YEREVAN—Already in its sixth year, the 2017 Armenian Higher Education Initiative Summer Program brought together 20 leading young scholars and practitioners for a multifaceted look at the subject of diasporas, their histories, and their relations to homelands. The program took place at the American University of Armenia and was funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.
Participants came together from a variety of leading universities in Armenia, Russia, and Hungary, as well as the Ministry of the Diaspora, the State Revenue Committee of Armenia, and the State Migration Service of Armenia.
The program included several of the wider Armenian world’s leading experts on the subject—Jirayr Libaridian, Razmik Panossian, Vahe Sahakyan, Tigran Paskevishyan, and others—and enabled participants to explore the concept of diasporas from a variety of perspectives, using diverse methodologies.
Sub-themes of the project included “Nationalism, Ethnicity, and the Diaspora”; “Diaspora-Armenia Relations”; discussions on specific case studies, including relations between different groups of Middle Eastern Armenians; a comparative look at the Jewish and Armenian diasporas; the Armenian community in India; and others.
Participants were formed into groups in advance of the program, based on specific research interests. During the second week of the program, they gave presentations on topics such as “Traumatic Memories as an Element of National Self-consciousness and Their Role in the Process of Consolidating the Diaspora,” “Armenia-Diaspora Perspectives for the Development of Economic Relations in the Context of Modern Technology Development,” and “Lebanese and Iranian Diasporas: Migration Processes, Particularities of Community Formation.”
The AHEI looks forward to continuing its tradition of helping to shape the futures of the most promising young academics in Armenia and across the Armenian world.