LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Two of Professor Richard G. Hovannisian’s volumes, Armenian Van and Armenian Bitlis and Mush, were recently published in Turkish by Aras Publishers in Istanbul.
Both volumes, edited by Hovannisian, are from the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) international conference series “Historic Armenian Cities and Provinces,” begun by Hovannisian in 1997. Aras Publishers plans to translate all 14 volumes in the UCLA series into Turkish, the most recent of which, was released in 2016 by Mazda Publishers under the title, Armenian Communities of the Northeastern Mediterranean: Musa Dagh-Dört-Yol-Kessab.
Contributors to the Van and Bitlis-Mush volumes discuss the political geography and dynastic history and culture of the two regions from antiquity to the 20th century; their art and architecture; classical historians and colophons; interactions with foreign powers; tribulations under Ottoman rule; their role in Armenian liberation movements; their fate during the Armenian Genocide and self-defense in World War I; and their presence in modern literature.
The two volumes were released to the public in Istanbul on Nov. 9-10, 2016, during an international conference on Van sponsored by the Hrant Dink Foundation. During his keynote address, Hovannisian reflected on growing up in the San Joaquin Valley of California among the immigrants and survivors from Van, Bitlis, and Mush. He then assessed the multifaceted information and insights gained from the 70 oral history interviews that he and his students at UCLA conducted with natives of the city and numerous villages of the province of Van.
Aras Publishers is currently translating the third volume in the UCLA series, Armenian Tsopk/Kharpert.
Hovannisian on the Road
Hovannisian continued his active schedule in the fall of 2016. Arriving in Boston from Istanbul on Nov. 12, 2106, he was honored, along with Professor Nina Garsoian, for his contributions as a pioneer of Armenian studies in the United States at the 60th anniversary gala of the National Association for the Advancement of Armenian Studies (NAASR).
On Nov. 19, 2016, he spoke at the Kessab Educational Association’s annual “Perpoor” night hosted by Dr. & Mrs. George Apelian in Thousand Oaks.
With daughter Ani Hovannisian Kevorkian, he was in Stockholm, Sweden on Nov. 26-27, 2016, at the invitation of the Federation of Armenian Associations, to present his most recent volume on the Northeastern Mediterranean communities, with short film segments by Ani. They then traveled to Oslo for an evening with the small but active Armenian Cultural Association of Norway.
On Dec. 8, 2016 Hovannisian spoke in Chicago under the auspices of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU), Armenian Bar Association, and Armenian International Women’s Association (AIWA).
Presentations continue in early 2017 with lectures at Abril Bookstore in Glendale, Calif. in cooperation with the Chork-Marzban (Dort-Yol) Compatriotic Union on Jan. 26, Fresno State University on Jan. 27, South Florida University and Sourp Hagop Church in Tampa, Fla. On Feb. 13-15, several presentations in Beirut and Cairo on Feb. 23-March 4, and the Armenian Institute in London on March 18.
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 35 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; as well as many others. 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.