The National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) just announced that the 2023 Dr. Sona Aronian Book Prizes for Excellence in Armenian Studies was jointly awarded to Dr. Vartan Matiossian for The Politics of Naming the Armenian Genocide: Language, History and ‘Medz Yeghern’ (I. B. Tauris, 2022), Dr. Henry Shapiro for The Rise of the Western Armenian Diaspora in the Early Modern Ottoman Empire (Edinburgh University Press, 2022), and Dr. Gohar Muradyan for the English-language translation Ancient Greek Myths in Medieval Armenian Literature (Brill, 2022). The 2023 awards are for books with a 2022 publication date.
NAASR’s Aronian Book Prizes were established in 2014 by the late Dr. Aronian and Dr. Geoffrey Gibbs, to be awarded annually to outstanding scholarly works in the English language in the field of Armenian Studies and translations from Armenian into English.
“In a year with numerous groundbreaking scholarly works, it is a pleasure to recognize these three that cover such a wide range of topics with admirable scholarly rigor,” commented NAASR’s Director of Academic Affairs Marc Mamigonian.
Dr. Matiossian, a prolific scholar of Armenian history, literature and language, is the executive director of the Eastern Prelacy. His The Politics of Naming the Armenian Genocide explores the genealogy of the concept of ‘Medz Yeghern’ (‘Great Crime’), an Armenian term for the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923. The work draws upon extensive research based on Armenian sources, neglected in much of the current historiography, as well as other European languages in order to trace the development of the concepts pertaining to mass killing and genocide of Armenians from the ancient to the modern periods. In so doing, it makes important original contributions to our knowledge of the language used to refer to the Armenian Genocide—and the uses and abuses of language.
Dr. Matiossian commented, “I am deeply grateful to NAASR for bestowing this truly humbling honor upon a book that was not born from my main lines of research, but from an intrinsic wish to show how knowledge of the Armenian language and Armenian sources truly matters when it comes to the Medz Yeghern, the Great Crime of genocide against the Armenians, and the everlasting attempts at its denial. I hope that my incursion into genocide scholarship and the adjacent territories of language, history and politics may serve as a corrective and a reminder in these sad times when words are being twisted and perverted to the point of being unrecognizable.”
To purchase copies of the book from the Eastern Prelacy bookstore: