LOS ANGELES—The Friends of the UCLA Armenian Language and Culture Studies will host its Tenth Annual Banquet at the Organization of Istanbul Armenians’ Center (19726 Sherman Way, Winnetka, CA 91308) on Sunday, April 29, 2012 (reception at 6:00 p.m. followed by dinner and program). The Friends is a university-approved support group, which, in conjunction with the Narekatsi Chair, promotes Armenian Studies in language, literature, and culture.
The Friends’ annual banquet is one of the major activities the organization undertakes to promote its goals. The funds raised by this means are used mainly towards the expenses of a visiting scholar who is invited by holder of the Narekatsi Chair, Prof. S. Peter Cowe, to teach a one-quarter course to complement the expertise of the resident faculty in language or literature. In addition, a certain sum is donated to the University Research Library for the purchase of Armenian books. There are a number of other important activities the group initiates or supports. One of these is co-sponsoring the annual colloquium of the UCLA Armenian Graduate Student Association.
The banquet is also the occasion for the Friends group to honor an individual with the Narekatsi Medal of Achievement for outstanding contribution to Armenian culture.
This year, the recipient of the medal is Krikor Beledian, renowned writer, scholar, and literary critic from France. Professor Beledian has been lecturer in Classical Armenian and ancient Armenian literature at the Theological Institute of Lyon (1987-2006) and is currently a lecturer in Armenian language and literature at the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilisation in Paris. He is a prolific author both of scholarly studies, of which one might mention his acclaimed investigation of modern Armenian writing in France Cinquante ans de littérature arménienne en France, Du Même à l’Autre, (Paris 2001) and his research on St. Gregory of Narek’s Book of Lamentation, but is better known for his challenging poetic compositions, such as his bilingual Antipoem (Los Angeles, 1979) and his series Mantraner (Mantras), which were recently published together in one volume (Erevan, 2010).
On this joyous occasion, Beledian will be introduced by Dr. Hagop Gulludjian, lecturer in Western Armenian at UCLA. Dr. Gulludjian has made a detailed study of contemporary European philosophy and literary criticism, insights from which he brings to bear on the text of St. Gregory of Narek in his doctoral dissertation, which he is currently revising for publication. Another of his research interests is investigating parallels between the heroic oral culture of Armenia and Anglo-Saxon England. His activities further include internet consulting, creative writing, and translating. In addition to his position at UCLA, Gulludjian serves as an associate professor in the history of the Armenian Culture and Religion in the School of Oriental Studies at the University of Salvador, Buenos Aires, where he initiatied the program in Armenology.
The program will also feature a short musical interlude.
Support of this activity that helps strengthen the Armenian studies program at UCLA is needed and strongly encouraged. For tickets and other inquiries, please contact us at (818) 249-3330 or (310) 704-4353