BELMONT, Mass. — Dr. Richard G. Hovannisian will present a lecture titled “The First Republic of Armenia and Its Importance Today,” on Thursday, December 3, at 7:30 p.m., at the First Armenian Church of Belmont, 380 Concord Ave.
The lecture is sponsored and organized by the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) and is co-sponsored by the Armenian Assembly of America, the Armenian National Committee, Eastern Mass., the First Armenian Church and Hamazkayin Armenian Cultural and Educational Society.
Next year will mark 45 years since the publication of the first volume of Hovannisian’s magnum opus The Republic of Armenia, and the completion of its translation into Armenian. The volumes stand as a foundational work for the study of modern Armenian history and a unique contribution to the field of Armenian Studies.
Covering the years 1918-1921 and drawing on a vast array of archival and published sources, Hovannisian’s work chronicles in painstaking detail the brief lifespan of the first independent Armenian state in more than half a millennium. Although, as Hovannisian observed, “the historical moment was unpropitious for enduring Armenian freedom,” and when he wrote those words the existence of the present-day Republic was twenty years off, today we are afforded a different perspective and the time is right to reexamine those crucial few years of the First Republic’s existence.
Hovannisian is the author of Armenia on the Road to Independence, the four-volume history The Republic of Armenia, and has edited and contributed to more than thirty-five books including The Armenian Genocide in Perspective; The Armenian People from Ancient to Modern Times; Remembrance and Denial; Looking Backward, Moving Forward; The Armenian Genocide: Cultural and Ethical Legacies; and fourteen volumes of proceedings from the UCLA conference series “Historic Armenian Cities and Provinces.” A member of the UCLA faculty since 1962, he was the first holder of the Armenian Educational Foundation Chair in Modern Armenian History, which is today renamed in his honor, and is presently an adjunct professor at USC, advising the Shoah Foundation on its Armenian Genocide testimony collection.
There will be a reception at NAASR and the Bookstore will be open following the program. Copies of The Republic of Armenia and other of Hovannisian’s books will be available the night of the lecture.