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Armenia

We, The Scholarly Subjects: Theory as Daily (Political) Practice

Speaker: Dr. Nelli Sargsyan, Marlboro College
Date & Time:
August 21, 2018, 12:00-13:30
Location: CRRC-Armenia office, Room 602, 6th floor, YSU Library building, 1 Alex Manoogian street
Language: English (discussions following the lecture may be held in Armenian)

OVERVIEW
Where do our theoretical approaches and daily lives meet? How do the socioeconomic and political circumstances in which we live and work as scholars animate our research and vice versa? What would it mean to live in our daily lives the theories we value in our analyses? How do various systems of power operate in our own scholarly work? And how can we do research without reproducing them? These are some of the questions which will be covered in this interactive lecture. Participants are invited to reflect on their theoretical and methodological work as social scientists.

TARGET GROUP
The lecture is intended for junior faculty members, graduate students and researchers in social sciences. The event is open to the general public.

PRESENTER’S SHORT BIO
Nelli Sargsyan is currently assistant professor of anthropology at Marlboro College in Marlboro, Vermont. Through իր most recent research Sargsyan continues to learn alongside and from Armenian feminists’ important political work toward a life of collective care. Նրա individual work on different kinds of feminist political work has appeared in journals such as Feminist Formations and Armenian Review, and online platforms such as Socioscope. Նրա collaborative work on different forms of violence and working together to counter it has appeared on online platforms such as ARTMargins and Public Seminar.

PARTICIPATION
To attend please register by sending an email at event@crrc.am by August 20, 23:59.

This event is hosted by the Caucasus Research Resource Center-Armenia Foundation and sponsored by the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). Funding for this lecture comes from a grant from the Council of American Overseas Research Centers.

“Mugham and Armenian Music: Preliminary Perspectives”

Jonathan Hollis, PhD student
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
ARISC Fellow

DATE: August 7, 2018
TIME: 12:00pm
LOCATION: Eurasia University, Azatutyun 24/2, Room 419, Yerevan, Armenia

Music has been an important part of national narratives in the Caucasus, from the polyphonic vocal tradition of Georgia, the iconic Lezginka of the Northern Caucasus, to the classical mugham of Azerbaijan. In Armenia, national musical narratives have concentrated on the songs of ashughs such as Sayat Nova and Jivani, folk songs and dances transcribed by Komitas Vardapet, and the pre-eminent national instrument, the duduk. My project seeks to explore connections and collaborations between Armenian and Azeri musicians before the Nagorno-Karabakh war, current attitudes toward mugham in Armenia and how the musical materials and practices of mugham have influenced Armenian music historically. As part of this project, I will interview Armenian musicians, some of whom grew up in Azerbaijan, who still practice and teach mugham improvisation. It is my goal to use the life histories of Armenian mugham musicians to further understand connections between musical genres and ethnic communities in conflict in the South Caucasus.

Jonathan Hollis is a PhD Student in Ethnomusicology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an ARISC Fellow. Jonathan’s research focuses on music in the global Armenian community. His Master’s project involves music-making in the Armenian diaspora community of Toronto, Canada, and the musical manifestations of politics and collective memory. He has received Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowships to study both Russian and Eastern Armenian.

This event is free and open to the public. The event is hosted by Eurasia International University and sponsored by the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC).

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.

Eurasia International University and ARISC invite to a Workshop
How to Develop New Courses that Work
Syllabus design for a democratic classroom

Speaker: Professor Anna Ohanyan, Richard B. Finnegan Distinguished Professor of Political Science and International Relations, Stonehill College
Date: June 27th, 2018, Wednesday 12 AM- 5 PM
Place: Eurasia International University Azatutyan 24/2 Yerevan
Registration DEADLINE: June 20
Register sending an email entitled “Workshop” to info@eiu.am

This workshop introduces the basics, as well as the latest and cutting-edge research on syllabi development and curricular design. Understanding the purpose of a syllabus in structuring teacher-student relationships, and strengthening transparency, accountability and assessment dimensions of the teaching process are some of the issues to be covered. Importantly, the workshop will also focus on the markers of an effective syllabus, particularly in the context of increasingly globalized higher education processes. This interactive workshop will engage the participants in break-out sessions, giving them an opportunity to develop and enhance their own syllabi, for fields in natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities.
More info is available at www.eiu.am and www.arisc.org

Funding for this workshop comes from a grant from the Council of American Overseas Research Centers.

CRRC-Armenia and ARISC invite to a public presentation on “Home country engagement: some early results from the Armenian Diaspora Survey”

to be delivered by Aleksandr V. Gevorkyan, Ph.D., St. John’s University

Date & Time: June 19, 2018, 12:00-13:30
Location: CRRC-Armenia office, Room 602, 6th floor, YSU Library building, 1 Alex Manoogian street
Language: English

OVERVIEW
National diasporas have long since been argued as potential “first-movers” in their home countries’ economic development. This presentation will cover some preliminary results from the Armenian Diaspora Survey, which ran between December 2015 and April 2018. The intention is attempt to explore a range of diverse modalities of diaspora-home model engagement in post-socialist Eastern Europe and Former Soviet Union, with Armenia as specific example. Much of anonymous responses on willingness to engage with historical homeland stand in contrast to popular opinion polls or hypothetical conclusions by extrapolation. Initial evidence suggests a range of non-monetary opportunities, e.g. volunteering, teaching, knowledge-sharing, arts projects, etc.
Specific survey questions ask about respondents’ birthplace and current residence, years of residence, etc. That helps determine the diasporan-age, which appears to be one of the critical explanatory factors in the model. That then further informs the earlier distinction between the “old” and the “new” diaspora. Such distinctions appear to be relevant in evaluating effectiveness of various engagement models. The lessons from the survey, while specific to Armenia, are relevant for other small transition economies.
There will be a question and answer session after the presentation.

TARGET GROUP
The presentation is addressed to faculty members, students, junior researchers and professionals working in the field of migration and diaspora studies. The event is open to the general public.

PARTICIPATION

To attend please register by sending an email at event@crrc.am until June 18, 23:59.

Aleksandr V. Gevorkyan, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor of Economics at the Department of Economics and Finance of the Tobin College of Business at St. John’s University in New York. He is a Senior Research Fellow at the Vincentian Center for Church and Society, a Research Fellow at the Center for Global Business Stewardship, and a Board Member at the Armenian Economic Association. Dr. Gevorkyan also serves as Economics Subject Matter Expert for the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See To the United Nations. His research focuses on open economy macroeconomics, development, international financial economics, and post-socialist transition economics. Dr. Gevorkyan is the author of Transition Economies: Transformation, Development, and Society in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union (Routledge, 2018); and co-editor (with Otaviano Canuto) of Financial Deepening and Post-Crisis Development in Emerging Markets (Palgrave, 2016).

Funding for this lecture comes from a grant from the Council of American Overseas Research Centers.

The American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC) invites you to a presentation by ARISC Fellow Stephen Riegg:
“Imperial Battlegrounds: The Second Russo-Persian War (1826-28) in Regional Context.”

LOCATION: 42 Tumanyan St, Yerevan 0002, Armenia; Yerevan Brusov State University of Languages and Social Sciences (YSULS) Central building, 2nd floor, Small Hall
DATE: June 8, 2018
TIME: 14:00

The Second Russo-Persian war resulted in the Romanov Empire’s annexation of the South Caucasus, including Eastern Armenia. This presentation examines the motivations and objectives of the Russian state, highlighting the cooperation and resistance of indigenous nations in that imperial confrontation. From the start of the conflict, the theme of a clash of religions informed the perspective of senior tsarist commanders in the Caucasus. The complex interethnic climate of the region dictated the course of the war and affected its resolution.

About the speaker:
Trained in Russian history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Stephen B. Riegg is an Assistant Professor of History at Texas A&M University. Having nearly completed his first book manuscript, “Partners in the Caucasus: The Russian Empire’s Encounter with Armenians, 1801-1914,” he is turning toward a new project, “In the Imperial Vise: The South Caucasus between Russia and Persia, 1785-1917.” His work has appeared, or will appear, in the journals “The Russian Review” and “ Nationalities Papers”. His research and writing have been supported by the Fulbright-Hays program, American Councils for International Education, the Kennan Institute of the Woodrow Wilson Center, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus.

 

The American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC) presents:
Infinite Armenias: Digital Storytelling as Cultural Heritage Preservation

LOCATION: 15 Charents Str., 0025, Yerevan, Armenia; 3rd floor, Library

DATE: June 2, 2018
TIME: 10:00-17:00

Facilitators:
Tiffany Earley-Spadoni, Assistant Professor of History at the University of Central Florida and ARISC Fellow, Arthur Petrosyan, Researcher and Archaeologist, Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography and ARISC Fellow, and Travis Corwin, Archaeologist and Film Maker

Description
Digital storytelling is an incredibly effective way to engage with communities and provoke public interest in heritage preservation through the production of short, multimedia presentations, which is important since Armenian cultural heritage is at risk from a variety of factors ranging from economic development to the privatization of archaeological sites. We are hosting a digital storytelling workshop for cultural heritage professionals in Yerevan with the aim of informing a worldwide audience about the threats that Armenian cultural heritage faces and the efforts that research teams are making to prevent future losses. During the workshop, each participant will produce a three-to-five minute digital short on the topic of opportunities and challenges in cultural heritage management in Armenia. We intend to develop stories in both Armenian and English (with subtitling/captioning) to reach an international audience.

To participate, please email tiffany.earley@ucf.edu for more information.

Tiffany Earley-Spadoni is an archaeologist and historian whose research focuses upon ancient landscapes and complex social processes like warfare. She co-directs excavations as a part of the Vayots Dzor Fortress Landscapes project, a joint American-Armenian project. Her work has been published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, and she has a monograph forthcoming with the University Press of Colorado. She received her PhD from the Johns Hopkins University in 2015. She teaches courses on digital storytelling at the University of Central Florida in her role of Assistant Professor.

Arthur Petrosyan is a researcher and archaeologist at the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Republic of Armenia. Petrosyan graduated from the Faculty of Culture at the Armenian State Pedagogical University in 2005, obtaining a degree in Museology and Conservation of Historical Sites. In 2007, Mr. Petrosyan graduated from the Department of Archaeology and Ethnography at the Faculty of History of Yerevan State University, obtaining an MA degree in Archaeology and History. He continued his education at the Faculty of Cultural Heritage and Environment at the University of Milan (Italy) studying the Methodology of Archaeological Research in 2008, then he did another course of Lithic Industry and Experimental Archaeology at the Department of History and Cultural Heritage of the University of Siena (Italy) in 2010. From 2007 to 2010, he pursued his PhD education at the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of NAS RA. He co-directs international archaeological field projects and has authored and co-authored numerous scholarly publications.

Travis Corwin holds a BA in Anthropology from the University of Central Florida is a professional archaeologist and film maker.

This project is made possible by a Collaborative Heritage Management Grant from the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). Funding for this grant comes from Project Discovery! and private donations.

The American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC) invites you to a presentation by ARISC Fellows:

Preserving the Cultural Heritage of Karnut Cemetery

SPEAKERS: Ruben Badalyan, Doctor of Historical Sciences, Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography
LOCATION: 15 Charents Str., 0025, Yerevan, Armenia; 3rd floor, Library
DATE: March 21, 2018
TIME: 11:00-12:00

This project contributed to Armenia’s cultural heritage by preserving endangered materials and remains of an Early Bronze Age cemetery in the village of Karnut, located on the eastern edge of the Shirak plain. Three burials were excavated, revealing the remains of multiple successive interments in two tombs dating to the Kura-Araxes I and II periods. In the process of excavating burials, we also revealed a previously unknown part of the Early Bronze Age settlement at Karnut. The project has thus already changed the understanding of the Early Bronze Age occupation at Karnut and contributed to an emerging picture of Early Bronze Age mortuary ritual.  Meanwhile the on-going study of materials and human remains will provide an unprecedented view into Early Bronze Age life. The CHM grant has been instrumental in raising awareness of the importance of the cultural preservation of the site for the local residents as well as the scholarly community.

Ruben Badalyan is the head of the Bronze Age Division of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Republic of Armenia. He is a Doctor of Historical Sciences in the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia and a Senior Scientific Member of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography in Yerevan. His habilitation (2003) was entitled: Obsidian of the Caucasus: Sources and Distribution of the Raw Material during the Neolithic – Early Iron Age (on the results of Neutron Activation Analyses) and he continues to work on issues related to the distribution of obsidian and exploitation of sources in the ancient Near East. His Ph.D. dissertation (1986) was entitled: The Early Bronze Age Culture of the Shirak Plain (North-Western Armenia) and a great deal of his subsequent archaeological research has centered on issues relating to the Kura-Araxes phenomenon of the Early Bronze Age.  He has directed or co-directed field investigations at numerous archaeological sites in Armenia including Karnut, Horom, Aratashen, and Tagavoranist. In addition to his on-going work in the Tsaghkahovit Plain with Project ArAGATS, Badalyan is also the director of the ongoing excavations at the Neolithic site of Aknashen. He is the author of numerous papers and articles in several languages.

Maureen E. Marshall is a bioarchaeologist whose work focuses on early complex polities and empires in the South Caucasus and Eurasia. She earned a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Chicago in 2014. Dr. Marshall is the Associate Director of the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is an Associate Director of Project ArAGATS, the joint American-Armenian project for the Archaeology and Geography for Ancient Transcaucasian Societies, and has been excavating in Armenia since 2005. She also collaborates with physical anthropologists in Armenia.  She serves on the advisory board for the Aragats Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting Armenia’s cultural heritage through heritage preservation, development, and education. 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 ancient societies, disease and health in ancient populations, the archaeology of Eurasia and the Near East, and the history of physical anthropology.

This event is made possible through Project Discovery! and private donations.

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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Azerbaijan

ARISC in Co-operation with European Partnership Foundation and CRRC Azerbaijan presents:
After the Revolution: Baku and its Oil – 1918-1927

by Jonathan Sicotte
ARISC Fellow, People’s Friendship University of Russia, Georgetown University

Date: 18 July, 2018
Time: 7 pm
Venue: Baku Idea Lab, 44 Jafar Jabbarly street, Caspian Plaza III, 3rd floor

Abstract:

At the foundation of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR), it was readily apparent to the Bolsheviks that securing the physical resources of the former Russian Empire was necessary for the future survival of the nascent Soviet state. The invasion and destruction of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan and the nationalization of its oil industry, primarily centered around Baku in 1920, largely filled the limited needs of the Soviet domestic market, and by 1924, produced enough benzene, at least on paper, to provide a readily exportable surplus for the Ministerstvo vneshne torgovli (Ministry of Foreign Trade (MVT)). Nevertheless, despite the initial successes of the industry, a set of compounding structural fiscal issues complicated Soviet planning as the continued to push they exportation of refined oil products to compensate for growing trade deficits exacerbated by the importation of Western machinery.
This paper is part of an exploration of the economic and political metamorphosis of Soviet policy toward petroleum exportation, specifically from the period directly after the October Revolution. The purpose of this investigation is to explore the correlation between the healthy recovery of Baku’ oil industry after 1918, shifts in broader Soviet policy during the early years of New Economic Plan (NEP) and the later ramification for Soviet trade policy as Baku’s oil industry began to see declining rents from oil fields.

Speaker’s bio:

Jonathan Sicotte is currently a post-doctoral fellow at People’s Friendship University of Russia and a former post-doctoral fellow at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow. Recently Dr. Sicotte received a PhD in Russian and Soviet History at Georgetown University in 2017 and previously received a Masters in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Chicago.

* This event is free and open to the public. 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 Presentation in Baku “Hounds and Jackals and Fifty-Eight Holes: Ancient Mesopotamian Board Games in Azerbaijan?”

Walter Crist
Arizona State University, American Museum of Natural History, ARISC member

Date: April 16, 2018
Time: 11 AM
Venue: 115 Huseyn Javid Ave, Archaeology Institute of ANAS

This event is sponsored by ARISC and hosted by the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of ANAS.

Abstract:
The game of 58 holes-better known as “Hounds and Jackals”- was a popular game in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the wider Near East during the Bronze and Iron Ages. Though its origins are unclear, it is obvious that this game enjoyed wide popularity for a considerable amount of time, and traveled across cultural boundaries, as it has been found in locations including Nubia, Iran, and Anatolia. Now, there is evidence that this game may have been played in ancient Azerbaijan, as well.
Patterns of depressions, found pecked into bedrock as well as on stone slabs, have been found in Eastern Azerbaijan, in the Absheron Peninsula and Gobustan National Park, in particular. This paper will discuss the similarities between these objects and the Near Eastern game of 58 Holes, and discuss possibilities for how it might have gotten there and what social implications games may have had in ancient Azeri society. This paper will draw from previous work in Cyprus, which found that the performative nature of play was emphasized by those who played during peoples of socio-economic complexity.
Through these examples, the importance of studying ancient games will be discussed, and future plans for examining the chronology and archaeological context of games in Azerbaijan will be proposed to address similar questions.

Speaker’s bio:
Walter Crist is a Research Associate in the Department of Anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, and a Visiting Researcher in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University. He received his PhD in 2016 in Anthropology from Arizona State University. His dissertation research focused on board games in Bronze Age Cyprus and changing practices of play alongside increasing socio-economic inequality. His research interests include ancient play, long-distance cultural interaction, trade, and materiality.

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Georgia

WiP: Guram Rcheulishvili, Georgian Literature, and the Process of Translation

By Trevor Durham, American writer

Date: December 12, 2018, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

This presentation will be a brief discussion on the process of translating contemporary works, the cultural importance of international literature, and how language forms society.

Trevor Durham is an American writer, journalist, and student of many subjects. He began his career as a playwright, premiering his second play Off-Broadway at the age of 19. Soon after, he began as a journalist, writing about the arts, politics, and investigations of small cities. He now studies Georgian, and works at translating modern Georgian works when he isn’t writing his own tales.

*****
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 the Crosshairs: Environmental Journalists in Peril

By Eric Freedman, Michigan State University

Date: December 5, 2018, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

From the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Kashoggi by Saudi agents to President Trump’s clashes with the White House press corps, attacks on reporters are in the news. Covering the environment can be tantamount to investigating organized crime. This problem extends far beyond the politics beat, and world leaders aren’t the only threats.

At Michigan State University’s Knight Center for Environmental Journalism, students and professional journalists are trained to report on what we view as the world’s most important beat. One hard fact is that those who cover it are at heightened risk of murder, arrest, assault, threats, self-exile, lawsuits and harassment.

In a recent study, Prof. Freedman explored this problem through in-depth interviews with journalists on five continents, including impacts on their mental health and careers. He found that some of them were driven away from journalism by these experiences, while others became even more committed to their missions.

Eric Freedman is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and the Knight Chair in Environmental Journalism at Michigan State University. He is a Fulbright Scholar teaching at Caucasus University this semester and has been a Fulbright Scholar in Uzbekistan and Lithuania. He earned his BA in government at Cornell, his master’s in resource development at Michigan State and his law degree at New York University. His latest books are “Critical Perspectives on Journalistic Beliefs and Actions: Global Experiences” and “Biodiversity, Conservation and Environmental Management in the Great Lakes.”

*****
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: Water-as-Resource: Negotiating Value in the Georgian Hydroelectric Sector

By Ryan Wyeth, Durham University

Date: November 21, 2018, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

Georgia (and a number of other ‘developing’ countries) is currently experiencing a renaissance in hydroelectric dam-building. This new wave is reminiscent of the hydroelectric boom that took place in the ‘developed’ world during the latter half of the twentieth century, and in Georgia it is in many ways a direct continuation of trajectories and plans laid out in the Georgian SSR. Georgia’s present-day hydroelectric development is all the more intriguing in that it continues despite fairly widespread and prolonged opposition to large dam building, both internationally and within Georgia. What forces make this development trajectory so intransigent, and so desirable across two allegedly very different socio-economic eras of Georgia’s modern history? This project endeavors to answer these questions by examining the planning, contestation, and construction of several of Georgia’s largest dam projects, examining them in light of academic literature on resource geography, value and valuation, and institutional and organizational analysis.

Ryan Wyeth is a PhD student in Geography at Durham University. His research focuses on the political economy and political ecology of hydroelectric development and water resources management. He is a contributing author to a recent volume on EU energy policy, entitled Advancing Energy Policy: Lessons on the Integration of Social Sciences and Humanities. His MA thesis investigated questions related to water resources management in 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: Usage, Identity and Competence in Russian in the S Caucasus

By Daniele Artoni, University of Verona

Date: November 7, 2018, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

Dr. Daniele Artoni is Research Fellow and Teaching Fellow in Slavistics in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at the University of Verona, and is assistant editor of the journal Instructed Second Language Acquisition

*****
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: Authoritarian Regimes in Times of Political Crises: Post-Soviet Strategies for Power Preservation

By Tatia Chikhladze, University of Bremen

Date: October 17, 2018, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

Many post-Soviet authoritarian regimes show surprising resilience in the face of domestic political challenges coming from both insider elite circles and from the wider public, and they are able to hold on to power for long periods of time. The aim of this research project is to study this aspect of the functioning of stable authoritarian regimes in the post-Soviet region. The existing literature is quite rich with various typologies of non-democratic regimes and how they normally function, but little attention has been paid to how these regimes cope with domestic challenges and how their regular functioning modes change in times of crises. This research project attempts to contribute to that strand of the literature.

The project is focused on two types of political crises: power succession crises and mass public protests, both of which are internal crises not related to armed conflicts. During each of these types of crises, non-democratic leaders face threats to the stability of their regimes. A comparative case study method is used to contrast systematically the reactions of post-Soviet authoritarian leaders to such political crises. The project examines different strategies for power preservation and coping mechanisms – repression, co-optation, legitimation – and observes how these strategies change (if at all) in response to succession crises and mass public protests.

The main unit of analysis is the political crisis, and the project focuses on the reactions to 11 such crisis situations in 7 post-Soviet states: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. This approach allows the author to present a broader overview, on the basis of which certain pattern of states’ reactions and functioning can be identified.

Tatia Chikhladze is an Early Stage Researcher at the Research Centre for East European Studies at the University of Bremen in Germany, and an affiliated fellow (PhD student) at the Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences within the Marie Curie Innovative Training Network “Caspian.”

*****
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: Sex-Trafficking and Voluntary Prostitution in Georgia: What Fuels the Demand for Commercial Sex? An Analysis of Prostitution Legislation and Latent Attitudes

By Elizabeth Carlson, International Black Sea University

Date: August 1, 2018, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

This paper gives an overview of the sex-trafficking situation and anti-trafficking legislation in Georgia and details Georgia’s prostitution laws and how they negatively impact sellers of sex (sellers are fined, buyers are not, and owners of establishments where sex is sold are either fined or arrested). An overview of other models for prostitution law is then given and applied to the Georgian context, and recommendations combine the Dutch and Swedish models, as the former tends to better protect voluntary sex workers, while the latter better prevents trafficking. Regulationism and abolitionism may be combined in Georgia in the following ways: 1. remove Georgia’s criminal penalties placed on sex workers to better protect them from the rampant human rights violations perpetrated against them by clients, society, and law enforcement, 2. establish a free licensing system that would ensure that voluntary sex workers are indeed voluntary, and 3. impose criminal penalties on people who buy sex from unlicensed (i.e. coerced or trafficked) sellers. Sex-trafficking does not exist without the sex industry, supply decreases with decreased demand, and a reduced demand for commercial sex would make Georgia a less attractive country for traffickers; therefore, the sources of that demand are then identified via survey of 154 Georgian respondents’ attitudes towards the sex industry. Findings are as follows: the belief that commercial sex is okay (and in some cases, the pressure to buy) comes from sex buyers’ friends (particularly male friends), parents (particularly fathers), the belief that more men have bought sex than is true in reality, the belief (chiefly prevalent among men themselves) that men have undeniable sexual needs, that some men are lonely and cannot get sex elsewhere, and the belief (held by about one in four Georgians regardless of gender) that men need sexual experience and should get it from commercial sex. 41% of the male sample admitted to having bought sex, but only half of that said they would buy again and could thus be considered actively involved in the industry, fueling demand. Similar to global norms, societal stigma is higher against sellers of sex than against buyers, though according to this sample, buying sex cannot be considered “normal,” as the majority of Georgians will not contribute to the demand for commercial sex. One out of every two men to whom a sex worker may sell sex holds at least one negative attitude towards her, underscoring the need to give her robust recourse to justice in case of harassment or violence.

Elizabeth Carlson has a degree in English Education and has taught English in Georgia for 4 years while getting a Master’s in Caucasus Studies from IBSU. She is fascinated by this country she has grown to love and is especially interested in gender issues and human rights concerns here.

*****
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: Mapping an Unseen World: The Topography of Georgian Fairy Tales

By Dana Sherry, Silk Road House

Date: July 25, 2018, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

This project, still in its early stages, explores the spaces that recur in Georgian fairy tales against the backdrop of traditional culture. What places exist in the world of the tales? What sorts of things happen there? Who do we meet? And how is this fairy tale world shaped by traditional Georgian beliefs? It is a study of how stories put down local roots, and of the worldview they express.

Dana Sherry holds a BA and an MA in Slavic Languages and Literatures, and a PhD in History. She lectures at St Mary’s College (Moraga, CA) and serves as program coordinator at the Silk Road House, a public humanities center dedicated to the traditional arts of Central Asia and the Caucasus in Berkeley, CA. Since 2015, she has worked with Kazakh anthropologist Alma Kunanbaeva (Stanford, Silk Road House) on Kazakh fairy tales in the context of pre-Islamic, shamanic Kazakh culture.

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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: Political Opposition versus Sources of Power in Central Asia; Conceptualizing Political Opposition in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan

By Maia Machavariani, Marie Curie Fellow, Dublin City University

Date: July 18, 2018, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

Maia Machavariani is a Marie Curie Research Fellow and a PhD Candidate at Dublin City University. Maia holds Master Degree in International Relations and European Studies from Metropolitan University Prague and Bachelor and Master Degree in Turkish Language and Literature from Free University of Tbilisi. Between 2013-2015 she was leading the South Caucasus Regional Programme at the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD) aimed at facilitating regional cooperation and political dialogue between political parties of the South Caucasus region.

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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: State Modernization and Middle Class Formation in Urban Azerbaijan

By Cristina Boboc, Marie Curie Fellow, Ghent University

Date: July 11, 2018, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

Cristina Boboc is a Marie Curie Ph.D. Fellow at the Department of Conflict and Development Studies under the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences of Ghent University. She completed her Master’s Degree in Anthropology at National School of Political Sciences and Public Administration in Bucharest with a dissertation on assisted citizenship of Azerbaijani IDPs from Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Cristina’s current research project is focused on the characteristics and dynamics of Azerbaijani middle class.

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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: Sacred space and gender in Upper Svaneti

By Kevin Tuite, University of Montreal

Date: June 20, 2018, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

Kevin Tuite is full Professor of Anthropology at the University of Montreal. His special interest is Caucasian linguistics, and he has also published on the topic of Georgian Mythology. He received a BA in chemical engineering from Northwestern University in 1976, and a Ph.D in linguistics from the University of Chicago in 1988. His doctoral thesis was on “Number agreement and morphosyntactic orientation in the Kartvelian languages.” From 1991 he has been a member of the faculty of the University of Montreal. From 2010 to 2014 he was Chair of Caucasian studies at Friedrich-Schiller University Jena.

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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 the Centre of the Periphery: Music in Multiethnic Tiflis circa 1900

By Jonas Löffler, University of Cologne

Date: June 13, 2018, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

This project examines the diversity of musical cultures in Tiflis/Tbilisi at the turn of the twentieth century. At that time the city, then part of the Russian Tsarist empire, was the cultural and political hub of the Caucasus region. Its population was ethnically diverse, with a plurality of Armenian inhabitants. Large numbers of Georgians and Russians lived together with smaller ethnic groups, including Turkic people (Azeris) and Germans. The ethnic diversity of the city was mirrored in its musical life, ranging from Italian opera performances to hybrid urban folklore, from staged concerts of Georgian folk songs to entr’acte performances of Azeri Mugham celebrities. As questions of ethnic/national identity came to the fore in Tiflis among Armenians, Georgians, and Azeris, so also music entered the sphere of public discourse. The city was home to a large number of periodicals and benevolent societies, which contributed to a lively discussion on matters of national identity. At the same time, Tiflis was the seat of the Russian regional administration, which pursued a colonially motivated cultural “civilising” mission in Transcaucasus. My project seeks to understand the role that music played in urban life and in public discourse, viewed against this complex background. It also seeks to examine the function of music as a medium of cultural transfer, and the impact of cultural hybridity in an urban context. In my presentation, I shall seek to give a general overview of my project that I began working on earlier this year, as well as to discuss primary sources.

Jonas Löffler is a PhD student at the University of Cologne in Germany, where he is a member of the a.r.t.e.s. Graduate School for the Humanities. He studied classical guitar and musicology at the Conservatoire and the University of Basel, Switzerland, and at Oxford University. At Oxford, he was a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. as well as a grant from the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD). Besides his musicological undertakings, he is an active performer on the guitar, having received various scholarships and awards. His album «Terra» was released in 2014.

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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.

Symposium and a Book Launch “Gender in Georgia: Feminist Perspectives on Culture, Nation and History in the South Caucasus”

Date and time: 5 June 2018 at 17:00
Venue: National Parliamentary Library of Georgia
Address: 7 Lado Gudiashvili St., Tbilisi, Georgia
Working Language: Georgian and English

The Institute for Gender Studies at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University (TSU) and Gender Studies Center at Ilia State University (ISU) organize a symposium and a presentation of the recently published edited volume entitled “Gender in Georgia: Feminist Perspectives on Culture, Nation and History in the South Caucasus.” The volume was published by Berghahn Books, a major international publisher of English-language scholarship. The event is held on June 5, 2018 at the National Parliamentary Library of Georgia

One of the editors of the book, Alisse Waterston, Presidential Scholar and Professor of Anthropology, City University of New York, will deliver a keynote speech on “Contextualizing Gender in Georgia: Nation, Culture, Power and Politics.” The symposium will also feature selected contributors to the edited volume.

The symposium is conducted within the framework of an Academic Forum on Gender Studies organized jointly by the two centers for gender studies at TSU and ISU. The symposium will be proceeded by a workshop on Academic Writing and Publishing in the New Digital Environment organized on June 4, 2018 at the Tbilisi State University.

Professor Waterston will receive an honorary doctorate from ISU on June 6, 2018 when she will deliver a public lecture, “In Dark Times: The Power and Promise of Engaged Scholarship.”

The event is co-sponsored by American Research Institute for the South Caucasus (ARISC) and Women’s Fund in Georgia. Funding for this lecture comes from a grant from the Council of American Overseas Research Centers. 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.

Workshop on Academic Writing and Publishing in the New Digital Environment

Date and time: 4 June 2018 at 10am
Venue: Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University
Address: 1 Chavchavadze Ave., TSU I Block, Room #115

The Institute for Gender Studies at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University (TSU) and Gender Studies Center at Ilia State University (ISU) have organized a joint workshop on “Academic Writing and Publishing in the New Digital Environment” on June 4, 2018 in Tbilisi, Georgia. The workshop will be delivered at Tbilisi State University by Professor Alisse Waterston, Presidential Scholar and Professor of Anthropology, City University of New York, with facilitators Maia Barkaia and Tamar Sabedashvili, Gender Studies Programme, TSU.

The aim of the workshop is to provide graduate students and faculty with a deep understanding of the state of scholarly journal and book publishing today, and to assist participants in developing skills and strategies for writing both peer-reviewed journal articles and books, and new, public forms of digital scholarship that is in dialogue with non-academic as well as academic audiences. Toward these goals, the workshop will familiarize participants with current publishing processes and outlets.

The workshop is conducted within the framework of an Academic Forum on Gender Studies organized jointly by the two centers for gender studies at TSU and ISU. The workshop will be followed by a book launch and international symposium entitled Gender in Georgia to be held at the National Parliamentary Library of Georgia on June 5, and introduced with a keynote by Professor Waterston, “Contextualizing Gender in Georgia: Nation, Culture, Power and Politics.” Professor Waterston will receive an honorary doctorate from ISU on June 6, 2018 when she will deliver a public lecture, “In Dark Times: The Power and Promise of Engaged Scholarship.”

The event is co-sponsored by American Research Institute for the South Caucasus (ARISC). Funding for this lecture comes from a grant from the Council of American Overseas Research Centers. 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: Countering Violent Extremism in Georgia: What about the Far-Right?

By Onnik James Krikorian, Preventing / Countering Violent Extremism (P / CVE) Consultant and Journalist

Date: May 30, 2018, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

After years of concern with regards to the flow of Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTFs) from Georgia to Syria and Iraq, Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) has started to emerge in Georgia in order to prevent the radicalisation of at-risk individuals in Muslim-populated regions of the country.

While no uniform definition of CVE exists, Humera Khan, Executive Director of the Washington DC-based think-and-do-tank Muflehun, describes it as “the use of non-coercive means to dissuade individuals or groups from mobilizing towards violence and to mitigate recruitment, support, facilitation or engagement in ideologically motivated terrorism by non-state actors in furtherance of political objectives.”

But with a new interest from international donors in funding CVE programmes in Georgia, and as ultra-nationalist and Neo-Nazi groups become increasingly visible in Tbilisi, another question emerges.

What about the Far-Right?

Onnik James Krikorian is a journalist, photographer, and consultant from the United Kingdom who has worked in the area of Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) since February 2013. He has been part of expert working groups, and spoken at various international seminars, conferences, and workshops, for the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications (CSCC), Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), Hedayah, ICCT-The Hague, UNODC, and others.

Since December 2016 he has worked as a consultant on a series of trainings for the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) as part of its Leaders against Intolerance and Violent Extremism (LIVE) project piloted in 2017 and throughout 2018 that aims to empower Youth, Women, and Community and Traditional Leaders in Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism and Radicalisation that Lead to Terrorism (P/CVERLT).

Drawing on this experience, and aware of the situation in Georgia, Krikorian will introduce the concepts behind Preventing / Countering Violent Extremism (P/CVE) and explain why such programmes are just as applicable to far-right extremist groups as they are to Islamist ones.

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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: Soviet Nature: Before and Now

By Brian Kuns, University of Stockholm

Date: May 23, 2018, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

In this presentation, I seek to situate late Soviet and post-Soviet agrarian history with respect to Ukraine in a longer term, critical and global environmental historical perspective. In other words, the aim of the draft paper, on which this presentation is based, is an historical and theoretical reinterpretation of agrarian history in this important agricultural country. The specific questions to be addressed are: (1) was collective farming in Ukraine really so bad? (2) What is the legacy today of Soviet land utilization planning (zemleustroistvo). The paper is in part a theoretical contribution, but it is also based on empirical material that I have gathered as a part of diverse research projects relating to agrarian change in Ukraine. Part of the argument in the draft paper touches on the Holodomor, the great famine in Ukraine. This is a potentially sensitive subject, and, among other things, I would appreciate feedback on finding the right way to frame the argument. That having been said, in the WiP presentation, I will try to avoid too much discussion of theory, focusing on continuities and change in the historical geography of farming in Soviet and post-Soviet Ukraine.

Brian Kuns researches post-communist agrarian change and environmental history in Eastern Europe. He recently defended his PhD dissertation in Human Geography at Stockholm 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: Armenian-Azerbaijani Co-Living in Georgia as Inspiration for Post-Liberal Peace Research

Vadim Romashov, University of Tampere

Date: May 16, 2018, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

The fundamental ontological limitation of self-styled peace-building initiatives is that they are aimed at achieving a state of peace. At best, they employ J. Galtung’s concept of positive peace in striving to achieve peace as a just state of social relations. Yet they ignore another of Galtung’s concepts, that of structural violence, which could lead to a wider understanding that universal peace is not achievable in a global community with a consensus on neo-liberal norms. I propose that a more promising approach would be to support the process of peace: rather than a utopian endpoint of social processes, peace should be viewed instead as a practice of escaping from the dystopian culmination of such processes, the total collapse of social relations. Peace as practice implies continuous efforts to avoid conflict in everyday life, though this also means accepting that conflict will always remain present. Peace must be understood as a process so that it may be reinforced, not as a state to be imposed through normative power. I am convinced that the field of peace research must be de-colonized and move from teaching the “objects” of research what the peace is. towards learning from the “subjects” how peace is already practiced and what, in their understanding, can enhance the peace process. At the same time, peace must not be romanticized as an ideal manifestation of person-to-person relations, but rather viewed as a process closely linked with to the political (i.e. power) relations between people, communities, economic subjects, state actors, global agencies and other actors. Thus, peace, as any social process, is something that is continuously negotiated by the subjects and thus represents a search for compromises about the organization of power relationships. Peace is thus not universal, but very much contextualized and therefore multiple. Post-liberal peace research acknowledges the existence of multiple states of peace in different contexts and environments, and consequently urges us to study local varieties of peace that are experienced in everyday life. My study of Armenian-Azerbaijani co-living in the rural settings of southern Georgia is an attempt to implement such a research agenda.

Vadim Romashov is a Doctoral Research at the Tempere Peace Research Institute of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Tampere in Finland.

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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: Nostalgia, societal cleavages, and the modernization project: Georgians’ attitudes towards the European Union

By Rati Shubladze and David Sichinava, CRRC Georgia

Date: May 2, 2018, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

This WiP talk will explore Georgians’ attitudes towards the country’s integration into the European Union. We argue that the binary opposition between pro- and anti-EU stances reflects deeper societal division along ideological cleavages, specifically, their attitudes towards different projects of societal modernization.The process of Europeanization is strongly associated with modernization (Featherstone & Kazamanias, 2000; Berezin & Díez-Medrano, 2008). In Georgian context modernization and Europeanization are often synonyms (Nodia, 2001 cited in Pelkmans, 2006) and are fulfilled through neoliberal market reforms leading to rising inequality and the emergence of “winners” and “losers” of the transformation. Seemingly, this also contributes to a growing Euroscepticism and nostalgia towards the alternative model of modernization – the Soviet Union (Derluguian & Earle, 2010).

Survey data from April 2017 CRRC/NDI polls indicate that Georgian society is polarized when it comes to attitudes towards the country’s European integration. Moreover, the poll numbers fluctuate significantly along ethnic and geographic lines. Differences arise among the representatives of various age, educational, and socio-economic groups, although we we show that these differences evaporate when controlling for the respondents’ attitudes towards alternative modernization project such as the Soviet Union.
Based on the societal cleavage theory of Lipset and Rokkan, we argue that the respondents’ attitudes to closer integration with the West mirror the ideological cleavages in society which emerged along with public attitudes towards different modernization projects. We hypothesize that the prevalence of these cleavages might be predicted by attitudes towards “modernization” and “alternative modernization” discourses in Georgian society.

David Sichinava, Ph.D., is an Assistant professor at Tbilisi State University and a Senior Policy Analyst at CRRC-Georgia. He has been working for CRRC since 2009 in various positions. Currently, his work focuses on the development of evidence-based policy documents as well as on statistical modeling of survey and spatial data. David holds his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Human Geography from Tbilisi State University (TSU). In the fall semester of 2016 he was a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at the Institute of Behavioral Sciences of the University of Colorado Boulder. Apart from his work at CRRC-Georgia, David is an assistant professor at Tbilisi State University.

David’s research interests are focused on political geography, urban theory, election modeling and GIS applications in social sciences. He teaches introductory and advanced research methods classes at TSU and supervises graduate student research papers at TSU and Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA).

Rati Shubladze is a Ph.D. candidate at Tbilisi State University and a researcher at CRRC-Georgia. Rati has worked for CRRC-Georgia since 2013, beginning as a Junior Fellow and then as a researcher. His main duties and responsibilities include working on the analytical papers and reports, organizing interviewer’s fieldwork training, and supervising ongoing fieldwork activities. Rati is also involved in the survey instrument and ODK form development process, and participates in the data management procedures.

Rati holds an M.A. in Social Sciences from Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University (TSU). Currently, he is a Ph.D candidate at the Department of Sociology at TSU. His doctoral research is related to electoral behavior in Georgia. He also teaches classes at TSU on research methods. Before joining CRRC’s Junior Fellowship Program, Rati was involved in a 2012 UNDP pre-election project on media monitoring in Georgia.

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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: Who Counts the Votes: Re-Examining the Level of Organization of Voter Fraud

By Lucy Flynn, Georgian Opinion Research Business International (GORBI)

Date: April 25, 2018, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

Evaluations of the legitimacy of election results generally test the amalgamated data for deviance from expected characteristics. They focus on number patterns in vote counts (multiples of 10, repeating digits, etc.) or on incumbent party percentages, and if the collection of polling stations as a whole deviates implausibly from proportions expected due to random chance then election results are suspect. Recent Georgian election data does not appear suspect, and observers have concluded that they have been generally free and fair.

However, another test for fraud focuses not on the overall collection of polling stations, but on the differences between them. The approach assumes that fraud, when it occurs, is neither universal nor consistent in degree. I apply this approach both to voter turnout and to ballot spoilage, and results suggest that a substantial amount of fraud has occurred in recent Georgian elections.

Lucy Flynn is the Director of Survey Design and Analysis at Georgian Opinion Research Business International (GORBI). She is responsible for designing the firm’s surveys, and for the analysis of data collected. Prior to joining GORBI she has worked for both CRRC and GeoWel in a similar capacity, and outside of survey work has been focused statistical ecology. Lucy has lived in Georgia intermittently since 2009, and has lived and traveled in the Caucasus region periodically for more than 15 years.

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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: Democratization, Nationalism and Media on the Path to Civil Conflict: The Structure and Dynamics of Nationalist Appeals in Georgian Print Media

By Dr. Nino Abzianidze, Department of Political Science, University of Zurich (PhD)/Department of Political Sciecne, University of Copenhagen (Postdoc)

Date: April 18, 2018, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

Growing up in the early 1990s in Georgia, a country that experienced one of the rockiest paths to democracy of all the post-Soviet states, very un-childlike thoughts came to my mind: Why were my parents so nervous about elections every time they approached? And why did the members of my immediate and extended family repeatedly talk about how much they hoped that “this” election will pass without calamities? The grown-up members of my family could hardly have been aware then that early elections in democratizing countries tend to increase the risks of civil conflicts (Cederman, Gleditsch, and Hug 2013). Yet when elections approached, they could, probably, understand through the mass media how polarization among the political stakeholders was escalating. Having already experienced the horror of ethno-nationalist conflicts, such polarization along ethnic lines would have been particularly worrisome for them. But was this the case? Was this fear of elections triggered by an intensification of nationalist polarization in the media? Some authors have argued (Snyder 2000), and others have assumed (Cederman, Gleditsch, and Hug 2013), that elections generally heighten nationalist discourse in the “marketplace of ideas.” We lack the necessary systematic empirical research, however, to demonstrate this. In tackling this puzzle, my project examines the patterns of nationalist discourse in the Georgian print media during the transition period. It attempts to disentangle the structure of this discourse and to clarify whether elections indeed cause an increase nationalist media content.

Nino Abzianidze is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen. Her current project aims at identifying whether and how ethnically segmented media systems contribute to the likelihood of ethnic conflicts with the major focus on post-communist countries of Eastern and Central Europe. Nino has obtained her doctoral degree from the Department of Political Science, University of Zurich in May, 2017. Her PhD thesis looked at the structure of nationalist discourse in the Georgian print media and the dynamics of this discourse during the democratization period of 1991-2012. Nino Abzianidze has completed her studies at the Faculty of Humanities (BA) and the Centre for Social Sciences (MA) of Ivane Javakhishvili 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: Some Reflections on the Historiographical Materials of Aurangzeb ‘Alamgir (gov. 1685-1707), Or: How to Legitimize India’s most Controversial King?

By Tilmann Kulke, Ilia State University

Date: April 11, 2018, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

Aurangzīb has generally been described as the Mughals’ ‘bad guy’, who, through his intolerant religious policy and temple destructions, is responsible for the empire’s later downfall. The Maʾāsīr-i ʿĀlamgīrī chronicle (1707-1710), which covers the reign of the once mighty emperor, portrays him as a temple destroyer. But many important aspects have been overlooked, including the multiple authorship of the chronicle and the political changes taking place at the time of its writing. Further, the Maʾāsīr-i ʿĀlamgīrī chronicle is a very complex narrative and much more multifarious than previously thought. It not only reports about the past and glorifying a temple-destroying king; it is also a future-oriented text that calls for new forms of government and presents an agenda for the emperor’s successors. This presentation will discuss and demonstrate the process of compilation of the chronicle and will argue that at least one of its authors made a concerted effort to create a cosmopolitan regime.

Tilmann Kulke is Assistant Professor of Islamic History and Global History at Ilia State University in Tbilisi. He has a PhD from the European University Institute in Florence, and has studied Islamic Studies, Early Modern and Modern History and Anglo-American Studies in Cologne, Bonn, Paris, Istanbul and Damascus. He has served as editorial manager and co-editor of the online review journal Islamische Welten, and is currently working on the manuscript „An Early 18th-Century Mughal Munšī at Work. Conflicts and Emotions in Mustaʿidd Ḫān’s Maʾāsir-i ʿĀlamgīrī“.

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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: Innovations in Georgia in the 2nd-1st Millennia BC – The Grakliani Excavations

By Vakhtang Licheli, Director of the Institute of Archeology, Tbilisi State Universtiy

Date: April 4, 2018, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

The Grakliani Hill settlement and necropolis, as well as the Tsina Gora satellite site, are situated in Georgia in the central part of the South Caucasus. The materials discovered there date from different periods and cover various strata, including the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods, the early and late bronze ages, and the early and developed iron ages, up to the 3rd-4th centuries AD. The Grakliani hill findings give a clear picture of innovations and the high level of development of Kartli society (that of Eastern Georgia, referred to in Greco–Roman literary sources as “Iberia”) during the 2nd – 1st millenia BC, including religious structures and burial sites. On the third terrace of Grakliani hill, where samples of two unknown scripts from the 10th century BC)were discovered, excavations of an Achaemenid period temple had been carried out during the course of four years.

Vakhtang Licheli has been the director of the Institute of Archeology at Tbilisi State University since 2011. He has lectured at a number of universities in Europe, including Ca Foscari University in Italy, Innsbruck University, and Leiden University, and has headed archeological expeditions in Cyprus and in Georgia.

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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: Diplomacy in the Black Sea Region: From Karlowitz to Paris (1699-1856)

By Mariya Amelicheva, Georgetown University

Date: March 28, 2018, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

The talk will assess the importance of the period for the history of the Black Sea region from a diplomatic perspective, which usually is an insignificant afterthought in narratives of Russian-Ottoman wars of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The presentation is based both on original research involving rare sources and on a synthesis of the latest scholarship on the subject. What transpired in the century and a half after a coalition of European powers achieved a resounding defeat over Ottoman military forces at the end of the seventeenth century? One conspicuous factor is the growing presence and influence of the Russian Empire, whose tsars starting with Peter I began to maintain permanent diplomatic missions abroad. The majority of the peace treaties concluded during this period followed periods of military conflict, but the treaties themselves also could engender future disagreements. One particular example is the claim of Nicholas I in 1852 to have been the official protector of Ottoman Orthodox Christians based on the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca. I will present new scholarship and evidence from my own research on the subject, as well as complicate the accepted picture of Russian-Ottoman relations as inevitably adversarial.

Mariya Amelicheva is a historian of the Russian Empire and the diplomatic history of Russian-Ottoman relations. She has received her Ph.D. in history from Georgetown University and is currently transforming her dissertation into a manuscript focusing on one of the key Russian diplomats in the Ottoman Empire, Aleksei Obreskov. The study is a diplomatic history of the Black Sea region in the third quarter of the eighteenth century and it reveals the dynamic international contacts focused on the Ottoman capital of Constantinople that preceded—and can explain important aspects of—the Russian-Ottoman war of 1768-1774 and the consequential Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca.

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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: “Post-Hoc Blocking for Quasi-Experimental Impact Evaluation: An example from the Impact Evaluation of the Agricultural Support Program in Georgia”

By Dustin Gilbreath, CRRC Georgia

Date: March 21, 2018, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

Randomized control trials are considered the gold standard in impact evaluation, as random assignment of interventions generally enables clean inferences about whether a program intervention worked or not. However, many program implementers are hesitant to randomize their interventions or only think about rigorously evaluating their program at the close of project. This means that a randomized control trial approach is not possible. While a number of silver standard, quasi-experimental methods like matching are in use for such cases, few evaluators use a rigorous sampling process to identify a control group at the community level for comparison of outcomes. Rather a random sample of individuals is taken and then a quasi-experimental analysis method applied. In this talk, I propose a post-hoc, quasi-experimental blocking process using the genetic matching algorithm as a tool that aims to recreate the conditions of random assignment for community level interventions. I argue that this method should better approximate the conditions of a randomized control trial than using matching at the individual level alone.

Dustin Gilbreath is the Deputy Research Director at CRRC-Georgia. His work focuses on experimental and quasi-experimental research design for impact evaluation and the testing of policy interventions.

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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: “Talk to them: How election campaigns increase partisanship in Georgia”

By Koba Turmanidze, Director, CRRC Georgia

Date: February 14, 2018, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

The paper looks at the impact of party-voter linkages on partisanship. Analyzing survey data, the article shows that face-to-face contact between parties and voters prior to elections significantly increases partisanship, at least in the short term. This finding has relevance to party system institutionalization, accountability and political stability in the context of a hybrid regime, which slowly moves towards a democracy.

Koba Turmanidze has been working for CRRC-Georgia since 2007. He earned an MPA from American University (Washington, DC) and an 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.

From 2005-2011, he was an Assistant Professor at Tbilisi State University, where he taught comparative politics, economies in transition, research methods and applied statistics courses in the Department of Political Science and the Center for Social Sciences.

Before joining CRRC-Georgia, Koba worked in several civil society organizations, as well as in civil service. His research interests include authoritarianism, regime change and voting behavior.

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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: “Student Expectations and Perceptions of Universities in Georgia”

By Ana Kamladze, Lasha Macharashvili, and Sophia Gorgodze, Ilia State University

Date: January 31, 2018, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

This presentation will give the findings from a study conducted in five large cities in Georgia, involving over 800 BA students from Tbilisi State University, Kutaisi State University, Telavi State University, Batumi State University and Samtskhe-Javaketi State University. A mixed methods approach was used for this study: initially quantitative data was collected from the five universities, coupled with individual interviews with university administrators and experts in the field; focus groups with students were then conducted later to get a deeper understanding of the data obtained from quantitative instruments. The findings indicate, among other things, that there is a gap in student expectations and in their perceptions of what they might receive from their university experiences.

Ana Kmaladze received her BA in Political Science at Tbilisi State University in 2016, and she is currently pursuing her MA in Higher Education Administration at Ilia State University.

Lasha Macharashvili received his BA in Psychology at Tbilisi State University in 2016 and is currently in the second year of the MA program in Education Administration at Ilia State University.

Sophia Gorgodze is associate professor in the School of Education at Ilia 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: “The SCOPUS diaries and the (il)logics of academic survival. A short guide to design your own strategy and survive bibliometrics, conferences and unreal expectations in academia”

CRRC, ARISC and American Councils are opening the Spring/Summer 2018 Works-in-Progress series and are happy to present the 1st talk!

The first talk will be delivered by Abel Polese, Dublin City University

Date: January 24, 2018, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

Abel Polese is a Senior Research Fellow with DCU Institute for International Conflict Resolution and Reconstruction. He has been a Marie Curie Fellow at the Technical University of Dresden, Germany (2006-2008) and the University of Edinburgh, Scotland (2008-2011). In 2012-2013 he worked as a policy analyst for the European Commission (DG Research). In the past seven years, Abel has been awarded funding for nearly 10 million euro and has worked as a consultant for a the governmental and non profit sector in Europe, Asia and Latin America (Austrian and Finnish Agencies for Erasmus+; Estonian Research Council; Rustaveli Foundation; SALTO; YouthForum; WAGGGS; UNOPS). His project “Sustainable Development in Cultural Diversity” received the Global Education Award by the Council of Europe in 2011.

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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.

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Networking Calls

ARISC is organizing teleconferenced networking call sessions for scholars of the South Caucasus from around the world. These networking sessions are an informal way for scholars in all stages of their careers to connect and have a chance to discuss issues relevant to their research. We have organized sessions devoted to broad topics. Attendees will begin the session by introducing themselves and the topics of their research interests. A moderator will lead each discussion.

“Migration into and out of the South Caucasus” with Erin Hofmann, Utah State University
Thursday, April 19, 2018 at 11.00am EDT (New York time)

“Where is Armenia in the History of Art?” with Christina Maranci, Tufts University
Thursday, May 17, 2018 at 12.00pm EDT (New York time)

“Cross-Disciplinary Collaborations: Gender Studies in the South Caucasus” with Alisse Waterson, City University of New York- John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Monday, June 18, 2018 at 11.00am EDT (New York time)

Space is limited! Interested participants can reserve their space by emailing info@arisc.org. Please include the title of the session you are interested in attending, your name, contact information, and research interests in the email. Please include a note about what you would like to discuss with the group during the call. Additional information about meeting URL, login, and other details about joining the discussion will be sent in a confirmation email. Participants will need a computer/mobile device with internet connection, speakers/earphones, and microphone. Cameras are optional.

Sessions are free and open to all.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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