CHSS Faculty Participate in Armenian Studies Conference2 min read
YEREVAN, Armenia — September 17 and 18, the American University of Armenia (AUA) Assistant Professor Dr. Hasmik Khalapyan and adjunct lecturers Dr. Varak Ketsemanian and Anna Aleksanyan took part in the “Technologies of Communication and Armenian Narrative Practices Through the Centuries” conference organized by the Society for Armenian Studies (SAS) and the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR). Held at the NAASR Center in Belmont, Massachusetts, the conference was co-sponsored by the USC Institute of Armenian Studies Mashtots Chair, Harvard University Armenian Studies Program, Fresno State UCI Center for Armenian Studies, and The Zohrab Information Center.
Dr. Khalapyan’s participation in the conference was funded by SAS. Her presentation titled “Narratives of Atheism in Forging a Soviet Armenian Citizen” focused on the Soviet Union’s agenda to forge a Soviet citizen through the development of an atheist Soviet Union constructed upon education, family relations and industrialization, and through the elimination of religion. She discussed the 1925 League of the Militant Godless (Soyuz Voinstvuyushchikh Bezbozhnikov) which was founded by the Communist Party to promote atheism across the Soviet Union. The League was represented in Soviet Armenia under the name Martnchogh Anastvatsneri Mioutioun and published an official organ between 1928 and 1935, entitled “Anastvatsner” (The Godless).
Dr. Khalapyan’s presentation examined the League’s operation and its publication to demonstrate how the press was utilized through the 1920s and 1930s to construct new narratives of atheist Armenian self-identity and lifestyle to enhance Soviet Armenia’s vision of a Soviet Citizen. She also drew parallels between the women’s journal “Hayastani Ashkhatavoruhi” (Working Women of Armenia) and the children’s journal “Pioner Kanch” (Call for Pioneers) arguing that women and children were central to the creation and reinforcement of new narratives of Soviet Armenian identity.
Dr. Khalapyan teaches several courses at the AUA, including Gender Perspectives, Social Psychology, and Armenian Language and Literature, and is currently developing a course on Armenian Women’s History in the Global Context.
In their turn, AUA adjunct lecturers Dr. Varak Ketsemanian and Anna Aleksanyan presented papers on “The Memoirs of Boghos Shadig (1874-151): Subaltern Voices of the Armenian Revolutionary Movement” and “Provincial Khmoratip School Press as a Platform for Representation of Women’s Issues,” respectively.
Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, affiliated with the University of California, and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States. AUA provides local and international students with Western-style education through top-quality undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values.