Events

Armenia      Azerbaijan      Georgia       Networking

Armenia

Presentation by ARISC Fellows:

Online Encyclopedia of Armenian Modernist Architecture
Armenian Regional Modernism: Modernizing Tradition

Date: August 19, 2017
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: The Club, Toumanyan 40 Street, Yerevan, Armenia

ArmArch is a think-tank and an online platform involved in a research of various theoretical aspects of Armenian architecture. We are interested in studying the global social-cultural background conditioning the morphological development of Armenian architecture throughout centuries. ArmArch is a multidisciplinary research marrying humanities with hardcore architectural studies. Semiotics is our beloved tool to apply in these studies. ArmArch has three main research subjects, though its scope of interest is not limited to it: “Armenian Regional Modernist Architecture”, “Tradition and Modernization” and “Coexistence of Architectural Layers in a City development”. This project has been funded by a grant from the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC).

Romina Der-Bedrossian is a Los Angeles based photographer. She holds an MBA (2002) and an MA (2006) in Education. Though originally trained as an educator and currently an instructor at community colleges in greater Los Angeles, she has traveled in North America, Europe, the Caucasus, and the Middle East shooting the ordinary scenes of diverse societies and cultures. In December 2010, she served as the correspondent photojournalist for Asbarez Daily Newspaper to Armenia. Sponsored by the Armenian Tourism Development Agency, the project resulted in two published photo-essays and image-galleries, narrating the often-harsh realities of post-soviet states such as Georgia and Armenia. Romina’s still photos were also incorporated by NBC-affiliate KSEE 24 in a special presentation series, entitled Stefani’s Armenia, for their artistic and professional merit. In 2013, Katchi.db’s Paper Architecture was exhibited at the Exploring Urban Identities in De-industrialized Cities at the New Bedford Art Museum, Massachusetts. Since then, her photographs have been published in The Journal of Urban History (photo-essay, 2015), Contemporary Iranian Art (book, 2014), and Art Brief II: Iranian Contemporary North America (catalogue, 2016).

Talinn Grigor Co-chair, Department of Art and Art History at the University of California, Davis (Graduate Advisor, Professor of Art History, Contemporary Global Visual Culture, Critical and (post)Colonial Theory). Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, M.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, B.Arch., University of Southern California. Talinn Grigor’s research concentrates on the cross-pollination of visual culture and global politics and historiography, focused on Iran and India. She received her Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2005. Her books include Building Iran: Modernism, Architecture, and National Heritage under the Pahlavi Monarchs (2009); Contemporary Iranian Art: From the Street to the Studio (2014); and Persian Kingship and Architecture: Strategies of Power in Iran from the Achaemenids to the Pahlavis, with Sussan Babaie (2015). Her articles have appeared in the Art Bulletin, Getty Journal, Third Text, Future Anterior, and Iranian Studies among others. Past grants consist of CASVA’s Ittleson fellow at the National Gallery of Art, postdoctoral fellow at the Getty Research Institute, Social Science Research Council fellow, Mellon fellow at Cornell University, Aga Khan at MIT among others.

Yeva Ess (Sargsyan) is an architectural theorist, critic and journalist of architecture. She has graduated from Yerevan State University of Architecture and Construction in 2006 (BA, MA in Architecture) and from Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London in 2011 (MA in Architectural History). Yeva’s academic interests evolve around such subjects as architectural form and morphology, architectural semiotics, meaning and language of architecture, architectural representation, aesthetics, perception, etc. Among other projects Yeva Sargsyan is working on the ’Architectural Motifs’ research project which studies recurrent structural patterns in contemporary architecture.

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, citizenship, or status as a covered veteran.

Strategies for Applying to Graduate Programs

Talin Lindsay
American Research Institute of the South Caucasus
Purdue University

Date: July 7, 2017
Time: 7:00-8:00 PM
Location: AEON, 3A Teryan Street, Yerevan, Armenia

Many students are interested in completing a master’s or doctoral degree in the United States. The goal of this lecture is to walk students through the process of applying to a graduate program in the social sciences or humanities. We will discuss the different application pieces required, how to prepare a strong application, and what issues to consider when applying to a graduate program.

Talin Lindsay has been working in university administration in the US for thirteen 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.

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.

Public Presentation by ARISC Fellows:
The Conservation of the Gospel of Tsughrut

Date: October 25, 2016
Time: 11:30 am
Venue: Yerevan Matenadaran, Virtual Matenadaran Hall
Address: Matenadaran, Scientific Research Institute of Ancient Manuscripts after Mesrop Mashtots, Virtual Matenadaran Hall, Mashtots Avenue 53, Yerevan 0009
Language: Armenian

The one thousand year old Gospel of Tsughrut or Hovhannes Avetaran is a significant piece of Armenian medieval art in terms of archaeography and simplicity of miniature expression. Many times referred to as the Guardian of Tsughrut, the Gospel has been carefully preserved and protected by the Saponjyan family as the holy relic of the village.

With the current scholarship granted by the Armenian Research Institute of the South Caucasus it has been possible to implement conservation and restoration work on the manuscript locally in the village of Tsughrut, thus ensuring longer preservation of the unique relic. The conservation of the manuscript has been implemented by senior conservators of Yerevan Matenadaran Artavazd Ayvazyan and Arthur Petrosyan, biologist Lusine Markaryan and with the supervision of Ms. Gayane Eliazyan, Head of the Restoration Department of Yerevan Mantenadaran, PhD in Chemical Science.

Prof. Barlow Der Mugrdechian is Berberian Coordinator of Armenian Studies Program at California State University, Fresno. He teaches Armenian Language, Literature, History and culture courses. He is President of the Society for Armenian Studies. Prof. Der Mugrdechian has been awarded the St. Nerses Shnorhali medal for his services to the Armenian Church in 2010 by Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians.

Arusyak Baldryan is a MA student of UNESCO World Heritage Studies at Brandenburg Technical University of Cottbus Senftenberg in Germany. She has worked in cultural non-profit projects in Yerevan, Tbilisi, Dresden and Berlin.

With joint efforts Prof. Barlow Der Mugrdechian and Arusyak Baldryan have initiated the Conservation of the Gospel of Tsughrut locally in the village of Tsughrut, in cooperation with Head of the Restoration Department of Yerevan Matenadaran, Ms. Gayane Eliazyan thus preventing the further decay of the medieval Armenian Manuscript (dating back to 974). Der Mugrdechian and Baldryan are recipients of an ARISC Collaborative Heritage Management Grant for their project.

This event is free and open to the public. https://www.facebook.com/events/1671219589859741/

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.

 

top

Azerbaijan

Public Talk in Baku “Writing Home: Communication of Muslim Refugees Between the Ottoman and Russian Empires”

The AmericanAmerican Research Institute of the South Caucasus in cooperation with Baku American center is pleased to present public talk by Vladimir Hamed-Troyansky, Stanford University, titled “Writing Home: Communication of Muslim Refugees Between the Ottoman and Russian Empires”

Location: Baku American Center, 134 Rashid Behbudov st.
Date: 25 August, 2016
Time: 5 pm

Abstract:

In the late Ottoman and tsarist era, over a million North Caucasus Muslims emigrated to Anatolia, Syria, and the Balkans. Known as muhajirs, they played an important role in the late Ottoman society and contributed to the demographic and political reshaping of the modern Middle East. What is less known is how many muhajirs preserved connections with their homeland. Based on rare private letters, exchanged between refugees and their families in the Caucasus, this paper explores a “secret” world that was largely hidden from Ottoman and Russian authorities. Private communication across the Russo-Ottoman frontier challenges some of our assumptions about the rigidness of borders and identities in the two empires in the 1860-1914 period.

Speaker’s bio:

Vladimir Hamed-Troyansky is a Ph.D. candidate in Ottoman and Modern Middle Eastern History at Stanford University. He conducted research on Muslim refugee migration in public and private archives in Turkey, Jordan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Russia, and the United Kingdom. His work has been supported by the Social Science Research Council, the American Research Center in Sofia, and the American Center for Oriental Research.

* 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.

 

top


Georgia

American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC) presents a

Speed Networking Research Mixer

Date: 27 July 2017 – Thursday
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 PM
Where: Ligamus Bookstore, 3rd Floor (32 Chavchavadze Ave.)

  • Practice your “elevator speech” (a short, 2-minute description of your research interests and goals).
  • make connections with ARISC fellows, students, and scientists from the social- and life-science communities in short, one-on-one conversations.
  • Enjoy complimentary food and beverages!

Space is limited! For more information or to RSVP, please email Richard Tate at rwtate@ufl.edu. We look forward to meeting you!

***
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.

Series of Anthropological Seminars organized at Ilia State University, will host Richard Tate, ARISC Fellow, for a public talk on

“Plants, people, the mountains and the sea: Ethnobotanical investigations in Adjara, Georgia”

Date: July 26, 17:00
Venue: Ilia State University, room A103
Address: 32 Chavchavadze Ave.

Richard W. Tate is a PhD student in the Interdisciplinary Ecology program at the University of Florida (UF). He is a Graduate Fellow of the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC), and a recipient of a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship from US Department of Education. This research supported by UF’s Center for European Studies, the School of Natural Resources and Environment (UF), and ARISC.

WiP: “New Strategies in Language Science Research and Training”

Date: July 26, 2017, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

Education and research typically include the theoretical component and the in-field, or experimental component. Often the two components are separated not only conceptually but also spatially, with the theory tied to a university lab or classroom, and the more empirical component requiring travel to a site where the theory can be tested. In many projects, both components have to come together for a more successful outcome. As scientists increasingly attempt to synthesize complex systems at different scales, modular groups of researchers working together on a temporary basis are becoming more and more necessary. The concept of a field station is designed to bring these two components together. A field station is a centralized facility that coordinates scientific research on particular projects by providing (i) research infrastructure, (ii) access to specific social, biological, or ecological systems which are not immediately available to researchers from different universities, (iii) access to local communities with the goal of training local specialists in a given field. Thus the mission of a field station is to promote research, education, and public service in global science, interdisciplinary research, sustainable development, and community involvement. We will discuss the concept of a field station more generally and will then explore its possible application to the Georgian setting.

Maria Polinsky is Professor of Linguistics, Associate Director of the Language Science Center, and Director of the Field Station Program at the University of Maryland. Her interests combine theoretical syntax, experimental approaches to sentence structure, and cross-linguistic variation.

Léa Nash is a Professor of Linguistics at the University Paris Lumières-Paris 8 and conducts research at the Laboratory on Formal Structure on Language at CNRS. She holds a PhD Degree from Paris 8. Professor Nash is a syntactician and has worked on linguistic typology, ergativity, case theory and argument structure in Romance languages, Russian and Georgian.

*****
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: “Foreign Fighters: Why Individuals Travel to Fight”

By Elena Pokalova, College of International Security Affairs, National Defense University

Date: July 19, 2017, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

With the rise of the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the phenomenon of foreign fighters became a significant security concern. Governments around the world have become preoccupied with the possibility of their citizens leaving for combat zones and then coming back with training and experience. While previously foreign fighters participated in such conflicts as Afghanistan, Bosnia, or Iraq, today ISIS has attracted record numbers of individuals from various backgrounds. Georgia, among other countries, has been affected by the phenomenon, and such individuals as Omar al-Shishani have featured among ISIS fighters. In her talk Dr. Elena Pokalova will discuss factors that impact the outflow of foreign fighters from specific countries. Further, she will talk about her research in Georgia that focuses on the conditions there that might be related to the movement of foreign fighters.

Dr. Elena Pokalova is an expert on security issues with a focus on terrorism and counterterrorism. She received her PhD in political science from Kent State University in Ohio. Her dissertation “Shifting Faces of Terror after 9/11” examined how September 11 and the war on terror affected ways of dealing with ethno-nationalist separatist conflicts. Dr. Pokalova has a vast record of publications focused on terrorism, counterterrorism, and ethnic conflict. One of the courses she teaches at the National Defense University deals with prevention of radicalization, deradicalization and reconciliation.

*****
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: Geopolitical Ecologies: The politics and effects of mining governance in post-Soviet Georgia 

By Jesse Swann-Quinn, Syracuse University and ARISC Fellow

Date: July 12, 2017, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

Like many post-Soviet countries, natural resource governance provides an important revenue source for Georgia. The Georgian state auctions off long-term, geographically delimited extraction licenses for minerals, metals, oil, gas, water, and timber resources to the highest bidders as part of broad neoliberal reforms instituted during the past decade and a half. In so doing, the government has introduced both a new resource governance systemand new forms of territorial administration. However, these changes have generated resistance among citizens and produce new social relations among Georgian society, corporations, and the state – as well as diverse material effects. This dissertation research builds on recent work within political geography and political ecology to explore these dynamic relationships through a case study of an open-cast gold and copper mining complex in southern Georgia. This presentation introduces preliminary research findings, drawing from nearly five months of field work investigating the experiences and discourses surrounding these mines. Of particular significance are the environmental and health impacts mining activities have on local populations, the economic outcomes generated by this development project, and connections between resource governance and broader geopolitical change in Georgia.

Jesse Swann-Quinn is a PhD candidate in the Geography department at Syracuse University and a 2017 ARISC Graduate Fellow. His research addresses political geographies of the environment, and concentrates on the politics of mineral and metal mining in post-Soviet space. Focusing on publicly oriented scholarship, Jesse was a 2016 Public Humanities Fellow through the New York Council for the Humanities, and before returning to graduate school he made wildlife documentaries as an associate producer for National Geographic Television.

*****
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 ties that bind (until they don’t): Political Networks and Regime Transformation in Georgia”

By Julie George, Queens College, CUNY

Date: July 5, 2017, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

We (together with Franziska Barbara Keller and Scott Radnitz) examine the roles of networks and their variations in the case of Georgia, tracing two instances of party formation and regime transition, comparing the networks underpinning both processes. Thus we compare the Rose Revolution and the CUG ruling party collapse in 2003, comparing it to the losses faced by the successor ruling United National Movement upon its electoral loss in 2012. In so doing, we trace the mechanism of party creation and the process of elite defections that lead to party collapse. We do this using an original and comprehensive dataset of Georgian political elites, with which we construct the personal relationships between them by establishing whether they may have met personally during their earlier career, e.g. because they are alumni from the same university or former coworkers. We show that this network is dense, and that it influences the formation of factions, in the sense that former coworker and co-alumni are more likely to belong to the same faction. However, when changing between factions, elites seem to follow strategic considerations more than simply switching to the faction that dominates their immediate network neighborhood.

Our paper thus examines how networks contributed to regime transformation. The methodology allows us to identify the different networks structures that contribute to various political configurations at different times, as well as permits us to trace the micropolitics that undergird elite competition in non-democratic settings.

Julie A. George is an associate professor of political science at Queens College and the Graduate Center at the City University of New York. Her research examines the politics of state-building, ethnicity, and democratization in the post-Communist space. She is the author of the book, Ethnic Separatism in Russia and in Georgia, as well as several articles and book chapters.

*****
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 Talk on “Strategies for Applying to Graduate Programs”

By Talin Lindsay, American Research Institute of the South Caucasus and Purdue University

Date: June 28, 2017, at 16:30
Venue: Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, II Block, Room #336 (3 Chavchavadze Ave.)

Many students are interested in completing a master’s or doctoral degree in the United States. The goal of this lecture is to walk students through the process of applying to a graduate program in the social sciences or humanities. We will discuss the different application pieces required, how to prepare a strong application, and what issues to consider when applying to a graduate program.

Talin Lindsay has been working in university administration in the US for thirteen 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.

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: “Prison Reforms and Prison Riots: Exploring Resistance to Change in Post-Soviet Prisons”

By Gavin Slade, University of Glasgow

Date: June 28, 2017, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

Criminological theory explains extreme breakdowns of prison order – riots – by reference to prison regime legitimacy. Compliance towards regimes breaks down when expectations about prison conditions are not met. Criminological theory tells us less about what happens to these expectations when prison systems are in the grip of major reform. Prisons in the former Soviet Union can be instructive in this regard presenting puzzles during reform that help to probe this issue. In the post-Soviet region prisoners often produce resistance precisely at times when they are being moved to new and often better penal facilities. Riots can be sometimes directed not at the regime but at other groups of prisoners. Instances of collective self-harming increase during riots. Moreover, the most significant disturbances usually occur in pre-trial facilities, where, we might suppose, prisoners have the most to lose. How do we explain these observations? Drawing on specific examples of prison riots from four post-Soviet cases – Georgia, Moldova, Lithuania and Kyrgyzstan – involving in depth interviews with prisoners and ex-prisoners this talk will explore that question.

Gavin Slade is a lecturer in legacies of communism at the University of Glasgow. He works on questions of criminal justice reform in the former Soviet Union. His current project involves a comparative case study of how penal reform produces violence and contention in Georgia, Moldova, Lithuania and Kyrgyzstan. His first book was published with Oxford University Press in 2013 entitled ‘Reorganizing Crime: Mafia and Anti-Mafia in Post-Soviet 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: Tbilisi Metro: Modeling Passenger Flows and Capacity based on Incomplete Data

By Giorgi Babunashvili, CRRC Georgia

Date: June 21, 2017, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

The presentation is part of the research conducted for a project on development strategies for the Tbilisi subway. The end result was an elaboration of recommendations for attracting more residents to use the subway and to adapt the system for an expected increase in passenger flow. The talk will center on the methodology for estimating the volume and vectors of passenger flows, based on data on boarding passengers. This project, funded by the U.S. Embassy, gives a concrete example of how data can be used to inform public policy decisions.

Giorgi Babunashvili holds an MA degree in International Relations from Tbilisi State University and is a doctoral student in Comparative Politics at Ilia State University. With extensive experience in survey sampling and data management, Giorgi has been working as a researcher at CRRC–Georgia since 2008 and teaches quantitative methods at Ilia State University. Giorgi also heads an NGO called Urban Lab that focuses on transportation-related issues.

*****
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: Linguistic Minority Rights in Georgia and the State Educational System: Contradictions and Progress in Recent Years

By Jean-François Juneau, University of Montreal

Date: June 14, 2017, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

This talk will focus on the speaker’s previous research in a larger perspective, encompassing the Kartvelian minorities and tensions in the recognition of their languages and the contradictions within the existing programs, and the governmental attitude towards the minorities according to their perceived degree of threat.

Presently finishing his Master’s degree in anthropology at the University of Montreal, Jean-François Juneau is interested in questions related to linguistic minorities and language policies in the South Caucasus, and more globally in the former-Soviet Union. Having completed a Bachelor’s degree in anthropology (2011-2014) and a certificate in Russian Language and Culture Studies, he is finishing his current project about the Georgian State education system and the rights of officially recognized linguistic minorities to be taught in their language and the persistence of Russian as a lingua franca in Samtskhe-Javakheti and Kvemo-Kartli. His main focus is the perceptions and actions of parents and teachers towards the sociolinguistic problems of Georgian as a second language in ethnic minorities’ schools or sectors, which is obligated by the Constitution, and the use of Russian as a common language in the these regions, but also the efforts made to create a favorable environment for the learning of the state language. Jean-François will begin his doctoral studies at the University of Toronto in September, and he is also preparing to do fieldwork in Svaneti for his new research project about the Svan language and its related dialects in the domain of field linguistics.

*****
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: Bilingual in Brooklyn: Georgian as a Heritage Language in America

By Cass Lowry – CUNY, The Graduate Center

Date: June 7, 2017, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

Heritage languages are those spoken at home that differ from the surrounding majority language. In New York, a Georgian community has grown since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The parents in this community strive to raise their children in the Georgian culture and language; yet, due to societal pressures and the overwhelming influence of English in their daily lives, many Georgian-American children have persistent difficulties speaking Georgian. This presentation is based on exploratory research which investigates Georgian as a heritage language in America.

The field of Heritage Language Acquisition has documented many cross-linguistic commonalities in the semi-proficient speech of bilingual heritage speakers. This present study documents the morphosyntactic divergences of Heritage Georgian from typically developing Georgian. Future work will build on this research to detail ways in which Heritage Georgian differs from other heritage languages, and to develop a Georgian language curriculum for Georgian cultural centers to support the maintenance of Georgian in America.

Cass Lowry is a PhD student in the Linguistics Program at The CUNY Graduate Center in New York. His research interests include heritage languages, bilingualism, and language contact, with a focus on morphosyntax. The languages he researches are Georgian, Turkish, and English. He recently completed a Masters in Applied Linguistics, with a TESOL Certification at the University of Pittsburgh, and is currently in Georgia conducting research as Robert T. Henderson Endowment Grant awardee.

*****
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: Being Elite in a Soviet Way

By Tea Kamushadze, Tbilisi State University

Date: May 31, 2017, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

This project addresses the Soviet elitism associated with the title of “Hero of Socialist Labor” and the associated lifestyle. The presentation is based on anthropological research into the lives of Heroes of Socialist Labor living in the city of Rustavi in Georgia conducted in 2012-2014. Besides ethnographic data, other sources such as the Soviet media and literary fiction on the topic are utilized. Based on a case-study of the biography of one Hero of Socialist Labor who worked for most of his life on the Rustavi Metallurgical Plant, I attempt demonstrate how and why such people were treated as elites, to identify the features and forms of Soviet elitism, and to address its meaning in both Soviet and post-Soviet contexts. The title of Hero of Socialist Labor usually sharply increased the in-group public status of the holder, making him or her a “first among equals”. At the same time it brought together people – representatives of different social groups, workers, intellectuals, artists, and even top state officials – in an elite group endowed with special rights and privileges. Being a Hero of Socialist Labor meant to live the life of an ordinary citizen, continuing to work as part of the toiling masses, while at the same time being privileged, including access to material perks and part of formal and informal decision-making agencies, such as membership in city or village councils. After the collapse of the Soviet Union they found themselves excluded from the formation of the new, post-Soviet elite, and they lost all of those aspects of elitism that they had previously enjoyed. The study of this status group will allow us to understand the specifics of elitism in the USSR and its failure to reproduce itself after the collapse of Socialism.

Tea Kamushadze is a PhD candidate in Anthropology at Tbilisi State University. Her research interests involve the Socialist heritage of post-Communist Georgia, based example of the industrial city of Rustavi. She examines this particular city as a Communist project using national branding. Currently she is a Fellow of the CARTI (the Central Asia and Caucasus Research and Training Initiative) Scholarship of the Open Society Foundation. In 2009-2010 she was the Fellow of Lane Kirkland Scholarship at Jagellonian University in Kracow, where she defended her diploma on the Polish experience of Socialism and building new cities.

*****
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: “A Child in Every Family”: Family Planning, Infertility and Assisted Reproductive Technologies in Georgia

By Annabell Körner, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology

Date: May 17, 2017, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

This talk addresses the cultural embeddedness of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ARTs) in Georgia. The project focuses on questions of family planning, the handling of infertility as well as changes and consistencies in cultural concepts of biological, genetic and social kinship against the background of the availability of new reproductive technologies, such as in-vitro fertilization, intrauterine insemination and forms of surrogacy.

ARTs are currently a highly debated topic in Georgia. While the legal framework for medically assisted reproduction allows for a wide range of fertility treatments, the Georgian Orthodox Church criticizes these practices as harmful to Georgian values and families. Nevertheless, ARTs have become more visible in the Georgian public conciousness, whether through advertisements, TV shows or the construction of new fertility clinics.

This research seeks to answer the question of how and in which way Assisted Reproductive Technologies are embedded in the existing social, religious and legal concepts of kinship, descent and reproduction, how these concepts affect the evaluation of ARTs, and how the usage of ARTs might influence concepts of relatedness.

Annabell Körner is a doctoral candidate at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle (International Max Planck Research School for the Anthropology, Archaeology and History of Eurasia, IMPRS ANARCHIE). Since August 2016, she has conducted ethnographic fieldwork on family planning, infertility and Assisted Reproductive Technologies in Tbilisi. Annabell is co-editor of the Central Eurasian Scholars & Media Initiative (CESMI) blog project “My Take On”.

*****
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: “Calling for Unity in the Caucasus 1917-1921: The Georgian National Democrats in 1917”

By Sarah Slye, Title VIII Combined Language and Research Fellow

Date: May 10, 2017, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

Between the February Revolution and Bolshevik takeover of the Caucasus, there were a number competing visions regarding the ideal solution for the future of the region. This presentation explores one aspect of the larger picture—the attitude displayed by Georgian National Democrats in 1917 towards the idea of a politically united Caucasus and the opinions they held about their neighbors, particularly the North Caucasus Mountaineers.

Sarah Slye is an independent scholar from the United States currently residing in Tbilisi, and is a 2016-17 U.S. Department of State Title VIII Combined Language and Research Fellow.

*****
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: “Roundtable on Studying, Teaching and Learning Georgian as a Foreign Language”

Date: May 3, 2017, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

The Georgian language has an ancient literary tradition, it is a key marker of Georgian ethnic and national identity, and it is undoubtedly the dominant mode of communication in Georgia. As in any country, being able to understand and interact in the predominant language is vital for both understanding Georgian society and for a degree of acceptance within that society.

Yet the Georgian language is one that is notoriously difficult for non-native speakers to master. Belonging to its own language group largely unrelated to any other, aspects of Georgian such as its extremely complex verb system and strings of consonant clusters present particular challenges. For foreign learners, reaching even a conversational level of proficiency demands a much greater investment of time, effort and resources than is required for learning many other languages. This difficulty is only compounded by the lack of a well developed tradition of teaching Georgian as a foreign language and the paucity of available learning materials.

In a break from the usual Works-in-Progress format, this week we invite non-native learners (both the successful and the not-so-successful), teachers of Georgian as a foreign or second language, and anybody else who may be interested to a moderated public discussion (in English) about the challenges of learning and teaching Georgian and approaches (new and not-so-new) to overcoming them.

*****
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: “Georgia in-Between: Religion in Public Schools”

By Ketevan Gurchiani, Ilia State University

Date: April 26, 2017, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

Based on ethnographic fieldwork in a Georgian village and supplemented by a range of interviews and observations from different parts of Georgia, this paper explores the creative presence of religion in public schools. In 2005 and in line with the strong secularization and modernization discourse, the Georgian parliament passed a new law on education, restricting the teaching of religion in public schools and separating religious organizations and public schools; nevertheless, the mainstream Orthodox Christianity is widely practiced in schools. The paper aims to show how Georgians use religious spaces in secular institutions to practice their identity, to perform being “true Georgians.” At the same time, they are adopting a strong secularization and modernization discourse. By doing so they create a new space, a third space, marked by in-betweenness. The study uses the theoretical lens of Thirdspace for analyzing the hybridity, the in-betweenness of practices and attitudes inherent for politics, religion, and everyday life of Georgians.

Ketevan Gurchiani is Associate Professor of Cultural Studies at Ilia State University in Tbilisi and a visiting scholar at New York University (NYU). She studied classics at Tbilisi State University and at the Albert-Ludwigs University in Germany, defending her dissertation on ancient Greek religion and theatre. Her interest in religion brought her contemporary societies and issues. Her shift to cultural anthropology has been sponsored by generous scholarships at St. John’s College Oxford, UCLA, Columbia and New Your University (NYU). Dr. Gurchiani is primarily interested in studying varying aspects of religiosity, with a special focus on everyday religion. Currently she is working on religiosity among young Orthodox Georgians in Georgia and beyond. Since 2015 she is leading a three-year project researching everyday religion funded by Rustaveli National Science Foundation. Her interests broadly focus on everyday life and how it is informed by the post-Soviet and Soviet habitus. She also explores and teaches the culturally specific understanding of heroism and dignity.

*****
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: “Russian Imperial Humanitarianism & Armenian Refugees on the Caucasus Front of the Great War”

By Asya Darbinyan, Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Clark University

Date: April 19, 2017, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

“Russia” and “humanitarianism” are rarely coupled in the historical literature on the 20th century. Yet, my research emphasizes the importance of exploring imperial Russia’s response to the Armenian refugee crisis on the Caucasus battlefront of World War I. The recognition of an emergency situation by Russian imperial authorities transformed political and public reaction to genocide into action: substantial Armenian relief work. The imperial government as well as a number of non-governmental organizations established in the Russian empire provided assistance to hundreds of thousands of Armenian refugees.

What was the Russian imperial government’s vision with regards to the future of Ottoman-Armenian refugees? Did Russian authorities have a concrete plan for the occupied territories of eastern Turkey? Was the Russian relief work for Armenians humanitarianism or was it part of a larger imperial or colonization project? Or did these agendas overlap? Besides, to what extent were policies of Russian authorities towards Armenians general rather than specific?

Addressing these questions my talk plumbs the motivations for humanitarian assistance and the Russian context of humanitarianism. Drawing upon materials in military and historical archives in Moscow and St. Petersburg, in the Armenian National Archives in Yerevan, and the Georgian Central Historical Archive in Tbilisi for the first time, my work offers new perspective on Russian policy towards Armenians during the genocide and elucidates complexity of Russian humanitarianism during the Great War.

Asya Darbinyan is a PhD Candidate at the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Clark University (Worcester, MA). Her dissertation explores the Russian Empire’s response to the Armenian Genocide and to the refugee crisis at the Caucasus front of the Great War. Previously, Darbinyan worked at the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute, Yerevan, as a senior research fellow and the Deputy Director of the museum. As a European Holocaust Research Infrastructure (EHRI) Fellow, Darbinyan pursued her project on comparative study of humanitarian assistance for Armenians during the Genocide and for Jews during the Holocaust, at Shoah Memorial, and Nubarian Library of AGBU, Paris, and as Carnegie Research Fellow at University of California, Los Angeles, she studied the Near East Relief publicity campaign for Armenian orphans, under supervision of Prof. Richard Hovanissian. She has scholarly articles published in Armenian and in English, and a chapter in volume Plight and Fate of Children During and Following Genocide – Genocide: A Critical Bibliographic Review, co-authored with Dr. Rubina Peroomian.

*****
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: “Politics and foreign policy making in Georgia and Kyrgyzstan”

By Shairbek Dzhuraev, University of St Andrews

Date: April 12, 2017, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

The paper looks at political developments and their relationship to foreign policy making in two countries, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan. In the process of state-building since the late years of the Soviet Union, these countries went through large-scale, and at times tragic and consequential, political developments. Today both are seen as better developed democracies in their respective regions, South Caucasus and Central Asia respectively. Their foreign policies, however, are increasingly divergent, with Georgia committed to Euro-Atlantic integration and Kyrgyzstan seeking closer ties within Eurasian/post-Soviet region. Many studies approach such themes with explanatory ambition, seeking to establish salient “causes”, whether at international or domestic level. While often very neat and nice, causal models, however, tend to bracket richer and deeper politics behind foreign policy. This project aims to address this issue through examining the nature and evolutions of particular aspects of ‘domestic politics’ within and across successive political regimes in Georgia and Kyrgyzstan since 1991. This is is an early stage project.

Shairbek Dzhuraev is a Marie Curie Fellow and PhD candidate at School of International Relations of University of St Andrews. He previously served as Deputy Director at the OSCE Academy in Bishkek in 2012-2015. He also held a number of management and teaching positions at American University of Central Asia between 2007-2012. Shairbek holds MSc in International Relations from London School of Economics (2005). He is currently working on his doctoral dissertation on foreign policy making in Georgia and Kyrgyzstan.

*****
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: “Out with the Gang!”: Mass Mobilization in Ukraine’s Euromaidan.”

By Dinara Urazova, Central European University

Date: February 15, 2017, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

Dinara scrutinizes regime explanations of protests in competitive authoritarianism by examining the patterns of mobilization and organization of Ukraine’s Revolution of Dignity, also known as the Euromaidan. The findings suggest that the competitive aspect of Ukrainian authoritarianism led to popular dissatisfaction, which made elite-led hierarchical mobilization unlikely. In other words, competitive authoritarianism provided an opportunity structure, which the masses successfully used both to challenge the regime and to bypass the opposition elites, organizing their contention in a way that was to a large degree Anarchist. Where previous research often explained the Revolution of Dignity in terms of regime instability, this study aims to suggest that it was an anti-systemic outburst of the masses.

Dinara is a social science enthusiast. She obtained the bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Relations from American University in Bulgaria. After that, she worked as a staff writer for Tengrinews – one of the biggest English-language news sources in Kazakhstan. She obtained her MA degree in Political Science from Central European University and undertook an internship at Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies. Among her broader interests are social science methodology, regime transformation, contentious politics, inequalities, including those predicated upon gender and socio-economic standing, and political sociology.

*****
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 participation of the Georgian SSR in the ‘Project of the century’, the Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM)”

By Andreas Röhr, European University Viadrina

Date: February 8, 2017, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

This talk will discuss the construction of the new settlement Niya along the BAM. The main focus lies on the construction assembly train “GruzstrojBAM“ of the Georgian Socialist Soviet Republic, which built most of the settlement and the railway station in Niya / Irkutsk oblast‘ from 1975 to 1982. The construction assembly train can be described as an intermediary actor between the local communities and the political rulers. A coherent description of the construction of the settlement (connecting archive sources with “Oral History”) shows how the Soviet political rulers (the Komsomol, the Communist Party) tried to exercise control over decision-making processes and how the local actors influenced the construction of both the settlement and the BAM in a way that differs from the political doctrine of the Soviets, and it also sheds light on the nationality policy of this period.

Andreas Röhr is writing his PhD about “A ‘Georgian’ settlement at the New Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM): The construction of Niya (-Gruzinskaya), 1975-1982” at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder), Germany, at the Faculty of Social and Cultural Sciences. He has university degrees in European Studies, Cultural Pedagogics and Social Work / Social Pedagogics and is dealing with Culture, History and Society in Central and Eastern Europe (and Siberia) for many years.

*****
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.

CRRC, ARISC and American Councils are proud to present the first talk of the Spring 2017 Works-in-Progress series!

“Flow and the Art of Frictionless Language Learning”

By Richard DeLong

Date: January 25, 2017, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

“Flow” is a pleasurable state of full mental engagement that can occur when one’s current skill level is ideally matched to the task at hand. Richard will show how this applies to foreign language mastery and how language learning practices can foster — or frustrate — flow.

Richard DeLong is a simultaneous conference interpreter, writer, and founder of the Tbilisi Language Exchange Club. He has spent nearly half his life in Eastern Europe, speaks 9 languages, and has recently published a handbook on self-directed language learning.

Richard’s site on language learning: http://frictionlessmastery.com/

Video on the Tbilisi Language Exchange Club: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwEDBevZE_E

*****
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.

top

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.

“Linguistics in the Republic of Georgia and Beyond” with Alice Harris
January 19, 2017 at 11:30am – 12:30pm EST (New York time)

“Language Dynamics in the Post-Soviet Space” with William Fierman
February 7, 2017 at 11:00am – 12:00pm EST (New York time)

“The Study of Post-Soviet Georgia” with Stephen Jones
March 30, 2017 at 1:00pm – 2:00pm EDT (New York time)

“Collaboration in Archaeological Research” with Adam Smith
May 23, 2017 at 11:30am – 12:30pm EDT (New York time)

Space is limited! Interested participants can reserve their space by emailing info “at” arisc.org. Please include the title of the session you are interested in attending, your name, contact information, and research interests in the email. Additional information about meeting URL, login, and other details about joining the discussion will be sent in a confirmation email. 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.

top

Comments are closed.