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, vhmml.org.
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.
Dr. 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.
Dr. 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!