October 17, 1997

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Six prominent international scholars on Genocide and Holocaust studies are helping shape the 1998 plan of action for the Washington, D.C.-based Armenian National Institute (ANI), a non-profit organization seeking reaffirmation of the worldwide recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

The scholars convened in Washington on September 27 as members of the Institute’s newly-formed Academic Council. The Council agreed that in the coming year the Institute should focus primarily on conducting research in archives around the world to complete the collection of documentary evidence on the Armenian Genocide. The Council stressed the importance of reminding the world that the atrocities committed against the Armenian people during W.W.I were universally condemned as crimes against humanity. This recognition and the subsequent failure to follow through on the condemnations teach important lessons that should not be forgotten.

“There are thousands of documents in archives around the world that affirm the Armenian Genocide,” said Dr. Richard Hovannisian, professor of Armenian and Near East History at the University of California, Los Angeles, who is serving as Chairman of the Academic Council. “Collecting and organizing these important materials will provide an invaluable service to scholars and to preserving the memory of the Armenian Genocide.” The author of the four-volume Republic of Armenia, Hovannisian is also the editor of two books on the Armenian Genocide and is the compiler of The Armenian Holocaust: A Bibliography Relating to the Deportations, Massacres, and Dispersion of the Armenian People, 1915-1923.

The other scholars serving on the Academic Council are Peter Balakian, professor of English at Colgate University and the author of Black Dog of Fate; Robert Melson, professor of political science at Purdue University, the author of Revolution and Genocide: on the Origins of the Armenian Genocide and the Holocaust; Claire Mouradian, a specialist on the Caucasus at the National Scientific Research Center in Paris, France, and the author of From Stalin to Gorbachev, the History of a Soviet Republic, Armenia; William Parsons, Director of Education at the U.S. Holocaust Museum and the producer of the educational videotape “Everyone’s Not Here: Families of the Armenian Genocide”; and Christopher Simpson, professor of communications at American University and the author of The Splendid Blond Beast: Money, Law and Genocide in the 20th Century.

“We are very pleased to have such a distinguished group of scholars serve on the Institute’s first Academic Council to provide their expert insight and advice,” said Robert A. Kaloosdian, Chairman of the ANI Board of Governors. “The input of the academic community is critical to shaping the programs that ANI pursues to affirm the historical record.” Also participating in the Academic Council meeting were Rouben Adalian, ANI Project Director, and Linda Bedeian, ANI’s Administrator, who updated the members about the Institute’s activities for 1997.

Since opening its doors in early 1997, ANI has been coordinating and consulting with the international community of researchers and scholars in the field of genocide studies. ANI is implementing projects in six program areas: Education; Fundamental Research and Documentation; Legal Research and Analysis; Outreach; Promotion of Scholarship; and Publication.