This conference celebrates the bicentenary of the founding of Kolkata’s famed Armenian College and Philanthropic Academy (Մարդասիրական Ճեմարան), one of three centers of Armenian higher learning in the diaspora in the nineteenth century and the only one that has survived, still thriving today. Bringing together economic, literary, legal, and cultural historians from India, Armenia, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, and the United States, the conference seeks to showcase how, beginning in the early modern period and continuing today, Armenians have traveled to India to make its distant shores and cultures their own. India looms large in the Armenian social imaginary. It was not only the place where the first Armenian constitution for an “imagined” nation-republic was published (Madras, 1788/9), but also the birthplace of the first Armenian newspaper (Madras, 1794–1796); the first modern Armenian play (Calcutta, 1823); arguably, the first eastern Armenian novel (Calcutta, 1846); and the first published Armenian “feminist” tract (Calcutta, 1847). The keynote speaker will be Professor Sanjay Subrahmanyam, distinguished professor of History and Irving & Jean Stone Chair in Social Sciences at UCLA.
The conference is organized by Sebouh Aslanian, professor and Richard Hovannisian Chair of Modern Armenian History at UCLA, and co-sponsored by the Fowler Museum, the Promise Armenian Institute at UCLA, the UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies (CNES), USC Dornsife Institute of Armenian Studies, and the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR).
Parking available in UCLA Lot 4, 198 Westwood Plaza, directly off Sunset Blvd; $3/hr or max $14/day. Rideshare drop-off at 305 Royce Dr.
Image: Red Taj Mahal, inside Catholic/Armenian Cemetery in Agra; image courtesy of Sebouh David Aslanian