Dr. Susan B. Harper Presents Research on Dr. Mabel Elliott

WASHINGTON, DC – For the 19th Library of Congress Vardanants Day Armenian Lecture Series, Dr. Susan B. Harper presented a lecture on “American Humanitarianism in the Armenian Crucible, 1915-1923.”

Formerly Senior Officer at The Pew Charitable Trusts and Executive Director of the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion, and currently a nonresident scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Dr. Harper reported on her findings about physician missionaries who as part of the overall Near East Relief effort traveled to Armenia and other countries to deliver medical aid in the aftermath of the Armenian Genocide.

Harper focused on the contributions of Dr. Mabel Elliott who tended to the medical needs of refugees in Armenia, Turkey and Greece, and who authored one of the compelling accounts of the era “Beginning Again at Ararat.”

Held on May 7, the lecture coincided with the opening day of events organized by the National Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee and the Ecumenical Service held at the National Cathedral later that evening.

Dr. Harper previously participated in the conference organized in September, 2000 by the Armenian National Institute and the Library of Congress where she presented a paper on the missionary Mary Louise Graffam who witnessed the Armenian Genocide. Her and other presenters’ papers were published by Cambridge University Press in “America and the Armenian Genocide of 1915,” under the editorship of Dr. Jay Winter.

Introduced by Dr. Levon Avdoyan, Armenian and Georgian Area Specialist at the Library of Congress, Dr. Harper’s illustrated lecture was attended by an audience of over 200 who were joined by Librarian of Congress Dr. James Billington and his wife, and Dr. Vartan Gregorian, President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York and former President of the New York Public Library. In 2012, Dr. Gregorian delivered the opening lecture for the Library of Congress exhibition on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of Armenian printing titled “To Know Wisdom and Instruction: The Armenian Literary Tradition at the Library of Congress.”

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