Vartan Gregorian Scholarship

Vartan Gregorian Scholarship

Grants awarded to Anna Aleksanyan and Arman Khachatryan, early-career scholars

Aurora Humanitarian Initiative is proud to announce that two young scholars – Anna Aleksanyan and Arman Khachatryan – are the first recipients of the new Vartan Gregorian Scholarship (Research Grants) Program.

Aurora announced the Vartan Gregorian Scholarship (Research Grants) Program in the fall of 2018. The grants support early-career scholars and researchers, with a specific focus on historians and social scientists who study the unexplored questions of the 20th century history of Armenia. 

The first two recipients are studying very different aspects of the early 20th century and they represent a new generation of scholar. Anna Aleksanyan and Arman Khachatryan are both historians who began their studies at Yerevan State University.

Aleksanyan’s proposed research will closely examine the gendered aspects of the Armenian Genocide – specifically the ways Ottoman Armenian females were targeted for physical destruction, sexual abuse and slavery, as well as other ways the perpetrators dehumanized them.

“I’m honored to receive support from the organization that is named for Aurora. The Vartan Gregorian Scholarship will give me an opportunity to shed some overdue light on the experience of thousands of women who shared Aurora’s fate; they deserve to be studied,” said Aleksanyan, referring to Aurora Mardiganian, the young woman who was orphaned during the Armenian Genocide, persecuted and eventually arrived in the US to star in a film about her own experiences.

Aleksanyan is in the doctoral program at the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Clark University in Massachusetts.

Khachatryan will study the activities of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem as an Armenian national religious institution in the years 1909-1949 – during late Ottoman and British rule, as well as in the early years of the State of Israel.

“The Vartan Gregorian scholarship has opened a new perspective for me on my way towards realizing my goal of publishing a monograph, thus bringing my humble contribution in the field of Armenian studies,’’ said Khachatryan who is working on his doctorate at Ben Gurion University in Israel.

“There is no doubt that the Scholarship Program will help specialists in Armenian history to delve deeper into the topics related to the Armenian Genocide. The impact these research grants will have will contribute to the development of the Armenian Studies not only within Armenian academia, but globally as well,” said George Bournoutian, Senior Professor of History, Iona College, and a member of the Vartan Gregorian Scholarship Selection Committee.

Aleksanyan and Khachatryan’s proposals were chosen from a pool of 18 applications. The committee focused on those proposals which presented a new approach to Armenian Studies.

“This is a great opportunity that provides financial support to early-career scholars and researchers to do a comprehensive research using multilingual resources and archives in and out of Armenia. The Scholarship Program will also promote the development of the Armenian Studies to create and strengthen connections between Armenian and international research institutions,” emphasized Selection Board Member Levon Chookaszian.

The scholarship program will award up to two $30,000 grants per year. The program in its first year focused on scholars and researchers from Armenia, under the age of 35. Later, the program will be expanded to include applicants from outside Armenia as well.