Seventeen graduate students from five universities in Armenia were selected for a MasterClass on the “Social Science Principles and Research Methodologies” at the USC Tacori Center in Maiakovski village. The program took place from January 18-20, 2022, and was the third on the same themes, organized by the University of Southern California Institute of Armenia Studies.

Located 25 minutes outside of Armenia’s capital Yerevan, the USC Tacori Center is a year-round convening space for artists, policymakers, scholars, authors, practitioners, and scientists. It brings people from Armenia, Artsakh and from the international community together to work, to learn from each other, and to turn ideas into actions.

This MasterClass was the third led by Dr. Vicken Cheterian, who teaches International Relations at Webster University Geneva, and Associate Fellow at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, and Dr. Naira Sahakyan, who teaches at Armenia’s Yerevan State University, the American University of Armenia, and is a senior researcher at the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute.

Six other presenters from Armenia and abroad led lectures and discussions to provide students with a basic tool-kit of theories and literature to understand how best to structure their own research projects.  “As important as this scholarship would have been at any time, it is crucial and necessary today, in a post-war environment, so that the political, social and historical studies that are being developed represent solid, irrefutable research,” said Syuzanna Petrosyan, Associate Director of the USC Institute of Armenian Studies.

In addition to Cheterian and Sahakyan, presenters included Anahit Kartashyan and Benyamin Poghosyan from the Russian-Armenian University, Vahram Ter-Matevosyan from the American University of Armenia, analyst Tigran Grigoryan, Anna Gevorgyan from Yerevan State University, and Arman Grigoryan from Pennsylvania’s Lehigh University.

Students had the opportunity to share the challenges they are experiencing with their ongoing or upcoming research projects, after which they received feedback both from their peers and the presenters.

There will be additional student workshops at the USC Tacori Center that will focus on research methodology and approaches. Armenia-based students interested in participating, should email [email protected] to be added to the USC Tacori Center students list.  Other workshops in the months to come will include a convening of sculptors, a colloquium on the intersection of heritage and technology, especially in the post-war context, and several workshops on writing – for animation, for theater and for publication. Scholars and regional experts will convene on current urgent issues impacting the region.

The Tacorian Family of Los Angeles gifted use of the secluded residence to the USC Institute of Armenian Studies. This unique regional hub, like other research and conference centers around the world, will become an important venue for cross-cultural and interdisciplinary exchange.  Scholars and students from around Armenia, the Caucasus, Europe and the US will be coming together to explore the arts, social sciences and humanities, as well as business and engineering,  in ways that are significant and relevant for today’s leading scholars.

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