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The National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) will present an illustrated lecture by Dr. Levon Abrahamian entitled “Fighting with Memory and Monuments: Re-Shaping Post Soviet Armenian Identity” on Thursday, April 3, at 8:00 p.m., at the NAASR Center, 395 Concord Ave., Belmont, MA.
Dr. Abrahamian is currently Visiting Professor in the Department of Near Eastern Lan-guages and Cultures at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the Head of the De-partment of Contemporary Anthropological Studies at the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnog-raphy of the Academy of Sciences of Armenia. He is the author of Armenian Identity in a Chang-ing World and the co-editor of Armenian Folk Arts, Culture, and Identity, and has authored other books and many articles in Armenian and English.
Reevaluation of Soviet-Era Idols
Beginning in the years of perestroika, the stormy process of reevaluating traditional So-viet key events, heroes, and “gods” was started in Armenia. By the end of perestroika and es-pecially in the beginning of the post-communist era, much attention was focused on the monu-ments that celebrated these Soviet luminaries and landmark events. Abrahamian will discuss the fight over these monuments and their symbolism in post-Soviet Armenia with attention to the broader context of other post-Soviet countries.
Naturally, the main focus of the monument-fighters was the great “ancestors” of the So-viet regime. Monuments of Stalin had already been removed after his death. After Stalin, Lenin remained the main focus of the monument-fighters’ revolutionary rage. During the anti-monument movement, sometimes a kind of reinterpretation of a monument instead of its de-struction took place, and Abrahamian will present examples.

The fight over memory and monuments also involves the process of new remembering and new monument raising. In general, the talk will give an outline of the landscape of monu-ments in Yerevan and the nature of memory discourse in late-Soviet and post-Soviet Armenia.
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 avail-able 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
March 7, 2008


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