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2021 Dumbarton Oaks/HMML Syriac and Armenian Summer School

July 12–August 6, 2021 | Hill Museum & Manuscript Library, directed by Salam Rassi, Alberto Rigolio, Jesse Siragan Arlen, and Abraham Terian


Dumbarton Oaks in collaboration with the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML) announces an intensive four-week course introducing the Syriac and Armenian languages and paleography in summer of 2021. The program, sponsored and funded by Dumbarton Oaks, will be hosted remotely, and all classes will be held on Zoom. The summer school will run from July 12 to August 6, 2021. The program is ideal for doctoral students or recent PhDs who can demonstrate a need to learn Syriac or Armenian for their research. 

Approximately ten places will be available for each language. If on-site, costs for tuition, housing, and meals will be covered by Dumbarton Oaks. 

The program welcomes international applicants but does not sponsor J visas.

Course Offerings

The Summer School will consist of morning sessions Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to noon, CT, complemented by guest lectures and other learning opportunities via Zoom. 

Prerequisites for the intermediate Syriac and introduction to Armenian language classes differ, and some preparation will be required before arrival, as directed by the instructors.  

Following this intensive course, students will be fully equipped to continue reading on their own or to enter reading courses at other institutions. 


Accommodation and Expenses

Under normal circumstances, students would have been housed in apartments on the Saint John’s University campus and provided with a meal contract at the student Refectory. However, due to COVID-19, the 2021 course will be taught remotely, and all classes will be held on Zoom. 

Admission Requirements

Applicants must be either enrolled doctoral students in good standing with a demonstrated need to learn Syriac or Armenian for their research, or recent PhDs, including early-career faculty members, who can demonstrate the value of Syriac or Armenian for their teaching and research. Priority will be given to those who lack opportunities to learn Syriac or Armenian at their own institutions. Those with significant prior study of Armenian (e.g., a semester-long class) will not be considered, as this is an introductory course. Those accepted into the program will be informed about resources to help them in their preparation.


Intermediate Syriac

  • Christopher Bonura, University of California, Berkeley
  • Michelle Freeman, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Johnathan W. Hardy, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
  • Pamela Klasova, Macalester College
  • Andrei Macar, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
  • Christopher McLaughlin, Boston College
  • Francesca Minonne, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano
  • Cosimo Paravano, University of Vienna
  • Nicolò Sassi, Indiana University
  • Nora K. Schmid, University of Oxford

Introduction to Classical Armenian

  • Ashley Bozian, St. John’s University
  • Tinatin Chronz, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
  • Christian Gers-Uphaus, University of Tübingen
  • Jake Nabel, Pennsylvania State University
  • Matteo Poiani, Université de Strasbourg/The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Christopher Sprecher, University of Regensburg
  • Yvona Trnka-Amrhein, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Ayelet Wenger, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Douglas Whalin, Catholic University of America
  • Emanuele Zimbardi, Ca’ Foscari Università di Venezia