The National Association for Armenian Studies & Research (NAASR) has awarded a 2021 Dr. Sona Aronian Book Prize to Nareg Seferian for his translation of AIWA’s most recent publication, the pioneering feminist novel Mayda.
“The translation prize awarded to Seferian for Srpuhi Dussap’s ground-breaking feminist novel Mayda, first published in Constantinople in 1843, recognized not only the excellence of the English-language version but also the enormous historical significance of making available what is one of the earliest novels in Western Armenian, the first known novel by an Armenian woman, and a landmark in the formation of an Armenian feminism,” the NAASR announcement explained.
Mayda, Echoes of Protest, the latest in AIWA’s “Treasury of Armenian Women’s Literature” series, was made possible by a major grant from the Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fund. This first English translation of a groundbreaking Armenian feminist work is available from the AIWA bookstore as well as other booksellers.
The NAASR announcement went on to acknowledge “the effort of the Armenian International Women’s Association to make this and other important works by Armenian women writers available” and recognized specifically “the role of the volume’s editor Dr. Lisa Gulesserian, with Dr. Barbara Merguerian (who wrote a short biography of Dussap for the book), Dr. Joy Renjilian-Burgy, Judith A. Saryan, and Danila Jebejian Terpanjian, as well as Dr. Valentina Calzolari who wrote the learned introduction.”
Nareg Seferian is a doctoral candidate at Virginia Tech’s School of Public and International Affairs in the Washington, DC area. He is currently in Armenia conducting research for his dissertation focusing on the province of Syunik and geographical imaginations in flux following the emergence of new borders after the Second Artsakh War.
NAASR’s Aronian Book Prizes were established in 2014 by the late Dr. Sona Aronian (a longtime AIWA member) and Dr. Geoffrey Gibbs to be awarded annually to outstanding scholarly works in the English language in the field of Armenian Studies and translations from Armenian into English.