Der Matossian’s Book on First Republic of Armenia Published

The First Republic of Armenia-cover feature
The First Republic of Armenia book cover

The First Republic of Armenia book cover

Fresno-An edited volume by Bedross Der Matossian, with a preface by Richard G. Hovannisian, titled The First Republic of Armenia (1918-1920) on its Centenary: Politics, Gender, and Diplomacy has just been published.

The book is the second in the newly launched Society for Armenian Studies (SAS) Publication Series published as part of the Armenian Series of The Press at California State University, Fresno. Subvention for the publication of the book was provided by the Armenian Communities Department of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. The volume is dedicated to Richard G. Hovannisian for his outstanding contribution to the field of Armenian Studies over the past half century.

The First Republic of Armenia (1918-1920) was born from the ashes of the Armenian Genocide and war. In one of the most critical periods of modern Armenian history, the Republic was able to face a multitude of external and internal challenges. The Republic of Armenia was significant as the first independent Armenian state since the collapse of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia in 1375. This edited volume provides a multifaceted and interdisciplinary approach to studying the fascinating history of the Republic. Through an analysis of the politics, gender, and diplomacy of the period, the volume enriches our understanding of the short-lived Republic, which played a crucial role in guaranteeing the perseverance of Armenian identity, and ultimately laying the foundation for the modern Republic of Armenia.

“It was a profound honor to work on this project. This peer-reviewed edited volume discusses aspects of the First Republic that have not been hitherto dealt with. The reader will see the extent to which the leadership of the First Republic worked diligently in the most difficult circumstances in order to save the Armenian nation from the ashes of Genocide. Indeed, without the First Republic, statehood today would be a page pertaining to past history,” said editor Der Matossian. “I would like to thank Barlow Der Mugrdechian, the general editor of the Armenian Series of the Press at California State University, Fresno, for his unconditional support in realizing the project.”

Bedross Der Matossian

Bedross Der Matossian

The list of contributors in the order of their contribution are Bedross Der Matossian, “Introduction”; Richard G. Hovannisian, “The Republic of Armenia: A Contextual Overview”; Houri Berberian, “From Nationalist-Socialist to National Socialist? The Shifting Politics of Abraham Giulkhandanian”; Ari Şekeryan, “Rethinking the Establishment of the First Republic of Armenia: Reactions of the Ottoman-Turkish and Armenian Press in Istanbul (May-October 1918)”; Seda D. Ohanian, “The Role of Women in the Social and Political Life of the Republic of Armenia (1918-1920)”; Rubina Peroomian, “The Subversive Activities of Armenian Bolsheviks: A Critical Factor in Yerevan-Moscow Negotiations (1918-1920)”; Vartan Matiossian, “The Recognition of the First Republic of Armenia in South America (1918-1920)”; Jakub Osiecki, “The Visit of Rev. Antoine Delpuch to the South Caucasus in 1919: An Attempt to Establish Diplomatic Relations Between the Holy See and Yerevan?”; Garabet K. Moumdjian, “Domestic Politics in the Republic of Armenia, 1918-1920: A Flip or a Flop,”; and George Bournoutian, “The Unrealistic Territorial Demands of the Armenian Republic 1919-1920.”

The volume also includes rare images from the period.

“This excellent book, edited by Bedross Der Matossian, is a welcome addition to the scholarship on the history of the Republic of Armenia. Particularly valuable are the informative essays on a number of key topics in the nascent Republic’s convoluted history. Students and scholars alike will benefit from this impressive volume,” said Simon Payaslian of Boston University.

“The formation of the first Armenian Republic in May 1918 marked the rebirth of Armenian statehood, almost five and a half centuries after the downfall of the Armenian Kingdom in Cilicia (1375). Despite the importance of this development, academic research and publications dealing with the Republic have been extremely limited, with Richard G. Hovannisian’s massive multi-volume oeuvre constituting their indisputable core, along with Armenian Revolutionary Federation leader Simon Vratsian’s earlier Hayasdani Hanrabedutiun. In this context, this volume is a welcome addition to the existing literature as some of its essays start addressing fresh themes while others shed a new interpretative light on important facets of the Republic’s history,” said Stephan H. Astourian, University of California, Berkeley.

This volume was inspired by a 2018 conference titled “Innovative Approaches to the History of the First Republic of Armenia, 1918-1920,” organized by the Society for Armenian Studies and the Armenian Communities Department of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

Bedross Der Matossian is an Associate Professor of Middle East History at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. He is the President of the Society for Armenian Studies (SAS) and the author of the award-winning book Shattered Dreams of Revolution: From Liberty to Violence in the Late Ottoman Empire (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2014); coeditor of Routledge Handbook on Jerusalem (Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon; New York, NY: Routledge, 2018); and the co-editor, with Barlow Der Mugrdechian, of Western Armenian in the 21st Century: Challenges and New Approaches (2018).

The First Armenian Republic (1918-1920) on its Centenary: Politics, Gender and Diplomacy; edited by Bedross Der Matossian (9 x 6, 256 pp. $20.00 paper, ISBN: 978-0-912201-67-2), Volume 10 (SAS Conference Series 2) in the Armenian Series of The Press at California State University, Fresno. In English. General Editor of the Armenian Series: Barlow Der Mugrdechian.

Copies of The First Republic of Armenia (1918-1920) on its Centenary: Politics, Gender, and Diplomacy are available for purchase from The Armenian Prelacy, the National Association for Armenian Studies & Research (NAASR) Bookstore and Abril Bookstore.


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