Montreal Manuel Keusseyan Armenological Lecture Series in its 9th Ye

AGBU Press Office
55 East 59th Street
New York, NY 10022-1112
Phone: 212.319.6383, x118
Fax: 212.319.6507
Email: [email protected]


Friday, June 15, 2012

The Montreal Manuel Keusseyan Armenological Lecture Series Enjoys
Broad Appeal in its Ninth Year

This spring, the AGBU Manuel Keusseyan Armenological Lecture Series,
an initiative of the Armenological Studies Program in Montreal, added
several distinguished speakers to its already impressive list of
participants, who have made it the longest running project of its

Viken L. Attarian, Gargein Choogaszian, Dr. Movses Herkelian, Peter
Hrechdakian and Rouben Malayan were some of the many distinguished
guests featured in the 2012 lecture series, which was created by the
AGBU Montreal Chapter in the fall of 2003. That year, the late Manuel
Keusseyan, a literary expert, poet, and teacher, approached the
then-Chairman of the Montreal Chapter, Paul Kichian, and AGBU patron
Jirair Dervishian, with the idea of creating a public forum that would
engage the Armenian community on various subjects ranging from the
arts to politics and everything in between. Keusseyan began hosting
the weekly events, occasionally joined by colleagues, and quickly
gaining a core following of thirty to forty attendees every Wednesday
evening for nine months out of the year.

In November 2006, when Keusseyan was befallen by an illness that would
take his life a year later, Chahé Tanachian, currently the Chairman of
the Armenological Studies Program and Director of the AGBU Alex
Manoogian School, assumed the responsibility of organizing the
events. While the series’ format changed – a different lecturer was
invited each week – Tanachian has ensured that it maintains the spirit
and energy that Keusseyan brought to it. As he commented, “this
project’s objective from day one has been to present the cornerstones
of Armenian culture in order to strengthen the Armenian identity in
the diaspora and to better educate about the richness of Armenian
culture and heritage. As a nation, we must first appreciate our own
rich culture in order to present it to other nations and share it with
the world community.” The series has helped share Armenian culture
over the past nine years, producing more than two hundred and fifty
presentations on numerous topics, at times drawing crowds exceeding
one hundred.

Both local speakers and those visiting from overseas have helped the
lecture series remain varied and thought-provoking. Recent
presentations include “The Armenian DNA Project” by Hrechdakian, who
gave an overview of new resources that allow Armenians, especially
descendants of orphans from the Genocide who are searching for
relatives, to trace their genealogy. Shifting from the hard sciences
to science fiction, in February 2012, Attarian, the former Chairman of
the AGBU Montreal Chapter, discussed the obscure but highly
interesting world of Armenian science fiction literature. A few weeks
later, in March, Choogaszian led an informative talk on the legendary
Armenian composers Komitas and Khachaturian.

Armenian art has also been a recurring topic throughout the series,
with Rouben Malayan joining the program in April 2012 for his
presentation “Armenian Calligraphy as Art,” and art critic and artist
Herkelian preceding him. After receiving an AGBU scholarship,
Herkelian pursued a successful career as an art critic, and pledged to
give back to AGBU. Pieces from his own gallery, which he has donated
to exhibition sales, have raised tens of thousands of dollars for the
AGBU Lebanon Education Fund. During his lecture, Herkelian drew from
his own experiences in the art world to highlight those of painters
Arshile Gorky and Ivan Aivazovsky.

Under the leadership of Tanachian, who has attended nearly every
lecture in the series’ nine year history, the Keusseyan Armenological
Lecture Series is sure to continue to attract high-profile speakers,
and a diverse audience, when it resumes this autumn. Established in
1906, AGBU () is the world’s largest non-profit Armenian
organization. Headquartered in New York City, AGBU preserves and
promotes the Armenian identity and heritage through educational,
cultural and humanitarian programs, annually touching the lives of
some 400,000 Armenians around the world.

For more information about AGBU and its worldwide programs, please

You may also like