The Rector of the Pedagogical University Rouben Mirzakhanyan received the Los Angeles (California) UCLA Head of the “Narekatsi” Chair of Armenian Studies Peter Cowe.
The Chair of Armenian Studies of this well-recognised University headed by Professor Peter Cowe has been developing wide scope of activities, thus expanding scientific and cultural links with Armenia. American Professor of Scottish decent Peter Cowe is quite well informed about Armenia. His scope of interests is not only limited with questions about the history of Armenia, its academic, cultural and linguistic aspects; he also speaks fluent Armenian.
During the meeting with the Rector issues with respect to archive funds of Armenia, their studies, digitalisation of material, preparation of specialists, Eastern Armenian and Western Armenian languages were discussed.
The Rector introduced the specialisations and peculiarities of the University and mentioned the following, “Armenian studies have a great role in the life of our nation, since we are training future teachers,; but also I’d like to emphasize that we have a monopoly on several cultural specialisations”. In addition, Mr. R. Mirzakhanyan mentioned that even though specialisation in archive work was also studied at the postgraduate level, however, the profession was not in high demand among applicants, which was conditioned with low pay rates in the labour market. The foreign specialist of Armenian studies also inquired about the archive, the University’s fund, and mentioned that there were a few significant archives available in Armenia and that they still needed specialists to be trained for and to work therein.
In his turn, Peter Cowe spoke about his colleague who would often visit Armenia and was interested in archive material on the history of our country. He suggested developing joint activities. Rector Rouben Mirzakhanyan highlighted that there were limited financial means available, but the guest assured that both financial resources and interested foundations would be found for them to allow further cooperation in this sphere. Likewise, he expressed his willingness to invite his colleagues deeply interested in archive job there to organise summer sessions by already established archivists.
According to the Rector, any student starting from the second year all till the fourth year of the Chair of Library Studies, could receive the specialisation of archive work.
On this occasion, the parties decided to make a trilateral agreement among the RA Archive, the ASPU and UCLA Chair of Armenian Studies to discuss further steps via e-communications, as well as to arrange professional meetings in Aghavnadzor in future.
Peter Cowe expressed his willingness to also support the process of recovery of damaged or endangered archive materials, which could also become future cooperation initiative, and thus requested to provide comprehensive information thereabout.
The dialogue continued on the topics about Armenians in the Diaspora, the danger of extinction of Western Armenian language and indifference towards Eastern Armenian language in Armenia, etc.
According to Peter Cowe, the second language has always been needed within the country to be able to look out of the window.
“This University has an exceptional importance for the preservation of the language and its development, -Mr. R. Mirzakhanyan said. Schools should be only in the native language and all the other languages can always be later learnt.”
The Rector highlighted how important it was that persons of non-Armenian decent were getting specialised in Armenian Studies, and assured that steps aimed at future cooperation would not be delayed.
Summing up, the Dean of the Faculty of History and Law Mr. Edgar Hovhannisyan informed that the Armenologist from American University was going to deliver a lecture at their Faculty of History and Law.