The Armenians: From Kings and Priests to Merchants and Commissars

Hardcover | May 27, 2006

byRazmik PanossianOtherMichael J. Dwyer

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The Armenians traces the evolution of Armenia and Armenian collective identity from its beginnings to the Armenian nationalist movement over Gharabagh in 1988. Applying theories of national-identity formation and nationalism, Razmik Panossian analyzes different elements of Armenian identity construction and argues that national identity is modern, predominantly subjective, and based on a political sense of belonging. Yet he also acknowledges the crucial role of history, art, literature, religious practice, and commerce in preserving the national memory and shaping the cultural identity of the Armenian people.

Panossian explores a series of landmark events, among them Armenians' first attempts at liberation, the Armenian renaissance of the nineteenth century, the 1915 genocide of the Ottoman Armenians, and Soviet occupation. He shows how these influences led to a "multilocal" evolution of Armenian identity in various places in and outside of Armenia, notably in diasporan communities from India to Venice. Today, these numerous identities contribute to deep divisions and tensions within the Armenian nation, the most profound of which is the cultural divide between Armenians residing in their homeland and those who live in the United States, Canada, the Middle East, and elsewhere. Considering the diversity of this single nation, Panossian questions the theoretical assumption that nationalism must be homogenizing.

Based on extensive research conducted in Armenia and the diaspora, including interviews and translation of Armenian-language sources, The Armenians is an engaging history and an invaluable comparative study.

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The Armenians traces the evolution of Armenia and Armenian collective identity from its beginnings to the Armenian nationalist movement over Gharabagh in 1988. Applying theories of national-identity formation and nationalism, Razmik Panossian analyzes different elements of Armenian identity construction and argues that national identi...

Razmik Panossian is the director of programmes and policy at Rights and Democracy in Canada.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:492 pages, 8.75 × 1.51 × 0.68 inPublished:May 27, 2006Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231139268

ISBN - 13:9780231139267

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments1. Introduction2. The Initial Building Blocks: From the 'Beginning of Time' to the 17th Century3. Merchants, Diasporan Communities, and Liberation Attempst: the 17th to the 19th Century4. The Multilocal Awakening: The Consolidation and Radicalisation of Collective Identity in the 19th Century5. Revolutionary Parties and Genocide, Independence and Sovietisation: Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries6. Differing Identities: Soviet Armenians, Diaspora Armenians, 1921-877. Strengthening National Identity, Soviet style, 1921-878. Conclusion: a Multilocal Nation ContinuesBibliographyIndex

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The most sophisticated and comprehensive analysis of the development of self-understanding.