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Dr. Seta Dadoyan, currently of St. Nersess Armenian Seminary, will give a lecture entitled “Armenian Dissidence: Highlights of an Unwritten History,” on Thursday, September 20, at 8:00 p.m., at the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) Center, 395 Concord Ave., Belmont, MA. This will mark the resumption of NAASR’s lecture series which has been on hiatus during the summer.
There is a legacy of Armenian dissidence, the history of which has yet to be written. In this talk, her first at NAASR, Dr. Seta B. Dadoyan will analyze highlights of Armenian dissidence as reactions against—and yet also essential parts of—the cultural legacy of Armenians. By dissidence Dadoyan means sets of beliefs/values and/or courses of action that are liberal in essence and reformist in motives. As such they run contrary to the prevailing value systems and narratives.
Wide Range of Movements, Groups, and Individuals
Dissidence covers religious, reformist, syncretistic, and egalitarian social movements (such as the Tondrakians) that also had literary aspects (such as the work of Grigor Narekatsi). Pro-Eastern policies and the careers of individuals and groups (such as the Armenians in the Islamic world), and Cilician ecumenism (exemplified by Nerses Lambronatsi) in turn ran counter to mainstream “national” ideology. In many ways, Armenian popular culture and humor are “dissident” in their liberalism and cosmopolitanism. Dadoyan’s objective is to bring out alternative intriguing sides of Armenian culture and to suggest a more critical perspective than otherwise stereotyped accounts.
Dr. Dadoyan taught for many years at the American University of Beirut and Haigazian University and more recently at Columbia University. She will be teaching at St. Nersess Semi-
nary in 2007-2008. She is the author of numerous articles in scholarly journals and several books, including Pages of West Armenian Philosophical Thought (1987), The Fatimid Armenians: Cultural and Political Interaction in the Near East (1997), and The Armenian Catholicosate from Cilicia to Antelias: An Introduction to the Political History (2003). At present she is working on an extensive work on the Armenians in the Near East.
The NAASR Bookstore will be open at 6:00 p.m. the evening of the lecture, and all items will be 20% off both before the lecture and after.
Admission to the event is free (donations appreciated). The NAASR Center is located opposite the First Armenian Church and next to the U.S. Post Office. Ample parking is available around the building and in adjacent areas. The lecture will begin promptly at 8:00 p.m.
More information about the lecture is available by calling 617-489-1610, faxing 617-484-1759, e-mailing, or writing to NAASR, 395 Concord Ave., Belmont, MA 02478.
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Belmont, MA
August 31, 2007


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