Author: Web Admin


Film Screening and Q&A with Director Michael Goorjian

From Cinestudio:

Saturday, September 30, 2023
Film at 4:00pm, Talkback at 6:00pm

Director: Michael A. Goorjian 2023, Armenia, 117min., NR
Language: Armenian,Russian,English with English subtitles
Screenwriter: Michael A. Goorjian
Cast: Michael A. Goorjian Hovik Keuchkerian Nelli Uvarova Mikhail Trukhin Jean-Pierre Nshanian Narine Grigoryan Aram Karakhanyan Lernik Harutyunyan

Post Film Q&A Mari Firkatian, a professor of history at the University of Hartford, Hillyer College introduced the film. She teaches Western Civilization and Global History. Her research interests include Minority/majority politics and power relationships in Bulgaria, the politics of food culture, Diaspora studies, Gender History and Nationalism.

After the film, Professor Firkatian lead a conversation with the film’s writer and director, Michael Goorjian.

The Armenian Weekly – Armenian Memory Project

By Lillian Avedian, The Armenian Weekly | Feb 9, 2022

"In the spring of 1915, Nigoghos Mazadoorian and his father Garabed came across an early ripening mulberry tree while walking through their orchards in Ichmeh, a village in the Ottoman Armenian province Kharpert. As per the traditional way of collecting mulberries, Nigoghos climbed the tree and shook the branches, and the father and son gathered the fruit that fell to the ground.

“We have tasted the first mulberries of the season. We shall not die this year,” Garabed prophesied.

This is one of many family stories Harry Mazadoorian has shared with the Armenian Memory Project. His grandfather Garabed was imprisoned that year in Soorp Nigoghos Church and later massacred. Mazadoorian’s parents, Nigoghos and Yegsa Aharonian, survived the Armenian Genocide and resettled in Connecticut."

Read the full article in The Armenian Weekly.

Armenian Memory Project: Share Your Family’s Story!

The Armenian Memory Project

As part of the Norian Armenian Programs, the Office of Global AffairsHuman Rights Institute, and Department of Digital Media & Design are leading an initiative to create a variety of digital media archives that tell the Armenian story--ensuring that history and heritage is not lost.

The Department of Digital Media & Design at the University of Connecticut offers a special topics course, cross-listed with the Human Rights Institute and the Honors Program, in which students create a digital representation of Western Armenian communities that once flourished in the pre-1915 Ottoman Empire, but no longer exist in present day. Drawing from primary sources in archives, memoirs, photos, maps, interviews, and first-person narratives, the final projects include documentary films, digital archives, and augmented and virtual reality presentations, thereby reviving communal life, cultural, religious, educational and economic practices for the layperson and students of history.

The Course

This fall, the topic of the course is Human Rights Archives I: Documenting & Curating Community Memory. The course focuses on methods and best practices of collecting and managing digital visual and audio-visual archival assets. Students will apply what they’ve learned about human rights archives, digital asset management, and storytelling by documenting, digitizing, and curating the family stories and artifacts of an immigrant community that bears the multi-generational scars of genocide and displacement.

Tell Your Family's Story

Building upon the past oral history event conducted at the UConn Library Archives, we are asking community members to share their memories, through video recorded interview sessions and scanning of artifacts using our 3D scanner, or documents or photographs you may have that detail life in Armenia before 1915.

Sign up for the dates and location that are convenient for you. Our students and staff will be on hand that day to video record your personal oral history, which will be used to create a documentary-style feature about the Armenian diaspora in Connecticut and New England. If you have an artifact, a family heirloom, or document or image that helps tell your story, our 3-D scanner will be able to create a three-dimensional digital copy for our archives.

Please note that all of our students and staff will be ensuring UConn's COVID-19 guidelines are enforced, including mask-wearing and social distancing, regardless of vaccination status.

We will also ask community volunteers to sign a release form at their scheduled session, prior to recording their stories/artifacts, so that we may have your permission to publish these in a collected volume and/or through various digital platforms.

Should you have any further questions, need assistance completing the form, or to request reasonable accommodations, please contact, or call 860-486-3152.

Armenian Genocide Commemoration

Tsitsernakaberd - The Armenian Genocide memorial complex is Armenia official memorial dedicated to the victims of the Armenian Genocide in Yerevan, Armenia.

Saturday, April 24, 2021
Zoom Program begins at 10:30am with Martyrs Service

The Armenian Genocide Commemoration Committee of Connecticut will host an online commemoration of the 106th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide on Saturday, Apr. 24, at 10:30 a.m. EDT, over the Zoom video platform. Clergy from the state’s four Armenian churches will offer the “Prayer for the Holy Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide.” The flag of the Republic of Armenia will be raised and fly over the Connecticut State Capitol for a week. In addition to the martyrs of 1915, the commemorative program will focus on last fall’s events in Artsakh and Armenia, with speakers including Armenian journalist/author Tatul Hakobyan (on “Why did the 44-day war take place?”) and Hamazkayin’s Lilly Torosyan (on “A Connecticut Armenian’s personal account of the 44-day war”). John Geragosian, Connecticut State Auditor, will be M.C.

Pre-registration is required to obtain the Zoom link. Click here to register.

(If you are unable to pre-register online, or do not have Zoom capability, call (860) 651-0629.)

UConn Filmmakers Premiere Armenian Memory Project

Thursday October 29, the University of Connecticut and other co-sponsors premiered “The Dildilians: A Story of Photography and Survival” on YouTube. The film was produced by students in the UConn course “Variable Topics: Visual Representations of Armenian Memory” taught by filmmaker Catherine Masud, in close collaboration with Dildilian family historian Armen Marsoobian.

The film tells the story of a family of Armenian photographers, the Dildilians, who captured a way of life in central Turkey that disappeared during the Armenian Genocide of 1915. The documentary is brought to life through the voices of family descendants, supplemented by historical photographs and documents from the family archive.

The online screening platform allowed people to watch together from all over the country and around the world in countries like Germany, the Netherlands and Canada.

“Hello all together from Germany!” YouTube user Heinrich Geuther commented during the film.

The virtual film screening on YouTube was followed by a live panel discussion opened by MC Zahra Ali, Director of Global Partnerships and Outreach who introduced the panelists. The panel, moderated by Heather Elliott-Famularo, included Masud, adjunct instructor for UConn Digital Media & Design and the Human Rights Institute, Marsoobian, Professor of Philosophy at Southern Connecticut State University, and School of Fine Arts students Aidan Brueckner, Jonathan Pico and Bridget Sweeney who all contributed to the production of the film.

The students worked with Marsoobian’s family photography archive which included scanning glass negative photographs to create graphics for the film. It was a process they had to be very careful with, but one of the best parts of the project Sweeney said. “I had never even held a glass negative before that class,” Sweeney said. “To think that they’ve been around for so long was so incredible. I really enjoyed holding the physical archives.”

Stories from the past can play an important role in fostering dialogue among different peoples, Marsoobian said. We have to bear witness to those ancestors. “Whether they’re Armenian ancestors in Ottoman Turkey or they’re ancestors in Ireland,” Marsoobian said, “it’s important to give those ancestors a voice and it’s also important for our own identity to understand who we are and where we’ve come from.”

The story of our ancestors is our story that we carry through the past, with us in the present and into the future, Masud expressed. We need to connect those dots and feel that sense of responsibility to acknowledge our history.

“It’s very important to look at this story of the Dildilians and the Armenian genocide as also, in one way or another, the story of us all,” Masud said.

The event was co-sponsored by the University of Connecticut (Norian Armenian Programs, Office of Global Affairs, School of Social Work, Human Rights Institute, Digital Media and Design), the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR), Project SAVE Armenian Photograph Archives, Inc. and the Ararat-Eskijian Museum.

The Dildilians: A Story of Photography and Survival

Event - #11 Family Survivors 1922 Photo

Photo Credit: Tsolag K. Dildilian, 1922

Virtual Film Screening and Panel Discussion

Date: Thursday, October 29, 2020

6:00 PM EDT Film Screening (Click to watch the film)

6:30 PM EDT Panel Discussion (Click to watch the recorded discussion)

This event is free and open to the public.

Film Synopsis

During the 19th and early 20th centuries a remarkable family of Armenian photographers, the Dildilians, captured a time and a way of life in Anatolia in central Turkey that was soon to disappear during the Armenian Genocide of 1915. This documentary, which is the product of a unique collaboration between filmmaker Catherine Masud, Dildilian family historian Armen Marsoobian, and a talented group of University of Connecticut students, tells the story of that lost community through the voices of family descendants, supplemented by historical photographs and documents from the family archive.

To request reasonable accommodations  for people with disabilities and for any other questions regarding the event, please contact


Profile - Catherine Masud

Catherine Masud
Award-winning Filmmaker
Instructor, Digital Media & Design
University of Connecticut

Profile - Armen Marsoobian

Armen Marsoobian
Dildilian Family Historian

Profile - Heather Elliott-Famularo

Moderated by:
Heather Elliott-Famularo
Department Head, Digital Media and Design
University of Connecticut

Joined by a select group of UConn Digital Media and Design students that assisted with production:

Aidan Brueckner (SFA '21)
Jonathan Pico (SFA '21)
Bridget Sweeney (SFA '21)


Zeynep Gursel: Portraits of Unbelonging

National Association for Armenian Studies and Research Logo

Date: Sunday, July 26, 2020
Time: 5:00 PM EDT

Register Online

This event is free and open to the public.

On Sunday, July 26 at 5 pm ET (2 pm PT), in partnership with the Ararat-Eskijian Museum and Project SAVE Armenian Photograph Archives, we will present an online talk by Zeynep Devrim Gürsel entitled "Portraits of Unbelonging: Photography, the Ottoman State, and the Making of Armenian Emigrants, 1896-1908."

You have the option of attending on Zoom or via livestream on YouTube.

To attend on Zoom, advance registration is required and space is limited. Please note that registrations must be completed prior to the start of the event. Zoom attendees have the opportunity to submit written questions via Zoom which will be asked as time permits.

Zoom Registration link:

To view live on YouTube, go to NAASR's channel a few minutes before the start of the program. (No registration is required.) NAASR's YouTube channel is always at this address:

You can also find us on YouTube by searching for "NAASR"+"Armenian Studies." If you are new to our YouTube channel, we invite you to explore the many event videos there, and please contact us if you have any questions or problems.

Portraits of Unbelonging investigates the history of Ottoman Armenian emigration from the Ottoman east to the United States from the politically fraught and often violent 1890s to the end of Abdülhamid II's reign in 1909. Between 1896 and 1909, Ottoman Armenian subjects could emigrate legally only if they renounced their nationality and promised to never return to the empire. Having their photograph taken was a key step in the process. These photos recorded their “renunciation of nationality” and became one of the first uses of photography to police borders anywhere in the world.

The goal of Portraits of Unbelonging is to link an Ottoman Armenian past to an American future to create a double-sided history of migration. Gursel follows the stories of emigrant families over a century through official documents, ship manifests, and family photo albums. This involves traveling all around the United States to meet with descendants of those photographed and hear what became of the families first encountered in the Ottoman archives.

Dr. Zeynep Devrim Gürsel is a media anthropologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Rutgers University. She is the author of Image Brokers: Visualizing World News in the Age of Digital Circulation (Univ. of California Press, 2016) and the director of the award-winning ethnographic film Coffee Futures. For more than a decade she has been researching photography in the late Ottoman period.

This program is co-sponsored by the Ararat-Eskijian Museum, Project SAVE Armenian Photograph Archives, and NAASR.

“Home Again” Virtual Book Discussion with Mari Firkatian, Ph.D.

Book Cover for Home Again: Armenian Recipes from the Ottoman Empire by Mari A. Firkatian, Ph.D.

Date: Thursday, June 25, 2020
Time: 5:00 PM PST

Register Online

This event is free and open to the public.

The Circle of Friends for the Armenian Studies Program at the University of California, Irvine presents:


A Virtual Book Presentation and Cooking Demonstration by Mari Firkatian, Professor of History, University of Hartford

Thursday, June 25 at 5 p.m. (PST) via Zoom

RSVP by June 24th

Dr. Mari Firkatian’s Home Again: Armenian Recipes from the Ottoman Empire combines a collection of Armenian recipes from the Ottoman Empire with a memoir of a family of immigrants who kept certain recipes close to their hearts as a means of preserving their cultural heritage. She examines the relationship between history and cuisine, between displacement and memory, and between the individual and their ancestors.

Dr. Firkatian is Professor of History at the University of Hartford. She has been a Fulbright Scholar and a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow as well as a Yale University Fellow and a recipient of International Research and Exchanges Board scholarships. She has lived and traveled extensively in Southeast Europe and the Soviet Union. Trained as a linguist and a historian, her research interests include minority populations, diplomatic history, and intellectual history. Most recently, she has begun to explore the history of food and the key role it plays as a historical artifact.

The event will be hosted to support the Western Armenian Language Curriculum at UCI. Your contribution and generosity are welcome!

Snapshot: Dan Adler in Armenia

Dan Adler Armenia

Anthropology professor Daniel Adler (top left) directed excavations at an archaeological site in northern Armenia. (Photos courtesy of Dan Adler)

In July 2018, UConn associate professor of anthropology Daniel Adler and Keith Wilkinson, University of Winchester, UK, co-directed excavations at an Early Pleistocene archaeological site in northern Armenia known as Hahgtanak-3. The site documents the earliest human occupation of Armenia, and may be more than 1 million years old.

Read the story in UConn Today.

2018 Armenian Harvest Festival

Please note that the October 13, 2018 event has been canceled due to conflicts with events in Hartford and greater New England. We anticipate holding an Armenian Ancestry & Heritage event in the spring highlighting how to trace genealogy, traditional foods and cultural activities. More details, including date, time, and featured activities are forthcoming.

Date: Saturday, October 13, 2018 (CANCELED)
Time: 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Location: Nathan Hale Inn, 855 Bolton Road, Storrs, CT

This event is free and open to the public.

Save the date for UConn's third annual Armenian Harvest Festival! Bring family and friends to join us for food, music, dancing, workshops and craft vendors. This event is free and open to the public.


Featured Activities & Vendors

The Art of Rug Weaving | Workshop by Hayk Oltaci

The Making of Armenian String Cheese | Workshop by Maggie Stepanian

Contemporary Armenian Music | Lecture & Recital by Tatev Amiryan, DMA, and Anna Hayrapetyan

Read More