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Alumni Success Story: A Capstone Project Turned into a Book

YEREVAN, Armenia ‒ The English and Communications (E&C) program of the American University of Armenia (AUA) proudly announces the publication of Anna Grigoryan’s (E&C ‘18) Armenian translation of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s famous story “The Yellow Wallpaper.”

During the last year of her undergraduate studies at AUA, Grigoryan wrote her Capstone project on this feminist classic, which she had read in a literature course. In addition to researching and writing about the story, she decided to translate it. So she enrolled in the course Introduction to Translation taught by Shushan Avagyan, Assistant Professor at the College of Humanities & Social Sciences (CHSS).

“Anna’s fascination with and devotion to the story reminded me of my own exhilaration at the discovery of ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ as an undergrad at Cedar Crest College in Allentown, PA, back in 1999. Reading Anna’s version of the story in Armenian revived my interest in the story and I knew instantly that there were other readers waiting to discover it here in Armenia,” says Avagyan. She pitched the idea of publishing the translation to Lara Aharonian of the Women’s Resource Center who, without hesitation, agreed to support the project.

“When Anna decided to translate Charlotte Perkins Gilman, I knew the result was going to be unique,” says Arto Vaun who worked with Grigoryan on “The Yellow Wallpaper” project in the Research Methods and Capstone courses.

Grigoryan may be a novice in literary translation, but she isn’t a stranger to literature and creative writing. In 2016 she won Second Place in the Arditi Essay Competition for her story in Armenian titled “Մարդիկ թեյի մեջ” (“A Cup of Humanitea”).

“I didn’t know where the journey of translating Gilman’s story would take me, but I felt that it found me at the right time and in the right place. It was an experimental project for me; I wasn’t sure about its success, but when the first ‘trembling’ steps found support and shared passion in others, ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ smoothly transformed into ‘Դեղին պաստառը’,” remarked Grigoryan.

The book was designed by artist Arpi Adamyan, who has previously produced a series of striking images for Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s novel Herland. “I am grateful to Arpi for finding the right yellow and new visual solutions for the story,” writes Grigoryan in the translator’s preface.

Copies of the book may be acquired from the Women’s Resource Center, located at 50G Baghramyan Ave., #12.

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.