Infidelities Conference: Armenian History

Friday, March 24, 2023 - 9:00am - Sunday, March 26, 2023 - 7:00pm
Slought 4017 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Slought is pleased to announce the revival of Infidelities, a conference about new directions in the study of Armenian history, memory, culture and displacement across West Asia and the Middle East to the Americas and back, from March 24 through March 26, 2023. The program is presented in partnership with scholars and programs at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and Freie Universität Berlin.

The field of Armenian Studies is in the midst of a sea change. Over the last decade, scholars, and artists have made a bid to shift the field's focus to a broader range of new, interdisciplinary, and transnational topics through the lenses of critical theory, feminist theory, queer studies, and postcolonial studies. In collaboration with scholars and programs at the University of Pennsylvania, the Armenian Studies Program at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and Freie Universität Berlin, we are convening an international three-day conference to both mark and shape this auspicious moment.

"Infidelities: Armenian Studies Otherwise" will feature international scholars, writers, curators, filmmakers, visual artists, physical theatre performers, and a sound performer, all of whom work either directly in, or tangentially to, Armenian Studies, to flesh out new visions for the field and for the understanding of Armenianness. Over three days, our aim is to center critical, queer-feminist, postcolonial, and performative approaches to the study of Armenian history, diaspora, memory, language, culture, and displacement within and beyond the Middle East, wider West Asia, and the Americas.

Through a series of panels, performances, and working groups focused around the polyvalent provocation of "infidelity," we will focus on a spectrum of lively new directions toward which Armenian Studies is currently moving: feminist and queer interventions; cultural studies of hybrid and syncretic identities; aesthetic imaginings of Armenité beyond text and language; new materialisms and revolutionary change in a postsocialist setting; utopian futures beyond the nation-state; necropolitics, post-memory, and alternative imaginaries of the archive in light of the most recent war; as well as postcolonial critiques and visions of "reconciliation."

At the intersection of the social sciences, the humanities, and the arts, "Infidelities" seeks to open the putative identity "Armenian" to a wide and open-ended field of critical, reflective study and learning. It will augment new avenues for thinking within Armenian Studies through dialogue with scholars positioned outside of the field through interdisciplinary panels that will address an array of topics, including: legacies of land, memory, and trauma; urban place-making in displacement; gendered and racialized embodiment and its discontents across various and hybrid geographies; re-imagining of archives; and queering approaches to culture through experimental film, performance, and sound that decenter nationalism, heteropatriarchy, and the re/production of prescribed identities both in the diaspora and in Armenia itself.  


History and Preservation