The Society for Armenian Studies is excited to announce that it will host a major, in-person conference on September 17-18, 2022, hosted at the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) in Belmont, MA. Technologies of Communication and Armenian Narrative Practices Through the Centuries aims to foster an interdisciplinary conversation with researchers working across historical periods grounded in the conference abstract provided below. Scholars working in any discipline relevant to Armenian Studies that touches on this topic, including but not limited to history, anthropology, religious studies, media studies, political science, and comparative literature are encouraged to submit abstracts.
To be considered for participation, please send a title of your proposed paper, a 200-word abstract of the paper, and your CV to both conference organizers, Dzovinar Derderian (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Christopher Sheklian (email@example.com) by April 30, 2022. While we plan to arrange papers into appropriate panels, we are also willing to consider multiple paper proposals already grouped into a 3- or 4-person panel. If you would like to submit a panel suggestion, one person from the panel should submit all the paper proposals in addition to a title for the panel and a 100-word description of the panel. Decisions about paper proposals will be made by the organizers in consultation with the Executive Committee of the Society for Armenian Studies by May 30, 2022.
From Cilician era Armenian manuscripts to nineteenth-century newspapers to exciting new forms of digital storytelling today, Armenians have always taken advantage of the most contemporary technologies for conveying information and producing knowledge. In adopting these information technologies, Armenians have also made them their own: Armenian iconographic and book arts are in conversation with imperial neighbors but develop their own styles; Armenian newspapers became a vehicle for the development of the modern Armenian vernacular and an opportunity to plumb the depths of Armenian history; TUMO, the Center for Creative Technologies in the Republic of Armenia pushes boundaries of digital storytelling.
Focusing on technologies of communication (i.e., manuscripts, print, visual and digital media) this conference aims to foster an interdisciplinary conversation with researchers working across historical periods around the question of how technologies of communication have impacted Armenian narrative style and practices (such as modes of storytelling, narrative structure, and exegetical principles), and reversely how Armenian narrative practices have shaped each new technology. What have been the ruptures and continuities in communication styles at each juncture of technological change? More specifically, how these technologies have both shaped and been shaped by Armenian understandings of exegesis, hermeneutics, narrative structure, storytelling, and more? What is the influence of new technologies of communication on established techniques and practices of reading, writing, narrative and interpreting? The long durée framework of this conference allows us to pose questions such as: Whether or not there are distinctly Armenian narrative devices and methods of interpretation? Do certain techniques and practices, associated with the dissemination and reception of information, perdure through the centuries even as technologies change? How can the Armenian examples contribute to the broader discussions of the impact of technologies of communication on society, culture and politics and/or contribute to discussions around technologies of communication in different fields, such as gender, migration, and media studies?
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