Harutyn Marutyan

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Dr. Harutyun Marutyan is a Social/Cultural Anthropologist, Senior Researcher at the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography in the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia, and is also Visiting Professor of Anthropology at Yerevan State University. Currently, Dr. Marutyan is a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at the Anthropology Program, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union, there were several national mass social and political movements in various parts of the country. For Armenians, the Karabagh Movement of 1988-1990 is particularly significant. Important aspects of contemporary Armenian society developed during the two-and-a-half years that the Karabagh Movement lasted. Eventually the Movement led to revolutionary changes in the lives of the people of Soviet Armenia and challenged views, perspectives, and images that had developed after the Armenian Genocide and during the decades of Soviet rule. These changes have had far-reaching effects on Armenian national identity as a whole.

Dr. Harutyun Marutyan will describe the crucial and positive role of historical memory in the Karabagh Movement in a lecture at the Center of the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR), 395 Concord Ave., Belmont, Mass., on Wednesday, April 21, at 8 p.m. He will particularly review the liberation of Armenia from the Soviet regime and the building of an independent state aspiring to democratic values and the creation of a civil society. The lecture is co-sponsored by NAASR and the Zoryan Institute for Contemporary Armenian Research and Documentation.

Questions to be Addressed

Through the examination of the visual imagery of the Karabagh Movement – its posters and banners – Dr. Marutyan will explain how the mechanism of historical memory, especially the Armenian people’s memory of the Genocide, functioned in the Movement. These posters represented images of identity and serve as an index of the collective understanding of the Movement by its participants. Changes in these images directly echoed changes in the political situation and contributed to changes in how the Armenian people understand their past, present, and future.