The Society for Armenian Studies (SAS) established the “Graduate Research and Conference Grants Program for M.A. and Ph.D. Students” in 2019. The aim of the grant program is to provide resources for graduate students to conduct research and present papers at conferences. Grants of up to $500.00 are awarded semi-annually to eligible graduate students. The inaugural group of applicants were chosen by a selection committee composed of members of the SAS Executive Council.

Pauline Pechakjian, an M.A. student at the University of Irvine, applied for a travel grant to conduct research in Armenia. Pauline’s M.A. thesis is entitled “Rethinking ‘Repatriation’: A Social History of the Mass Migration of Diaspora Armenians to Soviet Armenia, 1946-49.”

“I am appreciative of the funding that will facilitate my travel to Armenia this summer,” said Pechakjian. “As a young scholar, it is an honor to have my research aims recognized and supported by one of the most important academic organizations in the field of Armenian studies, and I look forward to sharing the findings of my research with the SAS community.”

Julia Hintlian, a Doctoral candidate at Harvard University, applied for a grant to participate in the “New Research on Ancient Armenia: Second Geneva Workshop for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Researchers” at the University of Geneva, May 31-June 1, 2019.

“The conference is significant to my scholarly career for two reasons,” stated Hintlian. First, it will allow me to engage with Armenian Studies in a cross-cultural, trans-linguistic look forward to finding common ground with my international colleagues. Second, my presentation is fundamentally theological in nature, and as an aspiring scholar of religion, I will seek to highlight the value of theological lenses to original research in Armenian Studies.”  Hintlian will present a paper entitled: “Homegrown Flock: Rethinking the Delayed Emergence of the Lamb of God in Armenian Manuscript Illumination,” at the Geneva conference.

Nora Lessersohn, a Doctoral student at University College London, is working on a doctoral project, preliminarily titled “Ambitions of an Ottoman Armenian in America (1834-1895).” By studying the life and intra-communal encounters of Ottoman Armenian American Christopher Oscanyan, Lessersohn’s research seeks to complicate “monolithic portrayals of the past” and demonstrate “the complex range of attitudes, ideas, and norms within historical Armenian, American and Ottoman societies.” Her dissertation will focus on Oscanyan’s publications, including an “Oriental Album” of photographs he produced during the American Civil War.

“The SAS grant has allowed me to procure high-quality research images of these photos and their descriptions, which are invaluable to my project as a whole,” stated Lessersohn.

Sargis Baldaryan, a Doctoral student at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, is working on his doctoral thesis entitled “In Pursuit of ‘the Most Precious Good’: Armenian Commercial Manuals in the Julfan Global Trade Network.” The SAS grant will assist Baldaryan in attending the “Sixth CEM International Graduate Conference on Cultural Entanglement, Transfer and Contention in Mediterranean Communities” at Central European University in Budapest, in May30-June 1, 2019. Baldaryan will present a paper entitled “Exploring Early Modern Armenian Business Correspondence: Mediterranean Trade Through Letters Sent to Hierapet di martin in Venice.”

“This inspiring initiative of SAS is bound to make a significant contribution to young scholars’ careers as future professional specialists,” said Baldaryan. “It will provide them with financial assistance to carry out their own projects in a wide range of academic institutions and promote Armenian studies around the world.”

Ani Yenokyan is a Doctoral student in Art History and Theory and is a junior researcher at the Mesrop Mashtots Matenadaran, in Armenia. Yenoyan’s doctoral thesis is entitled “Armenian Printed Book Illustrations in the 16th-18th Centuries.” The SAS grant will provide support for Yenokyan to attend the conference “New Research on Ancient Armenia: Second Geneva Workshop for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Researchers” at the University of Geneva, May 31-June 1, 2019, where she will present a paper on “Armenian Printing as a Bridge Between Late Medieval and Early Modern Armenian art.”

“This workshop tends to give an opportunity for young researchers working in the field of Armenian studies to present their work in progress,” commented Yenokyan. “For me, it is more important because this year’s Geneva workshop is giving preference to subjects relating to pre-modern issues and practices.”

“This is the first time that SAS has established such a grant,” noted SAS President Bedross Der Matossian. “We are glad that we are be able to help young scholars in the field, whether by assisting them in their research or helping them to travel to conferences. We hope that in the future we will be able to fund a larger pool of applicants.”

The SAS congratulates the first recipients of the SAS Graduate Research and Conference Grants for M.A. and Ph.D. students and wish them much success in their research and academic careers.

The next application cycle will have a deadline  of September 1, 2019.

The SAS Graduate and Research Grant was made possible through the generous institutional support of: the Armenian Studies Program, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; the Armenian Research Center, University of Michigan, Dearborn; the Meghrouni Family Presidential Chair in Armenian Studies, University of California, Irvine; the Hovannisian Chair of Modern Armenian History, University of California, Los Angeles; the Arthur H. Dadian and Ara Oztemel Chair of Armenian Art & Architecture, Tufts University; the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR); the Armenian Communities Department, Gulbenkian Foundation; the Armenian Studies Program, California State University, Fresno; the Robert Aram, Marianne Kaloosdian and Stephen and Marian Mugar Chair in Armenian Genocide Studies, Clark University; the Armenian Studies Program, University of California, Berkeley; and the Institute of Armenian Studies, University of Southern California.

The Society of Armenian Studies is an international body, composed of scholars and students, whose aims are to promote the study of Armenian culture and society, including history, language, literature, and social, political, and economic questions; to facilitate the exchange of scholarly information pertaining to Armenian studies around the world; and to sponsor panels and conferences on Armenian studies.

For membership information or more information on the Society for Armenian Studies, please visit the SAS website at

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