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Prof. James R. Russell, Mashtots Professor of Armenian Studies at Harvard University, will give a lecture entitled “Magic From Greater Iran: The Parthian-Armenian-Russian Trian-gle” on Thursday, May 13, at 7:30 p.m., at the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) Center, 395 Concord Ave., Belmont, MA. Prof. Russell’s lecture will be giv-en in honor of the 90th birthday of Prof. Richard N. Frye.
The lecture will consider the web of word, meaning, and sound and explores the ways our minds and spirits can still be revived by the heritage of wonder that emerges from the Ira-nian-Armenian-Russian triangle.
It is possible that an intensified grade of an ancient Indo-European root meaning “to work” acquired the connotation of magical craft in Old Iranian. From Parthian it entered Ar-menian, where a mystic poet employed it; and it was loaned also into Slavic, where it signifies sorcery and enchantment. It leaps from old folk tradition into the poetic codes of the most in-novative, visionary Russian writers of modern times.
With uncommon depth and breadth of knowledge, Prof. Russell sheds new light on the familiar and makes connections with the unfamiliar as Armenia and its culture are seen not in isolation but in the wider context of civilizations.
NAASR and Prof. Russell are honored to present this lecture in commemoration of the 90th birthday of Prof. Richard N. Frye. Prof. Frye, Aga Khan Professor Emeritus of Iranian at Harvard, a founder of Middle Eastern Studies in the U.S., called “the Dean of World Iranists,” was also a catalyst for the growth of Armenian Studies in America.
Frye inspired the men and women who established NAASR and was instrumental in the creation of the first endowed chair in Armenian Studies at Harvard. He is a Founding Member, former Board Member, and long-serving Chairman of NAASR’s Academic Advisory Commit-tee. His voluminous publications include The Heritage of Persia, The Golden Age of Persia, and the memoir Greater Iran: A Twentieth Century Odyssey. He will be present the evening of this event.
Prof. James R. Russell has been the Mashtots Professor of Armenian Studies at Har-vard University since 1992. His books include Bosphorus Nights: The Complete Lyric Poems of Bedros Tourian, Armenian and Iranian Studies, The Book of Flowers, An Armenian Epic: The He-roes of Kasht, Zoroastrianism in Armenia, and Hovhannes Tlkurantsi and the Medieval Armenian Lyric Tradition.
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 7:30 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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April 15, 2010

Marc A. Mamigonian

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