Top row, left to right, Bedross Der Matossian, Dzovinar Derderian, Nora Lessersohn, Barlow Der Mugrdechian. Bottom row, left to right: Varak Ketsemanian, Vartan Matiossian, Christopher Sheklian, and Tamar Boyadjian.

FRESNO —The Society for Armenian Studies (SAS) Executive Council held a meeting on November 11, 2020 to choose its new Executive officers for 2021. Bedross Der Matossian (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) was re-elected as SAS President. Also elected were Vice-President Dzovinar Derderian (American University of Armenia); Secretary Nora Lessersohn (University College London); Treasurer Barlow Der Mugrdechian (California State University, Fresno); and advisors Vartan Matiossian (Executive Director of the Eastern Prelacy), Christopher Sheklian (Zohrab Information Center) and Varak Ketsemanian (Princeton University). Tamar Boyadjian (Michigan State University), the editor of the Journal of the Society for Armenian Studies (JSAS), serves as an ex-officio officer.

On behalf of the SAS, Der Matossian thanked outgoing Vice-President Alison Vacca (University of Tennessee-Knoxville) for her work in advancing the mission of SAS.

“It is a great honor to have been re-elected as the President of the SAS,” stated Der Matossian. “In the past two years we have realized all of the major goals we have set forward beginning in 2018. Our membership has increased by 40%; we have produced 45 interviews in our Podcast Series; we have given more than 15 research grants to Graduate Students in the field; we have published two volumes in the SAS Publication Series; innovative articles have been published in our electronic journal E-SAS under the editorship of Dzovinar Derderian; and the first volume of the Journal of the Society for Armenian Studies (JSAS) has been published by the prestigious Brill publishing house under the energetic editorship of Tamar Boyadjian.”

“The SAS is continuing its academic mission by organizing and co-sponsoring conferences, the largest of which was the SAS 45th anniversary conference dedicated to the Armenian Diaspora which took place at the University of California, Los Angeles in October of 2019. Due to the COVID pandemic, SAS adapted itself to alternative ways of disseminating knowledge through Zoom webinars. As a result of the Artsakh war, SAS is raising awareness about the situation through conferences and symposia. As an academic organization our top priority is to preserve the Armenian cultural heritage of Artsakh. We are currently partnering with different organizations to fulfill this task,” added Der Matossian.

The Executive Council would like to engage more members in activities and encourages anyone who is interested in Armenian Studies to contact the Executive Council with suggestions, concerns, and feedback.

The 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.

Information about the SAS can be found on its website at or by following the SAS on its Facebook page, @societyforarmenianstudies.

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