The University of Michigan’s Armenian Studies Program (ASP) promotes the study of the history, language, and culture of Armenia and Armenians and helps prepare the new generation of scholars in the field. ASP is built on the solid foundation of rigorous curriculum offered by the two endowed chairs in Armenian studies: The Alex Manoogian Chair in Modern Armenian History (1981) and the Marie Manoogian Chair in Armenian Language and Literature (1987). The University of Michigan offers an undergraduate major and minor in Armenian studies; MA and PhD degrees are offered through the University’s centers for regional studies and departments.
In addition, the program offers graduate student, post-doctoral, pre-doctoral and visiting scholar fellowships; graduate and undergraduate student research support; specialized symposia, workshops and conferences; and public lectures and outreach programs. Through its work in the United States and abroad, ASP strives to contribute to the scholarly analysis and understanding of the challenges the Armenian people have faced at home, in the Near East and the Caucasus, and in the Diaspora.
The origins of the Armenian Studies Program (ASP) at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, lie in the Armenian language and later history classes taught beginning in 1976 by a number of known scholars and teachers. ASP was officially established in 1981, when Mr. and Mrs. Alex and Marie Manoogian endowed the Alex Manoogian Chair in Modern Armenian History (Department of History), which has been held by Professor Ronald Suny (1981-97), Professor Stephanie Platz (1997-2000), and Professor Gerard Libaridian (2001-12).
Alex (1901-96) and Marie (1903-93) Manoogian
In 1987, the Manoogian family endowed a second position, the Marie Manoogian Chair in Armenian Language and Literature and Dr. Kevork Bardakjian has held that position since that time. In 1997 the Marie Manoogian Chair was moved from the Slavic to the Department to the Department of Near Eastern Studies.
Professor Ronald Suny directed the program from its establishment in 1981 until 1995. Professor Kevork Bardakjian was ASP director from 1995 to 2007, followed by Professor Gerard Libaridian from 2007 to 2012. The current director is Professor Kathryn Babayan.
ASP is a unit at U-M's International Institute; a Steering Committee guides its programming and budgeting policies while a smaller Executive Committee supervises the implementation of programs.
The activities of the Program are supported by a number of endowments and major gifts from the Manoogian Simone Foundation (New York) and the Alex and Marie Manoogian Foundation (Taylor, Michigan).
( Left to right) Marie Manoogian, Ronald Suny, Kevork Bardakjian
The ASP Director, together with the members of the Executive Committee and Steering Committee, determines annual programing (lecture series, workshops, distinguished lectures), sets and approves the annual budget, reviews applications for fellowships and summer awards, and in general directs programmatic, outreach, and development activities of the Armenian Studies Program to the interested academic, public, and non-profit communities.