CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (A.W.)–Sebouh Aslanian, the recently appointed assistant professor and Richard Hovannisian Term Chair in modern Armenian history at UCLA, lectured at Harvard on Sept. 14 on the fascinating story of the Armenian merchants of New Julfa (Nor Jugha). Stretching across the Mediterranean, down through the Indian Ocean and all the way to the Pacific, encompassing the Middle East, the Russian Empire, India and Tibet, and the Far East, the Julfa Armenians commanded a vast and active network of trade in early modern times.
This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the independence of a number of countries that used to form part of the USSR. What was perhaps one of the most unexpected events of the twentieth century resulted in the statehood of fifteen republics – fifteen states recognized by the international community, by the world at large, along with four countries that yet often go by the moniker of being stuck in “frozen conflicts”.