BY SAREEN HABESHIAN
Podcasts have been around for over a decade, and for those who live in cities where traffic is a way of life, they are a lifesaver.
“Podcasts are like your own private radio station. You can just click and listen to conversations that interest you,” said Salpi Ghazarian, director of the Institute of Armenian Studies.
The USC Institute of Armenian Studies has three podcast series already, and has plans for several more.
“Our purpose is to make scholarship accessible, to present and benefit from the scholarship that addresses national and global challenges. So, now, everyone can listen to scholarly content in their car, or while they get ready for the day, or make dinner,” added Ghazarian.
“I listen to many podcasts on my commutes and runs/hikes. I am so happy that this podcast series is made. It helps me learn so much about my country through the different guests they have!” Rmughnet commented on iTunes.
The current three series are Unpacking Armenian Studies, The Quake (about the 1988 Spitak earthquake) and the Innovate Series.
Ghazarian hosts Unpacking Armenian Studies— a series of conversations that seek to humanize Armenian Studies, make it more accessible, and show it for the broad, varied field that it has become.
The podcast is home to interviews with academics, journalists and policymakers in the field of, and on the fringes of, Armenian Studies. It seeks to understand, and make accessible, conversations about who these scholars are, what they do, and why it matters.
From the Deputy Foreign Minister of Karabakh, Armine Aleksanyan, whose work depends on the breadth and scope of Armenian Studies to Rober Koptas, head of Aras publishing in Turkey, whose work contributes directly to Armenian Studies by publishing works in Turkish, the Unpacking Armenian Studies show hosts unique and diverse guests.
“Finally there is a good podcast on Armenian Studies!” commented Sarmen Boghos on iTunes.
In The Quake, the Institute’s Chitjian Research Archivist Gegham Mughnetsyan relives the days immediately following the powerful Spitak earthquake that devastated the Northern region of Armenia and his hometown of Gyumri on December 7, 1988. Mughnetsyan was a child at the time, and recounts the shock and its consequences both personal and global. He delves into the challenges that complicated the region’s recovery process, that became the focus of geopolitical tensions, and that buried the future and promise of an entire generation.
“I enjoy listening to this on my way to work, interesting for anyone interested in Armenia and Armenian studies,” wrote NarbehtheCat on iTunes.
The Institute’s newest podcast is the Innovate Series, where listeners can hear selections from talks presented at Innovate Armenia over the years. Innovate Armenia, the festival of ideas and action, is where scholars and thought-leaders from around the world challenge assumptions and offer new perspectives, too good to miss.
“Love your podcasts!!! They are very educating and, inevitably, quite practical!!!” Julieta Harutyunyan posted on Facebook.
Established in 2005, the USC Institute of Armenian Studies supports multidisciplinary scholarship to re-define, explore and study the complex issues that make up the contemporary Armenian experience—from post-genocide to the developing Republic of Armenia to the evolving diaspora. The institute encourages research, publications and public service, and promotes links among the global academic and Armenian communities.