, Robert Thomson, Ronald G. Suny, Kevork Bardakjian, Dickran Kouymjian, Robert Hewsen, Dennis Papazian, Joseph Kechichian, and Barlow Der Mugrdechian.

“We are looking forward to this major event,” commented Professor Bedross Der Matossian, President of the Society for Armenian Studies and Associate Professor of History at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “The conference will be an outstanding event bringing together scholars from around the world to discuss the latest approaches to the field of Armenian Diaspora Studies, founded by Khachig Tölölyan. I hope that the community will attend this outstanding event and understand why Armenian Diaspora Studies is a crucial field that needs to be supported.”

“This will be a unique occasion to honor and thank the past presidents of the SAS who worked relentlessly in the past four decades with limited resources to keep the flame of Armenian Studies alive,” added Der Matossian. “The torch has passed today to the third and fourth generation of young scholars who continue in the path of their predecessors.”

The poster of the conference was designed by renowned artist Ruben Malayan. The twirl of the Armenian colors symbolizes the turbulence of the formation of the Armenian Diaspora, flanked by two Xs (XXth century).

The SAS was established in 1974 by a group of scholars including Richard Hovannisian, Robert Thomson, Nina Garsoian, Dickran Kouymjian, and Avedis Sanjian. The SAS is an international body, composed of scholars and students, whose aims are to promote the study of Armenian culture and society, including history, language, literature, and social, political, and economic questions; to facilitate the exchange of scholarly information pertaining to Armenian studies around the world; and to sponsor panels and conferences on Armenian studies.

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