We're pleased to welcome Aram Mrjoian to our At Home with Literati Series in support of We Are All Armenian. He will be joined in conversation by Nancy Agabian and Mashinka Firunts Hakopian.
Click here to join the webinar event on 3/16. No pre-registration required!
Note: we are now hosting on Zoom webinars. You will be prompted to enter a first name and email upon joining. You may then see a window reading "waiting for host to start webinar," but sit tight--you will be admitted as soon as we begin broadcasting live! You will be able to submit questions using the Q&A feature.
About the book: a collection of essays about Armenian identity and belonging in the diaspora.
In the century since the Armenian Genocide, Armenian survivors and their descendants have written of a vast range of experiences using storytelling and activism, two important aspects of Armenian culture. Wrestling with questions of home and self, diasporan Armenian writers bear the burden of repeatedly telling their history, as it remains widely erased and obfuscated. Telling this history requires a tangled balance of contextualizing the past and reporting on the present, of respecting a culture even while feeling lost within it.
We Are All Armenian brings together established and emerging Armenian authors to reflect on the complications of Armenian ethnic identity today. These personal essays elevate diasporic voices that have been historically silenced inside and outside of their communities, including queer, multiracial, and multiethnic writers. The eighteen contributors to this contemporary anthology explore issues of displacement, assimilation, inheritance, and broader definitions of home. Through engaging creative nonfiction, many of them question what it is to be Armenian enough inside an often unacknowledged community.
Aram Mrjoian is a writer, editor, critic, and educator. He earned a PhD in creative writing at Florida State University and an MFA at Northwestern University. Aram has also served as a creative writing mentor or instructor at the Adroit Journal, 826, Hugo House, StoryStudio, and Open Books Chicago. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Electric Literature, Barrelhouse, Gulf Coast, the Millions, the Rumpus, Boulevard, Longreads, and many other publications. He is currently a visiting assistant professor in English at Pacific Lutheran University.
Nancy Agabian is a writer, teacher, and literary organizer, working in the spaces between race, ethnicity, cultural identity, feminism, and queer identity. Her recent work of auto-fiction, The Fear of Large and Small Nations, was a finalist for the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction. She is the author of Me as Her Again: True Stories of an Armenian Daughter (Aunt Lute Books, 2008), a memoir that was honored as a Lambda Literary Award finalist for LGBT nonfiction and shortlisted for a William Saroyan International Writing Prize, and Princess Freak (Beyond Baroque Books, 2000), a collection of poetry and performance texts. Her personal essays that explore liminal spaces of identity have been published in The Margins, The Brooklyn Rail, Hyperallergic, Kweli Journal, and the Nauset Press anthology Fierce: Essays by and about Dauntless Women. She teaches creative writing at universities and art centers, most recently at NYU and the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in SoHo. From 2002 to 2010, she coordinated Gartal, an Armenian literary reading series in NYC. She is currently a caregiver to her elderly parents in East Walpole, Massachusetts, in the house where she grew up.
Mashinka Firunts Hakopian is a writer, researcher, and artist born in Yerevan and residing in Glendale, California. She is a senior researcher at the Berggruen Institute and held a teaching appointment in UCLA’s Department of English from 2017 to 2019. She holds a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in the history of art. She is an associate editor at Noema magazine and a contributing editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books. Her writing and reviews have appeared in Performance Research Journal, Art in America, the Journal of Cinema and Media Studies, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. She is a cofounder of the media performance collective Research Service, with Avi Alpert and Danny Snelson, with whom she has presented projects for the New Museum, Palais de Tokyo, LA MOCA, ICA Philadelphia, and elsewhere. Her book Algorithmic Bias: Lectures for Intelligent Machines is forthcoming from X Artists’ Books.