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Center for Armenian Studies Events

For previous years' guest speakers and topics, please visit the Center for Armenian Studies poster and flyer archive.

We also encourage you to check out a selection of CAS video recordings on our Videos of Past Events page and on our YouTube channel.

CAS Lecture | Early Modernity, the Armenian Printing Revolution, and Imagining the "Confessional Nation" across the Armenian Diaspora, 1680-1800

Sebouh David Aslanian, UCLA
Wednesday, October 11, 2023
4:00-5:30 PM
Room 555 Weiser Hall Map
Attend in person or on Zoom at
Meeting ID: 926 8669 4384

A history of the continent-spanning Armenian print tradition in the early modern period

Early Modernity and Mobility explores the disparate yet connected histories of Armenian printing establishments in early modern Europe and Asia. From 1512, when the first Armenian printed codex appeared in Venice, to the end of the early modern period in 1800, Armenian presses operated in nineteen locations across the Armenian diaspora. Linking far-flung locations in Amsterdam, Livorno, Marseille, Saint Petersburg, and Astrakhan to New Julfa, Madras, and Calcutta, Armenian presses published a thousand editions with more than half a million printed volumes in Armenian script.

Drawing on extensive archival research, Sebouh David Aslanian explores why certain books were published at certain times, how books were sold across the diaspora, who read them, and how the printed word helped fashion a new collective identity for early modern Armenians. In examining the Armenian print tradition Aslanian tells a larger story about the making of the diaspora itself. Arguing that “confessionalism” and the hardening of boundaries between the Armenian and Roman churches was the “driving engine” of Armenian book history, Aslanian makes a revisionist contribution to the early modern origins of Armenian nationalism.

Sebouh David Aslanian is professor and Richard Hovannisian Endowed Chair in Modern Armenian History at the University of California, Los Angeles and the inaugural director of the Armenian Studies Center at the Promise Armenian Institute. He is the author of the award-winning From the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean: The Global Trade Networks of Armenian Merchants from New Julfa. Aslanian has published widely on early modern world and Armenian history and is the author of the recent Early Modernity and Mobility: Port Cities and Printers across the Armenian Diaspora, 1512-1800 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2023).

If there is anything we can do to make this event accessible to you, please contact us at Please be aware that advance notice is necessary as some accommodations may require more time for the university to arrange.
Building: Weiser Hall
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: armenia, history, International
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Center for Armenian Studies, International Institute