UCLA Armenian Graduate Student Colloquium Set for February 11

WESTWOOD, CA–The Armenian Graduate Students Association at UCLA will be conducting its ninth annual Graduate Student Colloquium in Armenian Studies at UCLA on Friday, February 11, 2010. This daylong academic event is open to the public and will begin at 9:30 a.m. It will be held in the famous Royce Hall, room 314.

This year, the organizing committee has set out to continue the fine tradition that began in 2003 with the launching of the first-ever international colloquium in Armenian Studies developed specifically for graduate students by graduate students.

UCLA, a premier institution in the growing field of Armenology and a leader in interdisciplinary studies, is hosting this event to further foster the development of Armenian Studies, facilitate interaction between graduate students and faculty from various institutions, provide a medium for the exchange of ideas, and contribute to the professional and academic advancement of graduate students.

Papers from multiple fields will be presented, including history, linguistics, comparative literature, theology, anthropology, and art history. Presenters are graduate students coming from universities and countries all around the world including Yerevan State University, University of Warsaw, University of Bologna, Florida International University, California State University Fresno, University of Michigan Ann-Arbor, Clark University, Yerevan National Academy of Sciences, and Matenadaran Institute of Manuscripts in Yerevan.

The organizing committee was led by Rosie Aroush and Ara Soghomonian, doctoral students in Armenology in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at UCLA. Their organizing efforts were joined by a number of graduate students, as well as faculty advisor Dr. Peter Cowe. Graduate students from across many disciplines were responsible for the individual aspects of planning the event. This ranged from financing to program scheduling, facilities and refreshments to travel and accommodations, as well as both academic and media public relations.

Armenian Studies at UCLA began in 1960. The discipline was augmented in 1962 with the appointment of Dr. Richard G. Hovannisian, current holder of the Armenian Educational Foundation Chair in Modern Armenian History. In 1965, language and literature was established on a permanent footing with the arrival of Dr. Avedis K. Sanjian, who guided the expansion of this area over the next three decades. The Narekatsi Chair, founded in 1969 through the efforts of National Association for Armenian Studies and Research, has the distinction of being the oldest endowed chair at UCLA. The first chair-holder was Dr. Sanjian and in July 2000 Dr. S. Peter Cowe was appointed as successor. Since 1997 regular instruction in East Armenian has complemented teaching in West Armenian: currently Dr. Anahid Keshishian is lecturer in the former and Dr. Hagop Kouloujian in the latter. In 1998, Armenian Studies was officially recognized as an undergraduate minor and currently proposals are underway to institute the major.

The Graduate Student Colloquium in Armenian Studies is yet another step in the development of the rich tradition of Armenian Studies at UCLA. Organized by graduate students, for graduate students, it provides an opportunity for students to actively and significantly contribute to the academic environment on campus.

The colloquium is made possible, in part, by the financial contributions from the Friends of the UCLA Narekatsi Chair of Armenian Language and Culture Studies, the UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies, the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research, and the departments of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures and Art History at UCLA. The committee also received financial support from the Campus Programs Committee of the Program Activities Board.

The event is free of charge and open to the public.

The program and schedule are below:


  • Breakfast (9:30-10:00AM)
  • Opening Remarks by Rosie Aroush and Ara Soghomonian, Project Directors, 2011 Graduate Student Colloquium in Armenian Studies. and by Dr. S. Peter Cowe the Narekatsi Professor of Armenian Studies, UCLA (10:00-10:15AM)

Session 1:

Medieval Armenian Manuscript Illumination (Moderator: Dr. Tamar Boyajian)

  • “The Miniatures of the 13th Century Armenian Cilician Gospel (Matenadaran no. 9422) and its Relations to the Art of the Mediterranean World” by Satenik Chookaszian, Art History, Yerevan State University in Armenia. (10:15 – 10:35AM)
  • “Ornithomorphic Decoration of the Incipit Pages of Armenian Gospels in a Diasporan Context” (10:35 – 10:55AM)
  • Discussion (10:55-11:05AM)
  • Coffee Break (11:05-11:15AM)

Session 2:

Oral and Written Traditions in Armenian Literature (Moderator Xi Yang)

  • “Plato in Armenia: A Study on the Ancient Translation of the Apology” by Chiara Aimi, Classical Philology, University of Bologna in Italy. (11:15 – 11:35AM)
  • “The Epic Hero’s Transformation” by Hayk Hambardzumyan, Armenian Philology, Yerevan State University in Armenia. (11:35-11:55AM)
  • Discussion (11:55-12:05PM)
  • Coffee Break (12:05-12:15PM)

Session 3:

Imperial Russian and Ottoman Policies and the Armenian Community (Moderator: Myrna Douzjian)

  • “Armenians and Ottoman Railways” by Dzovinar Derderian, Near Eastern Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (12:15-12:35PM)
  • The Ground Zero of the Armenian Genocide: Destruction and Agency in the Concentration Sites of Syria (1915-1918) by Khatchig Mouradian, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Clark University, Mass. (12:35-12:55PM)
  • Discussion (12:55-1:10)
  • Lunch Break (1:10-2:30)

Session 4:

Armenian Piety and Religious Art in the 17th Century (Moderator: Liana Vardanyan)

  • “A New Form of the Armenian Liturgy Developed in Transylvania” by Benedek Zsigmond, Institute of History, National Academy of Sciences, Yerevan in Armenia. (1:30 – 2:50PM)
  • “Stefan Wartanowicz’s Gospelbook of the 3rd Quarter of the 17th Century” by Katarzyna Nowak-Komar, Institute of Art History, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin in Poland. (2:50 – 3:10PM)
  • “An Illuminated Armenian “Guide Book” of the Sacred Shrines in the Holy Land from the End of the 17th Century” by Mikayel Arakelyan, Art History, Matenadaran Institute of Manuscripts, Yerevan in Armenia & Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel. (3:10 – 3:30PM)
  • Discussion (3:30-3:50PM)
  • Tea Break (3:50-4:10PM)

Session 5:

The Armenian Homeland and Diaspora in the 20th Century (Moderator: Shushan Karapetyan)

  • “The Formation of Film Poster Art at the Dawn of Armenian Cinema (1920s-30s)” by Artavazd Yeghiazaryan, Art History, Institute of Art, National Academy of Sciences, Yerevan in Armenia. (4:10 – 4:30PM)
  • “The Lebanese Crisis: The Impact on the Armenian Community” by Hagop Ohanessian, History, California State University Fresno. (4:30-4:50PM)
  • “Spaces of Diaspora Investment in the Landscape of Yerevan” by Diana Ter-Ghazaryan • International Relations and Geography, Florida International University. (4:50-5:10)
  • Discussion (5:10-5:30PM)


  • Guest Speaker Prof. Levon Marashlian, Glendale City College (5:30-5:45)
  • Reception (5:45-7:00PM)


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  2. Pilaf said:

    Speaking of California, what is the USC Institute of Armenian Studies up to lately?