UCLA to host Armeno-Indica conference on March 17 and 18

The UCLA Richard Hovannisian Endowed Chair in Modern Armenian History has organized a two-day international hybrid conference entitled “Armeno-Indica: Four Centuries of Familiarity and Friendship,” which will take place on March 17 and 18 at UCLA, Asbarez reports.

This historic conference will celebrate the bicentenary of the founding of Kolkata’s famed Armenian College (est. 1821), one of three centers of Armenian higher learning in the diaspora during the nineteenth century and the only one that has survived and is thriving today.

Bringing together economic, literary, legal, and cultural historians from India, Armenia, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, and the United States, the conference highlights how, beginning in the early modern period and continuing to the present, Armenians have traveled to India to make its distant shores and cultures their own. Professor Sanjay Subrahmanyam will deliver the keynote address for this conference. 

“India looms large in the Armenian social imaginary,” stated Sebouh David Aslanian, UCLA’s Richard Hovannisian Professor of Modern Armenian History and director of the Armenian Studies Center at the Promise Armenian Institute. “It was not only the place where the first Armenian proto-constitution for an ‘imagined’ nation-republic was published (Madras 1788/9), it was also the cradle of the first Armenian newspaper (Madras, 1794-1796), the first modern Armenian play (Calcutta 1823), and arguably also where the first Eastern Armenian novel appeared (Calcutta, 1846), as well as where the first Armenian ‘feminist’ tract (Calcutta, 1847) was published,” Aslanian added.  

The conference is co-sponsored by the Fowler Museum at UCLA, the Armenian Studies Center at the Promise Armenian Institute at UCLA, the USC Dornsife Institute of Armenian Studies, the National Association of Armenian Studies and Research, the UCLA Narekatsi Chair in Armenian Studies, and the UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies. 

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