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AUA Launches Alumni Lectures Series

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YEREVAN, Armenia — On February 23, the American University of Armenia (AUA) General Education Program launched a new lecture series featuring AUA alumna Arpine Haroyan (BAEC ’19) as its inaugural speaker. Beyond the Campus: Alumni Stories aims to foster sustained relationships and professional networks among AUA alumni, students, and faculty, as well as help current students explore opportunities and make post-graduation career or further education plans.

During her talk on “Construction of Gender and ‘New Woman’ in Early Soviet Armenia,” Haroyan juxtaposed findings from original and primary sources and historical analysis to explore the ways in which the Soviet state strived to integrate women socially, politically, and economically into Soviet society. Through meticulous analysis of over 100 short stories and poems from the Hayastani Askhatavoruhi magazine (Female Worker of Armenia) published between 1924 and 1929, she identified four categories of women: the hero woman, the emancipated woman, the victim woman, and the backward woman. She argued that by comparing and contrasting these categories, the magazine constructed the ”New Soviet Woman” and called upon its readers to accept and embrace this new social construct.  In its larger context, Haroyan’s talk illustrated the centrality of gender in the making of the Soviet citizenry. 

The presentation was largely built upon original research Haroyan carried out for her master’s thesis, which she successfully defended at the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2022 as a Chevening scholar, earning an M.Sc. in Gender, Media, and Culture. Haroyan’s research in the early Soviet era extends the historical timeframe and scope of her longstanding research and journalistic interest and experience in archival explorations of lives of remarkable Armenian women familiar to readers of the EVN Report’s From the Forgotten Pages of History series.

Back to Armenia after her graduation from LSE, Haroyan currently works at Paradigma Educational Foundation as a gender and media researcher and at the AUA Acopian Center for the Environment as a junior gender expert. In her presentation, she emphasized the role AUA has played in her advancement as a researcher and a junior scholar. “The education I received at AUA has had a profound impact on my development, and I am forever grateful for the many opportunities that this institution has provided me. AUA has given me not only education, but also a sense of purpose and direction. I would like to thank AUA for this opportunity; as an alumna, it is an honor for me to share my research and experience,” she remarked.

Beyond the Campus: Alumni Stories will be held monthly, and is free and open to the public. 

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.