On the occasion of the publication of her trilogy, “The Armenians in the Medieval Islamic World – Paradigms of Interaction Seventh to Fourteenth Centuries, in 3 vols.”, Prof. Seta Dadoyan, Doctor of Sciences in Philosophy, and the first woman to obtain this degree in Armenian philosophy, gave an engaging lecture on the topic of Armenians in the Medieval Islamic world, during the Cultural Hour at Haigazian University, on Thursday, November 14, 2013.
In his welcoming address, Dr. Antranik Dakessian, Director of the Armenian Diaspora Research Center, briefly introduced the current topic of the “concealed Armenians”, those who were Islamized voluntarily, and others forcefully. He considered that this issue was even more complicated with the Muslim Armenians in the Middle Ages.
Dr. Dadoyan, herself a former professor at Haigazian University during the years 1981-1986, shared some of the highlights of her pioneering research and publications that focused on the study of those medieval Armenians, their socio-political and intellectual cultures, and their interactive aspects.
Dadoyan stated that, power with no knowledge is dangerous. She believes that there is an indicator, on one side of this indicator there is historic experience, and on the other there is historiography. The closer the indicator is to historic experience she claims, the better the historiography becomes as a result.
Based on two decades of research and new sources, Dadoyan’s trilogy is written as an argument for a different reading of the historical experience of Armenians with Islam, and for a deeper understanding of the multidimensional nature of the Armenian experience on the crossroads of civilizations in the vast Near/Middle Eastern world.
She believes that breaking the walls between academia scholarship and the public is necessary in order to make knowledge of historic experiences.
Dadoyan concluded her presentation by stressing on the ideological and institutional limitations and an exit into a broader world in search of new paradigms and images.