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April 2019: Armenian Studies and Material Objects

Tenth Annual International Graduate Student Workshop

April 26 and 27, 2019

Room 455 Weiser Hall | 500 Church Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Inspired by the interdisciplinary possibilities and the innovative scholarly avenues that the study of materiality can open in the field of Armenian Studies, the 2019 International Graduate Student Workshop focuses on the theme of material objects. The exploration of society, arts, culture, and politics through material objects will provide opportunities to discover the ordinary or the everyday practices and experiences of Armenian communities across space and time. 

This workshop, sponsored by the University of Michigan’s Armenian Studies Program and funded by the Alex Manoogian Foundation is organized by Marie-Aude Baronian (University of Amsterdam, Visiting Manoogian Scholar, U-M) and Dzovinar Derderian (PhD Candidate, Department of Middle East Studies, U-M). 

Cosponsored by the Multidisciplinary Workshop for Armenia Studies and the Society for Armenian Studies

Schedule of Events

Friday, April 26 

10:10 AM Opening remarks 

Kathryn Babayan (University of Michigan, Director Armenian Studies Program)
Marie-Aude Baronian (University of Amsterdam) 
Dzovinar Derderian (University of Michigan) 

10:30 AM Objects and Stories of the Everyday 

Chair: Kelly Hannavi (University of Michigan)
Discussant: Ana Vinea (University of Michigan) 

Anna Torosyan (Yerevan State University) 
“Rugs as Means of Communication in “Anahit” Tale by Ghasaros Aghayan” 

Hasmik Knyazyan (Independent Scholar, Yerevan) 
“ ‘Hanging out to dry, or…?’: The Socio-cultural Aspects of Hanging Laundry
(the Armenian case)”

Gohar Harutyunyan (Yerevan State University) 
“The Role of Household Goods in the Lives of Kessab Armenians According to George Apelian's Prose” 

12:30-2 PM Break 

2 PM The Sacred and the Treasured Things 

Chair: Tuğçe Kayaal (University of Michigan)
Discussant: Helmut Puff (University of Michigan) 

Konard Siekierski (King’s College London)
“From a Sacred Book to a National Treasure and (Sometimes) Back Again: The Social Lives of Religious Manuscripts in Armenia”

Anoush Tamar Suni (University of California Los Angeles)
“Buried Gold, Buried Histories: Myth, Magic, Materiality” 

Bihter Esener (Koç University/University of Michigan)
“ ‘Mirror, Mirror on the Wall’: A Cross-Cultural Study of Mirrors as Apotropaic
and Divinatory Objects among the Armenians, Byzantines and Seljuks
of Medieval Anatolia”

4-4:30 PM Break 

4:30 PM Keynote Lecture: Art, Materiality, and the Sacred in Medieval Armenia 

Christina Maranci (Tufts University) 

Saturday, April 27 

10:30 AM Photography and Materiality 

Chair: Arakel Minassian (University of Michigan)
Discussant: Christopher Sheklian (Zohrab Information Center, New York) 

Hazal Ozdemir (Northwestern University)
“ ‘They migrate by renouncing their Ottoman subjecthood and vowing never to return’: Capturing the Ottoman Armenian Migration through Photographs”

Irem Gülersönmez (Birkbeck College, University of London)
“From Propaganda to Survival: Photography of Ottoman Armenians during the First World War”

Smbat Hakobyan (Institute of Archeology and Ethnography, National Academy of Sciences, Yerevan)
“Photograph of the Dead: Grief, Remembrance and Ritual” 

12:30-1:30 PM Break 

1:30 PM Objects of Memory, Memory of Objects 

Chair: Armen Abkarian (University of Michigan)
Discussant: Michael Pifer (University of Michigan) 

Anahit Ghazaryan (Independent Scholar, Yerevan)
“1,139 Boxes of Maryam Shahinyan’s Negatives: Witnessing the Margins of Istanbul”

Helen Makhdoumian (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)
“Materiality and Memory in the Margins: Kevork Mourad’s Installations and Nancy Kricorian’s Poems and Vignette” 

Rik Adriaans (University College London)
“Branding for Recognition: Circulating Images and the Armenian Genocide Centennial” 

3:30 PM-4 PM Break 

4 PM Roundtable Discussion