AUA Hosts YALP Summer School

2 min read

YEREVAN, Armenia — On July 31-August 31, the American University of Armenia (AUA) hosted the fourth Yerevan Academy for Linguistics and Philosophy (YALP), an annual summer school in linguistics and philosophy. Since its launch in 2017, YALP has been generously hosted by AUA and co-organized by Daniel Altshuler, a linguist from the University of Oxford, philosophers Arshak Balayan, Assistant Professor at AUA, and Susanna Melkonian-Altshuler from the University of Connecticut and the University of Oxford. YALP aims to contribute to the development of analytic philosophy and linguistics in Armenia through courses and cutting-edge research that advance domain knowledge and cultivate global connections among participants and international faculty. 

Following a three-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, YALP returned in active pursuit of its objectives. This year, the Academy attracted more than 60 participants from over 20 Armenian and foreign universities located in more than 13 countries — Armenia, Russia, Iran, Latvia, Estonia, China, Canada, the UK, USA, and other countries. A total of 17 introductory courses were taught by faculty from leading institutions, such as Princeton University, McMaster University, University of Oxford, University of East Anglia, University of Freiburg, Humboldt University of Berlin, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and others. 

This year, YALP followed the established tradition of offering introductory courses in linguistics and philosophy topics not typically covered by other universities in Armenia. The 2023 courses included Dr. Melanie Altanian’s Denial and Ignorance: of Social and Political Epistemological Concerns, Dr. Alexander Klein’s Consciousness in Historical Perspective, Dr. Markus Egg’s Introduction to Machine Learning, Dr. Kelsey Sasaki’s Language and Mind, Drs. Maria Kyuseva and Valeria Vinogradova’s Sign Language, and several other informative and engaging topics. 

In 2017, YALP received seed funding from the Science Committee of the Republic of Armenia to get the program off ground. This year, the USC Institute of Armenian Studies provided some funding for the implementation of YALP 2023. Also, faculty and organizers generously donated their time, and AUA hosted YALP gratuitously. Bearing in mind the positive impact the program has on participants and also considering the financial needs of many prospective participants, organizers are exploring options for raising funds to subsidize future YALPs hoping to secure sufficient contributions for sponsoring international students who could not otherwise attend the Academy.

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 and graduate degree and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values.