The Center for Armenian Studies at the University of Michigan invites proposals for papers for the Thirteenth Annual International Graduate Student Workshop, to be held on March 8-9 2024, on the University of Michigan Ann Arbor Campus, under the title “Language Revitalization and Resurgence: The Case of Modern Armenian.”
Over the years, the Center for Armenian Studies has fostered dialogue with graduate students around the globe through our annual graduate student workshops. Together with our faculty, graduate students, and visiting and post-doctoral fellows we have pushed scholarship in Armenian Studies in new directions through our collective efforts.
The Thirteenth Annual International Graduate Student Workshop will focus on various issues related to the modern Armenian language. How have varieties of Armenian spoken in the Republic of Armenia and Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) been affected by the political and social changes of recent decades? How are diaspora Armenians keeping Western Armenian alive in spite of the language’s precarious status? How have all varieties of Armenian been influenced by globalization and the rise of new types of media? The workshop seeks presentations exploring these and other questions through a variety of disciplinary and methodological lenses.
Current graduate students are invited to present their research at the workshop, which centers around the state of the Armenian language in the contemporary world. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the establishment of Armenian independence, de-Russification processes have allowed Eastern Armenian to gain an increasing presence in a variety of public institutions in the Republic of Armenia. At the same time, the future of the many regional dialects of Armenia and Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) remains uncertain, in light of both the globalizing modern media environment and the region’s political precarity. In the diaspora, Western Armenian has been in crisis mode, even being declared an endangered language by UNESCO. Yet this crisis has also coincided with, or even itself engendered, somewhat of a resurgence, as diaspora communities continue to search for innovative ways to make Western Armenian an everyday part of individuals’ lives. In both the Republic of Armenia and the diaspora, different varieties of Armenian are constantly coming into contact with one another as well as with foreign languages such as English, Russian, and French. What effects have these circumstances had on Armenian and its speakers, and what will be the future trajectory of the language? How has the linguistic landscape of the Republic of Armenian been affected by recent and ongoing sociopolitical upheavals? What are some of the novel methodologies being used to promote the maintenance and flourishing of Western Armenian, and to what extent have these been successful? How are teachers of Armenian - both Eastern and Western - responding to this new transcultural moment that the language finds itself in? These are only some of the questions we hope to inform our discussion.
The workshop welcomes presentations that explore any topic related to modern Armenian, such as its linguistic structure, its sociocultural significance, and efforts to maintain and revitalize it. Presentations that examine other languages through a comparative perspective are also welcome. Graduate students from all fields (linguistics, literary studies, sociology, history, anthropology, etc.) are encouraged to apply.
Please send an abstract (250 words) along with a CV to email@example.com by November 15, 2023.
Successful applicants will need to submit a paper or draft of presentation text (approximately 2000 - 2500 words) by January 31, 2024 to be circulated among workshop participants. Participants are also welcome to submit a draft of presentation slides at this time. At the workshop, participants will have 15 minutes to present their main arguments.
CAS will make every effort to cover travel expenses. Per donor guidelines, preference will be given to those traveling from the Republic of Armenia.
This workshop, sponsored by the University of Michigan’s Center for Armenian Studies and funded by the Manoogian Foundation is organized by Arakel Minassian (PhD student in Comparative Literature) and Emma Santelmann (PhD student in Linguistics).