Zohrab 2021 Fall Schedule of Events

Fall 2021 Schedule of Events

October 20th (Wednesday), 7:00pm ET
Krapar & Kini / Classical Armenian & Wine reading group with Bp. Daniel Findikyan on liturgical prayer text
For Zoom link, email: zohrabcenter@armeniandiocese.org | https://krapar.org/

October 27th (Wednesday), 7:00pm ET IN PERSON in Guild Hall
Enrichment Evening — “Diaspora, Homeland, and Economic Development” with Dr. Aleksandr V. Gevorkyan
Also available by Zoom: https://bit.ly/3AnnLXZ

November 10th (Wednesday), 7:00pm ET
Enrichment Evening — Book presentationBlack Garden AflameThe Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict in the Soviet and Russian Press with Dr. Artyom Tonoyan
Zoom registration: https://bit.ly/3nm9uGL

November 17th (Wednesday), 7:00pm ET
Krapar & Kini / Classical Armenian & Wine reading group with Ashley Bozian on violent and graphic scenes in medieval Armenian histories
For Zoom link, email: zohrabcenter@armeniandiocese.org | https://krapar.org/

December 2nd (Thursday), 7:00pm ET IN PERSON in Zohrab Center
Enrichment Evening — Book Release & Poetry Reading: Shahé Mankerian’s debut poetry collection History of Forgetfulness with readings by NY area writers/intellectuals Nancy Agabian, Christopher Atamian, Alina Gregorian, Alan Semerdjian, Alina Gharabegian, & Lola Koundakjian

December 13th (Monday), 7:00pm ET
Krapar & Kini / Classical Armenian & Wine reading group with Andrew Kayaian on Eznik of Koghb
For Zoom link, email: zohrabcenter@armeniandiocese.org | https://krapar.org/

all attendees of in person events must provide proof of COVID vaccination

Dr. Jesse S. Arlen to give Zoom lecture series on Armenian histories (starting this evening)

Dr. Jesse S. Arlen, Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Armenian Christian Studies at the Zohrab Information Center and Fordham University, will give a public lecture series through St. Nersess Armenian Seminary  via Zoom, entitled: “‘An Eternal Memorial for You and the Generations to Come:’ An Introduction to the Classical and Medieval Armenian Histories.”

The Fall Public Lecture Series begins this evening, Thursday, October 14th from 7:00–9:00pm and continues for the next six Thursday evenings through November 18th. Participants may attend all the lectures or just a few. Click here to register online.

title page of Mikayel Chamchean’s three-volume History of Armenia. Courtesy of Library of Congress: https://www.loc.gov/item/70232039/

Lecture Series Description: The Armenian historical tradition is rich and well developed, with texts written in this genre produced continuously from the first century after the invention of the alphabet up until the modern period. Of all the Armenian literary genres, it is the histories that have received the most attention from modern scholars, thanks to their importance for our knowledge of the Near East and Mediterranean. Nevertheless, the Armenians who wrote their histories did not conceive of history in the same way we do today, nor did they approach their topics with the same preoccupations and concerns of modern historians. In this six-week course, we will seek to approach the Armenian histories on their own terms, attempting to understand the context in which they were produced, the religious and imaginative world of the authors who composed them, and the goals and purposes that motivated both the patrons who sponsored them and the authors who wrote them. Proceeding chronologically, this semester our goal is to cover twelve major Armenian histories from the fifth to tenth centuries (about two per session). At the same time, we will introduce participants to books and online resources where they may acquire the primary texts and gain access to important secondary materials to facilitate deeper study on their own.

Lecture 1 (Oct 14) – Movses of Khoren and an Overview of the Armenian Historical Tradition

Lecture 2 (Oct 21) – The Conversion and Early History of Christian Armenia:  Agathangelos and Pawstos Buzand 

Lecture 3 (Oct 28) – Narrating the Religious Struggles with Zoroastrian Iran: Ghazar of Parpi and Yeghishe Vardapet

Lecture 4 (Nov 4) – Early Engagements with Islam: Sebeos and Ghewond

Lecture 5 (Nov 11) – Regional Histories:  Thomas Artsruni’s History of the House of the Artsrunik and Movses of Daskhuran’s History of Caucasian Albania.

Lecture 6 (Nov 18) – Looking Back at the End of the First Millenium: Catholicos John of Draskhanakert, Ukhtanes of Sebasteia, and Stephen of Taron

“Diaspora, Homeland, and Economic Development” with Dr. Aleksandr V. Gevorkyan, Oct 27th 7:00pm (in person & Zoom)

The first Enrichment Evening of Fall 2021 will take place on Wednesday, October 27th at 7:00pm (EDT). Dr. Aleksandr V. Gevorkyan, the Henry George Chair in Economics and Associate Professor of Economics at St. John’s University (NYC), will present a talk entitled “Diaspora, Homeland, and Economic Development.”

The Zohrab Center looks forward to welcoming you back in person!!

Diaspora, Homeland, and Economic Development

What do we mean by saying that diaspora is “the oil” of a developing nation? Can diaspora be the true “first mover” transforming and joining small economies with highly competitive international markets before multinational foreign investors? What is a diaspora? For some countries, like Armenia, these and related questions have been high on the agenda for centuries, if not millennia, of national history. However, it has taken the latest pandemic to elevate the largely academic research to more applied levels of policymaking across both industrialized and emerging markets. This presentation will address the problems of home country and diaspora relations in the context of mutual coexistence, national economic development, and sustainable future. Informed by an original survey of Armenian diaspora and examples of diaspora engagement across the world, this talk will review possible new diaspora development frameworks in practical and conceptual terms. Three essential elements formulate a diaspora network, requiring deeper reflection in business discussion seeking quick solutions: identity, trust, and engagement infrastructure. In the absence of transparent engagement infrastructure, diaspora’s links with a developing economy are short-lived and, usually, at best, sector, event, or location specific.

Aleksandr V. Gevorkyan, Ph.D. is a macroeconomist with research focus on open economy development, economic history, labor migration, diaspora, and post-socialist transition economics. He is the Henry George Chair in Economics and Associate Professor of Economics at the Department of Economics and Finance of the Peter J. Tobin College of Business at St. John’s University in New York City. Dr. Gevorkyan is a Senior Research Fellow at the Vincentian Centre for Church and Society and a Research Fellow at the Center for Global Business Stewardship. He is a member of the Board of Trustees at the Henry George School of Social Science and a Board Member at the Armenian Economic Association. Dr. Gevorkyan also serves as Economics Subject Matter Expert for the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See To the United Nations. Dr. Gevorkyan is the author of Transition Economies: Transformation, Development, and Society in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union (Routledge, 2018). For a complete list of publications and ongoing research please see http://agevorkyan.com/

This hybrid event will take place in person and via Zoom.

Advance Zoom registration required: https://bit.ly/3AnnLXZ

Please note, as per the New York City Covid-19 Executive Order 225proof of vaccination, as well as an I.D., will be required upon entryProof of vaccination may include a CDC Vaccination Card, an NYC Vaccination Record, NYC Covid Safe App, Excelsior Pass, or an official immunization record from outside NYC or the U.S., showing proof of receipt of at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine authorized for emergency use or licensed for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization.  Negative COVID 19 Tests are not accepted.

Krapar & Kini resumes Oct. 20th with Bp. Daniel Findikyan!

The Zohrab Information Center’s series Krapar & Kini (Գրաբար եւ Գինի / Classical Armenian & Wine) will resume on October 20th, 2021 at 7:00pm. This first session of Fall 2021 will be led by our beloved primate and renowned liturgical scholar​ Bp. Daniel Findikyan, who will be leading us through a liturgical text TBD.

Visit the new website created by Krapar & Kini member, Matt Sarkisian, for more info: https://krapar.org/

Email zohrabcenter@armeniandiocese.org to be added to the mailing list & for meeting details (Zoom link / password).

Sophene Books and the Dawn of a New Era for Classical and Medieval Armenian Literature

A wonderful new publishing initiative by Sophene Books now makes classical and medieval Armenian texts available in dual language editions, with Classical Armenian and English on facing pages. Some of the texts available include Yeghishe’s History of Vardan and the Armenian War, Matthew of Edessa’s Chronicle, Sebeos’ History, and many others.

The Zohrab Information Center’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Director, Dr. Jesse S. Arlen, wrote an article for the Armenian Mirror-Spectator on the importance of this new series for all interested in Classical Armenian and its literary treasure: Sophene Books and the Dawn of a New Era for Classical and Medieval Armenian Literature

Zohrab Center Now Open to Visitors (by Appointment) & Recordings of Vemkar/ZIC Classical Armenian Series

We are pleased to announce that the Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center is now open to visitors (by appointment only)!

After nearly a year and a half of the research library being closed, we are eager to welcome back scholars, researchers, and any others interested in making use of the vast collection of materials.

To schedule a time to visit, please contact the director, Dr. Jesse Arlen, at zohrabcenter@armeniandiocese.org or call 212-686-0710 (ext. 126).

We are also pleased to announce that recordings for the Vemkar/Zohrab Classical Armenian Series “Christ as Hope” are available to watch on YouTube.

Recent sessions include:

Hymns for the Feast of the Assumption with Fr. Nigoghos Aznavourian

Ephrem the Syrian’s Commentary on Tatian’s Diatessaron with Julia Hintlian

“On Prayer” by Evagrius of Pontus (or Nilus of Ancyra) with Fr. Hovsep Karapetyan

Sargis Shnorhali’s Exegesis of 1 Peter 3:15 with Ani Shahinian

Canon of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross with Dn. Ezras Tellalian

Classical Armenian with Fr. Ghevond Ajamian

The previous two sessions of the Vemkar/Zohrab Classical Armenian Series “Christ as Hope” are available to stream on YouTube. They were both led by Fr. Ghevond Ajamian of St. Sarkis Armenian Church in Dallas, TX.

The July 21st session featured Gregory of Tatev’s “Sermon on Hope (Գրիգոր Տաթեւացւոյ քարոզ վասն յուսոյ).

The July 28th session looked at funeral prayers from the Book of Rituals (Մաշտոց / Ծիսարան), comparing those said for an adult with those said for a child.

The next session, on August 4th, will be led by Fr. Nigoghos Aznavourian and will focus on a sharakan (hymn) for the Feast of the Assumption.

To register for it on Zoom, and for all future sessions in the series, please visit: https://vemkar.us/modules/christ-as-hope/live-sessions/#classical-armenian

YouTube Recording of the First Session from the Vemkar/Zohrab Classical Armenian Series “Christ as Hope”

The recording for the First Session of the Vemkar/Zohrab Classical Armenian Series “Christ as Hope” is available to stream on the Zohrab Information Center’s YouTube channel. Subscribe to the channel to be notified when future videos in the series are posted.

In the first session, Jesse Arlen, Interim Director of ZIC, presented Gregory of Narek’s “Ode for the Ascension” (Տաղ Համբարձման ի Գրիգոր Նարեկացւոյն).

After the presentation, participants engaged in 20–30 minutes of discussion.

The sessions will continue each Wednesday evening through September 1st at 7:00pm ET. Register in advance for the Zoom sessions here. No knowledge of Classical Armenian is required.

Future sessions will be led by Fr. Ghevond Ajamian, Fr. Nigoghos Aznavourian, Julia Hintlian, Fr. Hovsep Karapetyan, Ani Shahinian, and Dn. Ezras Tellalian.

Zohrab/Vemkar “Christ as Hope” Classical Armenian Series

Join the Zohrab Center and Vemkar‘s Classical Armenian Series on the theme “Christ as Hope,” where you’ll have the opportunity to read texts in Classical Armenian (Գրաբար), the liturgical language of the Armenian Church, guided by clergy, scholars, and advanced students of the language!

Through the guidance of a teacher, attendees will be introduced to a diversity of texts related to the theme of “Christ as Hope” from the Armenian Christian tradition, meditating on this theme while gaining exposure to Classical Armenian and the vast library of literary treasures written in this form of the language from the fifth to nineteenth centuries. 

The eight sessions will convene on Wednesday evenings at 7:00pm ET, from July 14 – Sept 1. Register for the Zoom sessions in advance. Come to one or all!

DateTime (EDT)TitleSpeakerZoom Link
Wednesday, July 147:00 PMSession 1Jesse ArlenREGISTER
Wednesday, July 217:00 PMSession 2Fr. Ghevond AjamianREGISTER
Wednesday, July 287:00 PMSession 3Fr. Ghevond AjamianREGISTER
Wednesday, August 47:00 PMSession 4Fr. Nigoghos AznavourianREGISTER
Wednesday, August 117:00 PMSession 5Julia HintlianREGISTER
Wednesday, August 187:00 PMSession 6Fr. Hovsep KarapetyanREGISTER
Wednesday, August 257:00 PMSession 7Ani ShahinianREGISTER
Wednesday, September 17:00 PMSession 8Dn. Ezras TellalianREGISTER

For more information, and to see a full schedule of the live sessions offered in conjunction with the lanuch of Vemkar’s new module, visit: https://vemkar.us/modules/christ-as-hope/live-sessions/


The Eastern Diocese is pleased to announce that scholar Jesse Arlen has been named as the first “Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Armenian Christian Studies, and Director at the Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center.”

Mr. Arlen was selected for the fellowship by a committee representing the Diocese and Fordham University, following a public call for applications. Earlier this year, the Eastern Diocese, under the auspices of Diocesan Primate Bishop Daniel, entered into an agreement with Fordham University, which reconfigured the director’s position of the Diocese’s Zohrab Information Center.

Under this arrangement, the Zohrab Center directorship is now a rotating position of two to three years’ duration, where each successive director will simultaneously hold a post-doctoral research fellowship at Fordham’s Orthodox Christian Studies Center. (Click here to learn more.)

“I am honored to have been selected as the first recipient of the newly formulated postdoctoral position of Zohrab Center director and Fordham University research fellow,” said Mr. Arlen. “I am grateful for those who gave me this opportunity, which will allow me to engage in research, teaching, and programming around the areas I have pursued in my graduate studies: Armenian Christian culture, theology, and history as well as language and literature.”

He added: “I look forward to continuing to deepen connections and work collaboratively with colleagues at the Diocese and for future opportunities at Fordham and St. Nersess.”

Since February, Mr. Arlen has been serving as the Zohrab Center’s interim director, while he completes his Ph.D. at UCLA in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures with a focus in Armenian studies. He is the author of numerous publications and papers, and has been a speaker at many academic workshops, panel discussions, and interviews.

“Jesse is a very promising scholar in the field of Armenian theology and early Christian studies,” said Bishop Daniel. “He brings to the Zohrab Center not only strong scholarly and teaching credentials, but also sincere dedication to the Armenian Church and its vital Christian witness and ministry.”