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March Enrichment Evenings on Tuesday, March 5th and Friday, March 22nd

The Zohrab Information Center is pleased to announce two exciting Enrichment Evenings, both presentations of new and important books, during the month of March. These two evenings continue the Spring Season theme of migration, which the Zohrab Information Center is exploring through the lens of Armenian and Armenian Christian history. Both events look at the most disastrous and momentous occasion of migration in Armenian history, the Armenian Genocide. They do so, however, from two very different lenses: one unearths significant Genocide diaries while the other makes a philosophical argument concerning continuity of genocidal policies. Together, they present some of the newest academic work on the Armenian Genocide and the most consequential migration in Armenian history.

You can also view our full schedule through Uul

First, on Tuesday, March 5th, at 7 PM in the Guild Hall of the Armenian Diocese, Dr. Vahé Tachjian will present his new book, Daily Life in the Abyss: Genocide Diaries, 1915-1918.

Daily Life in the Abyss Tachjian

In 1915, two Armenian families (the Bogharians and the Tavukjians) were deported from Ayntab (in the Ottoman Empire), together with many other Armenian inhabitants of the town. They were forcibly resettled, first, in Hama, and then in the nearby town of Salamiyya (today in Syria). Two diaries written by members of these families have come down to us: one by Father Nerses Tavukjian, the other by Krikor Bogharian.
Setting out from these diaries, the book recreates the quotidian world of deportees, ordinary lives caught in an extraordinary historical moment.
Through analysis of diaries and other source material, the book reconstructs the rhythms of daily life within an often bleak and hostile environment, in the face of a gradually disintegrating social fabric.

Tachjian Head Shot

Vahé Tachjian earned his PhD in History and Civilisation at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris. He is now the chief editor of the Berlin basedHoushamadyan website. His main publications are: La France en Cilicie et en Haute-Mésopotamie, Paris, 2004; Les Arméniens, 1917-1939: La quête d’un refuge, Paris, 2007 (co-editor); Ottoman Armenians: Life, Culture, Society, Vol 1, Berlin, 2014 (editor); Daily life in the Abyss: Genocide Diaries, 1915-1918, New York/Oxford, 2017.


Our second even in the month of March, to take place on Friday, March 22nd, at 7 PM in Vartan Hall (note change of location), is a book presentation of The Sins of the Fathers: Turkish Denialism and the Armenian Genocide by Dr. Siobhan Nash-Marshall.

Sins of the Fathers Nash Marshall

The Sins of the Fathers  explores the philosophical roots of the Armenian Genocide and picture-88-1548172947argues for Turkish denialism as a continuation of that Genocide. The first part of a trilogy, the book explores the roots of the post-truth phenomenon through the example of the Armenian Genocide, “the most successful modern project of historical and social engineering.” Professor Siobhan Nash-Marshall holds the Mary T. Clark Chair of Christian Philosophy at Manhattanville College. She is the author of many books and articles on metaphysics and the problem of evil.

Both events will be followed by a reception. All are welcome! Please contact the Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center at (212)686-0710 for further information. We hope to see you there!


Schedule for Spring Enrichment Evenings: Series on Migration

The Zohrab Information Center is pleased to announce the full schedule of its Winter/Spring 2019 Enrichment Evening Series on Migration. The series explores the contemporary and highly relevant topic of migration through the lens of Armenian and Armenian Christian history and current events. By looking at this timely topic through an Armenian lens, the Zohrab Information Center invites all its participants to consider a fraught topic in all its complexity. The theme of migration encompasses and exceeds the question of the Armenian Genocide, with the Genocide the focus of several of the enrichment evenings. Relics trades, manuscript movement and digitization, migration within the Ottoman Empire, and humanitarian responses to migration crises are some of the additional ways the Zohrab Information Center will explore the topic of migration. We encourage you to join us throughout the Winter and Spring Series on Migration!

The full schedule is posted below.

Please note date changes from some of the earlier versions of the schedule. If you received a previous version of the schedule at one of our events, please note the date changes, especially the April 24th and May 8th dates. This posted schedule supersedes all previous schedules. Please plan accordingly.

Winter Spring 2019 ZIC Schedule.001

Date Change for Dr. Rachel Goshgarian’s Presentation to WEDNESDAY, February 6th

Please note that Dr. Rachel Goshgarian’s Enrichment Evening for the Zohrab Information Center’s Winter/Spring Series on Migration, “The Kings of Cilicia, the Condes de Aragon, and the Arm of St. Thecla: Armenians, Catalans, and the Mediterranean Relics Trade in the 14th Century” has been moved to Wednesday, February 6th at 7 PM in the Guild Hall. The revised poster can be found below and full details of the presentation are in the previous post.

Also note that Dr. Melissa Moreton’s presentation on Thursday, January 31st at 7 PM remains the same.

We hope to see you at both events!

relics trade goshgarian

Upcoming Enrichment Evenings: January 31st with Dr. Melissa Moreton on Armenian Manuscripts and February 6th with Dr. Rachel Goshgarian on the 14th Century Cilician Armenian Relics Trade

The Zohrab Information Center is pleased to announce the next two Enrichment Evenings in the Winter/Spring Series on Migration. Dr. Melissa Moreton, will present the work of the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library to digitize manuscripts, including Armenian manuscripts on Thursday, January 31st at 7 PM in the Guild Hall of the Armenian Diocese at 630 Second Ave. in New York. This work is important and timely, given that many of the manuscripts being digitized are from Aleppo and other conflict zones. Dr. Moreton will introduce our audience to some of the Armenian manuscripts in the collection of Hill Museum and Manuscript Library, give an overview of the digitization project, and demonstrate the use of the digitized website,

The following Wednesday, February 6th [PLEASE NOTE THE DATE CHANGE], also at 7 PM in the Guild Hall of the Diocese, Dr. Rachel Goshgarian, Associate Professor of History at Lafayette College will present “The Kings of Cilicia, the Condes de Aragon, and the Arm of St. Thecla: Armenians, Catalans, and the Mediterranean Relics Trade in the 14th Century.” Dr. Goshgarian offers a history of the movement of both people and objects, in this case, relics of the saints, during the period of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia.

hmml and armenian manuscripts moreton

melissa moreton bio photoDr. Melissa Moreton is a codicologist and historian of medieval and early modern manuscripts – specifically Italian books, their production and exchange throughout the wide Mediterranean. She was previously a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Iowa, where she ran a Sawyer Seminar focused on the study of ancient and medieval manuscript traditions. The seminar, ‘Cultural and Textual Exchanges: The Manuscript Across Premodern Eurasia,’ brought together international manuscript and textual scholars to discuss how manuscript technologies developed, were distributed, and shared throughout Europe, Asia, and North Africa between 200-1500 CE. She has a PhD in History, a Graduate Certificate in Book Studies and Technologies, and a Master’s degree in Italian Renaissance Art History is from Syracuse University, Florence, where she has lived and worked extensively. She currently works at the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library [HMML] where her experience with manuscript scholarship, conservation, and Humanities project management supports the library’s goals of the global cultural preservation of endangered manuscripts, digital humanities leadership, and public and scholarly engagement worldwide.

relics trade goshgarian


rachel-goshgarian-289x3001-160x160Dr. Rachel Goshgarian is Associate Professor in the Department of History at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. Dr. Goshgarian earned her PhD in History and Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University with her dissertation, “Between the Social and the Spiritual: Redefining Late Medieval Anatolian Urban Confraternities.” She has taught at Columbia University, worked as a research fellow at Koc University in Istanbul, and served as the Director of the Zohrab Information Center for several years. Publishing widely in her areas of research of medieval Anatolian and early Ottoman history, she also co-authored an Armenian language textbook in Turkish. Her book, Interfaith Interactions and Urban Self Governance in the Medieval Middle East: Homosocial Communities of Place in Anatolia, is forthcoming with I.B. Tauris Press.

Both of these wonderful presentations continue with the Zohrab Information Center’s Winter/Spring Theme of Migration. A topic of clear contemporary import, the series seeks to widen our ideas of what constitutes migration–for instance, the movement of manuscripts and relics–and to use cases from Armenian Christian events and history to contemplate migrations past and present. The digitization of manuscripts that have found their way to the Midwest of America from far afield and the digitization of manuscripts from conflict zones is an oblique but important window into movements and migrations. Tracing the relic trade of the 14th Century offers the opportunity to contemplate the connections between the movements of people and the movements of things. Please join for these two events and the rest of our series on migration!

Asya Darbinyan Presents “Mass Population Movement, Humanitarian Emergency, and the Armenian Refugee Assistance at the Caucasus Front of WWI” on Thursday, January 17 at 7 PM

The Zohrab Information Center is pleased to announce the first Enrichment Evening of 2019 with Asya Darbinyan on Thursday, January 17th at 7 PM in the Guild Hall of the Armenian Diocese at 630 Second Ave. Asya Darbinyan will present her talk, Mass Population Movement, Humanitarian Emergency, and the Armenian Refugee Assistance at the Caucasus Front of WWI. A reception will follow.

This Enrichment Evening, the first of 2019, is part of the Winter/Spring Series at the Zohrab Information Center on Migration. The full schedule of this series will be announced shortly. It will cover early modern movements of Armenians between Empires, late Ottoman migration from the provinces to Istanbul, what happens to ethnic and religious aspects of identity in Diaspora, and much more. The series aims to consider a highly relevant contemporary issue, namely migration, through the lens of Armenian history and the experience of Armenian Christians.

zic presentation 1.17.19 darbinyan.001

This first talk in the series, by Asya Darbinyan, takes us to the Caucasus Front during World War I. Situated between the Ottoman and Russian Empires, where the First Republic of Armenia would emerge in 1918, the front saw many important battles as well as incredible horrors. In additional to the genocidal policies of the Triumvirate of the Committee of Union and Progress, the ravages of war contributed to one of the most drastic refugee crises the world had yet seen. Asya Darbinyan, PhD candidate at the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University, takes us to the Caucasus Front during World War I, detailing the humanitarian emergency there and the assistance provided to Armenian refugees.

Asya Darbinyan is a PhD Candidate at the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Clark University (Worcester, MA). Her dissertation explores the Russian Empire’s response to the Armenian Genocide and to the refugee crisis at the Caucasus front of the Great War (advisor – Dr. Taner Akçam).

092817_clarku_27Previously, Darbinyan worked at the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute, Yerevan, as a senior research fellow and the Deputy Director of the museum (2008- 2013). She was awarded multiple scholarships and grants to pursue archival research in Geneva, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Tbilisi, Yerevan, and elsewhere. She has presented at a number of international academic conferences and workshops, and has scholarly articles published in Armenian and in English, and a co-authored chapter in the volume Plight and Fate of Children During and Following Genocide – Genocide: A Critical Bibliographic Review.

“Armenian Commentaries on the Church Building,” with Dr. Roberta Ervine on Thursday, December 6th at 7 PM

Join the Zohrab Information Center next Thursday, December 6th at 7PM for the final enrichment evening of 2018. Dr. Roberta Ervine, Professor of Armenian Studies at St. Nersess Armenian Seminary, will present “Armenian Commentaries on the Church Building,” in the Guild Hall. A reception will follow.

This will be the conclusion of our series of presentations celebrating the 50th anniversary of the consecration of St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral. Dr. Ervine, an expert on the Armenian medieval intellectual tradition, will discuss newly translated material and the practice of writings commentaries about the physical structure of the Church itself. Vartabeds, the monk-scholars of the Armenian Church, wrote commentaries not only on Scripture itself, but on liturgical services, philosophical texts, and grammatical works. As we saw with Dr. Christina Maranci’s talk last month, there were commentaries written about the Rite of Foundation for a new church. Dr. Ervine will discuss how the physical church structure itself was given a Christian interpretation by Armenian monks and theologians. The talk promises to be a wonderful bookend to our focus on the physical building of St. Vartan on the 50th anniversary of its consecration and will offer spiritual enrichment for anyone who enters an Armenian church building.

Armenian Commentaries on the Church Building Dr Ervine ZIC Presentation 12.6.001

After informal lessons in Armenian language from the late Rev. Fr. Levon Arakelian at Holy Ascension parish in Trumbull, CT, Roberta Ervine enrolled in the newly-reopened Armenian Studies Program at Columbia University, where she studied with Profs. Nina Garsoïan, James Russell, and Very Rev. Fr. Krikor Maksoudian. She holds her PhD from Columbia University. Dissertation research led her to Jerusalem, where she lived in the Armenian Monastery of St. James as a disciple of His Grace Abp. Norayr Bogharian, curator of manuscripts. For sixteen of her twenty-one years in the Holy City, Prof. Ervine taught for the Holy Translators Academy; she also lectured for several other Jerusalem 2017-11 Robertainstitutions, including the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 2001 she returned to the United States to teach at St. Nersess Armenian Seminary, where she lectures on topics related to the history of Armenian Christianity and Armenian Christian thought. Prof. Ervine pursues topics related to the history of Armenians in Jerusalem and the intellectual tradition of the Armenian middle ages (particularly the thinking of Vanakan Vardapet, Vardan the Great and Hovhannēs of Erznka). She is also interested in medieval Armenian grammatical texts.


Please join us for this final enrichment evening of 2018! A poster will follow. Please contact with any questions about the event. We look forward to seeing you!



“Made by These Unworthy Hands” with Dr. Sylvie Merian on Tuesday, November 13th at 7:45 PM

Join the Zohrab Information Center this coming Tuesday, November 13th at 7:45 PM in the Guild Hall to welcome Dr. Sylvie Merian of the Morgan Library and Museum as she presents “Made by These Unworthy Hands”: The Armenian Silversmiths of Kayseri.

This exciting talk is presented in connection with the exhibition Armenia! at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In the 17th and 18th centuries especially, the Armenians from Kayseri (Caesarea) were known for the excellent craftsmanship of art and devotional objects made in silver. Some of these artworks in silver are on display at the Armenia! exhibition at the Met, and Dr. Merian writes about them in her contribution to the exhibition catalogue, Armenia: Art, Religion, and Trade in the Middle Ages. Dr. Merian will discuss those and other important pieces made by the Armenian silversmiths of Kayseri in her talk for the Zohrab Information Center. There are even connections to the item in the exhibition loaned by the Armenian Diocese, the first printed Armenian Gospel. Come learn about these beautiful pieces of art and about Armenian artists of Kayseri. The talk is sure to enhance any visit to the exhibition!

These Unworthy Hands Merian 11.13.001


Sylvie Merian headshot_May 2017

Sylvie L. Merian received her B.S. degree from the University of Pittsburgh with a double major in chemistry and art history, and her Ph.D. in Armenian Studies from Columbia University, writing a dissertation titled “The Structure of Armenian Bookbinding and Its Relation to Near Eastern Bookmaking Traditions.” As Curatorial Assistant, she contributed extensively to the Pierpont Morgan Library’s 1994 exhibition, Treasures in Heaven: Armenian Illuminated Manuscripts, and was a contributor to the accompanying catalogue. She is also a contributing author of the catalogue for the exhibition, Armenia!, currently at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, which will be open until Jan. 13, 2019. She has published and lectured on Armenian codicology, binding, silverwork, and manuscript illumination. She currently works at The Morgan Library & Museum as Reader Services Librarian.

A reception will follow the talk, and copies of the Armenia! exhibition catalogue, Armenia: Art, Religion, and Trade in the Middle Ages will be available for purchase.

We look forward to seeing you at the Guild Hall of the Armenian Diocese (630 Second Ave.) on Tuesday, November 13th at 7:45.

Please note the day (Tuesday) and time (7:45), which is different from our usual schedule.