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Vardanants Day Armenian Lecture Series

Sponsored by the Near East Section

The Vardanants Day Armenian Lecture series was created soon after Mrs. Dadian's bequest (1991) to the Library for the health and maintenance of the Armenian collections and the subsequent employment of a new Armenian area specialist in 1993. The Near East Section planned the series to highlight all aspects of Armenian life and culture and the role of the Library of Congress' collections in the study of all things Armenian.

The series itself is named after the Armenian holiday that commemorates the battle of Avarayr (AD 451) which was waged by the Armenian commander- in- chief Vardan Mamikonian and his compatriots against Persian troops, which had been sent by the King of Kings in an attempt to reimpose Zoroastrianism on the Christian state. Although primarily a religious holiday, it also celebrates as well Armenia's success in its millennia-long struggles against various forces of assimilation.

22nd.: June 26, 2018
22nd Vardanants Day Armenian lecture series, titled "New Topics in Armenian History and Culture" explored the linguistic, artistic, social and musical history of Armenia.
Morning Session
Afternoon Session

21st.: September 1, 2017
Echoes of Anatolia: An Armenian-American Novelist Discovers his Literary DNA at Mid-Life
Best-selling Armenian-American author Chris Bohjalian discusses the influence of ethnic identity on literary creativity in the 21st Vardanants Day Armenian lecture at the Library.

20th.: September 21, 2016
A World Monument: Zvart'nots', Armenia, & the Wars of the Seventh Century
For the 20th annual Vardanants Day Armenian Lecture at the Library of Congress, Christina Maranci sets the construction of an iconic 7th century church within the context of its times.

19th.: May 7, 2015
American Humanitarianism in the Armenian Crucible: 1915-1923
Susan B. Harper delivered the 19th Annual Vardanants Day Armenian Lecture featuring historical photographs from the Library's collection as well as those of other institutions.

18th.: April 22, 2014
DNA & the Origins of Peoples: The Armenians
Peter Hrechdakian and Hovann Simonian Co-Administrators of the Armenian DNA Project
“DNA and the Origin of Peoples: The Armenians”

17th.: September 19, 2013
The Armenian Language & its Place in the Indo-European Linguistic Family
Charles de Lamberterie discusses the history of the Armenian language as part of the 17th Annual Vardanants Day celebration

16th.: April 19, 2012
Armenian Literary Identity
Kevork Bardakjian presented "Scribes, Compositors and the Mind in the Making: the Armenian Script and the Creation of an Armenian Literary Identity." Levon Avdoyan discussed "The Continuity and Change of an Armenian Identity in the Digital Age." Following the lectures, participants visited the new exhibition, "To Know Wisdom and Instruction: The Armenian Literary Tradition at the Library of Congress."

15th.: September 28, 2010
The Story Behind the Stamp
Kim Therault talks about Arshile Gorky's Stamp and the development of abstract expressionism.

14th.: September 15, 2009
The Unknown Saroyan: Dickran Kouymjian
Dedicated to the celebration of the centenary of Pulitzer Prize-winning Armenian author William Saroyan's birth, Dickran Kouymjian delivers the 14th Annual Vardanants Day Lecture.
13th.: September 27, 2007
United States-Armenian Relations, 1991-2006:
A Conversation with Our First Five Ambassadors

12th.: April 28, 2005
Edward Alexander, retired Foreign Service officer and author, delivered the
Twelfth Annual Vardanants Day Armenian Lecture,
"Diplomacy and the Armenian Factor."

11th.: May 21, 2003
Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D, NJ) Co-chair, Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues
"The U.S. Congress and Armenia Today"

10th.: April 22, 2002
Michael C. Lemmon, Dean, School of Language Studies (FSI)
"Reflections on Armenia's Place in the Region and in The World"

9th.: April 16, 2001
Sahan Arzruni
"The Sharakan: Crown Jewel of the Armenian Liturgy"
This sound and slide presentation from the 9th annual Vardanants Day celebration features renowned pianist, composer and teacher Sahan Arzruni. He lectures on the Sharakan, the Armenian hymnal, and performs two recital pieces: Dances (1903-1916) by Komitas and Elegy (1978) by Arno Babadjanian.

8th.: April 19, 2000
Ambassador Harry J. Gilmore (Retired)
" Twenty-Six Months in the Reborn Republic of Armenia: My Mission as the First U.S. Ambassador to Armenia"
(Click here for text of lecture)

7th.: April 7, 1999
Professor Richard G. Hovannisian UCLA
" The First (1918-1921) and Present (1991-) Republics of Armenia: Does History Repeat Itself?"

6th.: April 23, 1998
Professor Robert H. Hewsen Rowan University
" The Meliks of Karabagh: An Armenian History"

5th.: June 3, 1997
The Very Reverend Father Krikor H. Maksoudian Director, Krikor and Clara Zohrab Armenian Information Center New York, NY
" Religion in the Republic of Armenia"

4th.: May 1, 1996
Professor Ronald G. Suny University of Chicago
" Nation-making, Nation-breaking, and the End of Empire: A New Perspective on the Events of 1915"

3rd.: April 7, 1995
Dr. Nina G. Garsoïan Professor emerita, Columbia University
" Iranian Elements in Early Armenian Christianity"

2nd: February 11, 1994
The Very Reverend Father Krikor H. Maksoudian Director,
Krikor and Clara Zohrab Armenian Information Center New York, NY
" Religion in the Republic of Armenia" [NB: Lecture canceled after all government buildings were closed due to a severe snow storm. Father Krikor's lecture became Vardanants Lecture number 5]

1st: February 12, 1993
Professor Lucy Der Manuelian Tufts University
" Armenian Manuscripts, Monasteries and Miracles in the Middle Ages"


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  September 20, 2018
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