BELMONT, Mass. — The National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) will present its first annual Vartan Gregorian Memorial Lecture on Thursday, April 28, 2022, at 7:30 pm (Eastern) / 4:30 pm (Pacific).
The inaugural program will be a webinar presentation by Prof. Houri Berberian of the University of California, Irvine, and Prof. Talinn Grigor of the University of California, Davis, entitled “From Bogeyman to HAY KIN: Representations of Armenian Women in Modern Iran.” Mr. Ara Arakelian, nephew of Vartan Gregorian and president of the Friends of Armenian Culture Society, will speak about his late uncle.
The annual NAASR lecture bearing his name will present cutting-edge Armenian Studies scholarship that intersects with some of the many areas that interested Gregorian as a scholar, such as Armenians in the Near East and the Muslim world, particular Iran; books and libraries; immigration; education; and more.
About Vartan Gregorian
Vartan Gregorian (April 8, 1934-April 15, 2021) was a brilliant educator, humanitarian and friend after whom NAASR’s Belmont, Massachusetts headquarters building is named. Born in Tabriz, Iran, he received his secondary education Collège Arménian in Beirut, Lebanon, and he graduated from and received a PhD in history and humanities from Stanford University.
After an academic career spanning two decades, including a period as Tarzian Professor of Armenian and Caucasian History at the University of Pennsylvania, Gregorian served as president of The New York Public Library, president of Brown University and president of Carnegie Corporation of New York. He was the author of the memoir The Road To Home: My Life And Times as well as The Emergence of Modern Afghanistan, 1880-1946 and Islam: A Mosaic, Not A Monolith.
In the words of Edward Avedisian of the NAASR Board of Directors and the lead donor of the NAASR Vartan Gregorian Building, “Vartan Gregorian embodies the values at the heart of NAASR’s mission. He dedicated his entire life to educational advancement and the pursuit of knowledge, engaging in public service throughout his career, and working to better the human condition.”
About the Lecture
Berberian and Grigor’s talk is part of a larger book project that explores the history of Iran’s Armenian women from the beginning of Naser al-Din Shah’s reign in 1848 to the 1979 fall of the Pahlavi dynasty. As the first scholarly study of its kind, it analyzes the shifting relationship between Iran’s central nodes of power (absolute monarchy and patriarchy) and its Armenian female subjects (ethnic minorities and women) in Qajar and Pahlavi Iran.
In this talk, they employ pictorial representations of Armenian women to demonstrate their impact on the processes, strategies and anxieties of modernization by examining two pictorial spheres redolent of the entangled relationship between modernization and women’s visibility and representation: satirical cartoons (1920–58) and costume exhibition (1972–76).
Houri Berberian is a history professor, Meghrouni Family Presidential Chair in Armenian Studies and director of the Center for Armenian Studies at the University of California, Irvine. Her books include Armenians and the Iranian Constitutional Revolution of 1905-1911 (2001) and the award-winning Roving Revolutionaries: Armenians and the Connected Revolutions in the Russian, Iranian, and Ottoman Worlds (2019).
Talinn Grigor is professor and chair of the art history program in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of California, Davis. Her books include Building Iran: Modernism, Architecture, and National Heritage Under the Pahlavi Monarchs (2009), Contemporary Iranian Art: From the Street to the Studio (2014), and The Persian Revival: The Imperialism of the Copy in Iranian and Parsi Architecture (2021).