To mark the 30th Anniversary of its founding, the Armenian Research Center at the University of Michigan-Dearborn is holding a multi-disciplinary academic conference on the theme “The Armenians and the Cold War.” The conference will be held on the university’s campus in Dearborn, MI, over the weekend April 1-3, 2016.
The global Cold War from around 1945 to 1991 inevitably affected the Armenians, not only in Soviet Armenia, but also in the many Armenian communities scattered across the world. Indeed, something resembling a cold war had already surfaced in the Armenian Diaspora not long after the establishment of Soviet rule in Armenia in late 1920. Political factions opposing Communism and those expressing readiness to cooperate with the Soviet Armenian government had developed in the Armenian Diaspora as early as the 1920s. What changed in this dynamic in the Armenian Diaspora when the global Cold War began not long after the end of the Second World War? What are the differences, if any, in the peculiarities of political rivalries in the Diaspora before and after the Second World War? Does the chronology of the Armenian Cold War from 1945 to 1991 differ in any way from the chronology of the global Cold War? What were the regional differences as the Armenian Cold War was waged in the Americas, North and South, as well as inWestern Europe, and the Middle East? What impact did the Armenian Cold War have on relations between the Armenian Diasporan communities in different countries and their respective host governments? Moreover, the Cold War also affected relations between the Soviet government of Armenia and the many Armenian communities and pan-Diasporan Armenian political factions outside theUSSR. What policies did the government of Soviet Armenia pursue toward the Armenian Diaspora prior to and during the global Cold War? Was there an Armenian dimension in the global Cold War struggle between the United States, the USSR and their respective allies, and especially in relations between the USSR and Turkey? How did the Cold War affect Armenian culture, literature and the arts? What is the legacy of the Cold War era for Armenians today? The conference will seek to answer these and related questions, by bringing together the research already completed in this domain. It would also identify existing gaps in scholarship and suggest new themes and approaches for future research. The organizers also welcome papers on the impact of the Cold War on migration to and from Soviet Armenia, Armenian spies in the Cold War era, as well as famous individual Armenian ‘Cold Warriors’ and their role in public life.
This conference is being supported by the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR). The Armenian Reviewwill devote a special issue on Armenians and the Cold War with academic articles based on some of the papers to be delivered at this conference.
The Armenian Research Center expects some of the participants, especially those with appointments in established universities or research centers, to seek funding for travel from their respective institutions. When covering travel expenses, priority will be given to participants who cannot receive institutional or organizational support. Therefore, applicants who have no means to obtain outside assistance should also submit to the conference organizers a request for travel assistance. Participants from Armenia will be able to benefit from the Short Term Conference and Travel Grants offered to students and academics by the Department of Armenian Communities at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Portugal.
All invited participants will be provided with accommodation and meals during the length of the conference.