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Dr. Lalai Manjikian is a Humanities professor at Vanier College in Montreal, Quebec.


As an educator, researcher, community volunteer, writer, and an advocate of social justice, Lalai brings a multi-disciplinary and dynamic approach to the classroom, to social causes, to her research and writing.


Her teaching and research interests are in the areas of immigration and refugee studies, media representations of migration, migrant narratives, and diaspora studies. She has long been passionate about the reasons people cross borders and how they adapt to their new realities, while remaining connected to their roots. Collecting, documenting, and analyzing migrant and refugee narratives are a significant part of her research.

She is the author of Collective Memory and Home in the Diaspora: The Armenian Community in Montreal (2008).


Her writing has also been published in a number of newspapers and journals including the Montreal Gazette, The Armenian Weekly, Horizon Weekly, 100 Lives (The Aurora Prize), EVN Report, REFUGE: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, and in The International Journal of the Humanities: Annual Review.   


In 2005, Lalai was a participant in Birthright Armenia, which provided an important personal experience related to the connections between the homeland of Armenia and the Armenian diaspora. While in Armenia, she worked at Bars Media, a documentary film studio.


Lalai has been active for many years in volunteering within the Armenian community in Montreal and within the broader Montreal community, engaged primarily in immigrant and refugee integration.


She currently serves as the qualitative researcher on the Armenian Diaspora Survey in Montréal. She also serves as a board member for the Foundation for Genocide Education.

She speaks fluent French, English, Armenian and conversational Spanish. She is married and has two children.  

Lalai holds a PhD in Communication Studies from McGill University (2013).



PhD, Communication Studies
McGill University, Montréal, Québec
Dissertation title: Refugee Narratives in Montréal: Negotiating Everyday Social Exclusion and Inclusion (2013)
Supervisor: Dr. Jenny Burman

Doctoral Bursaries and Awards:

McGill Institute for the Study of Canada, Charles R. Bronfman & Alex K. Paterson Top-up Award, 2010-2011

McGill Institute for the Study of Canada, Charles R. Bronfman & Alex K. Paterson Top-Up Award, 2009-2010 

Beaverbrook/Media@McGill Graduate Research Fellowship for Continuing Doctoral Students, 2008-2009

Beaverbrook/Media@McGill Merit Scholarship, 2007-2008
M.A., Communication Studies
McGill University, Montréal, Québec
Thesis: Collective Memory and Diasporic Articulations of “Home”: Armenian Community Centers in Montréal (2005)
Supervisor: Dr. Jenny Burman


Course on Refugee and Forced Migration Issues, 2006

Centre for Refugee Studies, York University, Toronto, Ontario

Course for academic and field-based practitioners working in the area of forced migration, which serves as a hub for researchers, students, practitioners, service providers and policy makers to share information and ideas.


B.A., Specialization in Communications Studies 1999-2003
Concordia University, Montréal, Québec

Emphasis on television production

Graduated with Distinction


D.E.C (Arts, Lettres et Communications) 1997-1999
Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf, Montréal, Québec


Graduated with Great Distinction 

Awarded recognition for “Perseverance and Quality of Research

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