Prof. Hovannisian Speaks at UC Irvine

Prof. Richard Hovannisian at Irvine

IRVINE—The Armenian History Lecture Series at the University of California, Irvine, continued this month with a lecture by Richard Hovannisian, professor emeritus of Armenian and Near Eastern History at UCLA. Hovannisian’s talk, “The Changing Landscape of Historic Western Armenia: Reflections on a Journey into the Past,” took attendees on a visual journey through contemporary and ancient Armenia using slides from his recent journeys through Armenia and historical photographs.

More than 170 UCI students, faculty and local community members gathered to hear Hovannisian at the University Club.  Many in the audience were transported home again, seeing  images of Armenia where their parents and grandparents grew up. For most of the students in attendance, this was their first “trip” to Armenia and what better tour guide than Hovannisian, who wrote the definitive encyclopedia on Armenian history.

After the lecture Charles Barsam, on behalf of the Orange County Armenian Professional Society,  presented a check for $10,000 to Vicki L. Ruiz, dean of the School of Humanities, to support Armenian history at UCI.

Dr. Vahe  and Armine Meghrouni, who last December generously donated $50,000 to fund community lectures and quarterly Armenian courses, matched their 2011 donation with another $50,000.  Dr. Meghrouni spoke briefly on the importance of confronting “revisionists, reductionists and deniers” of Armenian history and providing a place where students can get an accurate picture of Armenian history.

Dean Ruiz awarded certificates of appreciation to Sylvie and Garo Tertzakian and the Meghrounis for their continued vision, support and dedication.

A camera crew from USArmenia, the most watched Armenian television network in the world, filmed the lecture and interviewed guests afterwards. Coverage of his talk was broadcast to more than 150 countries.

The quarterly lecture series – made possible through gifts to UCI – offers the local community opportunities to learn more about Armenian history. This past year the series included lectures by Sebouh David Aslanian on his book From the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean: The Global Trade Networks of Armenian Merchants from New Julfa and Tom Mooradian on his memoir The Repatriate: Love, Basketball and the KGB which chronicles his 13 years behind the Iron Curtain as an Armenian repatriate.

Undergraduate courses in Armenian history continue in the upcoming spring quarter with an offering in modern Armenian history.

Click here to see a clip from the USArmenia broadcast.

About Armenian History at UC Irvine
Armenian History at the University of California, Irvine was established in December 2007 with the goal of providing classes in ancient and modern Armenian history to all interested students on a yearly basis.  The first classes occured in the fall of 2008. The mission of the this initiative is to provide intellectual and social space for any student with an interest in Armenian history as well as provide a cultural framework for students who may be interested in learning more about their own heritage or those of their neighbors.


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