FRESNO — The Society for Armenian Studies (SAS) has selected its awardees for its Graduate Research and Conference Grants Program for M.A. and Ph.D. Students for the Fall of 2021. Established in 2019, the aim of the Grants Program is to provide resources for graduate students to conduct research and present papers at conferences. Grants of up to $1000 are awarded semi-annually to eligible graduate students. The Fall 2021 group of applicants was chosen by a selection committee composed of members of the SAS Executive Council.

Haley Zovickian, is an M.A. student in the Department of Sociology at Columbia University, NY, working on Armenian-American identity as seen through critical race theory.

“I am so grateful to the Society for Armenian Studies for their support of my research on critical race theory and Armenian racialization. Thanks to the Society, I will be able to bring the experiences of the Armenian community into academic discourse on race in the United States. I am truly humbled and honored to receive this generous opportunity.”

Daniel Ohanian, is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) working on dissertation titled: “Church of Armenia, Church of Rome: Faith, Print, and Power in Ottoman-Armenian History, 1688–1717.”

“I am pursuing a PhD in history from UCLA, where my dissertation is supervised by Dr. Sebouh Aslanian. The SAS Graduate Research Grant is helping me fund a three-month research trip to France, where I will be investigating Ottoman-Armenian history in various archives and libraries. Specifically, I will be looking into the Armenian and French missionaries who worked to spread Roman Catholicism among Ottoman Armenians around the year 1700 and the various reactions to their work. French institutions are home to some of the richest collections of letters and reports about this history, and I am grateful to the Society for Armenian Studies for helping me access them.”

Aram Ghoogasian, is a doctoral candidate at the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University working on the reading culture across the Armenian world in the mid-nineteenth century.

“The grant from the Society for Armenian Studies will allow me to visit the Mardigian, Boyadjian, and Demirjibashian libraries in the Greater Boston area this coming spring. My work in these institutions will contribute to my dissertation research on the effects of the industrialization of printing on Armenian language and culture. I am incredibly grateful for the SAS’s support – especially coming off a year in which travel was difficult and uncertain – for my own work and that of other early career scholars in the field.”

Hazal Ozdemir, is a doctoral student in the Department of History at Northwestern University. Her dissertation explores Armenian circular mobility between the Ottoman Empire and the United States between 1896-1908.

“It is a great honor to be a recipient of the SAS Grant. The generous assistance of the SAS will enable me to travel to Paris. Due to this significant grant, I can carry out research in the AGBU Nubar Library for my dissertation project, titled “They Vowed to Never Return: Photographic Documentation and Ottoman Armenian Mobility at the End of Empire.” Financial support of the SAS is very important for graduate students to pursue their academic goals.”

Ruben Davtyan, is doctoral candidate at the International Max Planck Research School for the Anthropology, Archaeology and History of Eurasia (IMPRS ANARCHIE) working on the impacts of the Near East and Eurasian nomads in the South Caucasus and the representation of local elites during the Middle Iron Age. He was awarded the Nina G. Garsoïan Graduate Research Grant for Ancient and Early Medieval Armenian History.

“I would like to thank the SAS for supporting my research. My Ph.D. thesis focuses on the Iron Age tombs of the well-known necropolis of Lori Berd, in the north of Armenia. Kings of Urartu waged several military campaigns against Etiuni, an administrative confederation, which Lori Berd presumably belonged to. I examine the impact on the material assemblage from burial context, where not only separate objects of Urartian repertoire did reach Lori Berd, but also items and even practices of Urartian origin were locally imitated. These phenomena were, however, limited to the obviously large and rich burials. Since the majority of the objects are not published, my work will contribute to the archaeology in Armenia of Urartian period.”

Lori Pirinjian is a doctoral student in the Department Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at the University of California, Los Angeles working on how Armenia’s “anti-gender” movement uses national rhetoric as a stage for the struggle for regional political power between the Russian Federation and the West.

“It is an honor to receive the SAS Travel Grant. I will be putting the funds toward my upcoming summer travel to Armenia in order to gain valuable face-time with my research constituents. These types of in-person, on the ground interactions are an irreplaceable part of my research, and it is thanks to the generosity of the SAS that I will be able to see this through.”

“This year we had the largest pool of applicants. Due to our tight budget, we were not able to support all of them. The awardees are conducting novel research in the field of Armenian Studies in the general understanding. We are extremely happy that we are able to support our graduate students in these difficult times” noted SAS President Bedross Der Matossian. “I would like to specifically thank the Armenian Chairs and Programs Directors and other Armenian Institutions for supporting us in fulfilling this objective. We hope to raise more money in the future in order to fund more graduate students.”

The next application cycle will have a deadline of April 15, 2022.

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 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 Institute of Armenian Studies, University of Southern California; the Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center, and the AGBU Nubar Library, Paris. The Nina G. Garsoïan Graduate Research Grant for Ancient and Early Medieval Armenian History is supported by Dr. Levon Avdoyan.

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 If you are interested in helping the SAS Graduate Research and Conference Grants Program please contact Bedross Der Matossian @ [email protected].

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