FRESNO — The Society for Armenian Studies (SAS) announces that Dr. Shushan Karapetian has been chosen to receive the SAS Distinguished Dissertation Award for 2011-2014 for her dissertation “‘How Do I Teach My Kids My Broken Armenian?”’: A Study of Eastern Armenian Heritage Language Speakers in Los Angeles.” The SAS Award is accompanied by a $1,000 prize.

The selection committee had this to say about Dr. Karapetian’s dissertation: “The committee found the dissertation to be timely and well researched and a welcome addition to the body of knowledge. In its examination of Armenian as a heritage language it addresses an issue of great contemporary relevance through solid scholarship, and it stands a valuable contribution to an under-analyzed topic.”

Shushan Karapetian received a PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures from UCLA in 2014, where she has taught Armenian Studies courses over the past six years. This year she began her tenure as the first Postdoctoral Fellow in the UCLA Armenian Studies Program, which entails the expansion of her research on Armenian heritage speakers and the development and instruction of an entirely new course entitled Language in Diaspora: Armenian as a Heritage Language. H er research interests focus on heritage languages and speakers, particularly on the case of Armenian heritage speakers in the Los Angeles community, on which she has presented and lectured widely. She is currently serving on multiple committees in the Los Angeles Armenian community aimed at reforming Armenian language instruction and promoting the use of the Armenian language.

The SAS chose Dr. Sona Haroutyunian’s dissertation, “An Analysis of Dante’s Tenses in the Armenian Translations of the Divina Commedia,” for honorable mention. Dr. Haroutyunian is professor of Armenian language and literature at Ca ’ Foscari University of Venice.

Vahe Sahakyan was named as the recipient of the graduate student SAS Best Conference Paper, for his work “From Extra-Territorial Communitarianism to Ethno-Territorial Nationalism Emergence of Armenian Revolutionary Parties in the 19th Century.” Sahakyan is a graduate student in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. The SAS Best Conference Paper award is accompanied by a $500 prize.

The Society for Armenian Studies (SAS), founded in 1974, is the international professional association representing scholars and teachers in the field of Armenian Studies. The aim of the SAS is to promote the study of Armenian culture and society, including history, language, literature, and social, political, and economic questions.

The SAS publishes the peer-review Journal of the Society for Armenian Studies and published a semi-annual Newsletter and organizes panels and conferences on Armenian Studies.

SAS is headquartered at the Armenian Studies Program at California State University, Fresno and its website can be found at

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