Raffi Joe Wartanian is a writer, educator, and musician who currently teaches undergraduate writing at UCLA. He holds an MFA in Writing from Columbia University, where he also taught undergraduate writing. During his time in New York, Raffi led writing workshops at Rikers Island Jail, the Manhattan VA, Khrimian Lyceum, and founded Letters for Peace. He is the recipient of grants and fellowships from The Fulbright Program, Eurasia Partnership Foundation, and Humanity in Action among others, and his essays have appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, Miami Herald, The Baltimore Sun, Outside Magazine, Lapham’s Quarterly, and elsewhere.
An accomplished multi-instrumentalist and composer, Raffi has performed internationally and released two full-length albums of original music. He is the proud grandson and great-grandson of Armenian Genocide survivors, the son of Armenian parents from Lebanon, and, with his siblings, the first generation in his family to be born in the United States, in the great city of Baltimore.
For more information, visit Raffi’s website.
Updated May 2022
More from Raffi Wartanian
Celebrating with Pride: An Evening of Poetry & Performance
On June 30, 2023, Senior Fellow Raffi Wartanian is organizing an evening of poetry and performance, dedicated to celebrating Armenian creative and cultural excellence while fostering love, community, and solidarity for the Armenian LGBTQ+ community.
$30,000 Raised for Senior Fellow Giving Campaign 2022
Each year, Humanity in Action launches a Senior Fellow Giving Campaign which aims to gather support from the Senior Fellow community for Humanity in Action's programming. This year, $30,000 was raised!
Raffi Wartanian on the history of Armenian music
Senior Fellow Raffi Wartanian's article exploring the history of Armenian music was published in Lapham's Quarterly.
Letters for Peace: The Intersection of Creative Writing and Conflict Transformation
Join Senior Fellow Raffi Wartanian in a virtual event about his project Letters for Peace, hosted by Johns Hopkins University. The event will take place on Wednesday, October 28 from 1-2pm EST and will be moderated by Anishta Kahn.
Letters for Peace
Senior Fellow Raffi Wartanian started Letters for Peace to foster constructive dialogue between youth in Armenia and Azerbaijan. The goal is to simply facilitate communication in a region where the borders are closed, and opportunities for an exchange of ideas is radically limited.
Memory Laws in France and their Implications: Institutionalizing Social Harmony
In July of 1990, France’s Congress passed a landmark piece of legislation that marked the front page of newspapers across the world. One of the world’s most influential nations with an intricate history of revolution, colonialism, and multiculturalism, declared the denial of the Jewish Holocaust as a criminal offense.
Senior Fellows Raise $40,220.50 for Giving Campaign
Claiming the History in Family Names
2008 Paris Senior Fellow Raffi Wartanian writes in The New York Times about how for many immigrants moving to the United States means changing their name and, in the process, losing ties to their history.
2018 Fall International Conference Schedule
The upcoming Fall International Conference on "Social Justice in Public Health and Healthcare" will take place next weekend on October 19 and 20, 2018 at The New School.