Nora Lessersohn

Nora is a PhD candidate supported by a Calouste Gulbenkian Armenian Studies Scholarship. She is currently the Joe and Wanda Corn Predoctoral Fellow at the Smithsonian, jointly appointed at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) and the National Museum of American History (NMAH). She earned her A.M. in Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University (2015) and her A.B. in the Study of Religion at Harvard College (2009). Her thesis is a transnational biography of the first Armenian-American, Christopher Oscanyan, a man who lived and worked between New York City and Constantinople (Istanbul) throughout the nineteenth century. She is interested in questions of political participation, cultural representation, indigeneity, auto/biography, and nationalism. 


Supervisor: David Sim (primary supervisor) and Ali Coşkun Tunçer (secondary supervisor)

Working title: 'The Sultan of New York: Armenian Diplomacy in Nineteenth-Century America (1818-1895)'

Expected completion date: 2022

Select Publications

  • “Write to Return: The Memoir of Hovhannes Cherishian and the Restoration of the Armenian Hearth” Memory Studies 12-5 (October 2019): 565-575.
  • “A Life of Longing and Belonging: The Ottoman Armenian American Worldview of Christopher Oscanyan (1815-1895),” Journal of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association 4-2 (November 2017): 261-285
  • “‘Provincial Cosmopolitanism’ in Late Ottoman Anatolia: An Armenian Shoemaker’s Memoir,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 57-2 (April 2015): 528-556.