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25.9.13

Armenian Studies and Truth

Armenian studies, like all other scientific disciplines, should have as a starting point and as its aim disclosing truth. As a true reflection of the Armenian national image, Armenological truth demands a thorough approach to all topics and subjects that constitute the Armenian space. A holistic examination of topics and of various facets is needed.
A factor that would further reveal truth is the examination of past and present issues and events by applying contemporary theories and methodologies used in different disciplines. Thus, the Armenian experience would be studied in the broader  context of world civilisation and would contribute to the further growth of Armenology. A valid example of this is research pertaining to consequences of the Armenian Genocide. Previously the massacres and deportation were researched as the immediate consequences of Genocide, then the loss of fatherland and properties were highlighted and currently the destiny of the Western Armenian language and issues of identity and integration are being researched as indirect consequences of the Armenian Genocide.
There are issues and topics in Armenian studies where the light of truth has not reached yet. Indeed there are still closed or semi-locked archives, issues that have not been studied, research papers which have not been published and documents which have been published only as excerpts, in an incomplete manner. These shortcomings have diverse objective and subjective causes.
Some objective causes are the lack of relevant experts; the gradual disappearance of the older generation (which has led to the loss of oral and written eyewitness accounts); the exhaustion of Diaspora communities (which has led to the dispersion of relevant material and resources); the costs of research and publication; the lack of or drop in research interest in some spheres; failure of exposure of individual archives; difficulties of accessibility to materials, etc.
Alongside the above-mentioned objective reasons, diverse subjective causes further taint the light of truth in Armenian studies: due to a partisan mentality, some topics and events are considered taboo, while other issues are exaggerated or undermined; access to certain archival materials is restricted by privileged or circumstantial behavior. Furthermore predispositions, interpretations, views and conclusions due to geopolitical positions blemish the scientific validity of certain studies and, thus, the truth.
Curtailing the above-mentioned objective and subjective shortcomings can promote more effective Armenological conferences, research and study centers, individual scholarly cooperation, research coordination, usage of information networks, examination of unattended areas, and pluralism.
Such an approach will make the Armenological efforts carry the truth further  and promote the uncovering of a truthful Armenian national image.
"Haigazian Armenological Review" (editorial), vol. XXXIII, 2013

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