Wesleyan portrait of Marianna  Hovhannisyan

Marianna Hovhannisyan

Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital and Visual Storytelling

1 Vine Street,

Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital and Visual Storytelling

1 Vine Street,


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MA Goldsmith, University of London
PHD UC- San Diego

Marianna Hovhannisyan

Marianna Hovhannisyan is an art historian and research-based curator, with a Ph.D. in Art History, Theory, and Criticism, University of California, San Diego (2022). She works at the intersection of postcolonial and decolonial archival and museum studies, visual culture, and critical race theories, with the focus on theories of archival metadata, arts, artifacts, and folk/crafts. Currently, she is the 2023-24 Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital and Visual Storytelling for the Carceral Connecticut project, Wesleyan University.

She was the 2022-23 Carol G. Lederer Postdoctoral Fellow at the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women, Brown University, and part of the seminar, “In the Afterlives and Aftermaths of Ruin,” led by Prof. Aliyyah Abdur-Rahman. At Brown, she taught an interdisciplinary course, “Gaps and Silences: In and Out of the Archives.” Students produced multimodal digital projects based on their original research by activating the Pembroke Center Feminist Archives (in collab. with the Center for Digital Scholarship). In 2023, her dissertation received the Chancellor’s Dissertation Medal for the School of Arts and Humanities, UCSD as well as she was the 2019 recipient of the UC Critical Refugee Studies Collective award. Hovhannisyan 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 (2015-16), she conducted original research in the American Board Archives (Turkey). This resulted in her curatorial exhibition “Empty Fields” (2016, SALT, Istanbul), which uncovered a century-lost museum collection dispersed due to the 1915 Armenian Genocide. Other research grants and fellowships include: the Getty Consortium Seminar, Kadist Art Foundation, Center for Experimental Museology, V-A-C Foundation; recent talks—John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities & Cultural Heritage, and Dept. of Art and Design, Rutgers University. Her writings appear in Stedelijk Studies Journal, Displaced Archives Series (Routledge Studies in Archives), and UCLA Journal of Education and Information Studies.

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

This project 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. 

Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

When: Wed.: 11am-12pm (in person) and by appointment (via Zoom) 
Where: PAC218