WASHINGTON, DC — An international conference, “Transmitting Western Armenian to the Next Generation” will take place from noon-3:00PM on Saturday, November 18, 2017. The conference, co-sponsored by the Society for Armenian Studies (SAS) and the Armenian Communities Department of the Gulbenkian Foundation, will be held in the Virginia B (L) room of the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, in Washington, D.C.

The Society for Armenian Studies will also hold its 44th Annual Meeting at 3:00PM on Saturday, November 18, immediately following the conference in the same venue. All members are welcome to attend the Annual Meeting, which is being held in conjunction with the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) Annual Meeting.

The Conference will consist of two sessions and is open to the public. The first session which starts at noon, is entitled “Teaching Armenian in a Diasporan Context,” and will have three presentations. Ani Garmiryan (Senior program officer f or the promotion of Western Armenian language and education , Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation) will speak on “ It Takes a Village to Raise a… Language.” She will be followed by Sylvia Kasparian (Université de Moncton), “For a Multilingual Approach in Teaching Modern Western Armenian in the Diaspora” and Jesse Arlen (UCLA), “  Ո՞ւր են բանալիներդ —An Innovative Method for Teaching Western Armenian in the Diaspora.”

The second session is entitled “Creative Literacy and Heritage Language: The Case of Western Armenian” and also features three presentations: Hagop Gulludjian (UCLA), “Promoting ‘Creative Literacy’”; Shushan Karapetian (UCLA), “ Eastern Armenian Speakers as Potential Western Armenian Learners: Reflections on Second Dialect Acquisition ”; and Elizabeth Mekhitarian (UCLA), “To Create and Belong: A Case Study of Creative Writing in Heritage Language Instruction.”

In addition to the Conference, the Society of Armenian Studies is sponsoring two panels as part of MESA. The first panel, organized by Owen Miller and Ümit Kurt, and entitled “The Great Fear of 1895: Armenian Reform, Rumor and Violence Across the Ottoman Empire,” will take place from 8:00AM-10:00AM on Sunday, November 19. Four papers will be given: Owen Miller (Emerson College), “George Perkins Knapp of Bitlis and Massacres of 1895”; Emre Can Daglioglu (Clark University), “Reform and Violence in the Hamidian Era: 1895 Anti-Armenian Riots in Trabzon”; Ümit Kurt (Harvard University), “Theaters of Violence in the Ottoman Periphery: Tracing the Local Roots of Hamidian Massacres in Aintab”; and Ugur Peçe (Bard College), “The Year of Rumor: Crete in the Shadow of the Armenian Massacres of 1895.” The discussant for the panel will be Edhem Eldem (Bogaziçi University).

The second panel, entitled “Humanitarianism in the Ottoman Empire During World War I” is organized by Stacy Fahrenthold and will take place from 1:00PM-3:00PM on Tuesday, November 21. It is chaired by Barlow Der Mugrdechian (California State University, Fresno), and includes papers by Melanie S. Tanielian (University of Michigan), “Nourishing Bodies and Souls: The Maronite Church’s Relief Effort in Mount Lebanon during the Great War”; Stacy Fahrenthold (California State University, Stanislaus), “American Relief and Émigré Politics in the Syrian Mahjar”; Asya Darbinyan (Clark University), “Can Refugees Speak? Humanitarian Crisis at the Ottoman-Russian border (1914-1917)”; and Khatchig Mouradian (Columbia University), “Not like a Lamb to the Slaughter: Humanitarian Resistance during the Armenian Genocide.”

A reception, hosted by his Excellency Grigor Hovhannissian, Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to the U.S., will be held at the Armenian Embassy in Washington D.C., on Saturday, November 18.

Scholars will deliver a dozen other Armenian-themed papers during the course of the MESA conference, November 18-21. For a full program of their sessions, please visit their website at http://www.mesana.org/pdf/17-preliminary-program-10-12-17.pdf

The Society for Armenian Studies represents scholars and teachers in the field of Armenian Studies. It publishes the peer-reviewed Journal of the Society for Armenian Studies, available on its website: societyforarmenianstudies.com.

For more information about the Society, please contact SAS President Barlow Der Mugrdechian at [email protected].

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