The Role of The Humanities and Social Studies in Armenian Life - 12/13/2020
Conversations on Groong
Academia and academic work, especially in the fields of humanities and social sciences, has always been instrumentalized by various ideologies and/or political regimes. Moreover, various disciplines within each of those fields such as anthropology, art history, literature, etc., have a long tradition of being the middle children of academia and are rarely considered to have a role in shaping minds and trends in society. In Armenia the roles of humanities and social science have undergone changes since soviet and immediate post-soviet times. At a time where both these fields were viewed as instruments of legitimization of Communism and later nationalism, academics in these fields had to navigate the murky waters of ideology less they were willing to be labeled “pseudo-academics” or even worse as traitors.
The challenge of having robust disciplines in humanities and social sciences in Armenia is manifold. These include encouraging critical thinking void of ideology, the role of individuals with degrees in humanities and social sciences in the larger society, challenging pre-existing paradigms and many more.
𝐃𝐫. 𝐀𝐬𝐛𝐞𝐝 𝐊𝐨𝐭𝐜𝐡𝐢𝐤𝐢𝐚𝐧, who is a senior lecturer of political science and international relations at Bentley University in Massachusetts, discusses with:
𝐃𝐫. 𝐀𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐥𝐚 𝐇𝐚𝐫𝐮𝐭𝐲𝐮𝐧𝐲𝐚𝐧, who is Associate Professor of Art History and the chair of the Department of Fine Arts and Art History at the American University of Beirut. She is founding member of BICAR (Beirut Institute for Critical Analysis and Research) and the Johannissyan Research Institute in the Humanities in Yerevan, Armenia. She is editor of ARTMargins peer-reviewed journal (MIT Press). Her monograph The Political Aesthetics of the Armenian Avant-garde: The Journey of the “Painterly Real’" was published by Manchester University Press in 2017 and 2019.
Details in https://groong.org/podcasts/CoG-20201213.html Episode 32 | Recorded on December 3, 2020
Asbed Kotchikian, is an Associate Professor of political science and international relations at the American University of Armenia.