Pembroke Center

Marianna Hovhannisyan

Carol G. Lederer Postdoctoral Fellow


Ph.D. Art History, Theory, and Criticism, Visual Arts Department, University of California, San Diego, 2022

Dissertation: “Double Assimilations, Empty Fields, and Orphan Objects: Mapping Armenian Erasures and Displacements Through Archival Metadata and Folk Culture.”

Marianna Hovhannisyan is the 2022-23 Carol G. Lederer Postdoctoral Fellow. She works at the intersection of postcolonial and decolonial archival and museum studies, visual culture, critical race theories and curatorial praxis, with the focus on folk studies and theories of art and artifacts. She is the 2019 recipient of the UC Critical Refugee Studies Collective award and often collaborates with the Center for Information as Evidence, GSEIS Dept., Archives and Information Studies, UCLA. As the first EU-funded Hrant Dink Foundation Fellow, she conducted original research in the American Board Archives (Turkey). This resulted in her curatorial exhibition “Empty Fields” (2016, SALT, Istanbul), which uncovered a museum collection dispersed due to the 1915 Armenian Genocide.

While at Pembroke, she will revise her dissertation towards a book manuscript. 

Her dissertation critically engages with Armenian historiography as a modern example subjected to epistemic and colonial violence through forced displacement, archival silences, and cultural appropriations. Specifically, she explores the trans-imperial fragmentations of Eastern and Western Armenians in West Asia as manifested in their historical and contemporary displacements and erasures as Indigenous, national, refugee, and survivor subjects. Through studying the politics of archival metadata and in alliance with Black feminist, Indigenous, and global studies scholars and curators, her work imagines new historiographies of subaltern, diasporic, transnational, and trans-indigenous identities, and epistemologies. In Spring 2023, she will teach an interdisciplinary class, "Negative Evidence, Fragments, and Archives."