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Dr. Dennis Papazian: Reflections on an Armenian-American Journey
February 23, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm PSTFree
Born ninety years ago in the pre-WWII, pre-civil rights American South of Armenian immigrant parents from Istanbul, Turkey, Dr. Dennis Papazian reflects on a quintessentially twentieth-century American life shaped by the challenges of the immigrant experience, his family’s struggle to create a life in a new land, and his determined efforts to secure an education that would ensure a life of security and the promise of the American dream.
Dennis pursued a Ph.D. in Russian history, becoming one of the first American students to study in the then Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War. Not only did this experience open the world to him, it also placed him in the center of major geo-political events, teaching him nuance and perspective that would lead him to become a highly sought analyst as the Soviet Union broke apart decades later. Upon his return to Michigan, Dennis went on to live a life of contribution and service and became a key leader in the emergence of an Armenian-American community just finding its footing fifty years after the 1915 Armenian genocide. Dennis’s journey is a classic American immigrant tale. Through it all, he shares his wit, resilience, keen sense of perception, and vision, as well as the memorable characters he meets along the way, as he reflects on his consequential, eventful, and at times surprising life. It is a story that will inspire and give hope to all who join him on his journey.
Dennis R. Papazian is Professor Emeritus of History and founding Director of the Armenian Research Center at the University of Michigan, Dearborn. During a long career as a professor and administrator at the University of Michigan, Dearborn, he was known for his many contributions to the Armenian community.