Armenian Studies Research and Study Opportunities

What is Armenian Studies?

Armenian Studies is an academic discipline. It is the study of Armenia - its history, culture, literature, socio-economic developments, social media and marketing, language and dialects, politics and international relations, agriculture, archaeology, religion and church, gender issues, minorities, information technologies sector, music and poetry, medicine and public health, manuscripts and miniatures, film and movies, science and education, and the diaspora.

Armenia is a country that has existed for millennia. Thus, there is plenty to study regarding the society, religion, linguistics, culture, and history of the Armenian people, and this historical perspective is only a small part of what Armenian Studies involves. Armenian Studies also involves sociology, anthropology, cultural studies, political science, and other social sciences to study Armenia and Armenians in the contemporary age. Moreover, the advances in journalism, social networks, data analysis, big data, artificial intelligence, economics, genetics, behavioral sciences, migration studies, neurosciences, international relations, biology, environmental and political sciences allow investigators, researchers, and analysts to study and research Armenia's future and the future of the Armenians in Armenia and beyond.

Studying future possibilities could have been a central goal of Armenian Studies.

Nevertheless, the current realities show that the discipline of Armenian studies worldwide concentrates on the past, which was also its focus when it was emerging.

Armenia's geography and the spread of the Armenian people also locate Armenian Studies' within or in parallel with other area studies disciplines - broader or narrower. Armenian Studies in historical perspective and from the perspective of the future is inseparable from Georgian Studies, Iranian Studies, Arabic Studies, Ottoman Studies, Greek Studies, Turkish Studies, Russian Studies. Much broader Slavic Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, Near Eastern Studies, Byzantian Studies are disciplines that often involve Armenian Studies concerning the Geography of Armenia and the spread of Armenian people in different countries in different historical stages. 

Armenia's official language is Armenian, a language that occupies its separate branch of the Indo-European languages. Many texts in this language date back to the early 5th century A.D., from religious texts to several historical chronicles and scientific treatises. Specialists in Armenian Studies will have to know about Grabar, also known as Classical Armenian, the oldest form of Armenian attested in texts. In the medieval period, we begin to find Middle Armenian texts, a form of Armenian between Classical and modern Armenian. Today, there are two Armenian literary languages, Western and Eastern, with Western taught in some diasporan communities and Eastern in the Republic of Armenia (and some communities outside of Armenia). 

As is evident, becoming an expert in Armenian Studies requires a mastery of a wide variety of sources and fields. 

The History of Armenian Studies

Interest in the history of the Near East began in the Renaissance when European scholars took an interest in the "exotic Orient." While nowadays many people think of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Iran when thinking of the powerful states and cultures of the Near East, Armenia was of course one of the long-lasting kingdoms in the region. Additionally, there were a lot of texts in Classical Armenian, and, since it was a language that was already known, it was a good source for early "Orientalist" scholars who could not yet read texts in cuneiform or Egyptian hieroglyphics. The foundation of the Mekhitarist Congregation of Armenian Catholic monks in 1717 marked a major milestone in the development of Armenian Studies since they began to publish a large number of Classical Armenian versions of Ancient Greek texts that were thought to have been lost. Additionally, they published new original works, including Mikayel Chamchian's History of Armenia, which are still known as foundational works in the field of Armenian Studies. 

Armenian Studies in the World Today

Several universities around the world (outside of Armenia) have Armenian Studies programs. Some do not have full programs or departments but do have experts that teach a few courses on the Armenian language or history. Some departments are more famous and expansive than others. Perhaps the most notable Armenian Studies department outside of the Republic of Armenia right now is at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), where students can take courses on Armenian history, language (Western, Eastern, and Classical), culture, literature, and archaeology. Additionally, USC’s recently opened Institute of Armenian Studies is another major center of scholarship.

Some smaller Armenian Studies programs are growing or terminating their activities. One of the growing ones is at the University of California at Berkeley, which has now begun to offer Armenian language courses in addition to the history and literature courses already being offered by the department head, Professor Stepan Astourian. Contrary to the Armenian Studies program at Berkeley, it seems the Harvard program is struggling with uncertainties these days though they do still offer elementary and intermediate Western Armenian in their Center for Middle Eastern Studies.

Additionally, there are Armenian Studies programs at major institutions that are often overlooked. One of these is the program at the University of Chicago's Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES) and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (NELC) department. 

If interested in pursuing a degree in Armenian Studies, there are several universities to get a bachelor's, master's, or Ph.D. degree in the subject. Below you can find a list of some of these major departments. Additionally, you may consult this comprehensive list of Armenian Studies centers and programs around the world.

B.A., MA, Ph.D. and Research Opportunities in Armenian Studies

There are many centers, departments, and schools that offer degrees in Armenian Studies. In many universities, the Armenian Studies program is offered in a broader Middle Eastern Studies department or center.

Armenian Studies in Armenia

The ultimate spot to study Armenian studies is indeed the Republic of Armenia. 

In the universities outside Armenia, Armenian studies can be the department where language, history, literature, and other topics related to Armenia and Armenian are taught. Armenian Studies in Armenia is distributed among many departments, such as Armenian Literature, Armenian Language, Armenian History, Sociology, Archaeology, Political Sciences, Iranian Studies, Turkish Studies, Islamic Studies, and others. 

Several Armenian Studies centers in Armenia specifically bear the name "Armenian Studies". Below we will present a list of Armenian Studies related departments and centers in the Republic of Armenia. 

Faculty of Philology, Armenian State Pedagogical University

  • Chair of Armenian Language and its Teaching Methods
  • Chair of Armenian Ancient and Medieval Literature and its Teaching Methods
  • Chair of Armenian New and Modern Literature and its Teaching Methods

Bachelor's degree

  • Armenian Language and Literature

Master's degree

  • Armenian Language and Literature

Faculty of History, Jurisprudence and Social Sciences, Armenian State Pedagogical University

  • Chair of the History of Armenia
  • Chair of the World History and its Teaching Methods
  • Chair of Law and its Teaching Methods
  • Chair of Political Science and History of Law

Bachelor's degree

  • History and Law

Master's degree

  • History and Law

Faculty of History, Yerevan State University

Bachelor's Programmes:

  • History
  • Art Studies
  • Cultural Studies
  • Caucasian studies
  • Archaeology and Ethnography

Master's Programmes:

  • Armenian History
  • History of Armenia's Neighboring Countries
  • Caucasian Studies
  • World History
  • Cultural Studies
  • Master of Art History and Theory
  • Diaspora Studies
  • Armenian studies
  • Archaeology and Ethnography

Faculty of Armenian Philology, Yerevan State University

Bachelor's Programmes:

  • Armenian Language and Literature

Master's Programmes:

  • World Literature and Theory of Literature
  • Contemporary Armenian Literature and Literary Criticism
  • Modern Armenian Language and Translation Studies
  • History of Armenian Language and Linguistics
  • History of Armenian Literature

Faculty of Theology, Yerevan State University

Bachelor's Programmes:

  • Theology
  • Church Studies

Master's Programmes:

  • Archimandrite Theology
  • History of the Armenian Church and Church Studies
  • Religion Studies

Institute of Armenian Studies, Yerevan State University

All Armenian Foundation Financing Armenological Studies

One of the purposes of the Foundation is a promotion of Armenian Studies world-wide.

Armenian Research Center in Humanities

With a larger vision of modernizing the Armenian society, the Armenian Research Center in Humanities (ARCH) conducts disciplinary and interdisciplinary research in various humanities fields (political science, sociology, cultural studies, literary...

The Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute Foundation (AGMI)

The Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute Foundation is dedicated to preserving the memory and legacy of the Armenian Genocide by honoring 1,5 million Armenians who have perished during the horrible events at the beginning of the 20th century. The Museum-Institute teaches universal lessons to combat hatred, discrimination, prejudice, and apathy. It fulfills its missions through permanent, temporary, and on-line exhibitions, vigorous research in different topics related to the Armenian Genocide, enrichment, preservation, digitalization, and interpretation of its collections, through educational programs and other initiatives that raise the awareness of the Armenian Genocide, promote the value of human rights and foster recognition and prevention of genocides.

Division of Armenology and Social Sciences, National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia

Institute of History

Main Fields of Activity

  • The formation of the Armenian people in the Armenian Highland. The history of the ancient Armenian statehood
  • The Medieval history of Armenia. History of the Armenian statehood in Cilicia
  • History of the Armenian Church
  • The Armenian national-liberation movements
  • The Armenian Question and the Genocide of the Armenians
  • The history of the Armenian press and public thought. The history of the formation of the Armenian political streams and parties
  • History of the Armenian Communities and Armenian Diaspora
  • The demographic processes in Armenia.
  • The History of the I (1918-1920), II (1920-1991), and III (1991-) Republic of Armenia, NKAO, NKR.
  • History of the Armenian Communities and Armenian Diaspora
  • The Armenian Historiography and Source Studies

Institute of Philosophy, Sociology and Law 

Main Fields of Activity

  • history of the Armenian philosophy and aesthetic thought
  • theoretical philosophy, logic, and methodology of the science
  • sociology and political science: problems of the social transformations in Armenia, migration of population and political alienation; the geopolitical situation in the region
  • theory and history of law in Armenia, phenomenological foundations of the theory of right, the problem of relations between law and security

Institute of Economics after M. Kotanyan

Main Fields of Activity

- Macroeconomic Issues and Finances: anti-crisis programs and measures both in Armenia and in other countries; entrepreneurship current issues and respective approaches to resolving them in Armenia; issues of improving macroeconomic conditions in Armenia: design of efficient anti-crisis measures and programs.

- Issues of the Real Sector of Economy: regulation issues of the management of Armenian agricultural production processes and approaches to resolve them; estimates of enriched scraps by the mining industry and assessment of environmental damage caused by them.

- Development of Services Sector and Social Demographic Issues: economic issues that prevent forming E-government and E-society in Armenia and approaches to resolve them; social and demographic developments in Armenia.

- Theoretical Research and History of Economic Thought: green economy development priority to ensure human development and poverty eradication; the main streams of Armenian Economic thought in the 70-90s of the 19th century.

Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography 

Main Fields of Activity

  • archaeology
  • epigraphy
  • ethnography
  • ethnology
  • ethno-sociology
  • folkloristics
  • physical anthropology

Institute of Oriental Studies 

Main Fields of Activity

  • History, the culture of the Middle East, and Eastern Asia and contemporary regional problems;
  • Studies on history, internal and foreign policy, socio-economic situation, ideological streams, the policy of Genocide and other principal issues of the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic;
  • Studies on the history of national liberation movements in Arabic countries, the trends of their socio-political and spiritual-cultural development, inter-Arabic, as well as Armenian-Arabic historical and political relations, the role of Islam, and research of the history of Armenian communities in Arabic countries;
  • Studies on history of Iran, internal and foreign policy, Iranian philology and Armenian-Iranian historical and cultural relations;
  • Studies on the Kurds, their history, folklore, Armenian-Kurdish relations;
  • The main problems of the history of Christian Orient and the Caucasus, Caucasian Albania, Armenian-Byzantine political-confessional relations, and Armenian-Georgian relations;
  • Studies on the main issues of history and culture of cuneiform and Hellenistic civilizations;
  • Study of Eastern sources, documents, and their translation into Armenian.

Institute of Language after H. Acharian 

Main Fields of Activity

  • investigation of the structure and functioning, history and comparative grammar of the Armenian language, exploration of the literary Eastern and Western Armenian Language, dialectology, regulation of literary language, development of terminology
  • problems of didactic linguistics
  • applied linguistics, psycholinguistics, text linguistics
  • compiling of etymological, bilingual, dialectological, spelling- orthoepic and terminological dictionaries, electronic concordances.

Institute of Literature after M. Abeghyan

Main Fields of Activity

  • Ancient and Medieval Armenian Literature
  • New Armenian Literature
  • Modern Armenian Literature
  • Textology
  • Theory of Literature
  • Foreign Literature and Comparative
  • Literature
  • Literature of Armenian Diaspora
  • The annuals of Hovanes Tumanyan's life and creative works

Institute of Arts

Main Fields of Activity

  • Complex study of Armenian artistic culture
  • History and theory of visual arts, decorative-applied arts, design
  • History and theory of architecture, urban development
  • Musicology, musical folkloristics
  • Theatre studies, cinema studies
  • The art of the Armenian diaspora
  • Publication of the creative legacy of classics of Armenian art
  • Terminological dictionaries on art
  • Actual problems of modern Armenian art

Shirak Armenology Research Center

Main Fields of Activity

  • An investigation of new archaeological monuments in the territory of the region,
  • The old history of the Akhurian river basin in the first millennium B.C. (tribes, tribal countries, traditions, faith, mythology),
  • Shirak's new and modern history (socio-political, social, and cultural life of Aleksandrapol and its province, ethnodemography),
  • Aleksandrapol- Leninakan- Gyumri's material and spiritual culture, historic ethnography,
  • Ethnopsychological studies in the disastrous zone (mental toughness in stressful situations, disaster folklore),
  • Shirak's folk music and compository heritage, a history of Aleksandrapol's band school),
  • Shirak's modern dialects

Hundreds of study and academic opportunities in Armenian Studies are available internationally. Conferences and summer schools in Armenian Studies are organized regularly in the best academic centers of the world. The majority of universities and many foundations also offer BA, MA, and Ph.D. programs in Armenian Studies as wells as postdoctoral research grants, awards, and fellowships. Below you will find the updated list of international opportunities available in Armenian Studies.

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