Welcome to the webpage of the Richard Hovannisian Endowed Chair in Modern Armenian History at the Department of History. The Chair was established in 1987 following a rich tradition of teaching Armenian language and history courses at UCLA that dates back to the early 1960s. Initially endowed by the Armenian Educational Foundation (AEF), the Chair was known under that name during the tenure of its first holder, Dr. Richard G. Hovannisian. It was renamed in Dr. Hovannisian’s honor upon his retirement in 2011 in recognition of his fifty years of teaching and scholarship at UCLA. Following an international search, the Department of History at UCLA selected Dr. Sebouh D. Aslanian as the first Richard Hovannisian Endowed Chair in Modern Armenian history.
The Chair provides undergraduate- and graduate-level training in Armenian history for all periods beginning with antiquity but with an emphasis in the early modern and modern periods. It provides special attention to highlighting the interactive elements in Armenian history and stresses the importance of a world historical or global history methodological perspective in understanding the history of the Armenian people in both the homeland and in the diaspora. For Dr. Aslanian’s inaugural lecture of May 22, 2012, outlining his vision of the field and the chair, click here for link to his essay “The Marble of Armenian History: Or Armenian History as World History.”
In addition to its pedagogic activities in the classroom, the Chair also organizes annual conferences, a lecture series entitled “Armenia and Armenians in Global history: Cross-Cultural Encounters and Exchange from Antiquity to the Modern Period,” and other events aimed at fostering a critical and scholarly forum where leading scholars of Armenian and world history make their latest findings accessible to the interested public. The Chair was involved in organizing and participating in the Armenian Genocide Centennial Commemoration in 2015 which was held in Istanbul, Turkey. He also co-organized a historic conference on the Armenian genocide in Istanbul, Turkey on April 26, 2015 – event poster. The event program can be found here. Dr. Aslanian also spends his time on the conference and lecture circuit promoting his work and showcasing Armenian history. For a recent short clip of an Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) web talk from 2018 see this link.