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Gender and Intersectionality in Post Soviet Armenia
This two-day international conference hosted by the Zoryan Institute in partnership with UCLA's Promise Armenian Institute, will provide a platform to discus and better understand gender related problems in the present day Republic of Armenia.

Day 1

Panel 1: Armenia's Gender Trouble: Deconstructing "Anti-Genderism" From Historical, Linguistic, and Socio-Cultural Anthropological Perspectives.

Panel 2: Politics and Representation: Uprooting Sexism, Racism, and Homophobia in Education, Decision Making, and Public Discourse

Day 2

Panel 3: Equity and Empowerment: Creating and Distributing Resources Beyond the Gap

Panel 4: War, Trauma, and Displacement: Gender and Building Peace
Oct 16, 2021 11:00 AM
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Rafik Santrosyan
Rafik Santrosyan received his PhD in Germanic Linguistics from Yerevan State Linguistic University in 2015. He has served as a lecturer at Yerevan State Linguistic University, American University of Armenia, and as a visiting professor at the Sanford School of Public Policy, University of Duke, USA, and a post-doctoral fellow at City College, International Faculty of the University of Sheffield, Greece. He worked as a research fellow at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland; Center for Women’s and Gender Studies of the University of Paris 8, France; and at the University of Padova, Italy. Santrosyan’s teaching and research interests lie in the fields of gender linguistics, multimodal semiotics, and simultaneous interpreting. His current research examines the interconnectedness of grammatical gender and language-mediated cultural discriminatory practices.
Karena Avedissian
Karena Avedissian, PhD is a political scientist focusing on popular geopolitics and new media and communications in Eurasia. Her work on the interplay of authoritarianism, societal vulnerabilities, and civil society has been published in academic publications and in The Guardian. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Nona Shahnazarian
Nona Shahnazarian is a social anthropologist who is a Senior Research Fellow at The Institute of Archeology and Ethnography, National Academy of Sciences, Yerevan, Armenia. She is also affiliated with the Center for Independent Social Research, St. Petersburg, Russia. In 2017, she was a Visiting Carnegie Fellow at the University of Stanford. She has published extensively on the issues of gender, war, migration, memory and Diaspora in the Caucasus, including a book chapter National Ideologies, Survival Strategies and Gender Identity in the Political and Symbolic Contexts of Karabakh War (2010), as well as a monograph in Russian In the Tight Embrace of Tradition: War and Patriarchy (2011). Her most recent contribution The Republic of Armenia (with Kristin Cavoukian) is issued in The Palgrave Handbook of Women’s Political Rights (2018). She has run the regional office of the Women in War Think Tank in Yerevan since 2015.
Gohar Shahnazaryan
Gohar Shahnazaryan, is the Director of Yerevan State University Center for Gender and Leadership Studies (www.ysu.am/gender) and the Co-Founder and Co-Director of Wome’s Fund Armenia (www.womenfundarmenia.org) in Armenia. She holds PhD in Sociology. Currently Ms. Shahnazaryan is an Associate Professor at the Department of Applied Sociology at YSU, and a Coordinator of MA program Women, Leadership and Development that was launched at YSU from September, 2015. In 2004 Ms. Shahnazaryan was a visiting scholar at the School of Public Affairs at Arizona State University. In 2008, 2009 and 2011 for one semester each year she has been a visiting scholar at the Institute of Slavic, Eastern European and Eurasian Studies at UC Berkeley through Open Society Institute Fellowship. She has been mainly affiliated with the Departments of Sociology and Gender Studies at UCB during her visits.
Judy Norsigian
Judy Norsigian was a founding member of Our Bodies Ourselves (OBOS) in 1971, served as its executive director from 2001 to 2015, and currently chairs the board of this organization best known for the landmark publication Our Bodies, Ourselves. She co-authored all eight Simon & Schuster editions of this book, named by the U.S. Library of Congress as one of “88 books that shaped America.” She was also a member of the editorial teams that produced Our Bodies, Ourselves: Menopause and Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth. OBOS seeks to advance the health and human rights of women and girls globally. Judy has appeared on hundreds of television and radio programs, including NBC Nightly News, Al Jazeera, The Today Show, Good Morning America, The Early Show, Oprah, Fox News, and The Current. She has served on numerous boards for organizations such as the National Women’s Health Network (14 years) and Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research (24 years).
Maro Matosian
Maro Matosian dedicated herself to extensive work in the Armenian communities of New York and Paris before moving to Armenia in 1991 where she worked as Country Director for “Aznavour pour l’Armenie,” foundation and since 2006 for the Tufenkian Foundation. In 2010, Maro has founded and is the executive director of the Women’s Support Center NGO running 2 shelters and being the premier center offering comprehensive services to survivors of domestic violence. Besides services to victims of abuse the center does community awareness raising, trainings, and advocacy for systemic change in addressing the problem of gender based violence.
Anna Aleksanyan
Anna Aleksanyan is a Ph.D. candidate at the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University. Her dissertation explores gendered aspects of the Armenian Genocide in the experiences of its female victims. Before starting her Ph.D., Anna worked at the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute as a researcher for seven years. She received her BA and MA in History at Yerevan State University. She is currently an adjunct lecturer at the American University of Armenia.
Gulnara Shahinian
Gulnara Shahinian is international independent expert on human rights, slavery and human trafficking. She has been elected to chair of many expert groups at UN General Assembly. In 2004 she was elected by the council of Europe as the First Vice President of Intergovernmental commission to prepare COE convention on action COE Convention. From 2008 -2015 she served as UN human rights Council as UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery at the OHCHR. She has been working in more than 40 countries, assessing situation and presenting recommendation’s to the Governments. She is member of board of many international organizations and has numerous publications and currently works as international consultant with many agencies. For her work she received awards from many governments and International organizations both for her antislavery and peace work. In Germany she is recipient of Anita Augsburg award.
Tamar Shirinian
Prof. Tamar Shirinian is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. She is a cultural anthropologist invested in the wide areas of queer theory and studies, transnational feminisms, political economy, the processes of postsocialism, psychoanalysis, and more recently medical and psychological anthropology. Prof. Shirinian’s latest book project, Survival of a Perverse Nation: Queer Transformations in Postsocialist Armenia, investigates the intersections of political-economy, gender, and sexuality in the postsocialist Republic of Armenia.
Nelli Sargsyan
As a feminist, Nelli Sargsyan situates herself at the disciplinary intersections of political anthropology, queer studies, and critical race studies, among others. Her scholarly interests range from the interrelatedness of queer diasporic belonging, nationalism, and trauma, to political work that cultivates feminist consciousness and collective care through direct street action, public performance, and feminist storytelling.