On January 16, 2021, the Society for Armenian Studies (SAS) held its 46th Annual Membership Meeting on Zoom. More than forty members, including the Executive Council, were present at the meeting, which was open to all members of SAS.
The SAS President Dr. Bedross Der Matossian began by reviewing recent SAS accomplishments. He noted that the SAS Podcast has interviewed over 45 authors so far, and is available on platforms like Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Google Play. He highlighted the SAS Research and Travel Grants program which has so far supported 15 graduate students, including the first two recipients of the new SAS Grant on Race. As part of the newly launched Society for Armenian Studies Publication Series, Der Matossian presented the second volume on “The First Republic of Armenia (1918-1920) on its Centenary: Politics, Gender, and Diplomacy,” (2020) published by the Press at California State University, Fresno.
One of the notable achievements of SAS was that the prestigious publishing house Brill is now publishing the Journal for the Society of Armenian Studies (JSAS). Dr. Tamar M. Boyadjian was appointed Editor-in-Chief of the new JSAS, and has been working to expand the scope of the Journal to show the depth and breadth of Armenian Studies as an interdisciplinary field. Entries for the Society of Armenian Studies (e-SAS), the online platform for shorter scholarly pieces on topics related to Armenian Studies, continues to publish pieces by both established and junior scholars. In light of the pandemic, the SAS also hosted and co-hosted numerous Zoom lectures, conferences, and symposia by concentrating on different aspects of Armenian Studies.
After reviewing the accomplishments to this point, Dr. Der Matossian mapped out the “Three-Year Strategic Plan of the SAS” which will concentrate on three areas:1) strengthening SAS ties with educational institutions in Armenia and Artsakh; 2) mentoring SAS graduate students; and 3) disseminating knowledge about Armenian Studies throughout the world.
In order to strengthen ties with Armenia and Artsakh, SAS decided to cooperate with educational institutions in Armenia and Artsakh; concentrate on documenting and promoting the cultural heritage of Artsakh; and to encourage students from Armenia to become members of SAS and to benefit from its scholarship as well as expertise. This will be accomplished by creating a program to sponsor students for $10 per year. In its second area of mentorship for graduate students, SAS will organize workshops for graduate students; discuss alternative paths to careers; and provide a platform for graduate students and junior scholars (mostly from Armenia) to present their work and receive critical feedback. For the last area regarding dissemination of knowledge about the field, SAS decided to continue with its Podcast Series, Zoom Lecture Series, E-SAS, and JSAS.
After Der Matossian’s presentation, SAS Treasurer Prof. Barlow Der Mugrdechian; the JSAS Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Tamar M. Boyadjian; and the Editor of e-SAS, Dr. Dzovinar Derderian provided their reports, following which the floor was opened to questions from the larger membership community. A productive conversation followed about topics including the sponsorship of panels at major conferences, membership of scholars in Armenia, and work related to the preservation of cultural heritage in Artsakh.
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.