2014 Events

Armenia      Azerbaijan      Georgia

Armenia

THE AMERICAN RESEARCH INSTITUTE OF THE SOUTH CAUCASUS (ARISC) READING GROUP IN YEREVAN

Time and date: Tuesday, December 9, 2014, at 6:30 pm

Reading. We shall read 2 legends/stories (“The Rain” and “Bakarr the First, Tsar of Georgia”) from A. Goulbat’s “Caucasian Legends”.
Here you may find the link of the reading material:

Venue: 7 Mkhitar Heratsi Street, Yerevan, 0025, Armenia.

The group is open to the public, the reading and discussion language is English. Feel free to join and invite your friends.
Please contact armenia “at”arisc.org with any questions.

THE AMERICAN RESEARCH INSTITUTE OF THE SOUTH CAUCASUS (ARISC) READING GROUP IN YEREVAN 

Time and date: Tuesday, November 25, 2014, at 6:30 pm

Reading: As suggested by the group, we shall read the first 24 pages of Azar Nafisi’s “Reading Lolita in Tehran”. Here you may find the link of the library, where you can download it from here:

Venue: 7 Mkhitar Heratsi Street, Yerevan, 0025, Armenia.

The group is open to the public, the reading and discussion language is English. Feel free to join and invite your friends.
Please contact armenia “at” arisc.org with any questions.

For more information, please go to www.arisc.org

THE AMERICAN RESEARCH INSTITUTE OF THE SOUTH CAUCASUS (ARISC) READING GROUP IN YEREVAN

Time and date: Tuesday, November 11, 2014, at 6:30 pm

Reading. As suggested by the group, we shall continue the reading of “The Circassian Slave or The Sultan’s Favorite” written by Maturin Murray Ballou. Here you may find the link of the reading material here

Venue: 7 Mkhitar Heratsi Street, Yerevan, 0025, Armenia.

The group is open to the public, the reading and discussion language is English. Feel free to join and invite your friends.

Please contact armenia “at” arisc.org with any questions.

For more information, please go to www.arisc.org

THE AMERICAN RESEARCH INSTITUTE OF THE SOUTH CAUCASUS (ARISC) READING GROUP IN YEREVAN

Time and date: Tuesday, October 28, 2014, at 6:30 pm

Reading. As suggested by the group, we shall read the first chapter of “The Circassian Slave or The Sultan’s Favorite” written by Maturin Murray Ballou. Here you may find the link of the reading material here

Venue: 7 Mkhitar Heratsi Street, 3rd floor, ARISC Armenia Office, Yerevan, 0025, Armenia.

The group is open to the public, the reading and discussion language is English. Feel free to join and invite your friends.
Please contact armenia “at” arisc.org with any questions.

JOINT LECTURE ORGANIZED BY THE INSTITUTE OF ARCHAEOLOGY & ETHNOGRAPHY AND ARISC

Speakers: Dr. Maureen E. Marshall (University of Chicago), Dr. Kathryn Jane Franklin (University of Chicago and ARISC Fellow) and Dr. Alan F. Greene (Stanford University and ARISC Fellow)
Date: July 29, 2014, 6:00-8:00 PM
Place: Institute of Archaeology & Ethnography, NAS RA, Charents-15, library, Yerevan, Armenia

During the series of methodological seminars three American experts who defended their theses based on Armenian materials will present analysis and comments on excavated materials from American-Armenian joint expeditions.

Dr. Maureen E. Marshall will deliver the presentation “Articulating Ancient Lives: Diet and Movement in Late Bronze Age and Iron I Period Societies”. This presentation discusses the methods and results of biogeochemical analysis of human remains from Late Bronze Age and Iron I Period tombs excavated in the Tsaghkahovit Plain, Shirak Plain, and Sevan Basin in Armenia. Samples were drawn from excavations in the Tsaghkahovit Plain conducted by the presenter under the auspices of Project Aragats, excavations at Horom under the direction of Ruben Badalyan, and excavations at Kanagegh and Dari Glukh under the direction of Ashot Piliposyan.
Maureen E. Marshall is an archaeologist specializing in the bioarchaeology of early complex polities. She earned a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Chicago in 2011, a M.A. in Social Science from the University of Chicago in 2003, and B.A.’s in 2001 in Anthropology/Archaeology and Literature/Writing from the University of California, San Diego. She has been a member of Project ArAGATS, the joint American-Armenian project for the Archaeology and Geography for Ancient Transcaucasian Societies, and excavating in Armenia since 2005. Dr. Marshall’s work has been published in edited volumes on global perspectives in human remains analysis, including Archaeological Human Remains: A Global Perspective in 2014 and The Routledge Handbook of Archaeological Human Remains and Legislation in 2011. Her research interests include political subjectivity, violence in early past societies, disease and health in ancient populations, the archaeology of Eurasia and the Near East, and the history of physical anthropology.
Dr. Kathryn Jane Franklin will talk on “Late Medieval Archaeology in the Kasakh Valley Armenia: Recent and Ongoing Research on Trade, Politics and Daily Life”. This presentation summarizes recent and ongoing research undertaken by Dr. Franklin in the Kasakh Valley, Armenia, focused in the developed medieval period (AD 12-14th c). She is currently continuing investigations at the village of medieval Bazarjugh, in an effort to fill in some of the gaps in our understandings of Armenian society in the developed medieval period. The talk will present results from this research in the Kasakh Valley, as well as a discussion of Dr. Franklin’s plans for future work in Armenia.
Dr. Kate Franklin recently received her PhD in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Chicago. Dr. Franklin is an anthropological archaeologist working in the Republic of Armenia, currently investigating the intersections of global trade and social life as constituted on-the-move along the highways between late medieval (AD 12th-15th c) towns and cities. Her doctoral dissertation, “This World is an Inn: Cosmopolitanism and Caravan Trade in Late Medieval Armenia” focuses on the participation of late medieval Armenians (villagers, merchants, princes, scholars) in the travel, politics, and trade of Silk-Road globality in various cosmopolitan ways.
Dr. Kathryn Jane Franklin is the recipient of the ARISC Junior Research Fellowship for 2013-14.

“The Social Lives of Pottery in the Plain of Flowers: Object Biographies, Hidden Assemblages, and Political Economy in Late Bronze Age Armenia” will be delivered by Dr. Alan F. Greene, Stanford University, Department of Anthropology.
The Late Bronze Age (LBA, ca. 1500-1150 BC) constitutes a critical moment in the social development of the South Caucasus, as hierarchically organized pastoralists began to construct hilltop fortresses that served as anchoring nodes for new forms of settlement, material culture, and social life more generally. In this presentation, Dr. Greene examines exactly how political-economic life was reorganized as sociopolitical institutions “on the hoof” became emplaced within novel fortress confines. The discussion tacks between the site of Aragatsi Berd (Aragatsotn Marz), Argonne National Lab- oratory in the United States, and the Stanford Archaeology Center, outlining the intersection between Dr. Greene’s fieldwork, technique development, materials analysis activities, and anthropological interpretations.

Dr. Alan F. Greene is a post-doctoral scholar at the Stanford University Department of Anthropology and the Stanford Archaeology Center. He received his double BA in Anthropology and Near Eastern Studies from Johns Hopkins University and an MA and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago Department of Anthropology. As co-director of the Making of Ancient Eurasia (MAE) Project, Dr. Greene also develops techniques for minimally destructive, assemblage-based materials analysis and studies the role of compositional and structural methods in contemporary archaeological practice. This work has evinced new approaches to the portable X-ray fluorescence and digital radiographic analysis of archaeological pottery, tracing artifacts through habitual production regimes, spheres of exchange, and consumption trends. Dr. Greene is the co-author of two recent publications in the Archaeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association and the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology. He is currently editing a volume with Charles Hartley for Equinox Publishing (2015) on the structural analysis of archaeological pottery, entitled Renewing the Search for Structure: New Frameworks and Techniques in Instrumental Ceramics Analysis. He is the recipient of the ARISC Junior Research Fellowship for 2013-14.

 

PUBLIC LECTURE: U.S. FOREIGN POLICY DURING THE OBAMA ERA: AMERICAN DECLINE OR SKILLFUL GLOBAL MANAGEMENT?

Speaker: Klaus Larres, Distinguished Professor in History and International Affairs at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Start: June 17, 2014 4:00 pm
End: June 17, 2014 6:00 pm
Venue: 308E, Paramaz Avedisian Building
Address: Baghramyan Ave., 40, Yerevan, Yerevan, 0019, Armenia

This talk will consider the Obama administration’s approach to the most pressing global issues of the present. Following an analysis of President Obama’s foreign policy style, relations with Russia, the EU, Iran and other countries will be discussed. Obama’s “Asian Pivot” and relations with China will also be considered. The talk will pay particular attention to United States’ increasing difficulties with Russia regarding Ukraine, and other regional powers.

APPLYING TO GRADUATE PROGRAMS IN THE US

to be delivered by Talin Lindsay, American Research Institute of the South Caucasus
and Purdue University
Date: June 3, 2014
Time: 4:00-6:00 PM
Location: 40 Marshal Baghramyan Ave, Yerevan, Armenia
Paramaz Avedisian Building, 1st floor, Room 113w
RSVP: Armenia “at” arisc. org

While a graduate degree from the United States can be seen as an asset in the job market, the application process can be both foreign and expensive for international applicants. This discussion aims to help prospective applicants better understand and prepare for the application process to humanities and social science graduate programs in the US.

Talin Lindsay has been working in university administration in the US for ten years. She has served as the Graduate Program Assistant in the Department of Germanic, Slavic and Semitic Studies as well as the Comparative Literature Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara for four years. Since 2010, Ms. Lindsay has been the Graduate Program Assistant in the Department of Anthropology at Purdue University.

This event is free and open to the public, and is co-sponsored by the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC) and the American University of Armenia (AUA).

ARISC does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, physical or mental disability, medical condition, ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or status as a covered veteran.

READING GROUP IN YEREVAN

Time and date: Tuesday, May 20, 2014, at 6:30 pm

Reading. As suggested by the group, we shall read the first four chapters of “Hero of Our Time” written by M. Lermontov. Here you may find the link of the reading material: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/913/913-h/913-h.htm

Venue: American University of Armenia, 40 Marshal Baghramyan Ave. , Paramaz Avedisian Building, room 233W

The group is open to the public, the reading and discussion language is English. Feel free to join and invite your friends.
Please contact armenia@arisc.org with any questions.

 

PUBLIC LECTURE: ANCIENT AND MODERN IDENTITY AND ADAPTATION: THE CASE OF THE KURA ARAXES CULTURAL TRADITION  

Speaker: Mitchell Rothman,  professor and chair of the Anthropology Department of Widener University, USA, member of American Research Institute of the South Caucasus

Date: April 30, 2014
Time: 6:30-8:00 pm
Venue: American University of Armenia MB Small Auditorium
Address: 40 Marshal Baghramyan Ave, Yerevan, Armenia

This lecture will explore the archaeologists’ task in trying to identify ancient culture and cultural traditions.
Kura Araxes Cultures of the Early Bronze Age. The 4th into the 3rd millennium BC in the Middle East and Eurasia was one of the most dynamic in world history. In southern Mesopotamia the foundations of the modern world were laid: life in cities, rule through authority and by bureaucrats, social differentiation, mass production, and “international” trade to bring raw materials and goods lacking in the south for production and for signifying the new statuses of a state society. In the highland zones where these raw materials and technologies were coming from change was also occurring. However, it was change of a different kind. The emergence of the Kura Araxes saw the development of new local adaptations and a distinct cultural tradition marked by a type of burnished, handmade pottery and a ritual of the hearth. This tradition, dominant in the south Caucasus, spread southwest across the Taurus Mountains and south into the South Levant, southeast into the Zagros Mountains, and north across the Caucasus. As Adam Smith, wrote in 2005, we have little idea of what the Kura Araxes really is and little sense of what Kura Araxes Communities were like. This lecture discusses these questions from an anthropological archaeologist’s point of view.

THE AMERICAN RESEARCH INSTITUTE OF THE SOUTH CAUCASUS WILL HAVE ITS READING GROUP IN YEREVAN.

Time and date: Tuesday, April 29, at 6:30 pm

Reading: We shall read excerpts from Fridtjof Nansen’s “Armenia and the Near East”. Here you may find the link:

http://nansen-tolkien.co.uk/Armenia%20and%20the%20Near%20East.html

Venue: Yerevan, AUA, Baghramyan 40, Paramaz Avedisian Building, room 233 W

The group is open to the public, the reading and discussion language is English. Feel free to join and invite your friends.

Please contact armenia@arisc.org with any questions.

THE AMERICAN RESEARCH INSTITUTE OF THE SOUTH CAUCASUS WILL HAVE ITS READING GROUP IN YEREVAN.

Time and date: Wednesday, April 9, 2014, at 6:30

Reading: We shall read Lev Tolstoy’s “A Prisoner in the Caucasus”. Here you may find the link:

http://predki.314159.ru/tolsty1.htm

Venue: Yerevan, AUA, Baghramyan 40, Paramaz Avedisian Building, room 233 W

The group is open to the public, the reading and discussion language is English. Feel free to join and invite your friends.

Please contact armenia@arisc.org with any questions.

READING GROUP IN YEREVAN.
Time and date: Wednesday, March 13, at 6:30 pm

Reading: We shall read Lord Byron’s Armenian exercises and Poetry (till Lord Byron’s translations). Here you may find the link:

http://www.archive.org/stream/lordbyronsarmeni00byro#page/n0/mode/2up
Venue: Yerevan, AUA, Baghramyan 40, Paramaz Avedisian Building, room 233 W

The group is open to the public, the reading and discussion language is English. Feel free to join and invite your friends.

Please contact armenia@arisc.org with any questions.

For more information, please go to www.arisc.org

 

READING GROUP IN YEREVAN.

Time and date: Thursday, February 20, 2014, at 6:30 pm

Reading. We shall read William Saroyan, a short story, My heart’s in the Highlands. Please make sure to read the English version, not the Armenian or Russian. We shall also watch and discuss a film, based on this short story.

Venue: Yerevan, AUA, Baghramyan 40, room 233 W

The group is open to the public, the reading and discussion language is English. Feel free to join and invite your friends.

Please contact armenia@arisc.org with any questions.

For more information, please go to www.arisc.org

READING GROUP IN YEREVAN.

Time and date: Thursday, February 6, 2014, at 6:30 pm

Reading. As suggested by the group, we shall read Edgar Alan Poe.

You can find his poems under the following link: http://www.poemhunter.com/edgar-allan-poe/

Please make sure to read the English version, not the Armenian or Russian.

Venue: American University of Armenia, 40/1 Baghramyan Avenue, Paramaz Avedisian Building,  Room # 233 W, Yerevan.

The group is free and open to the public, the reading and discussion language is English. Feel free to join and invite your friends.

Please contact armenia@arisc.org with any questions.

READING GROUP IN YEREVAN.

The American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC) next Reading Group in Yerevan.

Time and date: Thursday January 23, 2014, at 6:30 pm

Reading. As suggested by the group, we shall read “The Summer of the Beautiful White Horse” by William Saroyan. Please email us at armenia@arisc.org to get the files for reading. Please make sure to read the English version, not the Armenian or Russian.

Venue:  37 Mashtots Ave. Yerevan.

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Azerbaijan

Joint lecture of ARISC and the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of ANAS:”Views from the West: Eastern South Caucasia in Greek and Latin sources”

By Lara Fabian, University of Pennsylvania and ARISC Fellow
Date: September 24, 2014 at 11 am
Location: Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, 31, H.Javid av., Baku
Abstract. From the perspective of the Roman Empire, the territory of modern Azerbaijan constituted a distant corner of the known world, at the eastern edge of the Roman sphere of interest. Nevertheless, the area played a role in Roman- Arsacid Parthian conflicts as well as international trade. For this reason, a number of references to the region are preserved in the corpus of Greco-Latin literature.
This presentation will discuss these sources, written during the first centuries of our era by authors working within the Roman Empire. I will suggest that many of these texts reflect an ideological understanding of eastern South Caucasia, as much as factual history. Using comparanda from other peripheral zones of the Roman world, I will argue that these sources are best understood within the context of Roman writings about borderlands more generally, where fact, myth and history came together in surprising ways.
Lecturer’s bio: Ms. Lara Fabian is a doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania, in the Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World graduate group. She received a B.A in Classical Archaeology from the City University of New York, Hunter College in 2011, and also holds a B.F.A in Theatrical Set Design from the University of North Carolina, School of the Arts (2006). Her research interests center on the Hellenistic and Roman East, and particularly the relationship between the Roman and Parthian spheres in the South Caucasus and Northern Mesopotamia. Her dissertation is a consideration of Late Hellenistic and Roman-period eastern South Caucasia tentatively titled “Between East, West and the Steppe in the South Caucasus: Regional perspectives on the Roman-Arsacid Parthian borderland.” Her recent archaeological fieldwork includes work at Oglanqala (Naxcivan, Azerbaijan), Kurd Qaburstan (Iraqi Kurdistan), Satu Qala (Iraqi Kurdistan), Venta Icenorum (England) and at the Palazzo Imperiale (Ostia Antica, Italy).

*This talk is free and open to the public.
* This event on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AmericanResearchInstituteoftheSouthCaucasus?ref=hl
* ARISC does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, physical or mental disability, medical condition, ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, or status as a covered veteran.

ARISC Lecture: Petrographic Analysis of Oğlanqala Ceramics

by Susannah G. Fishman, University of Pennsylvania and ARISC Fellow
Date & time: 5 July, 2014, 2 pm
Location: National Academy of Sciences, Naxcivan Branch, conference room, Naxcivan City
Lecturer’s bio: Susannah Fishman is a PhD candidate at the University of Pennsylvania. She is currently working on the Naxçıvan Archaeological Project for her dissertation research. For this project, she is analyzing the ceramic assemblage from Oğlanqala, Şǝrur, and the surrounding area, to understand how local production and trade shifted in different political contexts.
Overview: This presentation examines the technological choices and restraints experienced by the inhabitants of Oğlanqala from the Early Iron Age to the Roman/Parthian Period in order to better understand the manner and extent that large scale political change affected local people. For example, pottery production may be domestic or specialized, local or imported depending on the economic and political conditions in which it is made. Petrography can provide evidence regarding technological change in ceramic production that is not necessarily visible macroscopically, such as the nature of inclusions, firing, and construction. Moreover, petrography can provide information about where raw materials may have been sourced, which is useful when attempting to discern the relations between different regions in a changing political landscape. During the periods analyzed, Oğlanqala was an independent polity among many, a polity at the edge of the Urartian Empire, and a settlement caught between the Roman and Parthian Empires. Technological production enables us to explore how these broad political shifts were connected to local economic and cultural practices.

WiP in Baku: “Comparing the Global Burden of Disease in Azerbaijan and the United States”

CRRC Azerbaijan and ARISC invite you to the next talk of the Work-in-Progress Series

by Bob Jecklin, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

Date & time: 19 May, 2014, 6:30 pm
Location: CRRC-Azerbaijan, Khazar University, 122 Bashir Safaroglu Street
RSVP: nargiz@crrccenters.org or azerbaijan@arisc.org

Overview: The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation described itself as “an independent research group identifying the best strategies to build a healthier world.” The Institute produced the Global Burden of Disease report for 2010 which used data from 187 countries including 291 diseases and injuries, 67 risk factors and 1,160 non-fatal health consequences; the report also uses 20 age groups and 21 regions of the world to characterize the global burden of disease.  This presentation will focus on the sections of the Global Burden of Disease Report that describe the individual national burdens carried by the Republic of Azerbaijan and the United States of America.  In what ways are the two countries similar?  In what ways are the two countries different?  What can be learned from this comparison?

The views expressed in the presentation are solely those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of CRRC and ARISC, their staff or partner organizations.

Speaker’s bio: Bob Jecklin is a Fulbright Teaching Scholar in Public Global Health at Khazar University where he teaches Public Health for the Educated Citizen in the Biology Department and Theories of Health Behavior in the Psychology Department. After 32 years in public health practice, Bob completed his doctoral studies in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is currently on leave from being a tenured faculty member at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

*This Work in Progress series is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC) and The American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All lectures are free and open to the public.

WiP in Baku: The Pattern and Problems of Development in the Caspian Region: The Cases of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan

CRRC Azerbaijan and ARISC invite you to the next talk of the Work-in-Progress Series

by Sonja Schiffers, Free University of Berlin
Date and time: 3 March, 2014, 17.00-18.30
Location: CRRC-Azerbaijan, Khazar University, 122 Bashir Safaroglu Street
Confirm your attendance: nargiz “at” crrccenters.org or azerbaijan “at” arisc.org

Overview: The presentation will start from the premise that the current Western perceptions of post-Soviet regions do not match reality well. Instead of developing comprehensive strategies for the South Caucasus and for Central Asia and portraying the Caspian merely in energy terms, Western policy-makers need to realize the relevance of the Caspian as a region beyond its natural resources. The presenter will examine the cases of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan and present the pattern and problems in economic and political developments in these countries. Her theoretical approach is manly informed by the rentier state perspective, that was developed in 1970 and explains that states which generate income mainly through rents, e.g. from natural resources, often face similar political challenges. Her project is still in the early stages of development. For this reason she will be particularly happy about feedback, new ideas and a lively discussion.
The views expressed in the presentation are solely those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of CRRC and ARISC, its staff or partner organizations.

Speaker’s bio: Sonja Schiffers is a master’s student in International Relations at the Free University of Berlin (DE), focusing on the post-Soviet space. Currently, she is interning at the Heinrich Boell Foundation in Tbilisi. She received her BA in European Studies from Maastricht University (NL) and spent exchange semesters at Sciences Po Bordeaux (FR) and St. Petersburg State University (RU). She is a scholarship holder of the German National Academic Foundation and received Maastricht University’s Top 3% Award.

*This Work in Progress series is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC) and The American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All lectures are free and open to the public.

Reading Group in Azerbaijan

Reading Group – December 20
ARISC and Baku American Center invite you to the next session of the Reading Group
Date: 2:00 pm, Saturday, December 20, 2014
Venue: American Center/Azerbaijan University of Languages, 134 R. Behbudov

Readings:
http://azer.com/aiweb/categories/magazine/ai121_folder/121_articles/121_short_story_anar.html

http://azer.com/aiweb/categories/magazine/ai121_folder/121_articles/121_short_story_mir_jalal.html

http://azer.com/aiweb/categories/magazine/ai121_folder/121_articles/121_short_story_masud_afag.html

This event is free and open to the public. Join us and feel free to invite your friends!
Please, contact us at azerbaijan@arisc.org for any questions.

* ARISC Reading Group as a biweekly meeting of international and local scholars to discuss a selected literature was launched in March 2013.
Reading Group is a unique opportunity to get engaged in academic/literary discussion and debate in an informal atmosphere, to meet with fellow American/international scholars as well as establish ties with local scholars and students.
** ARISC does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, physical or mental disability, medical condition, ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, or status as a covered veteran.

Reading Group – September 29

ARISC is pleased to announce that Reading Group in Baku is back!
Date: 5 pm, Monday, September 29, 2014
Venue: Ali & Nino bookcafe, 91 Nizami str., Baku
Reading: Trading Culture: Practical Background for Azerbaijani-English Poetry Translation
Alison Mandaville and Shahla Naghiyeva, Khazar Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences.2011.pp. 48-67
For the pdf of the article and for any questions, please contact us at azerbaijan “at” arisc.org.
This event on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AmericanResearchInstituteoftheSouthCaucasus?ref=hl

* ARISC Reading Group as a biweekly meeting of international and local scholars to discuss a selected literature was launched in March 2013.
Reading Group is a unique opportunity to get engaged in academic/literary discussion and debate in an informal atmosphere, to meet with fellow American/international scholars as well as establish ties with local scholars and students.
** ARISC does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, physical or mental disability, medical condition, ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, or status as a covered veteran.

Reading Group – July 19
Date & time: Saturday, 4 pm, July 19, 2014
Venue: Sumgayit Education Information Center, H. Aliyev Ave., 19th block
Reading: A Growing Issue: How can we secure food supplies? by Bryn Smith
URL: http://newint.org/blog/2014/06/04/food-security/

Reading Group – May 28
Date & time: Wednesday, May 28, 2014, 6:00 pm
Venue: Ali & Nino bookcafe, 91 Nizami str., Baku
Reading: Hamlet Isakhanli, Val D. Rust, Younes Vahdati and others “ Minority Education Policy in Azerbaijan and Iran”
URL:
http://www.hisaxanli.org/pdf/Minority_Education_Policy.pdf
Please, do not hesitate to contact us at azerbaijan “at” arisc.org should you have any questions.

Reading Group – May 1
ARISC & Baku American Center are pleased to announce that we will have a guest speaker at our next Reading Group session.
Dr. Rovshan Abbasov will talk about water issues in Great Baku Area.

Date: Thursday, May 1, 2014, 16:30 pm
Venue: American Center/Azerbaijan University of Languages, 134 R. Behbudov

Reading:
“Challenges and Opportunities to Urban Water Management in the Greater Baku Area, Azerbaijan” by Rovshan Abbasov
To get a copy of the article, please contact us at azerbaijan@arisc.org
The event is free and open to the public.

Reading Group – April 10
ARISC & Baku American Center invite you to the next Reading Group session.
Date: Thursday, April 10, 2014, 16:30 pm
Venue:American Center/Azerbaijan University of Languages, 134 R. Behbudov

Reading:
“Between Sunnism and Shiism: Islam in Post-Soviet Azerbaijan” by Bayram Balci and “Islam in Azerbaijan” by Altay Goyushov
Here is the link for Goyushov’s brief article:
http://www.css.ethz.ch/publications/pdfs/CAD-44-2-4.pdf

If you want to get a pdf of Balci’s article, please contact us at azerbaijan “at” arisc.org

Reading Group – March 14
ARISC and Baku American Center invite you to the next session of the Reading Group
Date: 4:30 pm, Friday, March 14, 2014
Venue: American Center/Azerbaijan University of Languages, 134 R. Behbudov

Reading: Hamlet Isakhanli “Wavering Azerbaijani Literati Views of America: From the
Russian Tsarist through the Modern Periods”. Journal of American Studies FirstView Article / January 2014, pp 1 – 33
Url: http://www.khazar.org/files/Azerbaijani_views_on_America.pdf

This event is free and open to the public. Join us and feel free to invite your friends!
Please, contact us at azerbaijan@arisc.org for any questions.
See this event on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AmericanResearchInstituteoftheSouthCaucasus?ref=hl

Reading Group – February 21

Date: 4:30 pm, Friday, February 21, 2014
Venue: American Center/Azerbaijan University of Languages, 134 R. Behbudov
Reading: We are going to continue the discussion of the article from the last meeting and a short article written by Suzanne Rothman a Fulbright scholar currenly in Baku, also about the gender issues in Azerbaijn.
Thus, readings of the week:
Tohidi, Nayereh. 1996. Soviet in Public, Azeri in Private: Gender, Islam, and Nationality in Soviet and Post-Soviet Azerbaijan. In: Women’s Studies International Forum, Vol. 19 (1/2): 111–123.
URL: http://www.colby.edu/academics_cs/courses/HI398/upload/Soviet-in-Public.pdf
and
“Azerbaijan: When will the Catcalls stop” by Suzanne Rothman
Url: http://www.eurasianet.org/node/67929

Please, contact us at azerbaijan@arisc.org for any questions.
See this event on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AmericanResearchInstituteoftheSouthCaucasus?ref=hl
* ARISC Reading Group as a biweekly meeting of international and local scholars to discuss a selected literature was launched in March 2013, and was generously hosted by the American Center.

Reading Group – February 5
American Research Institute of the South Caucasus and Baku American Center invite you to the next session of the Reading Group.

Date: 4:00 pm, Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Venue: American Center/Azerbaijan University of Languages, 134 R. Behbudov
Reading: Tohidi, Nayereh. 1996. Soviet in Public, Azeri in Private: Gender, Islam, and Nationality in Soviet and Post-Soviet Azerbaijan. In: Women’s Studies International Forum, Vol. 19 (1/2): 111–123.

URL: http://www.colby.edu/academics_cs/courses/HI398/upload/Soviet-in-Public.pdf
Please, contact us at azerbaijan@arisc.org for any questions.

Reading Group – January 23

American Research Institute of the South Caucasus and Baku American Center invite you to the next session of the Reading Group.
Date: 4:00 pm, January 23, 2014
Venue: American Center/Azerbaijan University of Languages, 134 R. Behbudov
Reading: “An Average Azeri Village (1930): Remembering Rebellion in the Caucasus Mauntains” by Bruce Grant (Slavic Review 63, no. 4 (2004): 705-731)
Url: http://anthropology.as.nyu.edu/docs/IO/2407/2004–grant–average.pdf
Please, contact us at azerbaijan@arisc.org for any questions.
See this event on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AmericanResearchInstituteoftheSouthCaucasus?ref=hl
** ARISC does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, physical or mental disability, medical condition, ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, or status as a covered veteran.

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Georgia

Reading Group in Tbilisi

ARISC Georgia Branch invites you to a Reading Group in Tbilisi!

Reading:  Tales of the Caucasus: The Ball of Snow (I-III chapters)

by Alexandre Dumas

Reading available online at: https://archive.org/stream/talescaucasusba00dumagoog#page/n6/mode/2up

Date: December 26 2014, at 18:30
Venue: 3/5 Kakutsa Cholokashvili st., Ilia State University, room F415

*This event is free and open to the public. If you are interested to join, please email: Georgia”at”arisc.org.

The reading and discussion language is English. Feel free to join and invite your friends.

The Reading group brings Georgian and international scholars together in an informal setting to discuss and explore the literature about Georgia and the South Caucasus.

ARISC does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, physical or mental disability, medical condition, ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, or status as a covered veteran.

WiP – Stalin’s Russia vs. Georgia’s Stalin: Similarities and Differences in Public Attitudes

By Alexi Gugushvili and Peter Kabachnik

Date: December 17, 2014, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

Recently there has been a renewed focus on analyzing post-Soviet memory, including the rekindling of debate on contemporary perspectives of Josef Stalin. Our talk intends to compare the perceptions of Stalin in contemporary Russia and contrast it with how people view the Soviet dictator throughout Georgia, his home country, including examining his hometown of Gori. We tentatively conclude that Stalin is alive in the minds of many, both in Georgia and Russia, though for different reasons. If in Georgia the admiration of Stalin is largely explained by socio-demographic and geospatial variables, in Russia it is more closely related to ideological, political, and geostrategic thinking.

Alexi Gugushvili is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (BIGSSS), a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Oxford, and an Affiliated Fellow at the Center for Social Sciences (CSS) in Tbilisi. His recent publications appear in Post-Soviet Affairs, Journal of Democracy, Studies of Transition States and Societies, and Europe-Asia Studies. His ongoing research projects include studies of national identity, collective memory, and the contemporary perceptions of Stalin in post-soviet space.

Peter Kabachnik is an Associate Professor of Geography in the Department of Political Science and Global Affairs at the College of Staten Island-The City University of New York (CUNY). He has published on a variety of issues, including exploring discrimination against Gypsy and Traveler groups in England and the situation of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Georgia. Two of his current research projects examine the role of Stalin in contemporary Georgia and how personality cults operate as disciplinary mechanisms of social and spatial control.

*****
W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the Eurasian Partnership Foundation at Kavsadze St. 3. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public. The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

WiP – State/party capacity and constraints on state action: Operationalizing and indexing state capacity in Georgia and Armenia

By Dustin Gilbreath, CRRC-Georgia

Date: December 10, 2014, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

State capacity is a concept which has gained wide interest from political scientists in recent years. However, the concept continues to lack agreed upon definitions and indicators, with different authors providing different definitions more closely aligned to their chosen measurement(s) of state capacity. In part, this is due to the inherent multidimensionality of the concept, which is exemplified by the multiple sub-capacities which various authors have identified, including bureaucratic-administrative capacity, fiscal capacity, coercive capacity, and infrastructural capacity.

While capacity is important, without considering constraints on action, an understanding of state capacity is incomplete. In the Armenian and Georgian contexts opposition parties, the media, religious organizations, the non-governmental sector, and linkage and leverage with the West constrain state action. While a number of these factors have been measured in a variety of ways, many still lack clear indicators and/or have never been measured.

This talk will focus on the construct validity and practical applicability of state capacity and constraint indicators in Georgia and Armenia.

Research on the subject is part of the larger research project, Autocratic Response to Voter Preferences in Armenia and Georgia being implemented by CRRC-Georgia and CRRC-Armenia. This project aims to compare and contrast how political actors manipulate institutions in Armenia and Georgia with the goal of staying in power. Ultimately, it seeks to identify and analyze (1) the political constraints faced by the autocratic ruling party and (2) the regime’s policy responses to voter preferences as shaped by these constraints.

Dustin Gilbreath is a research consultant at CRRC-Georgia. His research interests surround the relationship between citizens and the state from anthropological and political science perspectives.

*****
W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the Eurasian Partnership Foundation at Kavsadze St. 3. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public. The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

Opening Ceremony of the ARISC Georgia Branch

ARISC announces the opening of its Georgia Branch. The ceremony will be marked by a public lecture featuring Professor Stephen Jones, ARISC Vice President, and Beka Kobakhidze, PhD student from Tbilisi State University. The subject of the lecture is “Sir Oliver Wardrop and his Political Achievements in the Recognition of the First Republic of Georgia”.

Date: December 11, 2014, at 19:00
Venue: 1 Giorgi Tsereteli St., Ilia State University, G Building, Room #G106

The event is also dedicated to the 150th anniversary of Sir Oliver Wardrop, a prominent Western diplomat who played a significant role in the history of Georgia. Sir Wardrop was the first UK High Commissioner in Transcaucasus, 1919–20, and the founder and benefactor of Georgian Studies at the University of Oxford. His anniversary has been largely celebrated in Georgia; the current event continues the chain of the celebrations for English-speaking audiences as well as Georgian academic and non-academic society. The lecture will be supplemented with a small bilingual publication, reception, and Oliver Wardrop specially bottled wine. The event is co-sponsored by Ilia State University, and Education and Training International Ltd.

Target audience: Georgian and foreign academic societies, university representatives, Western diplomats and other interested public
Attendance: free
The working language: English

Information on speakers:

Professor Stephen F. Jones received his Ph.D (Georgian Social Democracy in Opposition and Power, 1918-1921) from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1984. He has taught at the University of California, the University of London, and University College, Oxford. He was a Research Fellow at Harvard University and a Senior Associate Member at St Anthony’s College, Oxford. Since 1989 he has taught at Mount Holyoke College in the US. Professor Jones has written over 70 articles and chapters on Georgian affairs. He published Socialism in Georgian Colors: The European Road to Social Democracy, 1883-1917 (Harvard University Press) in 2005, War and Revolution in the Caucasus: Georgia Ablaze, (ed.) in 2010, A History of Independent Georgia, 1991-2010 in 2012, and The Birth of Modern Georgia: The First Georgian Republic and Its Successors, 1918-2010 in 2013. Professor Jones became ARISC Vice President in October 2014, and is a member of ARISC Georgia Branch Steering Committee.

Beka Kobakhidze is a doctoral candidate in Contemporary Georgian History at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University. He received his BA in History of Diplomacy and International Relations from TSU in 2006 and an MA in contemporary Georgian history in 2009. For the past seven years his research has focused exclusively on the foreign policy of the first Georgian Democratic Republic (1918-21) using Georgian, Russian, British, American, French, Italian, Armenian, and Azerbaijani sources. Currently he is finishing his PhD dissertation on “The Question of Georgia during Paris Peace Conference (1919-1920)”.

Information on ARISC:
ARISC is an American Overseas Research Center, an independent not-for-profit that encourages and supports scholarly study of the South Caucasus states (Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia) across all disciplines of the Humanities, Sciences, and Social Sciences. ARISC’s mission is to promote and encourage American research in the region and to foster intellectual inquiry across boundaries within the South Caucasus as well as between the South Caucasus and its neighbors. ARISC has branches in Tbilisi and Yerevan, and has a representative in Baku as well. The ARISC Georgia Branch is located on the campus of Ilia State University, at 3/5 Kakutsa Cholokashvili St., 0162 Tbilisi, Georgia. ARISC does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, physical or mental disability, medical condition, ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, or status as a covered veteran. Funding for ARISC’s operational costs comes from a grant by the US Department of Education.

Information on Education and Training International
Education and Training International Ltd, ETI, is a British training company specialising in language, business and technical training. ETI has been operating in the Caucasus and Caspian region since 1997 and has training centres in Tbilisi, Kutaisi and Batumi in Georgia, in Aktau and Atyrau in Kazakhstan and Baku, Azerbaijan. ETI delivers group and individual language courses in English, Georgian, Azerbaijani, Russian, Kazakh, French, German and Spanish with local and native speaker teachers. ETI also provides preparation courses for internationally accredited examinations, including a range of Cambridge English Language Assessment Examinations and is an approved exam centre for Cambridge English Language Assessment Examinations. ETI has partnerships with English Language Schools and universities in the UK and is able to assist and advise those who wish to undertake higher education abroad. ETI also offers training and consulting in a variety of areas including HSE Management and Training, Project Management, Leadership and Management Training, Risk Management and IT Training. ETI’s main office in Georgia is located in the centre of Tbilisi at 4 Kuchishvili Street, Vere District.

WiP – Women’s Representations in Georgian Soviet Silent Films: Agency, Social Class and Modification of the Images 

By Salome Tsopurashvili, Tbilisi State University

Date: December 3, 2014, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

This project investigates and assesses the shifts in the image of women in Georgian Soviet silent films shot during 1921-1929. The main questions of the research are to study to what extent women’s screen images were emancipated during this era, how and on what terms do the images produced at the start and at the end of the period contrast, and what was their symbolic function in the existing ideological discourse. As the film industry was considered a powerful means for spreading Bolshevik ideology and instilling new ideals, the study of the given political context is crucial. Thus aim of the research is to explore how traditional roles were modified and acquired new meaning, and how these new meanings were combined with Georgian national identity. .

Salome Tsopurashvili is a PhD student in the International PhD Program in Gender Studies at Tbilisi State University. She also teaches two courses: Feminist Literary Criticism and Gender in Visual Arts in the Gender Studies MA Program. Her research interests include feminist film theories, Soviet and silent films, visual arts, literary theories and criticism.

*****
W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the Eurasian Partnership Foundation at Kavsadze St. 3. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public. The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

WiP – The Role and Limitations of Non-State Actors in influencing public policy in Georgia: Groups, the Media and the Public in Agenda-Setting and Policy Formulation 

By Nana Macharashvili, Ekaterine Basilaia, Nodar Tangiashvili, Tbilisi State University

Date: November 26, 2014, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

The project aims to study what role non-governmental actors play in the agenda setting and formulation of policies in Georgia and uses 8 case studies for that purpose. The term “non-governmental actors”, as used in the study, includes on the one hand, interest groups, advocacy coalitions and individual NGOs (collectively called “groups”) and on the other hand – the media as a policy actor.

The study was conducted with the support of the Academic Swiss Caucasus Net (ASCN).

Nana Macharashvili – Ph.D in Political Science, Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science of the Faculty of Social and Political Studies, Ivane Javakhshvili Tbilisi State University. Nana Macharashvili is also head of the Master of Arts Program in Public Policy and Administration at TSU. Her research and professional interests are: Public Participation in Public policymaking; Comparative Public Policy; Agenda-setting and formulation; Public Program Failure; Public Administration in EU and Good Governance, Reforming Process in Georgia and former Soviet Area; Nana Macharashvili is actively involved in the integrated community-based projects the aim of which is the capacity building, participatory modeling, decentralization and local governance in Georgia.

Ekaterine Basilaia – Master of Science in Mass Communication (Edmund Muskie Fellow) from San Jose State University, California, United States; she works at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University at the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences as an invited lecturer, division of Journalism. At the same time she is a PhD student of the University of Antwerp and Tbilisi State University ( Cotuttele agreement). Her research interests are: Political Communication, media and society, audience studies and media effects.

Nodar Tangiashvili – Master of Arts in Public Policy (Chevening Scholar, British Council) King’s College London, London, UK; Master of Arts in International Relations & European Studies, Central European University (CEU), Budapest, Hungary 2005-2006; He works in Public Sector as the Head of International Organizations and Legal Provision Department, Office of the State Minister of Georgia for Reintegration. His research and professional interests are: Public Policy and Governance of Complex Societies, State and Society in Developing Countries, Foreign Policy of the EU, European Governance, the European Neighborhood Policy and Georgia.

*****
W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the Eurasian Partnership Foundation at Kavsadze St. 3. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public. The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

WiP – Known and Unknown: Progress towards Mapping Tbilisi’s Past

By Kathryn O’Neil Weber

Date: November 19, 2014, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

Kathryn O’Neil Weber is a doctoral candidate from Cornell University, working on the relationship between social inequality and human-animal interactions in the transition between the Kura-Araxes and Early Kurgan cultures. She received a masters degree from the University of Chicago in 2010, as well as from Cornell University in 2014. She was born and raised in Chicago and resides in Ithaca, NY when she is not in Tbilisi.

*****
W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the Eurasian Partnership Foundation at Kavsadze St. 3. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public. The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

WiP – The Pains of Prison Reform: Violence, Trust and the Prisoner Society in Georgia 

By Gavin Slade and Vakhtang Kekoshvili

Date: November 12, 2014, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

In post-Soviet countries, highly evolved prison subcultures exist. These subcultures frame social relations between prisoners and with staff, create rules and norms of behaviour and mechanisms for endowing informal authority, resolving disputes, and dividing labour and personal space. In many countries of the post-Soviet region, prison reform takes aim at this subculture. Reforms aim to end the architectural legacies of the Soviet camp system, its communal living and prisoner self-governance, in favour of western style cellular prisons. In Georgia, this reform in the years 2004-2012 has been strongly linked to anti-organized crime policy. Infamously, the reform in Georgia collapsed into scandal in September 2012 when videos were released from new and reformed prisons showing the torture and abuse of prisoners by staff. This talk examines prison life and the bases for violence in a system in extreme transition. It asks basic questions about how prisoners establish trust, signal identity, spread reputation and resolve conflicts at a time when established, prior informal mechanisms are in flux. These questions are then linked to the issue of growing violence in the penal system. The talk is based on a comparative analysis of interview data with ex prisoners who entered the Georgian prison system at different points in the last twenty years. This is supplemented by data from two surveys of prisoners in Georgia.

Gavin Slade is a research fellow at the Centre for Area Studies at the Freie Universitat, Berlin.

Vakhtang Kekoshvili is a doctoral candidate and anthropologist at Ilia State University, Tbilisi.

*****
W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the Eurasian Partnership Foundation at Kavsadze St. 3. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public. The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

WiP – Exploring Homphobia in Georgia

By Maia Mestvirishvili, Tinatin Zurabishvili, Tamar Iakobidze, Natia Mestvirishvili

Date: November 5, 2014, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

Within the framework of a research project funded by the Norwegian Institute for International Affairs (NUPI), a group of researchers explored the social, cultural and psychological factors linked to homophobia among Tbilisi adults. The study is based on data from a CRRC survey on the events of May 17th, 2013 and shows that gender, education and liberal attitudes are significantly related to homophobia, while religion and age are not. Moreover, psychological variables like perceived cause of homosexuality and personal contact with homosexuals mediate these relationships. Policy recommendations derived from this study will be also presented.

Maia Mestvirishvili is Associate Professor of Psychology at Tbilisi State University. Her primary research area is social psychology, with particular focus on social identities, functions of the self and social stigma in minority groups. She received her post-doctoral training at the School of Public Health of Columbia University, after which she was a served as a returning scholar in the Academic Fellowship Program (OSGF). Maia is the author of several scientific articles and conference papers.

Tinatin Zurabishvili is research director at CRRC Georgia. Previously, she has taught various courses in sociology in Telavi State University, the Center for Social Sciences at Tbilisi State University and the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs.

Tamar Iakobidze is an analyst at the Institute for the Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI). She also teaches public policy and political ideologies at the International Black Sea University (IBSU). Tamar holds an MSc in Policy Studies from the University of Edinburgh and a BA in Political Science from Iv.Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University.

Natia Mestvirishvili is regional research and outreach coordinator at CRRC. After graduating Tbilisi State University, faculty of Psychology, she earned an M.Sc. in Social Research from the University of Edinburgh. Since 2012 Natia is an invited lecturer at Tbilisi State University, where she teaches several courses in research methods and psychology.

*****
W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the Eurasian Partnership Foundation at Kavsadze St. 3. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public. The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

WiP – Elite perceptions and Georgia’s Foreign policy towards Russia: A Comparative Analysis

By Kornely Kakachıa, Levan Kakhishvili, Salome Minesashvili, Tbilisi State University

Date: October 29, 2014, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

The power shift after the 2012 parliamentary elections in Georgia was accompanied by a rapprochement towards Russia, known as the “normalization” policy. The previous tense rhetoric on Russia was replaced by a relatively softened discourse, subsequently reflected in such behaviour as initiating talks and restoring trade relations. Building on the constructivist insights, this project explores this discursive and behavioral conversion in Georgia’s foreign policy by utilizing an interpretative approach. By combining perception and discursive theories, the project proposes a framework for interpreting policy shifts in an unchanged environment through leadership perceptions. Furthermore, the project argues that the “normalization” policy and accompanying discursive change should not merely be associated with a change in power relations, but also with different perceptions that characterize the new leadership. The project shows the advantage of this approach, firstly by investigating the previous and current government members’ perceptions based on data from twenty in-depth interviews conducted with key political figures in Georgia; secondly through conducting discourse analysis; and thirdly by examining actors’ positions and behaviour through a case study of the recent events in Ukraine.

Kornely Kakachia is Full Professor at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, and has held visiting appointments at the John. F. Kennedy School of government, Harvard University and the Harriman Institute at Columbia University in New York. He earned his PhD in Political Science at Tbilisi State University. He is a member of the International Studies Association (ISA) and the Program on New Approaches to Research and Security in Eurasia (PONARS Eurasia). Professor Kakachia is the Director and founder of the Georgian Institute of Politics.

Levan Kakhishvili is a Junior Researcher for the research projects funded by the Academic Swiss Caucasus Net and Norwegian Institute for International Affairs and implemented by Tbilisi State University. Levan holds an MSc in Russian and East European Studies from the University of Oxford and an MSc in Transformation in South Caucasus from Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University. As a researcher Levan cooperates with Caucasian House, the Georgian Institute of Politics, and the Center for Post-Soviet Studies. His research interests include the security dimension of Georgian-Russian relations, Georgian and Russian foreign policies, political transition in the former communist space, minority issues and ethnicity.

Salome Minesashvili is a PhD student in Political Science at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, and her thesis focuses on foreign policy and national identity. She holds a Masters degrees in “Transformation in the South Caucasus” from Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University and in “International Political Theory” from the University of Edinburgh. Salome is also involved in several local and regional research projects, covering such topics as religious soft power, Georgian-Russian relations, and the role of ideas and identity in Georgia’s foreign policy. Additionally, since September 2013 Salome has been cooperating with the Georgian Institute of Politics.

*****
W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the Eurasian Partnership Foundation at Kavsadze St. 3. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public. The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

WiP – Constructing Social Identity: Silence and Argument in a Palestinian-Israeli Group Discussion

By Prof. Wendy Smith, California State University, San Bernardino and Visiting Fulbright Professor

Date: October 22, 2014, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

he purpose of this study was to uncover the subtle displays of identity which emerge when groups in macro-conflict interact in a structured setting. We use the tool of Conversational Analysis (CA) to examine a videotaped group session of Jews and Palestinians there to discuss “the conflict” in order to come to some sort of mutual understanding. The central question asked is how participants collaborate to achieve theirrespective social identities. Using CA we examine the interaction in terms of its microfine features, and show that non-normative gaps in talk (aka ‘silence’) seem to be strategically placed in the unfolding of the discourse. We show that silence is actually used to address and reconstruct the true power asymmetry. Our microanalysis reveals that the development of the argument and the corresponding gaps in talk are intricately bound up with the construction of social roles and the orientation of participants to each other. Finally we show how the two groups, in arguing their respective positions, work to redress existing power asymmetries.

The data come from a course given at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, in which both Jews and Palestinians were enrolled, by choice. These students would also spend the weekends with each other at a site called “Neveh Shalom,” where Jews, Palestinians, and Druze all live together. On these weekends they participated in activities the goal of which was to bring the groups together. In the course, they would discuss the weekends as well as the conflict. This course was given in the semester prior to the outbreak of the second Entifada, in 2000.

Wendy B. Smith is Professor of English at California State University, San Bernardino. A linguist, she received her Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics from UCLA in 1990. Her areas of specialization are language and identity, discourse and grammar, and interactional sociolinguistics. She has also done ethnographic fieldwork in Jerusalem on the function of narrative in Ladino, a dying language spoken by Sephardic Jews. She has published in Journal of Pragmatics, Studies in Language, edited volumes, and many other journals. She is currently working on a volume with her colleague, Caroline Vickers, on Pragmatics and Grammar.

*****
W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the Eurasian Partnership Foundation at Kavsadze St. 3. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public. The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

WiP – The Life of the Life of St. Nino

By Paul Crego, U.S. Library of Congress

Date: October 15, 2014, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

The Life of the Life of St. Nino: [Dr] Paul Crego will talk about his book project concerning St. Nino. He will discuss the format of three volumes: 1. original texts in Georgian and other languages; ancient and modern; 2. English translation of those texts not already in English; 3. Commentary, with special attention to various issues that arise in the telling and re-telling of St. Nino’s story, especially in terms of what is left in and what is left out.

*****
W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the Eurasian Partnership Foundation at Kavsadze St. 3. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public. The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

Public Lecture – “Spaces of Stalin: Hometown effect, historical legacy and the politico-economic landscape”

By Dr. Alexi Gugushvili, University of Oxford; Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (BIGSSS); Center for Social Sciences (CSS)

Date: October 13, 2014, at 5:00 PM
Venue: 3 Chavchavadze Ave., 0179 Tbilisi, Georgia; TSU II Block, 3rd floor, Room #336, Library of the Center for Social Sciences

This study explores the impact of spatial location – place – on people’s attitudes by examining whether support for Stalin is concentrated in his birthplace: Gori, Georgia – or is equally spread in other localities throughout the country. Using a variety of multivariate statistical methods, including propensity score-matching, we examine a recent survey indicating high levels of admiration for Stalin in his home country. We explore three main questions: First, is there a “hometown effect” – do people in Gori love Stalin unconditionally because they came from the same place? Second, is Gori so exceptional from the rest of Georgia? And third, how the historical legacies of Georgian towns and their current politico-economic landscape are related to support for the Soviet dictator.

The presentation is a part of the ongoing research conducted jointly by Dr. Alexi Gugushvili and Dr. Peter Kabachnik, College of Staten Island, The City University of New York (CUNY). The project draws attention to Josef Stalin and the narratives and opinions people have about him. Narratives about the past and opinions about historical figures can reflect the tenor of political stances in the present. One of the central themes explored is how Stalin is remembered in Georgia and how people negotiate representations of Stalin as encountered in daily life. The hard-copies of the first article of the project (“Stalin is dead, long live Stalin? Testing socialization, structural, ideological, nationalist, and gender hypotheses”) forthcoming in Post-Soviet Affairs will be freely available during the presentation.

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This event is free and open to the public, and is co-sponsored by the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC) and the Center for Social Sciences (CSS).

WiP – Attitudes toward the Judiciary in Georgia

By Koba Turmanidze, CRRC Georgia

Date: October 8, 2014, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

In 2011 and 2012, as part of the Judicial Independence and Legal Empowerment Project (JILEP), CRRC Georgia conducted research on the attitudes of the general public, legal professionals and business leaders to the judicial system in Georgia. Since that time, there have been major political upheavals in the country. A new government came to power in October 2012, vowing to reform what was largely seen as a politically dependent judiciary. Revelations of torture in the prison system, elite level corruption and widespread illegal police surveillance have come to light since the original reports were compiled.

Data from 2011 showed the Georgian public maintained distrust towards their judiciary. In 2014, a follow-up study was conducted to compare the findings of the reports in 2011 and 2012 with research conducted in 2014. Just as in 2011 and 2012, as well as assessing the attitudes of the general public, including those who have been to court, the report will analyze the opinions of legal professionals to legal institutions and representatives of business to the resolution of business disputes.

The comparison revealed that since 2011, there have been improvements in the perceptions of the Georgian adults about the judiciary in Georgia and these improvements were partly associated with the change of the government in October 2012. However, trust toward courts, judges and prosecutors still remained relatively low. Koba Turmanidze will tell about the results of 2014 research and make comparisons with the 2011-2012 baseline studies.

Koba Tumranidze has been working for CRRC-Georgia since 2007. He earned an MPA from the American University (Washington, DC) and a M.A. in Political Science from Central European University (Budapest, Hungary). He also holds a diploma in history from Tbilisi State University. Currently Koba is a doctoral candidate in Comparative Politics at Central European University.

*****
W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the Eurasian Partnership Foundation at Kavsadze St. 3. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public. The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

WiP in Tbilisi – Transparency of Civil Society Organizations, and Why It Matters in Georgia and Beyond

By Hans Gutbrod, Transparify.org

Date: October 1, 2014, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

Why does transparency matter in policy research and policy advocacy? What can be done, and what are key lessons from Transparify’s recent campaign? How transparent are the Georgian NGOs that are active in the field of governance and accountability, and what could be done to improve? What are the solutions to the problem, and why are they surprisingly simple? In his talk, Hans will describe the ongoing work to engage 150+ policy research organizations/think tanks from around the world to become more transparent and discuss how the campaign is now beginning to focus on Georgia.

Hans Gutbrod wants to improve the quality and integrity of policy research and started Transparify (www.transparify.org) together with several Georgians and Georgia-connected internationals (see some media coverage here: http://nyti.ms/QdBYk2). Hans previously worked as the Regional Director of CRRC, and has been teaching, researching, cycling and generally spending time outdoors in the Caucasus for more than ten years. Hans holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the London School of Economics.

*****
W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the Eurasian Partnership Foundation at Kavsadze St. 3. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public. The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

WiP in Tbilisi – Polling for Democracy in Kaspi: An Experiment on Quantitative Information and Citizen Behavior

By Aaron Erlich, University of Washington

Date: September 24, 2014, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

In recent elections, the presentation of quantitative information in Georgia has been highly polarized. Such scandal is prevalent across democracies, particularly in developing countries. This talk introduces my larger project on the politics of quantitative public opinion data in developing democracies. Using the example of the 2014 Kaspi municipal elections, I will discuss many of the issues with using polls as prediction of election outcomes. I will then discuss a new method I have developed for quantifying uncertainty among an electorate, discuss some of its benefits, and present preliminary results from an experiment on whether monetary incentivization matters for this method.

Aaron Erlich, a former CRRC employee, has worked in various areas of survey design and analysis in a wide variety of countries in Africa and the Former Soviet Union. He is a founding member of www.poldevsvy.org , a listserv and network of scholars innovating in surveys in developing countries. Aaron is a current IREX fellow and is completing his dissertation in Political Science at the University of Washington.

*****
W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the Eurasian Partnership Foundation at Kavsadze St. 3. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public. The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

WiP in Tbilisi – Practicing Stalinism in the Georgian NKVD

By Timothy Blauvelt, American Councils for International Education and Ilia State University.

Date: September 17, 2014, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

Applying approaches developed in studies of Nazi perpetrators, this paper is part of a larger project exploring the Stalinist terror at the micro-level by examining the cases of mid-level NKVD officials. The extensive files in the former Georgian KGB archive of the trials of NKVD officials that took place in Tbilisi after the 20th Party Congress in 1956 provide an opportunity to examine the careers, motivations and outlooks of individual officials, in effect “to change the perspective of research and create a differentiated image of the Soviet secret policeman.” The vast amount of testimony, commentary, appeals and personal statements found in these files show the relationship of the individual and the state machine, the interplay of disposition and situation, of ideology and rationality, and the ways in which these aspects influence and mutually reinforce one another, and to explore the “ecosystem of violence,” or the context in which “ordinary men” became perpetrators, the combination of context, culture and ideology in the initiation and expansion of violence, and the way in which individual motivations may have shaped actions.

Timothy Blauvelt is Country Director in Georgia for American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS and Associate Professor of Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies at Ilia State University in Tbilisi, Georgia. He has published numerous articles on the political history of the former USSR, and on clientelism, nationality policy, and ethnic mobilization in the post-Soviet region.

*****
W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the Eurasian Partnership Foundation at Kavsadze St. 3. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public. The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

WiP in Tbilisi – Peculiar problems, peculiar opportunities’ Armenian Refugees, Relief and Reconstruction in early Soviet Transcaucasia

By Jo Laycock, Sheffield Hallam University

Date: July 30, 2014, at 18:15
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

This presentation introduces an ongoing project which addresses responses to mass population displacement in Transcaucasia in the aftermath of war and genocide through a transnational lens. It is based on new research in a range of local and international archives, including the National Archive of Armenia, the League of Nations Archive and the Archives of the Save the Children Society. The project examines the entwined local and international attempts to manage the post-war displacement crises and their complex relationships to the construction of new Soviet states in the region.

By autumn 1921 a number of international humanitarian organisations operated in Transcaucasia, providing food, shelter and medical care for those displaced during and in the aftermath of the war. Over the course of the 1920s their work evolved from providing emergency food and shelter for refugees to the development of educational provision, medical training and public health initiatives and vocational training. In this paper I focus on the work of one of the smaller agencies at work in the region, the British ‘Lord Mayor’s Fund for Armenian Refugees’, examining the visions, priorities and activities of this organisation and the complex ways in which they intersected with the agenda of the Soviet authorities. Addressing these issues provides an opportunity to develop new perspectives on the history of early Soviet Armenia and an opportunity to reconsider the place of the inter-war Soviet Union in existing narratives of the history of humanitarianism.

Jo Laycock is Senior Lecturer in History at Sheffield Hallam University in the UK. Her research addresses history of population displacement and humanitarianism, migration and diaspora, focusing on modern Armenia and the Armenian diaspora. Her first monograph, Imagining Armenia, Orientalism, Ambiguity and Intervention was published by Manchester University Press in 2009 and was based on research carried out for her PhD at the University of Manchester. Since then she has taught and researched at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Glasgow University and Manchester University. Her current research addresses the relief and resettlement of refugees in Soviet Armenia in the 1920s and the international response to the Armenian earthquake of 1988.

*****
W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the Eurasian Partnership Foundation at Kavsadze St. 3. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public. The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

WiP in Tbilisi – Beyond the Binary of Exogenous and Endogenous Transitions: The International Governance of Transitional Justice in Georgia

By Anna Dolidze, University of Western Ontario

Date: July 23, 2014, at 18:15
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

“Democratic transitional justice is almost as old as democracy itself,” points out Jon Elster. Elster distinguishes between exogenous and endogenous transitional justice, “the process of transitional justice may be either initiated by the new regime or carried out under the supervision of foreign power.” The distinction between exogenous and endogenous transitional justice processes is now widely accepted in the transitional justice scholarship. This article has two objectives. First, it suggests that the move beyond the binary of endogenous and exogenous transitions is timely. The nuances of the relationship between external and endogenous actors are better captured as a continuum. At one end of the continuum one would place exogenous transitions, where it is the international actors that are primarily responsible for and involved in all major decisions in relation to transitional justice, including but not limited to prosecution. At the other end of the continuum would feature the processes of endogenous transitional justice, where domestic actors take major policy decisions. Many other primarily non-binding forms through which international actors play a role in endogenously originated transitions would be placed along the continuum depending upon the degree of the external actors’ participation.

Second, I support this argument by focusing on the international governance of domestically originated transitional justice processes. International organizations govern transitional justice process implemented by domestic actors through a variety of legally non-binding means, including statements and reports. By focusing on the case of EU governance of transitional justice in Georgia, this article enriches the perspectives with which transitional justice scholars analyze the activities of external actors.

Anna Dolidze is a lawyer from the Republic of Georgia and a sought-after speaker and writer on law and human rights in Caucasus and Central Eurasia. In 2004–2006 Dolidze was the President of the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association, the leading human rights organization in Georgia. Dolidze targeted legal reform, advocated for government transparency, accountability, and criminal justice reform. Dolidze represented in court the victims of human rights abuses, including journalist Irakli Imnaishvili, “rebel judges” (four Justices of the Supreme Court that refused to resign under pressure), Anna Dolidze was a leader of the social movement to punish murderers of Sandro Girgvliani. She served on boards of a number of important organizations in Georgia, such as the Georgia Media Council, the Stakeholders Committee of the Millennium Challenge Corporation in Georgia, the Human Rights Monitoring Council of the Penitentiary and Detention Places, and the National Commission against Trafficking in Persons.

In 2013 Dolidze received a Doctorate in Law from Cornell University and was appointed Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Western Ontario.

*****
W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the Eurasian Partnership Foundation at Kavsadze St. 3. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public. The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

WiP in Tbilisi – Preliminary Results of the Tbilisi Archaeological Survey 2014

By Kathryn O’Neil Weber, Cornell University and ARISC Fellow

Date: July 16, 2014, at 18:15
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

Kathryn O’Neil Weber is a doctoral candidate from Cornell University, working on the relationship between social inequality and human-animal interactions in the transition between the Kura-Araxes and Early Kurgan cultures. She received a masters degree from the University of Chicago in 2010, as well as from Cornell University in 2014. She was born and raised in Chicago and resides in Ithaca, NY when she is not in Tbilisi.

*****
W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the Eurasian Partnership Foundation at Kavsadze St. 3. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public. The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

WiP in Tbilisi – Women’s Political Representation in Democratic Transition of Georgia

By Ketevan Chkheidze, Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University

Date: July 9, 2014, at 18:15
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

Ketevan Chkheidze holds a Master’s degree in Gender Studies form Central European University, Budapest and is a PhD Candidate at the International PhD Program in Gender Studies at Tbilisi State University. Her research interests are women and politics, gender and development, women and citizenship and gender and democracy. Ms. Chkheidze is proficient in gender analysis, gender mainstreaming, gender assessment, and gender policy analysis, research on women’s rights and gender issues, gender mainstreaming and project management. She has worked with various local NGOs and has consultancy experience to a number of international organizations on gender issues. Ketevan has a region-wide experience and deep understanding of women’s rights and gender issues and has participated in different international conferences. Currently Ketevan is a Gender Specialist Consultant for Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia for the Asian Development Bank.

*****
W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the Eurasian Partnership Foundation at Kavsadze St. 3. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public. The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

WiP in Tbilisi – Uncertain Returns: Meskhs and Ahıska Türkleri in Georgia and Azerbaijan

By Irina Levin, New York University and CAORC Fellow

Date: July 2, 2014, at 18:15
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

The focus of Ms. Levin’s current project, which also encompasses field sites in Turkey and Azerbaijan, is issues of law, citizenship, and property in the daily lives of Ahiska Turks and Meskhetians. Deported from southwestern Georgia in 1944, this population has had a dedicated return movement since the 1950s. Today, this movement engages with local, national, and international human rights legal regimes in its efforts to give deportees and their descendants a way home. What do these efforts mean for regular Ahiska Turks and Meskhetians? Further, what do the everyday legal struggles of these regular people mean for the return movement? Broadly put, the aim of this study is to augment our understanding of long-term adaptation and return processes among a forcibly displaced population.

In this talk, Ms. Levin looks to reflect on some key ethnographic moments from her fieldwork so far in the context of current frameworks in legal anthropology and citizenship studies, as well as insights from the anthropology of post-socialism. She welcomes your questions, comments, and suggestions.

Irina Levin is a doctoral candidate in New York University’s Department of Anthropology. She received her BA from Washington University in St. Louis and her MA from New York University. She has been a recipient of several prestigious fellowships, including the SSRC Eurasia Pre-Dissertation Grant and the Fulbright IIE Research Grant, and has conducted fieldwork in Georgia, Turkey, and Azerbaijan. She is currently conducting her dissertation fieldwork in Samtskhe-Javakheti, Georgia, supported by grants from the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC), the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX), and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

*****
W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the Eurasian Partnership Foundation at Kavsadze St. 3. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public. The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

WiP in Tbilisi – Stress-Testing Territorial Conflict

By Emily Knowles, University of Edinburgh

Date: June 18, 2014, at 18:15
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

This presentation will showcase some of the insights that have come out of the research so far and will explain preliminary attempts to distil primary research into a series of best and worst case scenarios against which the current resolution process will be measured, providing a comprehensive evaluation of the key sticking points and areas of constructive engagement to inform peace academics and policymakers alike. Advances such as the discursive rejection of a military resolution to the disputes made by the Georgian government will be contrasted with a continued impasse surrounding the signature of a non-aggression pact, providing detailed analysis of the complexities surrounding a region where not only local but also international actors often have a role to play in the evolving security environment.

Emily Knowles is a recent graduate from the University of Edinburgh’s Master in European and International Politics programme, and has spent the last couple of months travelling around Georgia to collect interview material into perceptions of the ongoing territorial disputes from Georgian government and de facto authorities, members of international organisations active in and around the disputed regions, and local NGOs and academics on all sides of the contested borders. This research has been conducted under the auspices of the International Fellowship programme at the Caucasus Research Resources Centre Georgia and the associate researcher programme at the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies. Previously, Emily has worked for the Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, Edinburgh City Council’s International Affairs Department, Nexos Voluntarios and EDF’s Strategy and International Relations Department, conducting research into international strategy and writing reports on the changing geopolitics of international diplomacy, civil conflict and energy security.

For more information, please see https://www.facebook.com/events/585994364850955/

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W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the Eurasian Partnership Foundation at Kavsadze St. 3. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public. The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

WiP in Tbilisi – Bullies: Why Great Powers Exploit Weak Neighbors

By Eteri Tsintsadze-Maass, Notre Dame University

Date: June 11, 2014 at 18:15
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

Due to their great resources, great powers should be able to frame issues and set the tone for their relationships with their weak neighbors, but if this is so, then how can we explain the diversity in their treatments ranging from military interventions to mutual cooperation? This research considers asymmetric relationships as two-sided process and examines the relative importance of nationalism in dictating the form of asymmetric power relationships. Its main hypothesis is that the sources of nationalism in weak states have a significant effect on the dynamics of asymmetric power relations. Through case studies involving Russian relations with its post-Soviet neighbors, the paper traces the roles of several sources of nationalism in determining the course of neighborly (or not so neighborly) relations.

*****
W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the Eurasian Partnership Foundation at Kavsadze St. 3. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public. The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

Public Lecture in Tbilisi – Landscapes of Metal Production and Settlement in Kvemo Kartli, Georgia

The lecture will be delivered by Nathaniel Erb-Satullo, Graduate Student at the Harvard University and ARISC Fellow.

Date: June 6, 2014 at 17:00
Venue: 3 Chavchavadze Ave., 0179 Tbilisi, Georgia; TSU II Block, 3rd floor, Room #336, Library of the Center for Social Sciences

Nathaniel Erb-Satullo is an archeologist specializing in the archaeology of Southwest Asia, including the Near East and the Southern Caucasus. His research interests focus on the interaction between society, the organization production, and technological choices. Currently he is working on projects relating to the organization and technology of Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age metal production in the Republic of Georgia.

This event is free and open to the public, and is co-sponsored by the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC) and the Center for Social Sciences (CSS).

ARISC does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, physical or mental disability, medical condition, ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or status as a covered veteran.

*RSVP to: georgia@arisc.org

WiP in Tbilisi – Putin’s Salami Tactics, Annexation and Ukraine

By Richard W. Maass, Cornell University

Date: June 4, 2014 at 18:15
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

Richard W. Maass is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Government at Cornell University. Starting in Fall 2014, he will be a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Evansville (in Indiana). He earned his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame in 2013. His book manuscript explains why states sometimes decline even profitable opportunities for annexation. He has published research in such journals as International Security, Diplomatic History, and Terrorism and Political Violence, and regularly teaches courses on International Relations, International Security, US Foreign Policy, and Terrorism.

*****
W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the Eurasian Partnership Foundation at Kavsadze St. 3. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public. The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

Public Lecture in Tbilisi – Applying to Graduate Programs in the US

The American Research Institute of the South Caucasus and the Center for Social Sciences organize a public lecture on

“Applying to Graduate Programs in the US”

The lecture will be delivered by Talin Lindsay, American Research Institute of the South Caucasus, and Purdue University

Date: June 5, 2014, at 5:00 PM

Venue: 3 Chavchavadze Ave., 0179 Tbilisi, Georgia; TSU II Block, 3rd floor, Room #336, Library of the Center for Social Sciences

*RSVP to: georgia@arisc.org

While a graduate degree from the United States can be seen as an asset in the job market, the application process can be both foreign and expensive for international applicants. This discussion aims to help prospective applicants better understand and prepare for the application process to humanities and social science graduate programs in the US.

Talin Lindsay has been working in university administration in the US for ten years. She has served as the Graduate Program Assistant in the Department of Germanic, Slavic and Semitic Studies as well as the Comparative Literature Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara for four years. Since 2010, Ms. Lindsay has been the Graduate Program Assistant in the Department of Anthropology at Purdue University.

This event is free and open to the public, and is co-sponsored by the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC) and the Center for Social Sciences (CSS).

ARISC does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, physical or mental disability, medical condition, ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or status as a covered veteran.

WiP in Tbilisi – The Emergence and Evolution of Entrepreneurship in Georgia

By Philippe Rudaz, University of Fribourg, Project Coordinator at Academic Swiss Caucasus Net

Date: May 28, 2014 at 18:15
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

The purpose of the ongoing study to be presented is to capture the emergence and evolution of entrepreneurship in Georgia through a longitudinal research framework and to make several observations over a particular period of time. Within the scope of the study, the first round interviewed 600 entrepreneurs. Self-employed (350), micro and small enterprises (250) were questioned, in three different regions of Georgia (including the capital Tbilisi). The second round of interviews took place in March 2014.
In this presentation l will briefly outline the structure of the Georgian private sector, thus explaining the reasons why such a study is needed. I will then briefly discuss the concept of entrepreneurship chosen to build the questionnaire. Finally, the results of the two rounds of interview will be presented.

Philippe Rudaz works as a research project coordinator for the Academic Swiss Caucasus Network at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. He established and now coordinates a project whose goal is to track the emergence of entrepreneurship in Georgia. After field research on informal markets in Gabon for his Master in Political Science, at University of Lausanne, Mr. Rudaz studied International Political Economy at the London School of Economics. He then worked in St-Petersburg and Moscow for a Swiss consultant in financial structured products and in the Balkans for a brokerage firm. The gap between complex financial practices and products on the one hand and Soviet inherited formal and informal institutions inspired his PhD thesis on the institutional linkages between finance and the real economy. His research interest are: Institutional Economics, Financial Economics, Economic Anthropology, Post Soviet Countries; Caucasus and Central Asia. He also has field research experiences in Gabon, Russia, Georgia.

*****
W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the Eurasian Partnership Foundation at Kavsadze St. 3. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public. The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

WiP in Tbilisi – U.S.-Georgia Educational Exchange: A Recent History

By Chase Stoudenmire, University of Arkansas and NSEP Boren Fellow

Date: May 21, 2014 at 18:15
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

This paper chronicles the establishment of new and re-purposing of preexisting U.S. state-sponsored educational exchange programs with the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union. Focusing on Georgia, this study extends the story of American state-sponsored exchange programs to the present day, probing which (if any) of the prevailing narratives of Cold War exchange and American cultural expansion are supported by events following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Drawing from interviews with exchange alumni, U.S. and Georgian government officials, NGO managers, and archives from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, this study considers questions of purpose, impact and perception in Georgia, the “poster child” of American exchange in the post-Soviet space. As a recent history, this project also engages questions of historical methodology, interrogating the potential for interdisciplinary techniques and alternative conceptions of historical distance to extend the discipline’s boundaries.

Chase Stoudenmire, an NSEP Boren Fellow, is a graduate student in the Department of History in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas. Stoudenmire is an Alumni Ambassador for the U.S. Student Fulbright Program and previously served as a 2010-2011 Fulbright ETA in Kutaisi, Georgia. Stoudenmire combines his interests in history and higher education, studying U.S. public and cultural diplomacy during the Cold War with an emphasis on educational exchange. Stoudenmire holds a master’s degree in Higher Education from the University of Arkansas, a bachelor’s degree in History from the University of South Carolina, and a Cambridge CELTA. Chase maintains a topical blog at chasestoudenmire.us.

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W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the Eurasian Partnership Foundation at Kavsadze St. 3. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public. The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

WiP in Tbilisi – Informal Criminal Justice among the Svans, Tsova-Tush and Khevsurs

By Jeffrey Renz, University of Montana

Date: May 14, 2014 at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

Born in Piscataway, New Jersey, Prof. Renz received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Montana in 1971 and 1979. From 1971 to 1975 he served in the United States Army, where he completed the Army’s Airborne and Ranger Schools and commanded a combat infantry company. Prof. Renz has participated in over 100 appellate cases as either lead or cocounsel.He is also a successful trial lawyer. In 2006, Prof. Renz was co-director of the Montana Pardon Project, which successfully obtained posthumous pardons for 78 men and women convicted of sedition during World War I. Prof. Renz has taught in the clinical program at the University of Montana School of Law since 1993. His emphasis is in the area of civil rights, criminal law and procedure, and constitutional law. He has also taught at Kutaisi State University and the Tbilisi Institute of Asia and Africa in the Republic of Georgia and at Osh State University in the Kyrgyz Republic. Prof. Renz was first listed in Who’s Who in American Law in 1990. He is a contributor to the Encyclopedia of American Civil Liberties. He is a Fellow of the Salzburg Global Seminar. He is currently a Fulbright Scholar in the Republic of Georgia. Prof. Renz is admitted to practice in Montana (1979), Illinois (1979), and the United States Supreme Court (1988).

*****

W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the Eurasian Partnership Foundation at Kavsadze St. 3. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public. The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

WiP – Religious and National Aspects of Georgian Muslim Women’ Identity in Adjara

By Inga Popovaite, Central European University

Date: May 7, 2014 at 18:15
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

To this day, the questions surrounding ethnic Georgian Muslim identity, both in the international and local scholarly literature, have been discussed from a masculine perspective. Thus I address the less visible part of Georgian Muslim society and analyze how Georgian Muslim women in Adjara manage to be “proper” Georgians and “proper” Muslims at the same time, and examine why they keep their faith rather than following the trend towards conversion to Christianity. Based on Tajfel and Brubaker’s theories on identity, as well as feminist approaches to nation and religion, I hypothesize that Georgian Muslim women in Adjara experience a discrepancy between the Muslim and Georgian aspects of their identity due to reasons connected to biological and cultural reproduction and group boundary maintenance. And the narrative of keeping the Islamic faith is connected to the respondents’ perceived role as protectors of the cultural group boundaries as well as protectors of the Islamic religious and cultural values.

The talk will be based on preliminary analysis of qualitative data collected during intensive field research in Adjara (Batumi and Khulo) and will shed light on everyday life and identity negotiation of Georgian Muslim women.

Inga Popovaite has been living in Georgia on-and-off since January 2010. She is currently an MA student in the Department of Nationalism Studies in the Central European University, Budapest. Inga holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Klaipeda (Lithuania) and analyses the politics of Eastern Europe and Caucasus in the Lithuanian media. She also is a part of a research team and does online ethnography for a joint Edgeryders and UNDP project “Spot the Future”. Her academic interests include Georgian nation-state building, the interaction of politics and religion in a formally secular state, minority protection, ethnically framed conflicts, identity policies and politics more generally.

*****

W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the Eurasian Partnership Foundation at Kavsadze St. 3. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public. The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

Reading Group in Tbilisi

The American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC) organizes a Reading Group in Tbilisi!

Reading Group will discuss an article by Thomas Frear:  The foreign policy options of a small unrecognized state: the case of Abkhazia

The reading is available online at: http://www.caucasus-survey.org/vol1-no2/frear-foreign-policy-unrecognised-states-Abkhazia.php

Date: Friday, May 30, 2014, at 18:30

Venue: Prospero’s Books, 34 Rustaveli Ave; Tbilisi

*This event is free and open to the public. If you are interested to join, please email: Georgia”at”arisc.org.

The reading and discussion language is English. Feel free to join and invite your friends.The Reading group brings Georgian and international scholars together in an informal setting to discuss and explore the literature about Georgia and the South Caucasus.

ARISC does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, physical or mental disability, medical condition, ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, or status as a covered veteran.

WiP in Tbilisi – Gun Control in Georgia

by Matthew Light, University of Toronto

Date: April 30, 2014 at 6:15 pm.
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

Contemporary Georgia features relatively lenient policies on possession of handguns. Citizens may obtain a license to keep such weapons at home for self-defense, subject to rules on safe storage and periodic inspection of privately owned handguns. This policy outcome is surprising for several reasons. Georgian policy strongly diverges from the highly restrictive policies on gun ownership that were in force during the Soviet period, and which persist to this day in neighboring post-Soviet states. Moreover, given that post-Soviet Georgia went through a long period of political and social turmoil in which gun violence was rampant, one might have expected more stringent policies to be enacted. I review several possible explanations for Georgia’s unusual gun policy trajectory, ideological (the libertarian attitudes of Georgian legislators in the former ruling party), pragmatic (the difficulty of disarming the population), and social-cultural (public and elite assumptions about the role of weapons in society and their potential threat to public order).

Matthew Light is Assistant Professor of Criminology at the University of Toronto. He studies migration control, policing and criminal justice, primarily in the post-Soviet region.
http://criminology.utoronto.ca/facultyandstaff/faculty-2/faculty/matthew-light/

*****

W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the Eurasian Partnership Foundation at Kavsadze St. 3. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public.The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

WiP in Tbilisi – Linguistic Dimensions of Ethno-National Identity: the Avars of Contemporary Dagestan

By Kendra Dias, Central European University

Date: April 23, 2014 at 18:15
Venue:  Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

This research investigates the “everyday” aspects of language choice in multilingual Dagestan in order to evaluate the importance of ethnicity and identity related motivations. Specifically, by looking at Avars in their titular rural spaces and the urban capital, the thesis assesses the changes in the traditional multilingualism of Dagestan as a result of mandatory bilingualism as subjects of the Russian Federation. While not strictly refuting the importance of rational choice theory, the work will consider with more complexity the reasons why, although Dagestani languages are endangered, speakers do not interpret such endangerment or fear linguistic extinction in the globalizing world.

Kendra Dias holds a BA in Eurasian Studies from Smith College and is currently finishing a Master’s Degree in Nationalism Studies at CEU. She has an upcoming publication in the book project Caucasus Knot and will be participating in several upcoming conferences including a presentation on the cultural anthropology of food in the Caucasus at ELTE in Budapest, Hungary. Kendra will begin as Assistant Professor at the Universidad de la Amazonia in Florencia, Colombia in September.

*****

W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the Eurasian Partnership Foundation at Kavsadze St. 3. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public. The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

WiP in Tbilisi: Dissident Movements in the Late Soviet Period

By Emily Tamkin, St. Antony’s College, Oxford University

Date: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 6:15 PM
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

This research is an examination of the intent and identity of dissident movements in the late Soviet Period (from 1956 to perestroika). Specifically, through a comparative analysis of the Russian and Georgian cases, this research looks at how dissidents, against the background of this particular time and space, decided to make their movements “closed”—that is, to focus on fostering the networks within the movement as well as preserving the individuality and integrity of those who considered themselves to be a part of it—or “open”—to try to reach the masses and garner widespread involvement.

Emily Tamkin is an M.Phil candidate in the Russian and East European Studies programme at St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford. She holds a B.A. with honors in Russian Literature and Culture from Columbia College, Columbia University and conducted research on Soviet dissidence in the Forschungsstelle Osteuropa of Universität Bremen in Bremen, Germany on a Fulbright grant in the 2012-2013 academic year. She hails from New York.

*****

W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the Eurasian Partnership Foundation at Kavsadze St. 3. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public.The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

WiP in Tbilisi: Georgica – An Open Access Academic Database on Georgia

By David Sitchinava and Irakli Gunia, Tbilisi State University

Date: Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 6:15 PM
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, 3 Kavsadze St

The project Georgica (http://georgica.tsu.edu.ge/) was launched with the help of the faculty of Social and Political Sciences at Tbilisi State University. The online database is intended for collecting academic materials concerning Georgia and has the following objectives: Building a rich database for anyone interested in order to help them to better understand Georgia’s issues, Promoting interest and developing expertise by providing a consistent store of necessary materials, Offering early career researchers the opportunity to publish papers, engage with audiences of colleagues and build up their academic profile.With the idea of creating an open access academic space, Georgica will be unique in its character. The focus on academic materials helps it to avoid redundancy with web-sites committed to translating international media articles about Georgia. Georgica also offers academics/scholars, PhD students, young professionals/practitioners the opportunity to have their own regular blog, preferably writing in areas in which they have direct research insights.

Irakli Gunia is a second-year graduate student at the Tbilisi State University MA program Diplomacy and International Relations. He holds BA in International Relations from TSU. His professional interests are ideas and identities in international relations, especially in the post-Soviet space.

David Sitchinava is a fourth-year doctoral student at the department of Human Geography, faculty of Social and Political Sciences of TSU. He earned MA in Human Geography from Tbilisi State University. David’s research interests include geographic aspects of electoral behaviour, urban geography, and internal displacement in Georgia. He taught research methods classes at Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA) and also works at CRRC Georgia as database analyst.

*****

W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the Eurasian Partnership Foundation at Kavsadze St. 3. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public.The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

Reading Group in Georgia

Reading:  Georgia through a Glass, Darkly,

Article by Stephen F Jones, Mount Holyoke College

Available online at: http://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/stephen-f-jones/georgia-through-glass-darkly  

Date: Friday, April 11, 2014, at 18:30
Venue: Prospero’s Books, 34 Rustaveli Ave; Tbilisi

*This event is free and open to the public. If you are interested to join, please email: Georgia”at”arisc.org. The reading and discussion language is English. Feel free to join and invite your friends.

The Reading group brings Georgian and international scholars together in an informal setting to discuss and explore the literature about Georgia and the South Caucasus.

ARISC does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, physical or mental disability, medical condition, ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, or status as a covered veteran.

WiP in Tbilisi – Adoration No More: Perceptions of the West in the South Caucasus

By George Mchedlishvili, University of Georgia and 2013 Robert Bosch Fellow, Chatham House

Date: Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at 6:15 PM
Address: EPF/CRRC, Kavsadze St. no. 3, Tbilisi

The paper explores the dynamics of the perception of the West in the societies of the South Caucasus states. It will study how the notion of the West has transformed from a homogeneous entity to a more nuanced grouping in the minds of the people, and what factors – domestic, regional and international – conditioned these transformations. The study will particularly emphasize the western engagement since the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the policies of the major western actors (US, EU, NATO) and their efficiency in the areas of economy, security and democratization. The presentation will also dwell on the issues of European identity in the three nations. The paper will also study the challenges on the way to modernization, economic transformation and westernization within the South Caucasus states and the principal reasons of these challenges. The role of the Russian Federation and the ways the policies of Moscow shape the perception of the West in the three republics will be studied.

George Mchedlishvili is an Associate Professor at the Department of International Relations and Political Science, University of Georgia since Fall 2011. His main field of research is the post-Soviet transition in the South Caucasus. He was a 2013 Robert Bosch Fellow at the Chatham House. In 2008-2012 George also read a number of courses on the South Caucasus Region and Foreign Policy at the TSU’s Center for Social Sciences. His prior employment/background includes Policy Planning Division (2006-2008) and Department of the Americas (2005-2006) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as 6-monthly fellowship at the World Security Instutute, DC, and Master of Education (2001), Harvard Graduate School of Education.

*****

W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the Eurasian Partnership Foundation at Kavsadze St. 3. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public.The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

WiP in Tbilisi – We Are Existing, Not Living: Protracted Displacement and Structural Vulnerability in Georgia

By Erin Koch, University of Kentucky

Date: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 6:15 PM
Address: EPF/CRRC, Kavsadze St. no. 3, Tbilisi

This talk focuses on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in post-Soviet Georgia to examine lived experiences with protracted displacement and marginalization. It draws on ethnographic research conducted in the summers of 2010 and 2011 with IDPs living in western Georgia who were displaced by civil war between Georgia and Abkhazia in 1993 and who have been living in limbo since then.The talk focuses on their efforts to navigate changing state strategies for housing relocation and to secure their new “rights” to durable housing, and argues that the lives of IDPs living in protracted displacement in Georgia are shaped by a form of sanctioned abandonment that cements their structural vulnerability, making it virtually impossible for the to fulfill the neoliberal expectations of the government and NGOs in achieving social mobility.

Erin Koch is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Kentucky. Her cultural and medical anthropology research in Georgia focuses on infectious disease, the global health industry, and social-structural vulnerability among disenfranchised populations.

*****
W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the Eurasian Partnership Foundation at Kavsadze St. 3. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public.The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

WiP: Women and Religiosity in Georgia and Poland

By Helena Szczodry, Jagiellonian University

Date: Wednesday, 5 March 2014
Address: EPF/CRRC  3 Kavsadze Str. Tbilisi

The experience of women in Poland and Georgia shows that the collapse of the Soviet Union and the process of democratization are not necessarily connected with the developments in the field of gender equality and gender policies. The right wing (in Poland) and nationalist (in Georgia) backlash combined with the neoliberal discourse led to the limitation of some of women’s rights as well as to the intensification of traditional discourse, in which women are basically seen as mothers and housewives. As a result, women found themselves in a schizophrenic position between the symbolic return to the traditional role of woman and present challenges and difficulties which are related to the social, political and economic transformation.At the same time, in neither country did this situation mobilize women to become actively engaged in activities focused on their community of interests in a broader sense. Despite the increasing number of women’s organizations in Poland and Georgia, the social understanding of gender equality is often perceived in a negative, or at least, an ambivalent way. What is more, the rise of right wing and nationalist discourse in the ’90s was connected with the revitalization of religion’s status in both societies and the resurgence of the Polish Catholic Church and the Georgian Orthodox Church in the public sphere. Therefore, the western theory of secularization which is seen as an inherent attribute of the modernization process seems not to be applicable to the history of Poland and Georgia.The aforementioned issues led the author to conducting, in 2011 and 2012, of her master thesis research on the interplays between religiosity and gender among young women raised in the Orthodox tradition in Poland and Georgia. Using the tools of the semi – structured interviews, participant observation and comparative analysis, the research was the first attempt to explore the way of understanding and experiencing religiosity and gender of women born in the fall of the so-called “ Second World” as well as their agency in terms of postcolonial studies.

Helena Szczodry graduated with a M.A. in Sociology from the Jagiellonian University in Poland and minor in Development Studies from the Maastricht University in Netherlands. Co – editor of the book “Kobiety w społeczeństwie polskim” [Women in Polish Society] (Jagiellonian University Press 2011), co – author of the report „Qualitative assessment of social inclusion in the Małopolskie, Mazowieckie and Podkarpackie Regions: current status and good practices” (2013) and co – author of a sociological and oral history movie “The Railway Station Krasne – Busk. Stories of resettled women” (2013). She has been involved in various national and international research projects and her academic interests include gender studies, development studies and visual sociology, especially the South Caucasus area.

*****
W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the Eurasian Partnership Foundation at Kavsadze St. 3. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public.The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

WiP: Georgian Political Parties and Online Social Networks: Politics as Usual?

By Kornely Kakachıa and Tamara Pataraia, Tbilisi State University

Date: Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 6:15 PM
Venue: EPF/CRRC, Kavsadze St. 3, Tbilisi

This study explores the impact of modern communication technologies and social media networks on Georgian party politics and the ways in which political parties can promote greater public involvement in political processes through the use of social networks.The social media profiles of political players taking part in the 2012 Georgian parliamentary elections are analyzed and compared.

Kornely Kakachia is associate professor of political science at Ivane Javakishvili Tbilisi State University and director of Tbilisi based think tank the Georgian Institute of Politics (GIP). He previously also worked as director of the School of Politics & International Relations at the University of Georgia (Tbilisi). His current research focuses on Georgian domestic and foreign policy, the security issues of the wider Black Sea area and comparative party politics. He was a recipient of IREX and OSI fellowships and was a visiting fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, (2009-2010) the Harriman Institute, Columbia University (2011) and Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. He has published numerous articles in different periodicals and is member of the International Studies Association(ISA) and PONARS (program on New Approaches to Research and Security in Eurasia group)- a global network of social scientists that seeks to promote scholarly work and policy engagement on transnational and comparative topics within the Eurasian space.

Tamara Pataraia is head of the European and Euro-Atlantic Cooperation Program at the Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy and Development. During her time at the Institute, she has been involved in various projects aiming at the monitoring of implementation of security and democratic transition policies in Georgia, focused on capacity building, research and policy analysis, She is an author of a number of research surveys and policy reports. Her spheres of professional interest are: democratic transition, foreign affairs, international relations and national security. She is a member of the following professional bodies; Quarterly Journal Connections (editorial board member), Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defence Academies and Security Studies Institutes; Civil Council on European and Euro-Atlantic Cooperation (board member). She holds a PhD degree in physics and mathematics from Tbilisi State University.

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W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the Eurasian Partnership Foundation at Kavsadze St. 3. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public.The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

WiP – Book Presentation of “Putin and the Caucasus” 

by Regis Gente

Date: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 6:15 PM
Venue: EPF/CRRC, Kavsadze St. 3, Tbilisi, Georgia

Régis Genté will present his new book “Putin and the Caucasus” (in French), published in Paris on January 9th, 2014, a month before the beginning of the Sochi Olympic games. As he explains, the idea of the book came to him when he realized how much Putin’s career as President is connected to the Caucasus. Putin became Prime minister, in August 1999, amid a new increase in tensions in Dagestan and Chechnya, followed by 5 terrorist bombings in Moscow and in the South of the Russian Federation, with a strong suspicion that FSB was involved, the second war in Chechnya, the consecutive extension of the nationalist-islamist rebellion in almost all the North Caucasus, and then the war in Georgia in 2008. All of these events, and especially those connected to his ascension to power, put under question the legitimacy of Mr. Putin and of his policy, especially towards the Caucasus. Therefore, as the book tries to demonstrate, the Sochi Olympic games are about to regaining this legitimacy, especially in the eyes of the international community. By welcoming the delegation from the entire world, Mr. Putin expects to force the international community to admit that his choices were correct. This is about more than Russia and Putin’s image, it’s about his essential legitimacy, which goes beyond the Putin’s fate as an individual. The Olympic games will take place exactly 150 years after what the Russian usually view as the official end of the Caucasian Wars of the 19th Century, the victory over the Circassian tribes in May 1864. The Olympic competitions will partly take place on the very spot of this “victory,” in Krasnaya Polyana. That’s more than a symbol. Perhaps the Olympic games are designed as a second victory over the Caucasus, as the final victory never took place? The book also raises the question of the Russia that Mr. Putin is building and the place for the Caucasian people in the Russian Federation.

Régis Genté, 45, is a French free-lance journalist based in Tbilisi and has been covering the Caucasus, Central Asia and Russia for 12 years for Le Figaro, Radio France Internationale, France 24 TV and other media outlets.

*****
W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the Eurasian Partnership Foundation at Kavsadze St. 3. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public.The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

WiP: The Georgian Question at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference

By Beka Kobakhidze, Tbilisi State University

Date: Wednesday, 5 February 2014 at 18:15
Venue: ISET/CRRC Georgia, Zandukeli St. 16

In 1918, as the First World War ended and the Russian Empire collapsed, Georgia declared its independence. The Peace Conference in Paris in 1919 was intended to draw up a new world map that would summarize the results of the Great War and deal with the Russian problem. The Caucasus and Georgia were part of a project that involved not only the victorious powers’ policy towards Russia, but also the Turkish peace settlement and, most importantly, British interests in the east. If there would be any opportunity for Georgia to achieve recognition of her independence and provisions for her security, it would be in Paris, where the decision makers of world politics were sitting for an entire year. This talk will present how this story played out for the Georgian question.

Beka Kobakhidze is a doctoral candidate in contemporary Georgian history at Tbilisi State University. He received his BA in History of Diplomacy and International Relations from TSU in 2006 and an MA in contemporary Georgian history in 2009. For the past seven years his research has focused exclusively on the foreign policy of the first Georgian Democratic Republic (1918-21) using Georgian, Russian, British, American, French, Italian, Armenian, and Azerbaijani sources. His research has been supported by a Presidential Grant for young scholars, and he hopes to publish his monograph both in Georgia and in the UK. He is currently working for the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM).

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W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the International School of Economics (ISET) building (16 Zandukeli Street). It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public. The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

WiP: Analyses of Anti-Domestic Violence Law: The Case of Georgia

by Gvantsa Jibladze, Nana Chabukiani, Natia Ubilava

Date: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 6:15 PM
Venue: ISET/CRRC Georgia, Zandukeli St. 16, Tbilisi, Georgia

Domestic violence is a particularly problematic issue in contemporary Georgia. According to the National Study on Domestic Violence conducted by UNFPA, every eleventh woman is a victim of domestic violence in Georgia. A law on the prevention of domestic violence, protection and assistance for victims of domestic violence was adopted in 2006 in Georgia. The adoption of this law, however, may be insufficient to overcome the problem. The success of state policy in combating the domestic violence depends on the way in which the state perceives the problem. Consequently, the aim of this research project is to examine: A). what is perceived as the reason for domestic violence; and B). who is perceived to be the victim of domestic violence. The research applied a policy frame analyses approach. Using the gender equality, woman centered and de-gendered frames developed in the MAGEEQ and QUING projects, we analyze policy documents and normative acts developed by the state through these frames. According to the research findings, the de-gendered frame is dominant in anti-domestic violence normative acts, which suggests that domestic violence is not viewed in terms of gender equality, and women are not considered to be the primary victim of domestic violence.

Gvantsa Jibladze graduated from Tbilisi State University with a BA in psychology, and in 2012 she earned an MA degree in social sciences and social science research methods from the same university. During this period she was involved in several research projects on issues of gender, domestic violence and the implementation of anti-domestic violence law in Georgia. Her MA research thesis was entitled “Is the Law Against Domestic Violence in Georgia Implementing Successfully, or not? A Contextual Interaction Theory Perspective.” She also participated in the 4th and 5th annual conferences on Gender Studies of the Center for Social Sciences. Her current research work continues in these directions.

Nana Chabukiani studied sociology and social science research methods at Tbilisi State University, and she recently graduated from Central European University with an MA in sociology and social anthropology. Her interests include gender, the sociology of religion, and the sociology of death. She has been involved in various research projects, including “Interagency United Efforts to Combat Domestic Violence in Georgia: Local or Western Agenda?” She is currently participating in a research project that aims at demonstrating the primary needs and problems of religious minorities in Georgia.

Natia Ubilava graduated from the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences of Tbilisi State University with a BA sciences in psychology, and she has an MA in social psychology from the same university. During her studies she was involved in research projects of the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), including “Civic participation in transforming Societies: Motivation forces, Social Capital and Trust”. Her research interests include gender, women’s civic activeness and participation in political life, and collective memory. Natia is currently working for an international organization in Georgia.

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W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the International School of Economics (ISET) building (16 Zandukeli Street). It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public. The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

Reading Group in Tbilisi

The American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC) invites you to a Reading Group in Tbilisi!

Reading: The Stalin Puzzle: Deciphering Post Soviet Public Opinion”

By THOMAS DE WAAL, MARIA LIPMAN, LEV GUDKOV, LASHA BAKRADZE

Available online athttp://carnegieendowment.org/files/stalin_puzzle.pdf

Date: 18:00, Friday, 24 January 2014
Venue: Prospero’s Books, 34 Rustaveli Ave; Tbilisi

*This event is free and open to the public. If you are interested to join, please email: georgia”at”arisc.org

The reading and discussion language is English. Feel free to join and invite your friends. The Reading group brings Georgian and international scholars together in an informal setting to discuss and explore the literature about Georgia and the South Caucasus.

ARISC does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, physical or mental disability, medical condition, ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, or status as a covered veteran.
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