The Assyrian Studies Association promotes interest in and scholarly study of Assyrians and Assyria. It provides means for the publication of scholarly research and other materials designed to promote Assyrian studies. It promotes cooperative activities and exchange of information within the field and facilitates contact between scholars and scholarly organizations. 


6101 Owensmouth Ave P.O. Box 632

Woodland Hills, CA 91365



EIN# 83-1163287

Image credits:

© The Trustees of Columbia University, Department of Art History and Archaeology, Media Center for Art History

© Sharokin Betgevargiz

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© Sharokin Betgevargiz


Assyrian Studies Association Symposium 2020

Florida International University

Friday, March 20, 2020 - Sunday March 22, 2020

Advance Tickets Required



The Assyrian Studies Association hosts the 1st biennial symposium at Florida International University, showcasing the research of scholars who study the works of the Assyrian people from various academic fields such as Assyriology, political science, and history. Organized into three days, the symposium will include a keynote address by Professor of Assyriology, Amir Harrak from the University of Toronto, presentation by Professor of Law, Hannibal Travis from the Florida International University, 6 panels moderated and presented by leading academic scholars in their fields, questions-and-answer sessions with the audience, and workshops for graduate students.

Hotel Information


To book your hotel stay at Courtyard Miami at Dolphin Mall, please use the link provided below to receive our discounted rate $189 USD per night.  Last day to book is Thursday, February 20, 2020. 

Hotel rate discount is available with link: https://www.marriott.com/event-reservations/reservation-link.mi?id=1578333950865&key=GRP&app=resvlink

Graduate Student Workshop

Graduate students interested in participating in a workshop discussing their research on any aspect of Assyrian Studies with feedback from senior researchers from a variety of fields may apply. Students from various academic fields are encouraged to apply, as long as the topic of their research focuses on the Assyrian people.If selected, students will be offered shared accommodations for two nights, food, conference fee of $85 will be waived, and $200 reimbursement towards flights.

Interested students should submit a 250-word abstract of their original research with a focus on Assyrian Studies to our Executive Director, Alexandra Lazar alazar@assyrianstudiesassociation.org no later than January 20, 2020. 

Undergraduate Student Workshop

Undergraduate students interested in the open undergraduate workshop concerning prospect in the field of Assyrian Studies are also encouraged to attend. Please email our Executive Director, Alexandra Lazar alazar@assyrianstudiesassociation.org later than January 20, 2020 with your intent to participate. Conference fee of $85 will be waived for undergraduates attending the workshop.

The symposium will be available via live feed on the Assyrian Studies Association's Facebook channel.

Registration is required for all persons attending the 1st Biennial Assyrian Studies Association Symposium. You can also use our Registration Form and mail it to our mailing address by March 1, 2020  should you choose to do so:

6101 Owensmouth Ave

P.O. Box 632

Woodland Hills, CA 91365

Co-Sponsoring Univerisities

2020 Symposium Speakers

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Amir Harrak

Amir Harrak is a Full Professor of Aramaic and Syriac at the University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and Director of the Canadian Society for Syriac Studies and Chief Editor of its Journal. He graduated from St. John’s Seminary (Mosul, Iraq) in 1973, from the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium) in 1980, and from the University of Toronto in 1987, where he obtained his Master’s degree and PhD degrees in Assyriology in 1987. His many publications include Assyria and Hanigalbat: A Historical Reconstruction of Bilateral Relations from the Middle of the Fourteenth to the End of the Twelfth Centuries B.C. (Hildesheim: Olms, 1987); and more.

Dr. Carlos Antaramian

After studying International Affairs at the National University of Mexico (UNAM), I got an M.A. (2001) and a PhD (2006) in Social Anthropology from El Colegio de Michoacán (México). My research interests focus on migration and transnational communities, Genocides, Armenian communities and the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. I have published the book “From Ararat to Popocatepetl. Armenians in Mexico” (2011) and a documentary related to the settlement of Armenians in Mexico city after the genocide “The Armenians in La Merced” (2012). I was the Curator and did the research of the Exhibition “Armenia. An Open Wound”, at the Museo Memoria y Tolerancia in Mexico City (2015) and at the Brand Library in Glendale (2016). Author of four Chapters and 10 peer-review articles.


Dr.Önver Cetrez

You will notice that I am strongly interested in the area of migration, adaptation, and acculturation. Not surprisingly, as I have roots in the Assyrian population from Turkey, but migrated to Sweden at the age of 9, thus being both multilingual and multicultural in my bones. Currently, I hold a senior lecturer position at the Faculty of Theology, Uppsala University, Sweden, specialising in psychology of religion and cultural psychology.


Currently, I am the coordinator of RESPOND - a Horizon 2020 project, financed by the EU, and I am the Principal Investigator of the Swedish team. Another project I work on is the Syriac Orthodox Church in Sweden, studying integration and adaptation on institutional level. I am a member of the Swedish Ethical Review Authority, since four years. Apart from RESPOND, I have led two similar research projects, both financed by the Swedish Research Council, one among Iraqis in Sweden (2010-2013), the other among Assyrians-Syrians in Turkey (2014-2016). During 2014-2016, I held the position as Deputy Director of the Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul.

Ms. Annie Elias

Annie Elias is a playwright and director in the San Francisco Bay Area who specializes in the creation of documentary theater—plays based on interviews.  Her acclaimed play "Tenderloin," composed from interviews of residents from the SF neighborhood, premiered in 2012 at The Cutting Ball Theater, and was remounted in 2019.  Annie graduated with honors from Mills College, studied dramaturgy at the A.R.T. Institute at Harvard University, and has received numerous grants and awards, including a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, and a grant from the Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science and Technology Project for her original theatrical adaptation of the novel Einstein's Dreams.  Annie is an associate artist at Cutting Ball Theater and at Phantom Theater in Vermont where her interviews of Vermonters were collected in an oral history archive. She serves as the Chair of the Performing Arts Department at Marin Academy where she has taught for twenty years.  She is a member of San Francisco's Assyrian Foundation of America where her father, Dr. Joel Elias, served for decades.  

Dr. Erin Hughes

Erin Hughes is an Assistant Professor in Political Science and History at California State University Stanislaus, where she also manages the Sarguis Modern Assyrian Heritage Project.  Her research specializes in nationalism and nation-building, genocide studies, and diaspora, with a focus on the global Assyrian Chaldean Syriac diaspora. 


Erin received a PhD in Sociology from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland) in 2016, an MSc with Distinction in Nationalism Studies from the University of Edinburgh in 2007, and a BA in Political Science and History from McGill University (Canada) in 2003.  Her doctoral thesisexamined the growth of the Assyrian diaspora in the US and the diaspora’s political and humanitarian engagement on behalf of Iraqi Assyrians following the 2003 war.  


Dr. Ruth Kambar

Ruth Kambar is a public school English teacher and adjunct professor at the State University of New York, Westchester Community College. Dr. Kambar earned her doctorate from New York University in 2013. She has created a verbal testament to Assyrian Americans called “A Family Archive: Construction of Identity in the Assyrian American Diaspora.” Her work stemmed from an NEH Fellowship in the study of Folklore, resulting in her process of recording Assyrian American life narratives, which eventually laid the foundation for her doctoral research. Ruth analyzed a collection of life narratives and complementary texts, which provided a unique window into an immigrant Assyrian family and its Assyrian American identity. A Family Archive: Construction of Identity in the Assyrian American Diasporasought to identify personal myths, pedagogical indicators, intertextuality, geographical and historical references in oral narratives that the community employs to establish and perform identity. 

Dr. Aryo Makko

Aryo is Pro Futura Scientia Fellow at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS) in Uppsala and Head of the Hans Blix Centre for the History of International Relations and Associate Professor of History at Stockholm University. He was elected to the Young Academy of Sweden in 2017. Aryo has held visiting positions at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, the University of Oxford and Harvard University and will be visiting professor at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich in 2020/21. 


His current research project deals with the relations between the neutral states of Europe and the Soviet Union between 1960 and the end of the Cold War. He is currently completing an edited volume on Soviet-Neutral relations during the Cold War for the Harvard Cold War Studies Book Series (together with Mark Kramer and Peter Ruggenthaler). 

Dr. Helen Malko

Dr. Helen Malko is an anthropological archaeologist with training in cultural heritage preservation and museum practices. She is a Program Manager at Columbia Global Centers | Amman, where she oversees the Fellowship Program for Emerging Displaced Scholars. Her research has been focused on archaeology of the Middle East as well as the destruction of monuments and historical landscapes in Iraq and its impact on the local communities, including the Assyrians. 

Dr. Malko received a PhD from Stony Brook University, and a master’s degree from Baghdad University. She has been a field member and Content Manger for the Columbia University Project Mapping Mesopotamian Monuments, a topographical survey of the standing historical monuments, including rock reliefs carved into the cliff faces of the mountains, early Christian churches and monasteries, early Islamic, Ottoman and twentieth century architecture and monuments throughout Iraq and Southeast Turkey.

Dr. Efrem Yildiz Sadak

Professor of Hebrew and Aramaic Studies at the Faculty of Philology, University of Salamanca since 1997. He is currently a Full Professor at the Faculty of Philology, Department of Hebrew and Aramaic Studies. After many years of teaching in biblical and rabbinic literature, Old Testament institutions and Biblical Aramaic in the Hebrew Degree, with the creation of the Degree in Hebrew and Aramaic Studies, he has specialized in Aramaic history, language and literature. He has participated in numerous national and international Congresses. He has given seminars and courses on his specialty in European countries, the Middle East, Latin America and the United States. He has also participated in Staff mobility for teaching, at University of Cambridge, Department of Middle Eastern Studies (2007, at the University of Bucharest, Faculty of Philology (2009).

Dr. Michel Shamoon-Pour

Michel Shamoon-Pour is a molecular anthropologist specializing in population genetics and paleogenomics. Shamoon-Pour received his PhD in Anthropology from Binghamton University in 2016. He is currently a Research Assistant Professor with the Binghamton University's First-year Research Immersion (FRI) program. His research primarily focuses on the genetics of understudied populations of the Middle East and Oceania. Shamoon-Pour has worked with members of Assyrian communities in the United States to reconstruct genetic matrilineages and patrilineages of pre-Genocide Assyrian settlements in the Middle East. A microbiologist by training, Shamoon-Pour's research also focuses on the diagnostics of Lyme disease and identification of Antimony-reducing bacteria from aquifers.

Dr. Hannibal Travis

Hannibal Travis teaches and conducts research in the fields of cyberlaw, genocide studies, and human rights. He is a Professor of Law at Florida International University, the public research university in and for the city of Miami, Florida. His books include a monograph containing the first comprehensive history of physical and cultural genocide in the Middle East and North Africa, entitled ‘Genocide in the Middle East: The Ottoman Empire, Iraq, and Sudan’ (Carolina Academic Press, 2010). His work on the intersections of international jurisprudence with the study of the Middle East and Africa has appeared in books from Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press/Oceana, Rutgers University Press, the University of Pennsylvania Press, and Palgrave Macmillan, and in journals affiliated with Brill, the Middle East Forum, Cornell Law School, Brooklyn Law School, Northwestern Law School, Columbia University, Georgetown University, and the University of California.

Dr. Michael Youash

Michael Youash earned his PhD from the Political Science Department at the University of Toronto with a background in democratization, post-conflict transitions, and development studies. His past research on Assyrians in Iraq highlighted violent persecution by state and non-state actors, the denial of political rights, and socio-economic discrimination targeting indigenous Assyrians. His current research on Assyrians in Iraq examines how British authorities fused colonial policies refined in late colonial in Africa with existing institutional forms of Ottoman Caliphate rule during the creation of the Iraqi state. Michael’s research examines how the fusion of these forms of governance persist into the present and prevent indigenous Assyrians from attaining their rights and are used by powerful state actors to politically control Assyrians.


    Join the Assyrian Studies Association at the Middle Eastern Studies Association (MESA) Conference
 November 14-17, 2019
Sheraton New Orleans 
Join ASA in November for MESA's 53rd conference in New Orleans! ASA is hosting two panel's entitled, Assyrian Studies in Political Science: Critical Approaches and Emerging Trends with presenters: Michael Youash, Mariam Georgis, Riva Gewarges, and Nahrain Rasho, and De-centering the Middle East: Challenging the Status Quo with presenters: Sargon Donabed, Michael Youash, Mariam Georgis, Gregory Christakos, and Riva Gewarges.
Special Presentation by Professor Sargon Donabed

Everyone Can Tell a Story:

Doing oral history and ethnography on Assyrians 

with the Assyrian Studies Association

This talk is about discussing ways in which every person in a community can be a major boon for collecting, safeguarding, and producing narratives of history and contemporary life for future generations to be proud of, confront, and learn from. 

Event Date: Sunday, June 23, 2019 (2:00 - 5:00PM)

Location: Holy Trinity Greek Center, 999 Brotherhood Way, San Francisco, CA 94123

     9th Annual Appreciation Event
Assyrian Foundation of America
Introducing the Launch of the Assyrian Studies Association
     Limited space! RSVP list will be enforced!
  email Alexandra Lazar at alazar@assyrianstudiesassociation.org 

(No video cameras will be allowed at this event. Still photo cameras are permitted).