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‘Anglo-Saxons of the East’:

Armenian Self-Definition in Early 20th Century America

The Stroum Center for Jewish Studies is thrilled to invite you to the second in a new series of workshops, a lecture led by Jewish Studies Graduate Fellow Ara Daglian. Please join us to celebrate his imminent graduation and learn something new from him, all while enjoying wine and Dingfelder’s Deli delights. Yes, you read that right!

In this lecture, Ara Daglian will share some of his research from his work-in-progress, “Anglo-Saxons of the East”: Armenian Self-Definition in Early 20th Century America, to which Professor Devin E. Naar of the Sephardic Studies Program will pose some initial questions before the floor opens for discussion. Read on for a brief synopsis of his forthcoming paper:

This paper focuses on an important work of Armenian-American identity — The Armenians in America by M. Vartan Malcom. While previously known as a source of statistical and quantitative information on early Armenian-American history, the text also provided a voice to Armenian-Americans in an era where the American public knew them only through paternalistic aid campaigns and fundraiser slogans.

To analyze The Armenians in America as a work to redefine the Armenian-American identity, this paper turn towards Jewish studies for inspiration. Jewish studies historiography boasts a highly developed framework for understanding how Jewish Americans redefined themselves in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, offering a useful tool for studying Armenian-Americans as well. 

Co-sponsored by UW’s Middle East Center and UW’s Armenian Student Association.

About the speakers

Ara Daglian, smiling, outdoors

Ara Daglian is a master’s student in the Middle East Studies program at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies. Originally from Connecticut, he received his B.A. in history from Eastern Connecticut State University before coming to the University of Washington. As a Stroum Center graduate fellow, Ara plans to examine the complex inter-communal relations between Jews, Arabs and Armenians residing in Jerusalem during the British Mandate era. He is a Robinovitch Family Fellow.

Portrait of Devin Naar smiling, in suite jacketDevin E. Naar is the Isaac Alhadeff Professor in Sephardic Studies, Chair of the Sephardic Studies Program, Associate Professor of History, and faculty at the Stroum Center for Jewish Studies in the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington. As chair, Naar has spearheaded a project to collect, preserve and disseminate the rich Sephardic and Ladino historical, literary and cultural heritage. After serving as a Fulbright fellow to Greece, his first book, Jewish Salonica: Between the Ottoman Empire and Modern Greece, was published by Stanford University Press in 2016. The book won the 2016 National Jewish Book Award in the category of Research Based on Archival Material and was named a finalist in Sephardic Culture. It also won the 2017 Edmund Keeley Prize for best book in Modern Greek Studies awarded by the Modern Greek Studies Association. As a fellow in the Society of Scholars at the Simpson Center for the Humanities at the University of Washington in 2013-2014, Dr. Naar began his second book project, Reimagining the Sephardic Diaspora. He conducts research in Judeo-Spanish, Greek, Hebrew and French.