International Scholars Discuss New Topics in Armenian History and Culture

WASHINGTON, DC — International scholars will take part in a conference, part of the 22nd Vardanants Day Armenian lecture series, titled “New Topics in Armenian History and Culture.” The conference, which will explore the linguistic, artistic, social and musical history of Armenia, will take place onTuesday, June 26, beginning at 8:30 a.m. in room LJ119 of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, located at 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C. The event is free and open to the public. No tickets are required. The conference is being presented to coincide with the 2018 Smithsonian Folklife Festival which will highlight Armenia and Catalonia.

The scholars’ presentations will go beyond discussion of Armenia as a nation to explore the ancient culture of the Armenian people, many of whom live outside the Republic in a diaspora around the world including the United States. The scholars participating in this program, whose research spanned the globe in archives and libraries including the Library of Congress, have contributed to the story of those who claim Armenian descent.

The speakers and the titles of their presentations for the program are:
-Luc Vartan Baronian , Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, Canada, “A More Distant Past Than We Usually Think: The Antiquity of the Armenian Dialect Split.”
-Vazken Khatchig Davidian, Birkbeck College, University of London, “Image of the Migrant Worker: Visualising the Bantoukhdfrom Ottoman Armenia in Late Nineteenth Century Constantinople.”
-Helen C. Evans, Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Cloisters, “Cilicia on Mongol Trade Routes.”
-Nerses V. Hayrapetyan, U.S. Embassy in Yerevan, “Samizdat and the Emergence of the Contemporary Armenian Press.”
-Robert Krikorian, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, U.S. Department of State, “The Re-Appropriation of the Past: History and Politics in Soviet Armenia, 1988-1991.”
-Amy Landau, Walters Art Museum, “A Concert of Luxurywares and Estates: The Will of the 17th-Century Armenian, Merchant Poghos Velijanian.”
-Sylvie L. Merian, The Morgan Library & Museum, “The Eclectic Nature of Late Armenian Manuscripts from Constantinople.”
-Khatchig Mouradian, Columbia University, “Unarmed and Dangerous: Non-violent Resistance from the Ottoman Empire to the Third Reich.”
-Haig Utidjian, Charles University in Prague, “‘Sublime and celestial’: Pietro Bianchini and an Ode for the Patriarch.”
Theo Maarten van Lint, Oxford University, “Poetry, Patria and Pedigree: Eghishe Charents’ Monument and the Muse’s Discontents.”
-Murat C. Yildiz, Skidmore College, “Biceps and Balls: Physical Culture in late Ottoman Bolis.”
Tigran Zargaryan, The National Library of Armenia, “The Pan-Armenian Digital Library in Action: Connecting the Diasporas, Bridging Knowledge.”

The Vardanants Day lecture series was created to explore and present all aspects of Armenian culture and history. It is named after the Armenian holiday that commemorates the battle of Avarayr (451 A.D.), which was waged by the Armenian General Vardan Mamikonian and his compatriots against invading Persian troops who were attempting to reimpose Zoroastrianism on the Christian state. Though a religious holiday, it also celebrates the Armenians’ secular triumph over forces of assimilation.

For a list of the twenty-one previous Vardanants Day lectures and links to webcasts of those since the 9th in 2001, visit this Library website. The Library’s African and Middle Eastern Division is the center for the study of 78 countries and regions from Southern Africa to the Maghreb and from the Middle East and the Caucasus to Central Asia. For more information, visit

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at, and register creative works of authorship at

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