Author Agop Manoukian Presents his Book "The Armenian Presence in Italy" at JCU
On Friday, October 10th author Agop Manoukian presented his book La Presenza Armena in Italia (The Armenian Presence in Italy) at JCU in the Aula Magna Regina. The event was sponsored by the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia to Italy and organized by the Associazione della Comunità Armena di Roma e del Lazio (Assoarmeni). The Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to Italy His Excellency Sargis Ghazaryan and the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Armenia to Italy Pietro Kuciukyan attended the presentation. JCU Professor of Medieval History and Religion Zara Pogossian, a committee member of Assoarmeni, helped organize the event, which was coordinated by playwright Gianni Guardigli.
Professor Pogossian introduced Agop Manoukian, informing the audience of his multicultural background and fruitful research activities. He was born in Como to an Armenian father and an Italian mother. He studied in Milan and has taught sociology and political science at the University of Bologna and the University of Trento. His important publications include the books La chiesa dei giornali and La famiglia contadina.
Pogossian noted also Manoukian’s contributions to the study of Armenian culture, such as co-editing of the series Documenti di Architettura Armena and the book Gli Armeni.
Manoukian then spoke about his latest book, explaining why he chose the title “The Armenian Presence in Italy” rather than “Armenians in Italy.” He said that the term “presence” signifies not only occupying a physical space but interacting with it and with the culture of the host country. In his book he explores the ways in which Armenians have contributed to the Italian culture, institutions and government since 1915.
He stressed that while the Armenians in Italy have integrated into the Italian community, they have never lost their strong Armenian identity. For example, Manoukian always presents himself as an Armenian-Italian, even though he was born in Italy and has lived there his entire life. He also added that thanks to the internet, the Armenian diaspora across Italy and the world is more connected than ever before.
Manoukian’s lecture was followed by a question and answer session and a book signing.