GLENDALE—The Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Western United States, in collaboration with the Cal State Northridge Armenian Studies Program, has organized a two-day academic conference, “Armenian Statehood Reborn: Achievements and Reflections,” to mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the first Republic of Armenia. The conference will take place on Saturday, May 5 and Sunday, May 6 at the Plaza del Sol Hall on the campus of CSU Northridge.
The program will feature presentations by 15 scholars from across the world. In the preceding weeks, we have presented the biographies and abstracts of each of the speakers. This week, we would like to present the last four speakers during the two-day academic conference: Dr. Khatchik DerGhougassian, Dr. Dikran Kaligian, Dr. Garabet Moumdjian, and Nare Kupelian.
Dr. Khatchik DerGhougassian holds a Ph.D. in International Studies from the University of Miami. He is a professor at Universidad de Lanús in Argentina. Previously, he has taught international relations at Universidad de San Andrés in Argentina and was a visiting professor at the American University of Armenia in Yerevan. He is the author of multiple books, chapters, and peer-reviewed articles about Armenian politics, the Middle East and Latin America in English, Spanish and Armenian. From 1987 to 1997, DerGhougassian was the editor of Diario ARMENIA in Buenos Aires.
During the conference, Dr. DerGhougassian will explain why the Republic of Armenia opted for parliamentary democracy in 1918. He will contrast that with the system established in 1991 and explore why the Armenian political class decided to restore the parliamentary system nearly one hundred years later. The presentation will deal with both historical processes to focus on the challenges of the current “systemic change” in terms of inclusion and further democratization of the Armenian political system.
Dr. Dikran Kaligian is the Managing Editor of the Armenian Review. He received his Ph.D. in History from Boston College in 2003. He is the author of Armenian Organization and Ideology under Ottoman Rule, 1908-1914. Kaligian has published multiple articles in the Journal of Genocide Research, Genocide Studies International, the Armenian Review.
Dr. Kaligian will present a lecture titled, “Sardarabad, Bash Abaran, and Karakilise: Winning Independence for the First Republic of Armenia.” In the spring of 1918, facing Turkish armies attacking Eastern Armenia, the Armenian people faced a desperate situation. Russian Armenian troops and former fedayis were joined by streams of civilian volunteers in three battles on the three roads to Yerevan: Sardarabad, Bash Abaran, and Karakilise. Armenian forces not only halted the Turkish advance, but drove the Turkish army back over 100 miles, while securing an armistice. Dr. Kaligian will discuss the changes in diplomatic, political, and military fortunes during these key days.
Dr. Garabet Moumdjian holds a Ph.D. in History from UCLA. His dissertation, titled “Struggling for a Constitutional Regime: Armenian-Young Turk Relations, 1895-1914,” is currently under publication. He has written a multi-volume Armenian history textbook for grades 4 through 9, titled Our History. He is the author of two academic tomes, seven chapters in scholarly books, and scores of articles in academic and non-academic journals. He is an Ottomanist with interest in the 1800 -1914 and 1920-1950 periods, especially concentrating on the Young Turks and Armenian-Kurdish relations.
Dr. Moumdjian will present a lecture titled, “Inter-Parliamentary Politics in the First Armenian Republic, 1918-1920.” After providing a brief presentation of the composition and the workings of the Armenian National Council of Tiflis in the period before the formation of the First Republic, Dr. Moumdjian will discuss three distinct periods. First, he will discuss the internal politics from May-November 1918, when the ANC was transformed into a parliament by a factor of “x6” of parties represented in it. Second, he will discuss the period of coalition between the ARF and the Populist Party from the parliamentary elections of November 1918 to June 1919, which brought the coalition to an end. Lastly, he will discuss the period from July 1919 to December 1920, when the parliament was composed of just one party, the ARF, and if there was any dissent toward the ARF government from within party member parliamentarians.
Nare Kupelian is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Intellectual History at UCLA. Her research is focused on ideology development in Armenian exile communities in Siberia during 1940’s-1950’s. Her dissertation covers the various ideological shifts and communal patterns of Armenian repatriates in Soviet Armenia who were subjected to exile during the Stalinist repressions. Kupelian also holds a JD and has published works on the Soviet concept of law and the legal framework of repression.
Kupelian will discuss the role of women as political actors in the First Republic. At a time when women’s suffrage was a relatively controversial and rare concept, the First Republic of Armenia developed a progressive stance regarding the inclusion of women as political actors. As of the 1919 elections in Armenia, three women were elected as Members of Parliament and one served in an ambassadorship appointment to Japan. This paper will discuss the involvement of women in domestic politics, within the international relations of the state, and service through auxiliary roles to support the state and government. The presentation will cover the evolution of the female MPs from the national revolutionary movements to holding office within the Armenian state. Further, she will explore the work of women in the international realm, particularly within refugee relief.
The event will be free and open to the public. The conference is generously sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Harry and Cheryl Nadjarian. Further information about the program and speakers will be presented in the coming months. Please check the conference website the1strepublic.org for information and updates.