On November 9, 2017, the First General Congress of the “Historians Association of Armenia” NGO took place at YSU scientific session hall. The opening speech was made by YSU Rector, Doctor of History, Professor, HAA President Aram Simonyan.
Simonyan announced the first congress open, welcomed all 119 members of the Historians Association of Armenia, and presented the agenda of the Congress, suggesting the participants to be more active. “Dear colleagues; a great amount of work is put on our shoulders. In the current world, the word of the historians should be free of speculation and be influential. This is a good opportunity to bring together all the professionals of the field, and along with the discussion of theoretical issues, consider the various issues related to their future practice. Today, more than ever, the words of the historian, political scientist and social scientist are important to our society. We must take part in the recovery of this society”, – stated Simonyan, offering to get introduced to the agenda of the Congress.
The Deputy Director of the Institute for Armenian Studies, Candidate in Historical Sciences, HAA Executive Director Mher Hovhannisyan delivered a speech presenting the official website of the association, the planned events and projects, activities in 2016-2017, and other implemented projects. Hovhannisyan presented the annual “Historians School” held in 2017, which was attended by 40 historians from different higher educational institutions of the Republic. Within the framework of the school, an online connection was established with the partner universities, particularly Vanadzor and Artsakh State Universities.
Mher Hovhannisyan also spoke about the “Armenian Historical Journal” yearbook in English. “I must mention that all the members have received the technical standards that were designed exclusively in accordance with the “Chicago style” American journal system. The journal will be available exclusively in English; in printed and digital versions. If necessary, YSU will take the responsibility of the issue of the quality English translation of the articles”, – said Hovhannisyan. Presenting the “Issues of Periodization of Armenian History” conference, Mher Hovhannisyan emphasized that the materials presented at the conference will be published in the “Armenological Issues” journal in the third issue of 2017, which will also be available in electronic form.
The issue of the international cooperation was also touched upon. Hovhannisyan especially highlighted two important issues: the first is that during the Moscow conference on September 30, the Historians Association of Armenia was unanimously elected as a member of the International Committee of Historical Sciences, and the second is HAA participation in the 23rd Congress of CISH to be held in Poznan, Poland in 2020. “As an essential member, we have already presented four applications, from which “The Middle East on the Crossroads of Civilizations” thematic topic was selected. Historians Association of Armenia will direct reports on this theme in the future”, – said M. Hovhannisyan.
The next important project is that in 2018 HAA will launch a one-year free English language course for HAA member historians. It should be noted that the application deadline is December 31, 2017.
Mher Hovhannisyan said that in order to encourage young historians, the Historians Association of Armenia announces the “Young Historian’s Best Research” contest. All the Armenian young historians with the higher education in History (Bachelor’s, Master’s or Ph.D.) aged up to 35 can participate in the contest. The authors of the 3 best monographs will receive monetary awards, and their works will be published by HAA. Participants may submit their applications before December 31, 2017.
At the end of the speech, Mher Hovhannisyan spoke about the current status of the membership, existing problems, as well as presented the membership fees and the state of the budget.
Ashot Melkonyan, a member of HAA Board, academician, Doctor, and Professor in Historical Sciences, spoke about the participation of HAA in the upcoming 23rd Congress of CISH in Poznan in 2020. “On a global level, we have been left out of the opportunity to discuss historical issues on international platforms, and participation in the 23rd Congress of CISH in Poznan, 2020 is such a good opportunity for us. I am glad that HAA has united all of us on one platform and we all have the following approach: We have a common work to do. It is very important that each of us perceive our problems in one unified and collective program. It is also a pity for me the fact that we have an issue of struggling against falsification of history in our region today”, – noted Melkonyan.
Member of HAA Board Karen Khachatryan presented the HAA statement. “On behalf of the Board, I want to congratulate all the new members who have joined us. I would like to speak about another issue related to the text of the statement made by the Special Session of HAA. It is to allocate a special place to the Armenian history. With our statement, we call on allocating an important place to the Armenian history in various programs, to pursue the solution of many problems in History Studies and to face external challenges. The development of the History Studies depends on all of us, so we should be very active”, said Karen Khachatryan.
Member of HAA Board Yervand Margaryan delivered a speech at the end of the Congress, who presented the general state of the current stage of world’s history schools.
The congress was summarized by the discussion of the issues on agenda.