A professor of Middle Eastern and East European history will speak about his latest book at Fresno State at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 28.
Iona College professor George Bournoutian’s lecture is titled “Iran’s Mission of Apology to Russia.” His lecture is being co-sponsored by the Armenian Studies program at Fresno State and the Armenian General Benevolent Union of Fresno.
“He’s going to speak about something that affected Armenia,” said Barlow Der Mugrdechian, coordinator of the Armenian Studies program. “Armenia in the 19th and 18th centuries had been part of the Persian Empire, then it was taken over by the Russian Empire.”
The events Bournoutian will cover began in February 1829, when a Russian diplomat was killed by a mob in Tehran, Iran. “In response to that, the government of Iran sent a mission to Moscow to apologize officially to the czar,” Der Mugrdechian said. “The whole story is about this whole relationship between the Russians and the Persians.”
His book about the mission was published in 2014 and is titled “From Tabriz to St. Petersburg: Iran’s Mission of Apology to Russia in 1829.”
Bournoutian will also speak about the modern Republic of Armenia, Der Mugrdechian said.
“He talks about how this period in history ultimately leads to the formation of the first Armenian republic,” Barlow said. “It sounds like the topic is not related to the Armenians, but actually, it is.”
The faculty of the Armenian Studies Program is excited to have Bournoutian return to Fresno State.
“He’s also been a visiting lecturer here at Fresno State in the past,” said Sergio La Porta, a faculty member in the Armenian Studies program. “His lectures are incredibly engaging and he’s a very animated, enthusiastic and dynamic speaker.”
The Armenian Studies Program schedules lectures, presentations and film screenings throughout the year.
“We probably have around six to eight speakers a semester,” Der Mugrdechian said. “This is a really popular avenue for the community and for students to learn about Armenian culture.”
The lecture is free to attend and will be held at the Fresno State campus at University Business Center, Alice Peters Auditorium, Room 191. Parking will be available in lots P5 and P6 with parking code 273601.