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The Ohanessian Chair Lecture: Vahram Shemmassian, "The Musa Dagh Resistance to the Armenian Genocide and Its Impact through Franz Werfel's Historical Novel"

Date: 10/17/2013

Time: 7:00 PM

Location: President's Room Coffman Memorial Union

Cost: Free


The Ohanessian Chair Lecture 2013 will be given by Dr. Vahram Shemmassian, professor in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures at California State University, Northridge. He will explore the History of the Musa Dagh Resistance to the Armenian Genocide and its impact through Franz Werfel's historical novel, The Forty Days of Musa Dagh. Please join us for this intriguing lecture.

Dr. Vahram Shemmassian is Associate Professor and the Director of the Armenian Studies Program in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures at the California State University, Northridge. He holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). His dissertation is titled “The Armenian Villagers of Musa Dagh: A Historical-Ethnographic Study, 1840-1915.”
Prof. Shemmassian has conducted extensive research in thirty-five governmental and non-governmental archives in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Armenia, gathering data on such areas of interest as the Armenians of Musa Dagh and the Sanjak of Alexandretta, as well as Armenian Genocide survivors in the Middle East at the end of World War I. He has published many scholarly articles, delivered lectures at community events and in universities, and participated in international symposia and conferences.
Dr. Shemmassian’s latest article, published in the 2012 issue of the Journal of the Society for Armenian Studies, deals with the “Armenian Genocide Survivors in the Holy Land at the End of World War I.” He is currently completing a book, titled The Musa Dagh Armenians: A Socioeconomic and Cultural History, 1919-1939, and co-editing another volume, with Prof. Richard Hovannisian, titled Armenian Musa Dagh, Kessab, and Dort Yol.
Among his awards, he has received a certificate of recognition from the California State Assembly. In the summer of 2010 the Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia awarded Dr. Shemmassian the “William Saroyan Medal” for his contributions to the promotion and preservation of Armenian culture in the Diaspora. 


  • Name: Institute for Global Studies
  • E-mail: igsevent@umn.edu
  • Sponsored by: Global Studies, Austrian Studies, Holocaust & Genocide Studies, College of Liberal Arts, Critical Asian Studies, Study of the Asias

Disability Options:

To request disability accommodations, please contact the Institute for Global Studies at 612-624-9007.

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