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Dr. Bournoutian to Speak in Fresno

Mandy Estrada
Staff Writer

It is uncommon to find a scholar with the ability and capacity to read Armenian, Persian, and Russian and who can conduct research on primary documents in those languages. Among the few with this knowledge, is Dr. George Bournoutian, who has been voted as “Outstanding Professor” for six years in a row at Iona College for his scholarship.

Bournoutian is an authority on Eastern Armenian studies, from the 16th to the 19th century. He was born in Iran but currently resides in Dumont, New Jersey. He received the first Ph.D. in Armenian History at U.C.L.A. Presently, he is senior professor of Middle Eastern and Eastern European History at Iona College in New York as well as a visiting professor of Armenian history at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

Bournoutian is also the author of 11 books, all of which can be found in the Henry Madden Library at Fresno State. Four of his books have received excellent reviews in the Times Literary Supplement. Others have been positively reviewed in the important journals of the field such as IJMES, MEJ, BSOAS, SAS, and SIS. Bournoutian has also served as moderator and commentator on films, including Atom Egoyan’s recent film Ararat.

Professor Bournoutian often leads student travel tours to foreign countries such as Armenia, China, Iran, and Australia. He frequently travels domestically as well as internationally in order to give lectures at community centers and churches, where he deals with a multitude of topics (historical, political, or religious) on Armenia, Iran, Russia, and Eastern Europe.

Fresno State will be welcoming Dr. Bournoutian on May 16 to give a lecture on the Russian Empire and its relations with the Armenian Church in Russia and the Transcaucasus. He will be discussing several main points on the topic. He will first describe the distinct reactions of Peter the Great, Empress Anna, Elizabeth and Catherine the Great to the Armenian Church in Russia. Secondly, he will describe the rivalry between Karabagh and Ejmiatsin for control of the Armenian communities in Russia and how Russia approached this situation.

He will conclude his lecture by explaining the Russian government’s response to political and religious changes taking place in the empire.
Dr. Bournoutian will also be presenting this lecture in several other locations in California and around the country. His lecture in Fresno is part of the Spring 2003 Lecture Series of the Armenian Studies Program and is co-sponsored by the Armenian General Benevolent Union of Fresno and the Armenian Students Organization.

This lecture promises to be highly intriguing as well as informative. The event is open to students and all community members, so be sure to mark your calendar.