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  • Writer's pictureInternational Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies

Establishing Exciting New Directions in Recent Meetings with Editors and Board of Directors

TORONTO - December 22, 2022: For the first time since 2019, the editors from Genocide Studies International (GSI) and Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies met in person over the weekend of November 18-21 in Toronto. Since the last pre-pandemic meeting, both journals have celebrated milestone anniversaries, with Diaspora turning 30 years old in 2021, and GSI 15 years old in 2020. Not only were the meetings transformative for strengthening the Institute’s relationships with the team at UTP, and for reinvigorating the drive to continue publishing quality work, but it also sparked new innovative ideas for how the journals can make a real impact on educators, secondary school students and the next generation of scholars in the field. Beginning in 2023, the GSI editorial team will be publishing an Educational Supplement to complement the journal. Dr. Jennifer Rich of GSI, had this to say about this new initiative:

L-R: Diaspora Editors: Talar Chahinian and Sossie Kasbarian L-R: GSI Editors: Alex Alvarez, Jennifer Rich, and Adam Muller

missing Henry Theriault - who joined virtually

“We're aware of the gap between knowledge created by and for researchers, and knowledge consumed by a broad audience, including high school students, and we wanted to begin to build a bridge between the two. It's our hope that this supplement, and the others that follow, will bring the latest research about genocide and human rights to anyone who would like to access it, and allow the next generation of human rights leaders to participate in the conversations and debates happening today.”

2022 Academic and Corporate Board Meeting

Meeting with the Academic and Corporate Board of Directors earlier this month was crucial for reviewing the work of the Zoryan Institute over the last year, and more broadly speaking, over the last four decades. It also proved to be a pivotal meeting for establishing a clear plan for the future directions of the Institute.

Mindful of the current state of the world, and given Zoryan Institute’s presence as an intellectual force for the community, the Academic Chair, Prof. Maureen Hiebert, had this to say about the Zoryan Institute’s future directions:

“We find ourselves now in a world in which truth and facts, and a fidelity to decency, and right-minded behaviour is under assault in many different ways. As an Institute engaged in a broad suite of scholarly activities and public engagement initiatives, we are uniquely positioned as a linchpin to the academy, and outside of it. We need to redouble our efforts in engaging in programming that can be a beacon for truth telling, accurate information, and reasoned analysis for the public.”

Pictured (not in order): Maureen Hiebert, Alex Alvarez, Varouj Aivazian, K.M. Greg Sarkissian, Rouben Adalian, Joyce Apsel, Stephan Astourian, Diran Avedian, Bedross Der Matossian, William Schabas, Federico Gaitan Hairabedian, and Armen Yeganian. Absent: Andrew Woolford Roger Smith, George Shirinian, Yair Auron, Levon Chorbajian, Elisa von Joeden-Forgey, Lok Siu, Arsinée Khanjian

Mindful of the dynamic changes in Armenia and Armenian communities worldwide, the Board decided to expand on its work related to Armenian Studies. The meeting was integral in establishing a new committee composed of Board Members, headed by Prof. Bedross Der Matossian, to oversee Zoryan Institute’s activities of Armenian Studies, for which the Zoryan Institute will hire an in-house scholar for its head-office in Toronto. In reflecting on this decision, Prof. Der Matossian had this to say:

“The Institute’s work on Armenian issues is especially important now that Armenia is facing an existential threat as a result of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. There are new areas that we can focus on beyond the Armenian Genocide. The same denialists are now publishing books on Nagorno-Karabakh. We need to challenge this academically, and think about how we can help Armenia academically.”

For a complete list of Zoryan Institute’s Academic and Corporate Board Members, please visit To stay up to date on Zoryan Institute’s work, please subscribe to our mailing list, and don’t forget to follow us on social media.

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