On October 21, 2020, Zoravik began a series of weekly updates on the volatile situation in Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) with Dr. Stephan Astourian, historian at the University of California, Berkeley. The series concluded with its fifth installment on November 25, 2020. Zoravik’s “Artsakh Updates” series is hosted by Dr. Lisa Gulesserian.
On October 26, 2020, I moderated a panel discussion hosted by Zoravik on the Nagorno-Karabakh War with three experts on the region. They discussed how Azerbaijan has broken three ceasefires, hired lobbyists, harassed scholars, and funded pro-Azerbaijan think tanks. Watch to learn the facts about Artsakh.
Moderator: Dr. Lisa Gulesserian, Preceptor on Armenian, Harvard University
–David L. Phillips, Director of the Peace-building and Human Rights Program, Columbia University, and former Foreign Affairs Expert and Senior Adviser to the U.S. Department of State
–Dr. Stephan Astourian, Director of the Armenian Studies Program, UC Berkeley
With students and faculty at Harvard, I organized a panel on Azerbaijan and Turkey’s attacks on Nagorno-Karabakh, “Crisis in the Caucasus: Nagorno-Karabakh under Siege.” Former US Ambassador John Evans, Professor Stephan Astourian (Director of the Armenian Studies Program at UC Berkeley), and Professor David Phillips (Director of Columbia’s Peace-Building and Human Rights Program) spoke at our event on 12 October 2020.
Moderator and Chair:Lisa Gulesserian, Preceptor on Armenian Language & Culture, Dept. of Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations, Harvard University
Former US Ambassador John Evans
David L. Phillips (Director of Columbia’s Peace-Building and Human Rights Program)
Dr. Stephan Astourian (Director of the Armenian Studies Program at UC Berkeley)
Thanks to social media, readers can engage with content like never before. But the incentives behind the media platforms we use don’t always encourage our best behavior, or most reasoned arguments. The interactions we are subject to are often anonymous, dehumanizing, and polarizing. As a result, social media can easily become a breeding ground for hatred and bullying.
Whereas prior to the pandemic, this dynamic was buffered by meaningful, in-person debate and interaction; amidst the backdrop of COVID-19, which has trapped the nation indoors and behind screens, it can start to feel like the out-of-touch abstractions of the digital world are slowly becoming reality…are they?
As a new organization that is responsible for hosting thought-provoking events and stimulating conversations in the progressive Armenian community, Zoravik is navigating this fragile territory along with the rest of you. In hopes of being transparent about how we are handling threats to rational discourse, on Wednesday, August 19, we are hosting the event “Rationalizing the Irrational: Can Reason Persevere in the Age of Twitter?,” hosted by Zoravik members Karine Vann, a freelance journalist and former editor of the Armenian Weekly, and Lisa Gulesserian, a preceptor at Harvard.
In it, we hope to address the discrepancy between life in analogue and what we see in depictions online. How can we stand by our values of civility, balance, nuance, intellectual curiosity, logic, reason, and kindness when these qualities are so rarely rewarded by the technologies and institutions at the helm of the nation?
Join us for an intimate evening discussion about Srpuhi Dussap and Zabel Yessayan.
Well known during their lifetimes, Srpuhi Dussap and Zabel Yessayan wrote books about women’s rights, human rights, and Armenian life during the waning years of the Ottoman Empire. The Armenian International Women’s Association, AIWA, recently published the translations of Yessayan’s The Gardens of Silihdar, My Soul in Exile, and In the Ruins and Dussap’s novel Mayda: Echoes of Protest. The editors will discuss the transformation of the Armenian language and society which inspired these pioneering works.
Join us for an intimate discussion about the first Armenian feminist novel.
Srpuhi Dussap’s 1883 novel calling for the equal rights of women and social justice for everyone entertains the reader with criticisms of 19th century Armenian society in Istanbul and relevant themes of work and motherhood, religion and ignorance, love and marriage.
Don’t miss this fascinating discussion about Dussap’s life, her influence on Zabel Yessayan, and the sensation her novel caused in Istanbul.
I am leading a two-day creative writing workshop for the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation at NAASR in Belmont, MA. Participants will be introduced to the poetic language, the haiku poetic form, and old and new examples of haiku poems.
By the end of the workshop, students will produce Instagram-able short poems in the haiku form in the language of their choice—English or Armenian.
Regional Wounds, Universal Traumas, and the Possibility of Empathy (Part 2)
Chair: Maryam Ghodrati, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Chair: Rachel Dale, Brandeis University
Location: ORLEANS (Media Equipped)
Comparative Literature & Interdisciplinary Humanities
“Chang-rae Lee and the Traumatic Affect of the Gesture” Susan Moynihan, Tennessee Technological University
“Narrativizing Empathy in Arundhati Roy’s The Ministry of Utmost Happiness” Sabiha Anum, Government College University Lahore Pakistan
“Art from Guantánamo Bay: The Figural Unsettlement of Western Hegemonic History” Macy McDonald, SUNY University at Buffalo
“Past Dark: War and Armenian Genocide Postmemory in Micheline Aharonian Marcom’s The Daydreaming Boy” Lisa Gulesserian, Harvard University
Soccer or Saturday School? Parents in diasporic communities routinely grapple with the challenge of carving out time for their children to engage with and experience their ancestral cultures. This panel discussion will discuss the value of bilingual education, looking at experiences of other ethnic communities in the U.S. and around the world, with a particular focus on the specificities of the Armenian experience, including the special challenges facing Western Armenian, which has been classified as an “endangered language,” the fruitful cohabitation of Western and Eastern Armenian, and the specific challenges of researching and teaching the Armenian language.
I led a two-day creative writing workshop for Hamazkayin ArtLinks 2019 in Paris, Ontario, Canada. Participants were introduced to the poetic language, the Հայրէն (“hayren”) poetic form, and old and new examples of Հայրէն poems.
By the end of the workshop, students produced Instagram-able short poems in the hayren form in the language of their choice—English, French, or Armenian.
At a time when there is great concern over the apparent decline of liberal democracy around the world, in 2018 Armenia seemed to be a notable exception and was hailed as “badly needed good news for democracy” by the Washington Post. As the one-year anniversary of the Velvet Revolution approaches, is the news still good? Is Armenia an outlier, an exceptional case in a world where government-by-strong-man increasingly is the model? What can be learned from the examples of other states where democracy is in peril? Join with a panel of distinguished scholars to discuss these and other issues relating to democracy and authoritarianism in Armenia and around the world.
Free and open to the public. Reception and refreshments immediately following the program and question-and-answer session.