Events

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Armenia

Film Group in Yerevan

The American Research Institute of the South Caucasus is pleased to invite you to attend the Film Group in Yerevan, which will kindly be hosted by AEON on May 26, 2016, at 18:00

We will watch “Mimino” (with English subtitles).

The film is about a provincial pilot who decided to come back to big aviation. Attaining his dream, the pilot realized how strong the connection was with his homeland and he made up his mind to…

Venue: AEON, 3a Teryan Street, Yerevan, Armenia

Entrance is free. The group is open to the public. Feel free to join and invite your friends. We are looking forward to meeting you.

Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us at armenia “at”arisc.org or AEON on 010 53 87 66 / 095 53 87 66 or info@aeonyerevan.com.

Reading Group in Yerevan

The American Research Institute of the South Caucasus is pleased to invite you to attend the Reading Group in Yerevan, which will kindly be hosted by AEON on May 12, 2016, at 18:00

We will read “The Woman”, written by Anri Grigorian.

Venue: AEON, 3a Teryan Street, Yerevan, Armenia

Entrance is free. The group is open to the public, the reading and discussion language is English. Feel free to join and invite your friends. We are looking forward to meeting you.

Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us at armenia “at” arisc.org or AEON on 010 53 87 66 / 095 53 87 66 or info “at” aeonyerevan.com.

Reading Group in Yerevan

The American Research Institute of the South Caucasus is pleased to invite you to attend the Reading Group in Yerevan, which will kindly be hosted by AEON on April 28, 2016, at 18:00

We will read “Through the Rainbow”, written by Marine Khachadour.

When you reach the rainbow, you will be transformed into a boy,” my grandmother told me when I was a young girl, and I tried many times. Not because I wanted to become a boy, but because I was determined to experience a miracle, the extraordinary…
Venue: AEON, 3a Teryan Street, Yerevan, Armenia

Entrance is free. The group is open to the public, the reading and discussion language is English. Feel free to join and invite your friends. We are looking forward to meeting you.

Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us at armenia “at” arisc.org or AEON on 010 53 87 66 / 095 53 87 66 or info “at” aeonyerevan.com.

Public Presentation by ARISC Fellow Daniel Fittante
Connection without Engagement: The Paradoxes of North American Armenian Return Migration

Date: April 26, 2016
Time: 6:00- 8:00 pm
Venue: Institute of Archaeology & Ethnography, NAS RA
Address: Library of the Institute of Archaeology & Ethnography, 3rd floor, Charents-15, Yerevan, Armenia
Language: English (Armenian Slides Will be Provided)

Return migration has emerged as an important sub-field within migration studies. The scholarship has introduced new ways of understanding migratory trajectories by incorporating the roles of migrants’ ethnicity and imagination. As such, the existing scholarship has identified novel ways of unpacking migratory patterns whose motivations are not centered on economic mobility. But the scholarship has also opened a chasm by documenting the ethnic and sentimental motivations that generate migration and the unexpected difficulties returnees encounter once they have settled in their perceived homelands. The current research project attempts to fill that void by investigating the experiences of North American Armenians who have “returned” to Armenia. It seeks to extend the existing theoretical framework by demonstrating how ethnic returnees sustain a powerful feeling of connection to a country to which they simultaneously harbor a sense of disengagement from local practices.

This event is free and open to the public.

Daniel Fittante is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at UCLA. He received his B.A. from UCLA (2005) and M.A. from the University of Chicago (2010). Daniel works on contemporary Armenian transnationalism, diaspora, and immigration. His research evaluates the paradoxical role of advocacy via institutionalization as a mediating process through which ethnic communities become integrated into host societies. While his dissertation research largely evaluates this process of integration in the Armenian community of Glendale, California, he is especially interested in the distinctive multi-polarity of Armenian activity worldwide. Thus, he is also developing comparative research projects in Istanbul, Moscow, Paris, Yerevan, and others.

Funding for the ARISC Graduate Fellowship was made in part by private donations.

Reading Group in Yerevan

The American Research Institute of the South Caucasus is pleased to invite you to attend the Reading Group in Yerevan, which will kindly be hosted by AEON on April 8, 2016, at 18:00

We will read “The Last Word Was Love”, written by William Saroyan. Please contact us at armenia”at”arisc.org, and we will send the material to you.

Venue: AEON, 3a Teryan Street, Yerevan, Armenia

Entrance is free. The group is open to the public, the reading and discussion language is English. Feel free to join and invite your friends. We are looking forward to meeting you.

Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us at armenia “at” arisc.org or AEON on 010 53 87 66 / 095 53 87 66 or info “at” aeonyerevan.com.

Reading Group in Yerevan

The American Research Institute of the South Caucasus is pleased to invite you to attend the Reading Group in Yerevan, which will kindly be hosted by AEON on March 17, 2016, at 17:00.
We will read “Gaston”, written by William Saroyan. Please contact us at armenia”at”arisc.org, and we will send the material to you.

Venue: AEON, 3a Teryan Street, Yerevan, Armenia

Entrance is free. The group is open to the public, the reading and discussion language is English. Feel free to join and invite your friends. We are looking forward to meeting you.
Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us at armenia “at” arisc.org or AEON on 010 53 87 66 / 095 53 87 66 or info “at”aeonyerevan.com.

Gyumri: An Architectural Language of Patterns

American Research Institute of the South Caucasus Armenia Branch is happy to invite you to a lecture entitled “Gyumri: An Architectural Language of Patterns.”
to be delivered by Jane Britt Greenwood, an Architect, Professor, and Fulbright Scholar

Date: September 10, 2015
Time: 4:00-6:00 PM
Location: Mkhitar Heratsi 7, 2nd floor, ARISC Armenia Branch Office, Yerevan, Armenia

As the world becomes increasingly homogenized through a process of global standardization, cultures are continuously at risk of losing their architectural identity as represented through their individual and unique pattern languages. A pattern language is a graphic representation of the architectural language of a region, city, or building, and is identified and developed through diagrams, sketches, measured drawings, and photographs. Therefore, this presentation will offer insights regarding the process of identifying, investigating, and documenting the architectural patterns that make the Armenian residential architecture of the Kumayri Historic District so unique. By discussing both tangible and intangible inspirations, the historical evolution of place, a process of research, and opportunities for creating a cultural renaissance, this presentation aims to demonstrate how the use of Armenian patterns can facilitate the preservation of Gyumri’s architectural and cultural identity.

Jane Britt Greenwood AIA is an Architect, Professor, and Fulbright Scholar. She first traveled to Armenia in 1992 as the University Architect for the newly established American University of Armenia. She frequently returns to Armenia to teach and perform research, and in 2007 was awarded a three-year grant by the Earthwatch Institute to document the architecture of the Kumayri Historic District in Gyumri. She is currently a Visiting Professor of Architecture at the Poznan University of Technology in Poznan, Poland.

This event is made possible through funds from a grant by the US Department of Education, and by private donations.

It is free and open to the public, and is organized by the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC).

Presentation of Other Yerevan Project 

Presented by Sarhat Petrosyan, urbanlab and ARISC Fellow, and Diana Ter-Ghazaryan, University of Miami and ARISC Fellow
Date: August 27, 2015
Time: 6:30pm

Location: Media Center id Eurasia Partnership Foundation
Address: 1/21, Azatutyan Avenue, Suites 22/23, Yerevan

This presentation will feature OtherYerevan.am, which is a virtual museum of cultural-architectural heritage sites in contemporary Yerevan. It helps discover and document historically and culturally significant urban sites, preserve sites and structures that are still standing and commemorate those that have been lost to rapid urban restructuring. Armenia has a rich cultural heritage dating back to antiquity, but the protection of its architectural heritage is very limited and many contemporary sites of importance have been endangered and/or demolished. During the creation of the list, the research team invited over 70 architects, artists, cultural critics and other professionals to participate in a survey and to propose the most important sites for the preservation of Yerevan’s alternative cultural heritage.

Sarhat Petrosyan (Project Lead) is Director of urbanlab Yerevan, which is a Yerevan-based independent urban think-thank. He is an ARISC Fellow. He also teaches at the Chair of Urban Planning of National University of Architecture and Construction of Armenia. His fields of interest are urban design qualities and policies on urban development.

Diana Ter-Ghazaryan (Research Lead) is a Lecturer and Director of the Geospatial Technology Program at the University of Miami. Her research and teaching interests lie at the intersection of geospatial technology and cultural geography, and she works on finding ways to map and visualize the abstract and ethereal, such as connection to place, nationhood, identity and the like. Dr. Ter-Ghazaryan is an ARISC Fellow.

Nvard Yerkanian (Project Coordinator) holds B.A. degree in Architecture (2009) and later studied cultural criticism and art curating at Institute for Contemporary Art in Yerevan (2011). Her main fields of interest are contemporary art, urban studies and interdisciplinary projects that bring together artists, urban planners, architects and researchers dealing with such topics as urban transformations, gentrification, public spaces and social memory.

Project Assistants: Nora Topalian, Faye Khachadourian, Lia Soorenian.

This project was funded by the ARISC Collaborative Heritage Management Grant, made possible with funding from Project Discovery!

Lecture: Repentant Demons, Contrite Cannibals, and Vengeful Crocodiles: Sin and Salvation in Medieval Christian Miracles Tales 

to be delivered by  Elizabeth Anderson, Yale University and ARISC Fellow

Date: Thursday, July 30, 2015
Time: 4:00-6:00 PM
Location: Mkhitar Heratsi 7, 2nd floor, ARISC Armenia Branch Office, Yerevan, Armenia

Elizabeth Anderson is a doctoral candidate in religious studies at Yale University, where her research focuses on editing and translating Syriac Christian manuscripts. She holds degrees in theology from Swarthmore College, Trinity College Dublin, and Harvard Divinity School. Upon the completion of her studies, she hopes to become an Anglican nun, and serves on the board of directors of the Episcopal Church in the United States and the board of the North American Academy of Ecumenists. She is an ARISC Fellow.

This talk will focus on a medieval Christian narrative that Elizabeth has translated about a demon who repents and is forgiven by God, which appears to have been a popular narrative among Syrian Orthodox Christians. Because this story has not been previously edited or translated, she would like to first begin by offering a summary of the narrative itself, further situating it within a wider body of medieval Christian religious tales that were very widely circulated, from France to Armenia to Ethiopia.

This event is made possible through funds from a grant by the US Department of Education, and by private donations.

It is free and open to the public, and is organized by the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC).

Reading Group in Yerevan

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

Time and date: Tuesday, July 27, 2015, at 5:30 pm

Reading: we shall read two Armenian legends “The Flower of Paradise” and “Blazing a Trail.” Here you may find the Link. (Pages 24 and 35 respectively.)
Venue: 7 Mkhitar Heratsi Street, Yerevan, 0025, Armenia

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

This event is made possible through funds from a grant by the US Department of Education, and by private donations.

 

Joint lecture Organized by the Institute of Archaeology & Ethnography and ARISC

Speakers: Dr. Maureen E. Marshall (University of Chicago), Dr. Kathryn Jane Franklin (University of Chicago and ARISC Fellow) and Astghik Babajanyan (Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the National Academy of Sciences).

Date: July 23, 2015, 4:00-6:00 PM

Place: Institute of Archaeology & Ethnography, NAS RA, Charents-15, library, Yerevan, Armenia

Mortuary Analysis at the Late Bronze Age site Tsaghkahovit Burial Cluster 12
In this presentation Maureen E. Marshall will discuss the results of 2006 and 2008 excavations at Tsaghkahovit Burial Cluster 12 and the new 2015 excavations in terms of mortuary patterning. The results of the previous excavations suggested differences in mortuary practices (location, tomb architecture, associated materials, etc.) within the cemetery. It is not yet clear how these differences in mortuary practices relate to the individual’s experiences in life. As a first step towards investigating this relationship, the 2015 excavations seek to clarify the archaeological context in an area, Subgroup 1, of the cemetery TsBC12 that appears to have a complex construction history with densely packed overlapping tombs and terrace walls. Research within Subgroup 1 will illuminate both the mortuary context and bio-archaeological information. This combination of looking at how people were treated in death with their practices in life will illuminate the lived experience of subjects in early complex polities in the Late Bronze Age (1500-1150 B.C.) in South Caucasus.
Vayots Dzor Silk Road Survey: Preliminary Results and Plans for Future Work
Kathryn Franklin and Astghik Babajanyan will present the first results of their work recording archaeological sites along the Vayots Dzor Silk Road Heritage Corridor, which is a complex landscape of medieval material culture and architecture. As well as sharing their preliminary observations, they will discuss their plans for ongoing sharing of the project data, in the form of an open-source online map-format database.
Maureen E. Marshall is a bio-archaeologist 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. She has been a member of Project ArAGATS, the joint American-Armenian project for the Archaeology and Geography for Ancient Transcaucasian Societies, and excavating in Armenia since 2005. 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.

Dr. Kathryn Franklin received her doctorate in Anthropology from the University Of Chicago Department Of Anthropology in 2014. Her doctoral research focused on the connection between local political practice in Aragatsotn and long distance trade and travel along the Silk Road. In 2014-15 Kathryn served as Dumanian Visiting Professor of Armenian Studies at the University of Chicago Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, and she is currently a Lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her current research is centered on developing the connections between local socio-politics in medieval Armenia and Silk Road trade and travel, and using medieval Armenia as a case study for rethinking Cosmopolitanism in the past and the present.

Astghik Babajanyan received her B. A. in Art history from Yerevan State University in 2004, and her M. A. in 2006. Currently she is working on her Ph. D. at the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia. She is also employed at the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography as archaeologist and Junior Researcher. Her interests include the archaeology of the Middle Ages, particularly late period ceramics (AD XIV-XVII centuries). She has also published on her research of Christian Armenian relics and reliquaries and written on the heraldry of medieval Armenian Dukedoms.

This event is made possible through funds from a grant by the US Department of Education, and by private donations.

Reading Group in Yerevan

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

Time and date: Tuesday, July 14, 2015, at 5:30 pm

Reading: we shall read Armenian Tale “Anahit.”
Here you may find the link of the reading material .
Venue: 7 Mkhitar Heratsi Street, Yerevan, 0025, Armenia

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

This event is made possible through funds from a grant by the US Department of Education, and by 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.

Reading Group in Yerevan

Time and date: Tuesday, June 30, 2015, at 5:30 pm

Reading: we shall read “Gikor” written by Hovhannes Tumanyan
Here you may find the link of the reading material .
Venue: 7 Mkhitar Heratsi Street, Yerevan, 0025, Armenia

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

This event is made possible through funds from a grant by the US Department of Education, and by private donations.

 

Applying to Graduate Programs in the US

to be delivered by Talin Lindsay, American Research Institute of the South Caucasus
and Purdue University
Date: June 23, 2015
Time: 4:00-6:00 PM
Location: Mkhitar Heratsi 7, 2nd floor, ARISC Armenia Branch Office, Yerevan, Armenia
RSVP: Armenia “at” arisc. org

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

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

Time and date: Tuesday, June 16, 2015, at 5:30 pm

Reading: we shall read “Dancing Mania” written by Aksel Bakunts
Here you may find the link of the reading material:
Venue: 7 Mkhitar Heratsi Street, Yerevan, 0025, Armenia

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

Joint Lecture Organized by the Institute of Archeology & Ethnography and ARISC
“Kura-Araxes: The Making of a Cultural Tradition”

Speaker: Dr. Mitchell Rothman, Chair of the Anthropology Department at Widener University

Date: June 11, 2015, 5:00-7:00 PM

Place: Institute of Archaeology & Ethnography, NAS RA, Charents-15, library

The Kura-Araxes has become a major focus of research in Armenia, the South Caucasus generally, across the neighboring Taurus and Zagros Mountain zones and down into the Amuq and Southern Levant. Within that endeavor, the focus of research has been pottery and pottery style, which many have used to define the Kura-Araxes and variations within it. In this talk Rothman will argue that the Kura-Araxes is a cultural tradition. To construct an idea of what the tradition was and how it changed as emigres from the South Caucasus spread into regions with already established cultures, Rothman will argue that we need more than pottery analysis. We need to take a closer look at how people lived, how they worshipped, and how their interactions with other peoples helped create the cultures of people bearing the Kura-Araxes tradition.

Dr. Mitchell S. Rothman is a professor and chair of the Anthropology Department at Widener University near Philadelphia, USA, and a Contributing Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.  He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Michigan, his Masters at Hunter College City University of New York, and his Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania in 1988.  He has been pursuing questions about the nature of the dynamic 4th and early 3rd millennium BC, the evolution of ancient societies, and the effects of cross-cultural contact for many years.  His dissertation was on a site in northeastern Iraq, Tepe Gawra, and he first did research in Iran in the 1970’s.  After the revolution, he worked on projects over 16 years in Turkey, including excavation of a mound near the Syrian border on the Euphrates, Tilbes Hoyuk, and a survey in the Mus(h) Province west of Lake Van, a former center of modern Armenian culture.  It was there that he became fascinated by the Kura Araxes, and decided 8 years ago to pursue its study in the homeland of the cultural tradition, in Armenia.  He has been working with Dr. Hakob Simonyan of the Culture Ministry for the past 9 years on the site of Shengavit in the city of Yerevan.  They completed excavations in 2012 and are now working on a web archive and book about the site and it cultural tradition.

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

 

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

Time and date: Tuesday, February 24, 2015, at 6:30 pm

Reading: we shall read “On Edgar Allan Poe” article written by Marilynne Robinson
Here you may find the link of the reading material:
Venue: 7 Mkhitar Heratsi Street, Yerevan, 0025, Armenia

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

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

Time and date: Tuesday, February 10, 2015, at 7 pm

Reading: we shall read “On Edgar Allan Poe” article written by Marilynne Robinson
Here you may find the link of the reading material:
Venue: 7 Mkhitar Heratsi Street, Yerevan, 0025, Armenia

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

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

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

Time and date: Tuesday, January 27, 2015, at 7:00 pm

Reading. We shall read “The Ball of Snow” from the “Tales of The Caucasus” book written by Alexandre Dumas
Here you may find the link of the reading material
Venue: 7 Mkhitar Heratsi Street, Yerevan, 0025, Armenia.

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

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

Time and date: Tuesday, January 13, 2015, at 6:30 pm

Reading. We shall read “Mountains of Music: Musical Dialects and Hybridisms in the South Caucasus” article written by Benjamin M. Wheeler.
Here you may find the link of the reading material:

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

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

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Azerbaijan

ARISC Reading Group in Baku

The American Research Institute of the South Caucasus and Baku American Center invite you to the Reading Group in Baku.

Date & time: Tuesday, February 23, 3:30 pm

Venue: Baku American Center, Azerbaijan University of Languages, 60 R. Behbudov str.

Reading: “The Intellectual life of Shah Ismail I and his Care, Love, Respect Towards his Mother Tongue (Turkish)”, by Mohammad Karim Yousefjamali & Azar Gholizadeh Sarabi

Available here: http://jhss-khazar.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/03zakir-mlmSON-YENI-VARIANT-IRAN.pdf

Reading the article prior to the meeting is not necessary.
This event is free and open to the public.
For additional information, please contact us at Azerbaijan “at” arisc.org

ARISC Reading Group in Baku

Date & time: Tuesday, January 26, 4 pm
Venue: Baku American Center, Azerbaijan University of Languages, 60 R. Behbudov str.

Reading: “History and Policy of Translating Poetry: Azerbaijan and its Neighbors” by Hamlet Isakhanli

Available here: http://www.khazar.org/files/History_and_Policy_of_Translating_Poetry.pdf

Reading the article prior to the meeting is not necessary.
This event is free and open to the public.
For additional information, please contact us at Azerbaijan “at” arisc.org

ARISC Reading Group in Baku

The American Research Institute of the South Caucasus and Baku American Center invites you to the Reading Group in Baku!
Date & time: December 17, 15:30
Venue: Baku American Center, Azerbaijan University of Languages, 60 R. Behbudov str.
Reading: “Missing Girls” in the South Caucasus Countries:Trends, Possible Causes, and Policy Options, Monica Das Gupta
Available here: https://www.openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/21850/WPS7236.pdf?sequence=2
Reading the article prior to the meeting is not necessary.
This event is free and open to the public.

ARISC Reading Group in Baku

The American Research Institute of the South Caucasus in conjunction with Baku American Center launches the new season of Reading Group sessions!
Join us at our fisrt meeting!
Date & time: November 27, at 15:30
Venue: Baku American Center, AUL, 60 Rashid Behbudov St.
Reading: “Women, Men and Education in Azerbaijan”, Kifayat Agayeva
Available here:
http://dspace.khazar.org/jspui/bitstream/123456789/1697/1/2-nomre-pdf.pdf
For more information, please contact us at Azerbaijan “at” arisc.org

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

Presentation in Baku: “The Kura River Basin: Linking Transboundary Projects to Local Implementation”

The American Research Institute of the South Caucasus and Caspian Center for Energy and Environment of ADA University are pleased to invite you to a presentation by
Jeanene Mitchell
University of Washington and ARISC Fellow
Date & time: September 22, 2015, 16:00-17:30
Venue: SB 210, ADA University, Ahmedbay Agaoglu str. 11, Baku
Abstract: The Kura Basin is the primary transboundary river basin in the South Caucasus. Managing water use, controlling pollution, and mitigating flood risk thus requires international cooperation as well as local implementation of water management policies. In an effort to improve transboundary water management in the South Caucasus, development organizations have invested in over sixty projects in the Kura Basin over the past two decades – but to what effect? How do development organizations facilitate a connection between transnational projects and local implementation? Based on fieldwork in Azerbaijan, this talk will discuss how development organizations work to overcome institutional barriers to transboundary water management and attempt to engage local communities in project implementation.

Speaker’s bio: Jeanene Mitchell is a PhD candidate in the Interdisciplinary Program in Near and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Washington, Seattle. She is an experienced researcher and author in the fields of energy, water, and oceans policy in the South Caucasus and Turkey. Her current work focuses on transboundary rivers and the role of donor organizations in water management policies.

Jeanene is a former Fulbright Fellow and Boren Fellow, and is presently a Junior Research Fellowship recipient from the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus. Previously, she was a researcher at the Columbia University Center for Energy, Marine Transportation and Public Policy. In 2009, she was a visiting fellow at the Center for Strategic Studies under the President of Azerbaijan. Jeanene holds a BSFS in International Politics from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and a MA in International Energy Management and Policy from the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs. She is currently a visiting scholar at the Caspian Center for Energy and Environment at ADA University.

ARISC presentation in Baku

From Baku to Kars: Muslim Solidarity Across the South Caucasus, 1878–1922

American Research Institute of the South Caucasus in cooperation with ADA University is pleased to present
by Alexander E. Balistreri, Princeton University
ARISC Fellow
Location: ADA University, Ahmedbay Agaoglu str. 11, Baku
Date: 28 April, 2015
Time: 10: 30

Overview: Starting from the late 19th century, diverse Muslims from Baku to Kars shared a political and cultural trajectory, at least on paper. To what extent were bonds of solidarity actually established among Muslims across the southern Caucasus at this time? During my research in Baku, supported by ARISC, I have examined rarely-used archival and press materials. Using several examples, I will argue that administrative and cultural barriers prevented the establishment of strong links between the “old” and “new” Muslim populations of the southern Caucasus until the relatively late date of World War I. Despite a surge in cooperation between Muslims from Baku to Kars after 1914, external factors intervened to put an early end to such efforts.

Lecturer’s bio: Alexander Balistreri is a Ph.D. candidate in Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University, where he plans on defending his dissertation on the city of Kars and the establishment of the Turkish nation-state, 1918–1960. He is the recipient of an ARISC “Graduate Fellowship–2015” and is currently conducting research in Turkey and around the region. He obtained his MA from Princeton University in Near Eastern Studies, his second MA in Turkish Studies from Sabancı University (Turkey), and his BA in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Alexander Balistreri speaks German, Russian, and Turkish, alongside English.

* 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.

Reading Group – May 22
American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC) is pleased to invite you to the Reading Group!
Date & time: May 22, 2015 at 16:30
Venue: ADA University, Ahmedbay Agaoglu str. 11, Baku (auditorium number to be announced)
Reading: “Education of the Children with Disabilities in Azerbaijan: Barriers and Opportunities”, Ulviyya Mikayilova et.al.
Pdf of the article is available here:
http://www.hurights.or.jp/archives/pdf/education12/hreas-12-11-azerbaijan.pdf

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Georgia

WiP: Shifting Symbols of Ethnicity: Armenian Oud Playing in the 1960s and 1970s

By Alyssa Mathias, University of California, Los Angeles

Date: May 25, 2016, at 18:30
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

By the mid-1960s, Armenian oud musicians in the United States found themselves at a crossroads. Was their instrument (a pear-shaped fretless lute found across the Middle East) a cherished heirloom connecting diasporan families to lost Western Armenian villages? Or was its sound simply too Turkish to be enjoyed in a new political climate focused on genocide recognition? As families retired their ouds and put them into storage, a few young children nonetheless aspired to learn the instrument. This talk, which draws on both ethnographic and archival research, discusses what it was like to learn the oud at such a significant moment of social, cultural, and political change.

Alyssa Mathias is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Ethnomusicology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She has conducted research on Armenian music in the United States, Russia, Turkey, and Armenia. In 2015, she was awarded the Historical Ethnomusicology Section Student Paper Prize from the Society for Ethnomusicology. A violinist and singer, Alyssa performs a wide variety of music from Europe and the Middle East.

*****
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: Pioneers of Georgian Studies in the United States

By Paul Crego, U.S. Library of Congress

Date: May 18, 2016, at 18:30
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

Summary: We Americans who have studied Georgian remain a fairly small number. Who were our predecessors? In this paper I will discuss some of these people, including Jeremiah Curtain, Harvard College Class of 1863 and the much more well known Robert Pierpont Blake. Included also will be their adventures in Georgia.

Paul Crego is a Senior Cataloging Specialist at the United States Library of Congress. He has a PhD in Theology from Boston College and an MA from the Soviet Union program, and has studied Georgian since 1977.

*****
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 Cool in Tbilisi: Musical Taste and Scene Building on Social Media

By Brigita Sebald, California State University, Dominguez Hills

Date: April 27, 2016, at 18:30
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

Georgian popular music is defined by the absence of a supporting music industry, which complicates production and distribution. This lack of infrastructure raises many questions for music scholars, for whom popular music and the music industry are two sides of the same coin. How can an audience hear this music without a distribution system? Who determines which genres circulate? How do they circulate? How do songs become popular? How do musicians earn money?

This talk will examine the formation of the Georgian music scene through the exchange of digital files online. Musicians become popular on social media when Georgians use them to indicate social standing, education, and wealth to their peers. Previous interview respondents stated that elites patronize classical music and jazz; upwardly mobile professionals and sophisticated students prefer classic rock, grunge, and electronica; and rural youths enjoy pop and rap. Given that the Soviet class system was dismantled only twenty years ago, such statements may indicate not only current musical tastes, but a shift from a class-less socialist society towards one stratified by education and wealth. I further hypothesize that Georgians build taste-based communities through the exchange of music online. Georgians spend time examining the social media profiles of their acquaintances, including the music videos displayed there, and if a person’s choices resonate particularly well with those of the viewer, a new friendship might form based on similar musical tastes. When the process of scoping each other out is repeated widely, social groups form and become a music scene. If the Georgian music industry is to rebound from the end of both state sponsorship and the informal economy, a strong audience must be cultivated to support local musicians. Such rejuvenation could only come from an active music scene, and thus online circulation becomes a crucial step in the development of Georgian popular music.

Brigita Sebald is a lecturer at California State University, Dominguez Hills. She received a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from UCLA in 2013 and holds MA degrees from Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland. Her fieldwork in Tbilisi, which concerns the circulation of popular music on social media, was funded by fellowships from Fulbright I.I.E, the US State Department, the UCLA Center for European and Eurasian Studies, and the UCLA International Institute.

*****
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: Countering Violent Extremism

By Naida Chamilova, Hedayah

Date: April 20, 2016, at 18:30
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

Hedayah, The International Center of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism (CVE), is an independent, international, apolitical and non-ideological ‘think-and-do tank’ based in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, that is focused on reducing the threat of violent extremism by preventing and countering processes of radicalization and recruitment of foreign terrorist fighters. It focuses its efforts on CVE through capacity-building programs, research and analysis, and dialogue and communication.

Hedayah is an initiative of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), and was launched in December 2012 at the Third GCTF Ministerial Meeting in Abu Dhabi where 29 governments and the European Union endorsed its mission and mandate at the Foreign Minister level. It continues to closely collaborate with governments at the senior level, but also works with non-governmental organizations, civil society, religious and community leaders, academia and the private sector.

Naida Chamilova is in charge of managing the EU-funded STRIVE Global Program and joined Hedayah in May 2015. She has a background in history, social studies (Dagestan State University) and education (Queens University, Canada) while also holding a PhD in Education with a focus on cross-cultural problems. She has worked as an educator, program manager, and strategic analyst. Prior to joining Hedayah, Naida was a Senior Program Manager with the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development of Canada.

For more on Hedayah see their web site at http://www.hedayah.ae/

Details about the Hedayah-implemented STRIVE program is athttps://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/sites/devco/files/strive-brochure-20150617_en.pdf

*****
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: Surfing the post-Soviet web with style. Text mining post-Soviet de facto states

By Giorgio Comai, Dublin City University

Date: April 6, 2016, at 18:30
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

Scholars working on the post-Soviet space frequently refer to web contents at different stages of their research process. However, they (we) usually approach the internet as an inordinate mass of contents, that can be superficially explored thanks to search engines and meaningful keywords. This is partially due to lack of technical skills, as well as the unavailability of relevant, pre-existing datasets. Both obstacles are not insurmountable. A research question involving a well-defined territory, institution or community may benefit of a structured analysis of the textual contents of a specific website, a section of a website, or a limited number of websites. Such analysis may allow both “to find the needle and to describe the haystack”, allowing to proceed with fieldwork and established qualitative research methods with more confidence.

This talk presents the author’s experience with creating textual datasets related to Georgia and post-Soviet de facto states, and his attempts at answering questions such as: When exactly did it become common to refer to Abkhazia and South Ossetia as “occupied territories”? Why “occupation” and not “annexation”? And what do authorities in post-Soviet de facto states talk about? Is there anything unusual about it?

Giorgio Comai is a PhD researcher at the School of Law and Government, Dublin City University, and a member of the Marie Curie ITN network “Post-Soviet tensions”. MA in East European Studies and degree in Political Science from the University of Bologna. Exchange student at Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Poland, and Russian State University for the Humanities in Moscow, Russia. From 2009 to 2013, he was regional editor and researcher at Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso. He has carried out research for the Institute for Central-Eastern and Balkan Europe of Bologna University. He is member of the board of directors of Asiac, Italy’s academic association for the study of Central Asia and the Caucasus. His research has focused on youth policies in Russia and on de facto states in the post-Soviet space.

website: http://giorgiocomai.eu/

twitter: @giocomai

Selected publications:

Ó Beacháin, Donnacha, Giorgio Comai and Ann Tsurtsumia-Zurabashvili (2016, forthcoming), “The secret lives of unrecognised states: Internal dynamics, external relations, and counter-recognition strategies.” Small Wars & Insurgencies [ISSN 1743-9558]

Comai, Giorgio, and Bernardo Venturi (2015), “Language and Education Laws in Multi-Ethnic de Facto States: The Cases of Abkhazia and Transnistria.” Nationalities Papers 43 (6): 886–905. doi:10.1080/00905992.2015.1082996.

Comai, Giorgio (2015), “Post-Soviet de Facto States Online.” In Digital Eastern Europe, edited by William Schreiber and Marcin Kosienkowski. Wrocław: KEW.

Comai Giorgio (2013), “Sovereignty Conflicts and Minority Protection: the Case of Abkhazia” in Self-determination and sovereignty in Europe, Angelo Longo, Ravenna. [ISBN 9788880637608]

Comai Giorgio (2012), “Youth Camps in Post-Soviet Russia and the Northern Caucasus: The Cases of Seliger and Mashuk 2010”, Anthropology of East Europe Review 30, N. 1, pp. 184–212. [ISSN 1054-4720]

*****
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: One Fish, Two Fish… Sampling and Data Collection for Fisheries in the Bering Sea

By Lucy Flynn

Date: March 30, 2016, at 18:30
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

Two million metric tons of groundfish are harvested annually in the American Bering Sea, constituting a significant proportion of the world’s fish production. In order to ensure that these fisheries continue to produce harvests in the long term, the fishery management agency needs to collect reliable biological data. The agency accomplishes this by deploying observers aboard commercial fishing boats; these biologists live and work with the fishing crews to collect the necessary data. Having worked as an observer for the past two years, I will give an outline of the sampling methods used and the data collected. This talk will be accessible to general audiences, and will not require extensive knowledge of fisheries or biology.

Lucy Flynn completed her master’s degree in fisheries science at the University of Washington in 2005. She is generally fascinated with the processes of data collection and data utilization in all fields of study, and thoroughly enjoyed her time at CRRC Georgia working on the collection of public opinion data.

*****
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 Deportation of the Balkars in 1944 and the Effects of this Narrative on the Current Socio-Political Situation in Kabardino-Balkaria

By Frederico Salvati, Liaison Officer, European Caucasus House (EUCASA)

Date: March 23, 2016, at 18:30
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

This project investigates the relation between the events of the Balkar deportation in 1944 and today’s Balkar ethnic identity in the Kabardino-Balkar Republic in the North Caucasus. It focuses on both the nature of such identity and how this has been influenced by the social narratives connected with the deportation. There is a general lack of literature on the topic, despite the fact that this is an important hallmark to understand better the rivalry between the Kabardinians and the Balkars and the possible security issues stemming from this enmity.

Federico Salvati graduated with a degree inin international relations from Sapienza University in Italy in 2015. He specializes in conflict theory and international politics. In Italy he has been working with several research centers and served as an external consultant for the High Center of Defense Studies in Rome. In Georgia, Federico is currently working on peacebuilding with a strong interest in conflict narratives and behavioural theories.

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

WiP: Georgian Alpinism and Soviet Tourism at the Edge of Empire

By Ben Bamberger, University of Illinios at Urbana-Champaign and ARISC Fellow

Date: March 16, 2016, at 18:30
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

The 1923 ascent of Kazbegi under the leadership of Georgian scientist Giorgi Nikoladze marked both the first major Soviet summit and the beginning of a dedicated Georgian alpinist community. In the pre-war period, Georgian alpinists were an integral part of the burgeoning Soviet alpinist community, accomplishing many of the first victories of Soviet alpinism. At the same time, the relationship between Georgian alpinists and Soviet sporting authorities was often a tense one, and Georgian alpinists regularly came into conflict with sport and tourism institutions in Moscow, with Georgian alpinists openly complaining about problems with Russian chauvinism and the centralization of control. These complaints were strikingly similar to those made by Georgian tourist officials who argued that tourists in the Caucasus often saw themselves as more advanced representatives from the “center” searching for an exotic “periphery.”

Ben Bamberger is a Ph.D. candidate in History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.. His research interests include Georgian mountaineering, Soviet nation-building, and Soviet tourism to the Caucasus. Ben received his B.A. in history and economics at American University (Washington, D.C.). After graduation, he was a Peace Corps volunteer in Georgia. As Ben furthers his studies, he hopes to conduct research in both Moscow and Tbilisi, ultimately incorporating Russian and Georgian sources into a dissertation about Soviet nationbuilding projects in Georgia, and the ways the local Georgians negotiated and understood these policies.

*****
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 Making of Dinamo Tbilisi, Lavrenty Beria and the NKVD

By David Jishkariani, Tbilisi State University and SOVLAB

Date: March 9, 2016, at 18:30
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

The Dinamo Tbilisi football club was founded in 1925. Beginning as an amateur organization, it evolved into a professional club and became a symbol of the Georgian nation. Lavrenty Beria, the head of the Secret Police and later First Secretary of the Georgian SSR, was himself a fan of football and quite an able player. Under his political and financial support, the Tbilisi footballers became the champions of the USSR. Tbilisi Dinamo thus is not only a sports club, but an important part of the history of Georgia in the 20th century. Many football players worked in the secret police (the NKVD), and many of them went on to become “successful” perpetrators of the Great Terror, enjoying all of the privileges of the Soviet system. The Party elite was involved in the everyday life of Dinamo Tbilisi, controlling finances, discussing plans and strategies, and demanding victory in matches and championships. All of this changed with the death of Beria in 1953, when Tbilisi Dinamo lost its patron and supporter in the Kremlin. This talk is based on archival research in various archives in Georgia, as well as on oral histories from former football players.

One of the founders of SOVLAB: the Soviet Past Research Laboratory, David Jishkariani graduated from Tbilisi State University with a degree in history in 2008 and received an MA in Russian Studies at TSU in 2010. In 2013-14 he was an invited scholar in the Department of Russian and East European Studies at Warsaw University. His sphere of interests includes the Great Purges of the USSR in 1937-38, Georgian nationalism in the Soviet Union, industrialization during the Soviet period, and ethnic deportations from the Georgian SSR.

*****
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: Identity Styles and Parenting Dimensions in the Georgian Context

By Nino Skhirtladze, Researcher, D. Uznadze Institute of Psychology, Ilia State University

Date: March 2, 2016, at 18:30
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

This talk will discuss strategies of personal identity formation in the Georgian context and their association with parenting dimensions. By using a quantitative model of identity styles, the research shows that Georgian young adults’ approaches to identity issues are different from those observed in Western European and US samples. The links between identity styles and parenting dimensions, studied through SEM analysis, also revealed some differences. The results will be discussed in terms of the specific Georgian context.

Nino Skhirtladze received her Master’s degree in personality psychology from Tbilisi State University. In 2015 she received a PhD in psychology at Ilia state University. The topics of her research interests are personal identity formation, micro and macro contextual influences on identity formation, and the influence of intercultural exchange on personal identity formation. In her research she uses quantitative and qualitative models and methodologies.

*****
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: Mass Graves of Victims of Soviet Repressions of 1921-1953 in Tbilisi

By Irakli Khvadagiani, SOVLAB and Ilia State University

Date: February 17, 2016, at 18:30
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

From 2005-2009 Irakli Khvadagiani was a student of Tbilisi State University on the Faculty of Social and Political Studies specializing in journalism.

Since 2010 he has been studying on the Faculty of Doctoral and Master’s Programs at Ilia State University specializing in the Caucasus in European and Global Context.

The spheres of his interests are: the latest history of the Caucasus, the 1920s; the Georgian Democratic Republic of 1918-21; the history of Caucasian emigration. In the future he plans to research the history of Georgian anti-Soviet movement and Georgian emigration in the 1920s.

Irakli Khvadagiani joined the activities of SOVLAB during Soviet Past Research Laboratory project “Red Terror Topography” and has since taken active part in the research process. Since 2011 he has been member of board of Soviet Past Research Laboratory.

http://sovlab.ge/node/495

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

Reading Group in Tbilisi!

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

Reading:

“Flight from the USSR” by Dato Turashvili

Reading is also available on the following link: http://lit.ge/წიგნი/Dato_Turashvili/Flight_from_the_USSR/396

Date: Friday, 19 February, 2016, at 18:30
Venue: 3/5 Cholokashvili St., Ilia State University, E Campus (near Vake Park), room # E236 (ARISC Office)

The group will read Chapters IV-V from the book during the session and discuss the topics covered. Reading the chapter in advance is not required.

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

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

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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: “War, Drugs and the Post-Soviet Era”

By Dessa Bergen-Cico, Syracuse University, Visiting Fulbright Scholar

Date: February 17, 2016, at 18:30
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

This talk will examine the historical and current connections between the Cold War, drugs and the Post-Soviet era with an emphasis on Georgia. War and drugs escalate in response to one another. Drugs are used as strategic tools of war; they are trafficked and sold to fund insurgent groups, and to numb survivors and society from the traumatic aftermath.

Dr. Bergen-Cico is a visiting Fulbright Scholar from the U.S., and currently teaches in the Addiction Studies Program at Ilia State University. Dessa holds a research appointment at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Health Care Providers in the Addictive Disorders. She is a Certified Addiction Specialist (CAS) and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher. Her areas of teaching and research focus on: a.) alcohol, other drugs, and addictive behaviors; b.) traumatic stress and the impact of exposure to violence on the development of addictive behaviors; and c.) the use of mindfulness-based practices for prevention and recovery from trauma and addiction. Dr. Bergen-Cico has over 30 scholarly publications and is the author of the book War and Drugs: The Role of Military Conflict in the Development of Substance Abuse.

*****
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: “Europeanization of Security Policy in Georgia”

By Zurab Bezhanishvili, Independent Researcher

Date: February 10, 2016, at 18:30
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

The project aims to answer the following questions: how do the processes of Europeanization work in contemporary Georgia? What kind of problems the processes of Europeanization create for the Georgian National Security? Is there a strategy for Georgia to overcome all its` local, national, regional and global threats without international support? What kind of tactical actions for solving the different kinds of threats in Georgia can strength positive sides of the processes of Europeanization in Caucasian Area and strengthen the EU integration processes as well?

Zurab Bezhanishvili has MA in Public Administration from Moscow State University. He has experience in working in NGO sector on security issues. Currently, he is an independent researcher working on Europeanization and security 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: “Compatibility of Academic Program Outcomes with Labor Market Demands in Social Sciences”

By Diana Lezhava, Center for Social Sciences and ARISC, and Mariam Amashukeli, Center for Social Sciences

Date: February 3, 2016, at 18:30
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

The present report was prepared within the the project of Center for Social Sciences “Higher Education programs’ effectiveness in carrier development: compatibility of Social Science academic programs outcomes with the labor market requirements”, conducted in 2014-2015 with the financial support of Open Society Georgia Foundation. The study aimed at determining the compatibility of academic programs in Social Sciences with the labor market demands in order to identify how important the academic programs are for career development in Georgia, what is the relation between the effectiveness of academic programs and the employment of university graduates, to what extent they are prepared for satisfying the labor market demands.

Diana Lezhava is an administrative director at CSS, as well as a resident director of ARISC Georgia Branch. She has been working on higher education since 2010. In 2012-2014 she worked at Tbilisi State University and administered TSU Institute of Gender Studies (2012-2013), as well as TSU Center for Interdisciplinary Studies (2013-2014). Her research interests include higher education and education policy.

Mariam Amashukeli cooperates with CSS since 2012. She holds BA in Sociology (2005-2009, TSU) and MA in Anthropology-Interdisciplinary Research (2009-2011, TSU). In summer 2011 Mariam has founded the initiative group “Young Supporters for Social Change in Georgia” and implemented the project “Gender-based Violence is a Social Problem”. In the Course of the project Young Supporters was oriented to activate Georgian youth discourse towards Gender Equality issues. In 2015 she worked at National Assessment and Examination Center. Her research interests include gender equality, higher education.

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

WiP: “Nomen est omen: Renaming of places in the minority inhabited areas of Georgia”

By Maria Diego Gordon, ECMI

Date: February 3, 2016, at 18:30
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

The changes of the names of ethnic minority villages have been for a long time raised as issue which was accompanying process of nation-state building in Georgia since its independence. This presentation analyzes the relation between the naming and re-naming of places and the changing political attitudes towards ethnic minorities since 1918 in Georgia. To accomplish this, the research focused on six of the municipalities of the Kvemo Kartli and Samkhtse Javakheti, specifically the ones where ethnic minorities make up more than the 50% of the population.

Maria Diego Gordon is a researcher at the ECMI Caucasus. She holds a bachelor degree in Journalism from the Complutense University of Madrid and spent a year in Sciences Po – Paris, where she got the chance to deepen her knowledge in international relations. She specializes in nationalism, minority and identity issues, and their interaction with the ruling elites of a country, as well as their impact in its symbolic landscape, especially in Eurasian and Caucasus regions.

*****
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.

FSG: “My Grandmother” (1929)

Within the series of Film Study Group, ARISC Georgia Branch invites you to screening of Georgian silent movie “My Grandmother” (1929) by Kote Mikaberidze.

Date: January 22, 2016 at 18:30
Venue: 32 Chavchavadze Ave., Ilia State University, A Campus, room A101

The movie screening will be followed by discussion with the invited speaker, Ms. Salome Tsopurashvili, Doctoral Candidate in Gender Studies, Tbilisi State University.

The topic of discussion: “Socio-political context and critics of soviet bureaucracy.”

The film has English subtitles. The discussion language is English. Feel free to join and invite your friends.

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

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

The film study group aims to brings Georgian and international society together in an informal setting to discuss and explore the Georgian, as well as South Caucasian cinema.

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: State Building symbolism in the tourist architecture of Post-‘Rose Revolution’ Batumi, Georgia

By Suzy Harris-Brandts, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Date: January 20, 2016, at 18:30
Venue: American Councils Georgia, Chavchavadze 35A, II floor.

The coastal Black Sea city of Batumi has a rich history of tourism, attracting national and international visitors alike. Following the 2003 ‘Rose Revolution’, however, a new epoch in the trajectory of Batumi’s tourism development emerged, one marked by rapid modern construction projects and the erasure of large parts of the city’s existing urban fabric. In turn, the very nature of what had symbolized a sense of local identity in the built environment of Batumi has been dramatically altered and rewritten. Despite the abundance of tourism-driven construction taking place across the cities of the former Soviet Union, few studies have examined the relationship between post-socialist urban iconographies of nationalism and state building tourism development. This work attempts to help fill the gap by integrating first-hand qualitative research on Batumi’s transformation since 2003 with historical architectural and urban planning analysis and a synthesis of literature on tourism, state building, and identity studies. Providing an overview of this work in its early stages, the presentation will situate the state building iconographies of Batumi’s new buildings within the broader context of national symbolism in architecture- as it has emerged across the former Soviet Union and relative to similar trends in post-colonial nation states of the 1960s. In doing so, it focuses attention on two related questions. First, what is the relationship between iconographies of tourism and iconographies of state building in architecture and urban design? Second, how has this relationship come specifically to reflect and redefine the identity of the contemporary Georgian city of Batumi?

Suzy Harris-Brandts is a PhD student in Urban Studies and Planning at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Her work examines state building iconography in the architecture of post-Rose Revolution Georgia. She is further interested in how such construction is impacting the existing protracted conditions of IDP urban settlement via forms of secondary displacement. Prior to her doctoral studies, Suzy was an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Waterloo’s School of Architecture in Canada. Trained as an architect, she has worked at design practices across the globe, including in Toronto, Vancouver, London, the West Bank and Abu Dhabi.

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

Reading Group in Tbilisi!

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

Reading:

“Flight from the USSR” by Dato Turashvili

Reading is also available on the following link: http://lit.ge/წიგნი/Dato_Turashvili/Flight_from_the_USSR/396

Date: Friday, 15 January, 2016, at 18:00
Venue: 3/5 Cholokashvili St., Ilia State University, E Campus (near Vake Park), room # E236 (ARISC Office)

The group will read Chapter II from the book during the session and discuss the topics covered. Reading the chapter in advance is not required.

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

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

*****

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

WiP: “Ethnonational Imaginations and Representations in a post-Conflict Setting: the Case of Georgia”

By Babak Rezvani, University of Amsterdam

Date: December 22, 2015, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation, Georgia, 3 Kavsadze Street, 0179 Tbilisi, Georgia

The purpose of this study is to examine how different majority and minority ethno-religious groups in Georgia represent their social environment at different geographic levels; i.e. their city, region and country. Are there any discrepancies visible in the respondent-generated mental maps, flags and coats of arms, made by members of different ethno-religious groups?

This research answers these questions using the “mental mapping and interview method, similar to that used by Nas and his colleagues and inspired by Kevin Lynch’s (1960) approach. Members of the majority ethnic groups and a number of minorities in Georgia will be asked to draw mental maps, flags and coats of arms, individually and in collaboration with other members of their group, and will be interviewed. Symbols are powerful carriers of meaning. The routine, banal and everyday, expressions of nationhood often use tangible and visual symbols. The project will pay particular attention to the occurrence of symbols in the respondent generated mental maps and interviews. Additionally, a questionnaire will be distributed to a large number of respondents and will be analyzed.

Dr. Babak Rezvani is a political scientist/ geographer and has taught many courses on Ethnic Relations, Geopolitics and methods of research in social and political sciences in Amsterdam and in Tbilisi. He has served as a member of the governing board of the research school Ceres (Research School for Resource Studies for Development). Currently, he is the chairman of Association for the Study of EthnoGeoPolitics. His recent book is entitled Conflict and Peace in Central Eurasia: Towards Explanations and Understandings.

*****
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.

FSG – “The Other Bank” by George Ovashvili

ARISC Georgia Branch continues series of film study groups!

Within its frameworks, “The other Bank” (2009) by Giorgi Ovashvili will be screened on

Date: December 18, 2015 at 18:30
Venue: 1 Giorgi Tsereteli St., Ilia State University, G campus, room G106

The trailer of the movie can be accessed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=348jxROE0XE

The movie screening will be followed by discussion. The film is in Georgian with English subtitles. The discussion language is English. Feel free to join and invite your friends.

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

The film study group aims to brings Georgian and international society together in an informal setting to discuss and explore the Georgian, as well as South Caucasian cinema.

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: The Rise and Fall of Decentralized School Governance: Decision-Making Practices in Georgia

By Sophia Gorgodze, Ilia State University

Date: December 16, 2015, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation, Georgia, 3 Kavsadze Street, 0179 Tbilisi, Georgia

This study investigates the decision-making practices in the Georgian general education sector, focusing on decisions concerning school management decentralization/recentralization during 2004-2012. The study is based on in-depth interviews with over twenty top decision makers in the education sphere who served in major decision-making roles from 1998 to 2012, complemented with interviews with education experts and donors in Georgia. An extensive review of legal documents, relevant research and media reports were also used to gain a deeper understanding of how decisions were made throughout the period. Two theories are used to explain the decision-making in Georgia: Multiple Streams and Electoral Connection. The findings show that both theories have some explanatory power, however Electoral Connection theory has been modified to fit the political setting of a newly democratized post-Soviet state.

Sophia Gorgodze is an invited professor and a doctoral candidate at Ilia State University. She earned her MA degree from Harvard Graduate School of Education (in Education Policy) and Tbilisi State University (in American Studies). Sophia has worked in the education sphere for more than ten years as a teacher, lecturer, education projects manager and a government official. She worked for the Ministry of Education and Science for seven years and served as the Director of the Teacher Professional Development Center in 2007-2010. Her interests are educational policymaking, teacher education and education for disadvantaged groups.

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

Reading Group!

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

Reading:

“Flight from the USSR” by Dato Turashvili

Reading is also available on the following link: http://lit.ge/წიგნი/Dato_Turashvili/Flight_from_the_USSR/396

Date: Friday, 11 December, 2015, at 18:00
Venue: Ilia State University, E Campus, room # E236 (ARISC Office)

The group will read Chapter I from the book during the session and discuss the topics covered. Reading the chapter in advance is not required.

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

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

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

WiP: Perceived Social Support and Adjustment among Domestic Violence Victims

By Prof. Nino Javakhishvili, Director of the D. Uznadze Institute of Psychology and Deputy Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Ilia State University, and Maka Lordkipanidze, Ilia State University

Date: December 9, 2015, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation, Georgia, 3 Kavsadze Street, 0179 Tbilisi, 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: Assembling Optimism: Tourism, Debts and Transnational Prostitution on the Georgian Black Sea Coast

By Tamta Khalvashi, Free University of Tbilisi

Date: November 25, 2015, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation, Georgia, 3 Kavsadze Street, 0179 Tbilisi, Georgia

The Georgian Black Sea coast has afforded various material, moral, economic and religious excesses as well as restrictions between the Russian and Ottoman Empires. A space of rigid border control during the Soviet period, the route has recently been revived by neoliberal urban development and the flow of debtors, gamblers, tourists, pimps, and prostitutes from around the globe. Based on fieldwork among dispossessed debtors in Batumi and their relations with tourists, gamblers, pimps and prostitutes coming from around the globe, in this presentation, I will illuminate the function of optimism in financial transactions that are connected to transnational tourism and prostitution. The presentation will revolve around a number of cases that take place in debtors’ heavily mortgaged houses, some of which function as sites for prostitution and pimping. As will be shown, the optimism brings together and integrates diverse actors and visions that otherwise are dispersed around this post-socialist periphery. Optimism allows for the potential to assemble possibilities of a better future through the complex chains of debts, which create the context of social, economic and moral “traffic” and uncertainty. Analyses of optimism in this post-Soviet periphery, moreover reveals its relation to the continuation of attachments to people’s properties, which actualize marginal historical sensibilities, such as shame connected to Ajara’s Muslim heritage.

Tamta Khalvashi recently defended her PhD thesis at the University of Copenhagen in the Department of Anthropology. Between 2008-2010 Tamta has undertook scholarships from Soros Foundation and the British Council at the University of Oxford where she has been a Chevening Research Student in the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Governance and Social Sciences at the Free University of Tbilisi. Tamta has carried out extensive research in Georgia and Turkey. Her current research interests include religion, borders, debts, tourism, urban heritage and affects. Her additional research interests also include the intersections of social theory, film, and new media.

*****
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.

FSG: “The Plea”by Tengiz Abuladze

ARISC Georgia Branch continues series of film study groups!

A Soviet-era movie “The Plea” (“Vedreba“1967) by Tengiz Abuladze will be screened on

Date: November 20, 2015 at 18:30
Venue: 32 Chavchavadze St., Ilia State University, A campus, room A101

The movie screening will be followed by discussion.

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

The film study group aims to brings Georgian and international society together in an informal setting to discuss and explore the Georgian, as well as South Caucasian cinema.

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: The Evolution of Georgia’s Reintegration Policy

By Ann Tsurtsumia-Zurabashvili, Dublin City University

Date: November 11, 2015, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

As part of this study, Ann examined the evolution of Georgia’s policy towards the issue of territorial integrity (reintegration policy) through Presidential addresses to the parliament during the period of 1997-2014. Prior to the recent constitutional amendments, the Presidency represented the most powerful institution in the Georgian political system. From 1997 the President of Georgia has addressed the parliament annually and the platform has been used to voice policy initiatives. Analysis of these presidential addresses allows one to examine not only the evolution of policy, but also to observe shifts in policy resulting from the changes in government/regime. This analysis is based on 18 speeches by E. Shevardnadze, M. Saakashvili and G. Margvelashvili.

Ann Tsurtsumia is currently a Marie Curie PhD Fellow at Dublin City University in Ireland. Her PhD research focuses on counter-recognition and reintegration strategies towards de facto states in the post-Soviet space, analyzing the period from the early 1990s using the cases of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Moldova.

*****
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: Cultures of Memory and Memory Politics in Contemporary Georgia

By Oliver Reisner, Ilia State University

Date: November 4, 2015, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

In this talk Oliver Reisner attempts to synthesize the developments in Georgia’s memorial landscape in order to make sense of recent memory studies applied to Georgia.

Dr. Oliver Reisner is professor of European and Caucasian Studies at Ilia State University since September 2015. Before he worked for ten years with the EU Delegation to Georgia and World Vision Georgia. In 2000 he earned his doctoral degree in history at Georg-August University Goettingen with a thesis on nation building in Georgia in late 19th and early 20th centuries. Afterwards he coordinated a post-graduate MA program on “Cental Asia/Caucasus” at Humboldt University in Berlin. More information about his work can be found at: “https://iliauni.academia.edu/OliverReisner” or https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Oliver_Reisner

*****
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: Gender Assignment in Tsova-Tush

By Thomas Wier, Free University of Tbilisi

Date: October 28, 2015, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

Why do natural languages have gender systems, and what does gender in language really mean, anyway? In this talk, we will examine this question by a review of the literature of gender systems in natural languages — what systems are possible and which are not — by reference to one key language of the Caucasus, Tsova-Tush aka Batsbi. We will also present new data for Tsova-Tush that deconstruct the notion that it has eight genders and extend and enlighten our understanding of how natural language gender systems work generally.

Thomas Wier has been Assistant Professor of Linguistics at Free University of Tbilisi since 2012. He received his Ph.D. in 2011 from the University of Chicago, where his dissertation was a study of Georgian morphosyntax. His work focuses on how word-structures do or do not reflect wider properties of clauses. In addition, he has also pursued field work on various languages of the Caucasus and native North American languages. His new book on the grammar and literature of the Tonkawa language will be published next year.

*****
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.

Film Study Group!

ARISC Georgia Branch continues series of film study groups!

A famous Soviet movie “Mimino” by Giorgi Danelia will be screened on

Date: October 26, 2015 at 18:30
Venue: 32 Chavchavadze St., Ilia State University, A campus, room A101

The movie screening will be followed by discussion.

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

The film study group aims to brings Georgian and international society together in an informal setting to discuss and explore the Georgian, as well as South Caucasian cinema.

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 – What is a Modern State? Insights from Conceptual History

By Dr. Poul Fritz Kjaer, Copenhagen Business School

Date: October 7, 2015, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

Throughout history states has appeared in many versions ranging from empires and city states to nation states. Due to the diversity of forms of statehood social and political thought since the breakthrough of modernity in the late 18th century has sought to pin down what a modern state is and how it differs from other types of statehood. On the basis of conceptual history approach the talk reconstructs how social and political theory has addressed these two questions. On that background, the question when modern statehood became a factual reality as well as the question what role the development of the idea of modern statehood played in its realisation is addressed.

Poul F. Kjaer is professor at the Department of Business and Politics, Copenhagen Business School. He is the director of the research project ‘Institutional Transformation in European Political Economy – A Socio-legal Approach’ financed by the European Research Council and the author of Constitutionalism in the Global Realm – A Sociological Approach (London: Routledge, 2014) and Between Governing and Governance: On the Emergence, Function and Form of Europe’s Post-national Constellation (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2010).

*****
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 – Detecting Defections: The Causes of Party Breakdowns in Georgia, 1999-2004

By Julie George, Queens College, City University of New York

Date: September 30, 2015, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

What are the social and political factors that affect the mechanism and timing of ruling party collapse? This paper examines the collapse of the CUG party of Georgia, tracing the defections of individual party members from 1999-2004. It finds that actors vary in their responses to party weakness, motivated variously by ambition and fear, which are correlated with particular social and political characteristics.

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.

http://www.qc.edu/political_science/george.html

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

Reading Group in Tbilisi

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

Reading: “The Study of Georgian Youth`s Awareness, Perceptions and Attitudes of Gender Equality” by Elene Japaridze, Maia Barkaia, Nino Zhgenti, Mariam Amashukeli

Reading is available on the following link: http://css.ge/index.php?lang_id=ENG&sec_id=24&info_id=995

Date: Tuesday, 22 September, 2015, at 18:30
Venue: Ilia State University, E Campus, room # E236 (ARISC Office)
The group will read Chapter VII from the book during the session and discuss the issues of women sexuality and motherhood. Reading the chapter in advance is not required.
*** This event is free and open to the public. If you are interested to join, please email: Georgia”at”arisc.org. The reading and discussion language is English. Feel free to join and invite your friends.

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

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

WiP – Nationalism and its Explanation: Insights from Students in Georgia

By Markus Sattler, Humboldt University of Berlin, Free University Berlin and University of Potsdam

Date: September 16, 2015, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

When nationalism meets Caucasus in academic and journalistic debates, the interest notoriously circles around issues of conflict or nation-building. Despite the significance of this branch of research, other pressing issues on the individual level remain largely obscure in the study of nationalism: What does constitute nationalism on the micro-level? How deeply is nationalism embedded among certain strata of society? Which factors can best explain different levels of nationalist ideologies? Starting with a theoretical discussion about the conceptualization of nationalism for quantitative studies, the presentation seeks to address the above raised questions by evaluating a questionnaire distributed to social science students at Tbilisi State University and Ilia State University in late 2013.

Markus Sattler holds a B.A. in political science and geography from the University of Bremen. He volunteered in Georgia in 2010/2011 and interned at the German Chamber of Commerce in Georgia/Armenia (DWV) and the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies (GFSIS), during which he conducted a survey on nationalism. Starting from October, he will continue his studies in International Relations at Humboldt University of Berlin, Free University Berlin and University of Potsdam. Even though he is reluctant to indicate a field of specialization, Markus remains obsessed with transformations in the aftermath of the Soviet dissolution. His research in Georgia was supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

*****
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 present the opening talk of the Fall 2015 Works-in-Progress season:

“A Conversation with Cinematographer Thomas Burns”

Date: September 9, 2015, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

Thomas Burns is an award-winning cinematographer who shoots film, television, and commercial motion picture content. His background includes over a decade of training in Hollywood on feature films (Where the Wild Things Are, Die Hard 4), dramatic television (CSI, Dexter), documentaries (National Geographic, Discovery Channel), and hundreds of commercials (Porsche, McDonalds, Capital One). He holds a master’s degree in film production from Stanford University, where one of his films won a Student Academy Award, and his work has screened in gallery exhibition and in film festivals around the world. A former U.S. Fulbright Scholar, Thomas received the award for Best Cinematography at the 2009 European Independent Film Festival in Paris. Formerly a visiting professor at the School of Theater, Film, and Television at the University of California, Los Angeles, Thomas hosts film production workshops internationally. He is now based in Tbilisi, Georgia.
www.thomasburns.net

*****
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 – Facing the Skeletons in the Closet During Political Transition: Post-Communist Collective Memory Debates in Estonia and Georgia

By Jane Kitaevich, University of Michigan

Date: July 29, 2015, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

Political transitions are frequently characterized not only by the challenges of building new political institutions, but also by the Herculean task of nation-building – especially, when the state population is divided along multiple lines of ethnicity, language, territory, social capital, ideology, and conflicting memories of the already divisive past. As part of these attempts to foster a new national narrative, states-in-transition often need to make a choice in respect to how do they remember their past— in particular, the more divisive and controversial episodes from their national histories. The literature on state-building and memory politics is divided between those scholars who believe that dealing with one’s past is a requirement for creating/maintaining democracy, and those who argue that public debates on collective memory will only subvert democratic development. Yet, what might matter for democracy’s health is not the act of remembering or forgetting per se, but the way in which the past is remembered or forgotten. Given the putative importance of the manner in which the splintered memories are handled, what explains the different patterns of managing the divisive past in states-in-transition? Why do some states witness a grassroots-driven attempt to form more pluralist spaces for mnemonic debates, while others do not? Post-Soviet space — where history wars remain at the forefront of regional political agendas — presents an instructive case for understanding the divergence in the way splintered memories are addressed. Drawing on extensive comparative qualitative data from over 110 in-depth interviews and archival research in Estonia and Georgia—two former Communist states that found themselves embroiled in history “crusades” and offered different solutions to institutionalizing the divisive past in the educational sphere following the collapse of the Soviet order—this talk offers a multi-variable, generalizable explanation to this question.

Jane Kitaevich is a PhD student in political science at the University of Michigan, where she specializes in comparative politics, with secondary interests in world politics, political methodology, and Eurasian/Middle Eastern Studies. She has an A.M. degree from Harvard University, where she was a graduate student affiliate at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian studies. Jane has previously served as a Junior Fellow for the Russia-Eurasia program at the Carnegie Endowment in Washington, D.C. Jane’s research interests include politics of transition, nation-building/state-building, collective memory, conflict studies, politics of redistribution, religion and civil society.

*****
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 – Funerary Horse Races and Chechen Bard Song: Workings of Musical Memorial in Northeastern Georgia

By Ben Wheeler, Sayat Nova Project and University of Illinois

Date: July 22, 2015, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

Musical compositions, rituals, and performances which memorialize the deceased draw upon two, near-universal phenomena (death and music). But the motivations for commemorating the dead are relative and extremely diverse. This talk will draw from recordings and interviews conducted in Northeastern Georgia over the past four years with individuals and communities who use the act of remembrance as a means of expressing opinions about the present and future. Footage from the funerary festival of Zezvaoba in the towns of Zemo and Kvemo Alvani and conversations with a Chechen refugee bard living in the neighboring Pankisi Gorge will be examined, as they illustrate sites and situations in which the workings of musical memorialization are enacted for different yet interconnected audiences- for a variety of causes and with differing results.

Ben Wheeler is the co-founder of the Sayat Nova Project, a non-profit group dedicated to raising awareness of the diverse musical dialects of the Caucasus. He is a graduate of the Tbilisi State Conservatoire’s program in Georgian folk music. As a master’s student in Musicology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, he is focusing on the intersection of music, identity, and memorial practices in the Caucasus.

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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 – Ancient DNA investigations at Samtavro, Republic of Georgia

By Luka Papac, University of Melbourne

Date: July 15, 2015, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

The Caucasus is a unique landmass situated at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. As a result, it has played a major role in many migrations, conquests and trading routes over the last 5,000 years. Studies of modern genetic diversity are limited in that they can only infer evolutionary and demographic events that have occurred in the past. Ancient DNA now allows us to directly test the hypotheses made from modern genetic data and is giving us a new understanding of human prehistory.

Luka Papac graduated from the University of Melbourne and La Trobe University with a Science degree and Honours in Genetics. He is interested in the utility of DNA studies in revealing aspects of human prehistory. His honours thesis focussed on the mitochondrial genetic diversity of Australian Aboriginals. Now he is undertaking a PhD at the University of Melbourne analysing the genetic make-up of the ancient population buried at Samtavro.

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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 – Georgia as NATO’s ‘Model Pupil’

By Ryan McCarrel, University College Dublin

Date: July 8, 2015, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is often viewed as foremost a military alliance within prevailing academic and public discourse. However, NATO can be considered a politico-economic institution, and further thought of as actively (re)producing particular spatial configurations via both discursive and material practices. While recent events have reanimated the decades old debate over NATO expansion, they have mostly reverted to old realist geopolitical concepts of balance of power, spheres of influence, ‘buffer zones’ and territorial defense, which neglect these politico-economic forces (partly due to a reluctance to engage in empirical research). This talk departs from existing literature by presenting a novel way of understanding NATO by looking to its relations with its non-member partner states. It contextualizes this understanding in an empirically driven case-study of NATO’s relations with Georgia, and ends with a few critical reflections on how this partnership has developed over time and space, and what it can tell us about the broader political-economic implications of a ‘Global NATO.’

Ryan McCarrel is a PhD candidate in Political Geography at University College Dublin and a visiting researcher at the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies (GFSIS). He was an International Fellow for CRRC-Azerbaijan in 2014. He has an MA from UCD in Geopolitics and the Global Economy, and a BA in Political Science from University of Oregon. His research is centered on NATO’s relations with its non-member partner states, with particular focus given to Georgia, Ukraine, & Uzbekistan.

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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 – “Challenges to the Preservation of Modern Architecture: A Photo Survey of Soviet-Era Architecture around Georgia”

By Angela Wheeler, Columbia University

Date: July 1, 2015, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

Angela Wheeler holds an MSc in Historical Preservation from Columbia University and was a Fulbright fellow in 2012-2013 with ICOMOS Georgia. She also prepared a report on historic Georgian cities for Council of Europe and conducted archaeological site work at Dmanisi.

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

Public Lecture on “Applying to Graduate Programs in the US”

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

Date: June 25, at 17:00
Venue: 32 Chavchavadze St., Ilia State University, A campus, room A101

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

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

This event is free and open to the public. The event language: English

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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 – Azerbaijan: Discourse and Self-Perception

By Chiara Loda, Dublin City University

Date: June 18, 2015, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

In the last two decades the Azerbaijani narrative has dramatically transformed. In fact, while in 1993 state consolidation was the main concern of Baku, in the successive decade Azerbaijan has transformed into a self-confident actor who speaks in terms of “state Interest”, “energy strategy” and “non-interference”. In order to gain a better understanding of that, the various presidential inauguration speeches have been diachronically assessed. This study does not only provides evidence for the Azerbaijani case but also shows how discourse analysis can be an appropriate method for the investigation of anthropic features, such as self-confidence, whenever attributed to a state.

Chiara Loda is an ESR Marie Curie “Post-Soviet Tensions” ITN Fellow at Dublin City University. Her project focuses on foreign policy discourse and practice of Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan within a framework of international relations. Currently she is based in Tbilisi where she cooperates with “Geowel Reserch” and conducts fieldwork.

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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 – Entangled Nationalisms: Language, Autonomy, and the Brezhnev Constitution in the Georgian SSR, 1977-1978

By Claire Pogue Kaiser, University of Pennsylvania, and ARISC Fellow

Date: June 10, 2015, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

Two important movements in the Georgian SSR coalesced around public discussions about the Brezhnev-era constitution (the first revision since the 1936 Stalin Constitution) and its republic-level variants in the late 1970s. On the one hand, many Georgians rose to the defense of preserving the Georgian language’s official status in the republic’s constitution, leading to a petition campaign and street demonstrations. On the other hand, the constitution provided a means to lobby for greater autonomy and territorial transfer among Abkhaz residents via petitions and local gatherings (“skhody”). Drawing from new archival material collected during twelve months of research in Tbilisi, I examine these movements’ dynamic and reactive qualities to show the realization of what I call the Brezhnev national-social contract at its apogee. This talk is based on the final chapter of my dissertation, titled Lived Nationality: Policy and Practice in Soviet Georgia, 1945-1978.

Claire P. Kaiser is a Ph.D. candidate in modern Russian history at the University of Pennsylvania, where she is completing a dissertation titled Lived Nationality: Policy and Practice in Soviet Georgia, 1945-1978. Her research has been supported by the American Councils/Department of State Title VIII Program, the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus, the Pew Foundation, and the University of Pennsylvania. Her articles and reviews have been published in The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review, Nationalities Papers, and Slavonica. She holds a B.S. in foreign service and an M.A. in Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service. She speaks Russian and Georgian.

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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 – Stalinism and Islam in the Soviet Periphery: The 1929 Muslim Uprising in Ajara

By Timothy Blauvelt, American Councils and Ilia State University, Giorgi Khatiashvili, Georgia Regents University

Date: June 3, 2015, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

In 1929 local officials in the mountainous region of upper Ajara in the Georgian SSR tried to force Muslim women to remove their veils and to close religious schools, provoking the local Muslim peasant population to rebellion in one of the largest and most violent of such incidents in Soviet history. Based on Party and secret police files from the Georgian archives in Tbilisi and Batumi, this project explores the ways in which local cadres interpreted regime policies and the interaction of the center and periphery in dealing with national identity, Islam, gender and everyday life in the early Soviet period.

Timothy Blauvelt is Country Director in Georgia for American Councils and Associate Professor of Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies at Ilia State University.

Giorgi Khatiashvili is a graduate of Tbilisi State University and an MPA student at Georgia Regents University in Augusta, Georgia in the US.

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

WiP – Resource Flows, Politics and Instability in the Caucasus: a Discussion on Identifying Cause

By George Welton, GeoWel Research

Date: May 20, 2015, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

Dr. Welton, through GeoWel Research, is currently managing an EU Project, with the snappy title, ‘Intra-and Inter-Societal Sources of Instability in the Caucasus and EU Opportunities to Respond’ (ISSICEU). This project includes a consortium of 8 organisations, mostly universities, to research sources of instability in the Caucasus, and think about ways in which these causes should impact on EU policy. GeoWel’s component of this project is to think about how resource flows impact on political decision making. The team has so far spent most of their time documenting the trade, FDI, migration, remittance, movement of people, as well as movement of gas, oil and electricity in the region. We are now moving into the phase where we will think about how that connects to politics. George is interested to discus the project in very general terms and gain input from the WiP group about areas and methodologies worth considering.

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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 – Animating the City: Safavid Soundscapes in Socialist Tbilisi

By Paul Manning, Trent University

Date: May 13, 2015, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

Professor Paul Manning received his PhD in linguistics from the University of Chicago in 2001. He has taught anthropology at Northern Illinois University, Reed College, and Bard College. His research focuses on linguistic and semiotic anthropology in Europe (Wales) and Eurasia (Georgia). He has done fieldwork on Welsh speaking populations in Wales, Argentina and on Georgian speaking populations in Georgia and Russia.

http://www.dangerserviceagency.org/

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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 – Security and Identity in the South Caucasus. A case study of the Armenian minority of Samtskhe-Javakheti

By Lucile Bardin, Central European University

Date: May 6, 2015, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

The Armenian minority living in Samtskhe-Javakheti has often been accused of disloyalty to the Georgian state, especially in the immediate post-independence period. Moreover, the general atmosphere of distrust between Georgians and Armenians has been reinforced by a traditional view that Armenians are more sympathetic to Russia than to Georgia. These claims of alleged disloyalty of Javakheti Armenians to Georgia are again being heard. The regional context of tensions in the South Caucasus, and the recent violence and political crisis in Ukraine, highlight the need for greater research of the phenomenon of threat perceptions surrounding the Armenian minority in Samtskhe-Javakheti.

This project will seek to address the following questions: What are the characteristics, dynamics and consequences of the discourses depicting the Armenian minority from Samtskhe-Javakheti as a threat to Georgia through their perceived relations with Russia? It will seek to identify the constellation of actors involved in the process of securitization of the Armenian minority of Samtskhe-Javakheti. The logics and dynamics of the securitization process will be assessed through an analysis of the rhetorical structure of securitizing discourses. Finally, the conditions under which such a phenomenon can happen and its consequences, trying to differentiate the impact it has on wider patterns of inter-ethnic relations.

Lucile Bardin is a French MA student in Nationalism Studies at Central European University in Budapest. Her first encounter with the South Caucasus and Georgia dates back to an internship at ECMI Caucasus in Summer 2013. Her interest lies in inter-ethnic relations and the Post-Soviet space in general. She traveled and studied the cases of Northern Ireland, Palestine, Georgia and Pakistan.

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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.

Film Study Group in Tbilisi!

ARISC Georgia Branch invites you to the 2nd session of the Film Study Group featuring a Georgian movie “In Bloom” (2013) directed by Nana Ekvtimishili and Simon Gross.

Watch movie tralier at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcmUjndPV8k

Date: May 4, at 18:00
Venue: 32 Chavchavadze St., Ilia State University, A campus, room A101

The movie screening will be followed by discussion. The film is in Georgian with English subtitles. The discussion language is English.

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

The film study group aims to brings Georgian and international society together in an informal setting to discuss and explore the Georgian, as well as South Caucasian cinema.

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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.

5th Anniversary of WiP

American Councils – Georgia, CRRC and ARISC invite you to join us in celebrating the 5th anniversary of the Works-in-Progress series!

Special guest Prof. Kevin Tuite, University of Montreal will speak about:

“St. George in Georgia: Politics, Gender and Mobility”

Date: April 29, 2015, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

The immense popularity of St George in Georgia has often been commented on, and some have even surmised that the country received its Latin name from the saint. Even if this etymology is false, there is no denying that a significant proportion of Georgian Orthodox churches — somewhere between 20 and 30% — are dedicated to this warrior saint; and icons portraying him mounted on a white horse, usually spearing a dragon, seem to be everywhere.

In this talk, Prof. Tuite will discuss the spread of the cult of St George among elite circles in Georgia and neighboring areas in the Middle Ages, and the diffusion of certain features of his representation and cult into popular religious systems, such as those of Svaneti and Khevsureti. Special attention will be paid to the pairing of localized George figures with a female supernatural counterpart, and the role of this pairing in traditional beliefs about (male) mobility for the purpose of obtaining resources.

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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 – “Specific Features of the Georgian Language and Alphabet”

By Nana Shavtvaladze, University of Georgia

Date: April 22, 2015, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

Nana Shavtvaladze is a Georgian language linguist and methodologist. She has been head of the Georgian Language Department at The University of Georgia (sakartvelos universiteti) since 2010, and she is also the director of The Language School, where her pupils have included a number of important diplomats. She is the author of 38 academic papers on the nature of the Georgian language and 14 books about Georgian language history, irregular verbs, and teaching of Georgian as a foreign language.

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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 Georgians’ Discourses of National Identity in the Context of Europeanisation

By Lika Tsuladze, Tbilisi State University and Center for Social Sciences

Date: April 8, 2015, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

The paper discusses the Georgians’ online discourses of national identity in the context of Europeanisation focusing on two periods – initialling of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement in November 2013 and signing it in June 2014. Discussing how the Georgians’ aspiration to integrate with the EU is combined with their perception of Europeanisation as a threat to the national identity, the author explores how the national sentiment is expressed in the above discourses while performed for the local vs. international audiences.

Lika Tsuladze is an Associate Professor of Sociology, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Tbilisi State University. Her current research relates to the youth culture in modern Georgia focusing on the construction of youth identities in the context of glocalization. Lika directs the Applied Social Science Programme at CSS since 2012. In 2014 she became a Research Director at CSS, as well as joined CSS Board.

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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 Myths and Realities of being an Immigrant in Georgia: Policy and Societal levels

By Mariam Chumburidze (IRC), Tamar Zurabishvili (ICMPD)

Date: April 1, 2015, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

Immigration is a relatively new phenomenon for Georgian reality: until recently the country was mainly exporting its labor force rather than attracting immigrants. In recent years, however, the situation has started to change, with more and more immigrants arriving to Georgia for both short-term and long-term residence purposes. This was in part due to the country’s liberal immigration policy, and also because of the creation of employment and educational niches. The recent humanitarian crises in Middle Eastern countries have also played a role in increasing number of immigrants to Georgia. For a Georgian population that lacked previous experience of dealing with immigrants from places that are sometimes quite distant, both in geographical and cultural terms, establishing effective associations with immigrants often proved to be problematic. At the same time, on the policy level, there are clear discrepancies between the existing immigration provisions and the necessity to accommodate the integration needs of immigrants.

The present research project thus focuses on these discrepancies between Georgians’ proclaimed myth of ‘hospitality’ and ‘openness’ and the emerging intolerant attitudes towards immigrants, and, at the same time, on the contrast between the existing Georgian immigration policy that does not account for existing needs of immigrant integration, and the increased need to facilitate effective integration of immigrants. The presentation is based on an analysis of immigration policy of Georgia, and on the analysis of a study of immigration in Georgia that surveyed 600 Tbilisi residents on their attitudes towards immigrants and collected 44 in-depth interviews with immigrants currently living in Georgia over the course of more than 9 months. The presentation argues that 1) despite the discourse of ‘hospitality’, a significant part of the Tbilisi population holds intolerant attitudes towards immigrants coming from culturally, religiously and geographically distant countries; and 2) the Georgian immigration policy fails to acknowledge the existing need to tackle the integration of immigrants and the necessity of implementing cultural diversity programs for the local population.

Mariam Chumburidze is a Good Governance and Innovations Program Coordinator at the Innovations and Reforms Center (IRC), has worked for the Ministry of Justice on migration, and holds a Masters degree in Finance and International Management.

Tamar Zurabishvili is a Researcher at ICMPD ENIGMMA Pilot Analytical Unit at the SCMI Secretariat in Georgia, has a PhD in Sociology, and is regularly involved in applied research on migration to and from 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.

Film Study Group in Tbilisi!

(ARISC) Georgia Branch starts series of film study group! The first session of the series will feature a film of Georgia director Nutsa Aleksi-Meskhishvili “Felicita” (happiness).

Date: March 26, at 18:30
Venue: 32 Chavchavadze St., Ilia State University, A campus, room A101

The movie screening will be followed by discussion. The film is in Georgian with English subtitles. The discussion language is English.

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

The film study group aims to brings Georgian and international society together in an informal setting to discuss and explore the Georgian, as well as South Caucasian cinema.

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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 – Ethnocentrism and the use of force in Georgia, 1990 to 2014

By Chris Anderson, PhD Candidate in Political Science, University of Iowa

Date: March 18, 2015, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

Chris will present data from a number of public opinion surveys conducted in Georgia over the last 20 years that investigate changes in the level of ethnocentrism in Georgian society and how this affects Georgian attitudes towards violence and the use of force.

Ethnocentrism is a term to describe the degree to which people identify with their in-group and dislike other out-groups. It has been shown to be an important predictor of support for the use of force in the United States. Ethnocentric individuals were not only more likely than non-ethnocentric individuals to support the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, they were also more likely to support an aggressive foreign policy during the cold war. However, despite clear evidence from the American literature that ethnocentrism is positively related to support for the use of force, systematic work cross-nationally is lacking. This is unfortunate because it is far from clear that results from the American literature will hold cross-nationally. This is particularly true regarding support for the use of military force; the position of the United States as the world’s only superpower (and thus its ability to use military without serious repercussions) means that American attitudes towards the use of force are likely to be far from globally representative. Chris’s work, therefore, will expand upon the results from the United States in order to determine how ethnocentrism and use of force are related cross-national.

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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.

Reading Group in Tbilisi!

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

Reading: “Ali and Nino” by Kurban Said

Date: Thursday, 19 March, 2015, at 18:30
Venue: Ilia State University, E Campus, room #301

The group will read one chapter from Kurban Said’s “Ali and Nino” during the session and discuss the issues of identity. Reading the chapter in advance is not required.

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

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

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

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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 – From Discourse to Practice: The EU’s Migration Management Strategy in Neighboring Third Countries

By Martine Brouillette, University of Poitiers, France

Date: March 18, 2015, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

This talk will present the preliminary findings of field research undertaken in Georgia for doctoral research on the European Union’s migration policy. By considering two countries of the neighborhood benefiting from similar “cooperation packages” from the EU, Moldova and Georgia, the project will examine the convergences and differences in the trajectory of migration management policy, the Mobility Partnership. Political instruments of softpower, the Mobility Partnerships are representative of the network governance designed by the EU to streamline the management of migration in third countries in keeping with European best practices. This project aims to provide an insight into the actual significance of these policies in the field of migration management, their capacity to lead to a common understanding on migration-related issues, and also to an understanding of how they can be instrumentalized by the partner third countries in advancing their own objectives vis-à-vis the EU.

Martine Brouillette is a PhD Candidate in Political Science at the University of Poitiers, France. She is associated with the MIGRINTER Research Institute, specializing in the study of International Migrations and Inter-ethnic relations.

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

WiP – Performing Soviet Literacies in the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic

By Jeremy Johnson, University of Michigan

Date: March 11, 2015, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

In the 1920s and 1930s, the Soviet Union undertook large-scale, multilingual literacy campaigns, which dramatically increased reported rates of literacy across the country. In the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, these campaigns initially involved preexisting literacy societies, educational organizations and international relief missions, each with particular understandings of what constituted literacy or literacies, along side newly formed Soviet organizations. Using archival material from Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, this talk will examine the ways competing notions of literacy or literacies came to play out in the production of discourses of literate citizenship and they ways in which citizens performed literacy or illiteracy in specific contexts.

Jeremy Johnson is a PhD Candidate at the University of Michigan in the Interdepartmental Program in Anthropology and History. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, American Councils, and the Manoogian Simone Foundation.

*****
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 Influence of Collective Memory on Reconciliation and Peace Building on the Caucasus

By Bartłomiej Krzysztan, University of Wroclaw

Date: March 4 2015, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

Post-Soviet conflicts which led to creation of the de facto states on the South Caucasus and in Moldova prompted newly constructed political organisms to creation of state-driven politics of history and memory. Ambiguous status of separatist states of Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Nagorno-Karabakh and Transnistria is forcing the need of building the new discourses necessary to create or recreate national and ethnic identity. For the conflicts in Abkhazia and Nagorno-Karabakh this question along with collective memory play significant role in nowadays politics remaining the noticeable obstacle in processes of conflict resolution implementation. Presentation is giving the impression how the collective memory and reconstructed mythological state-driven discourse are influencing on the peace-building process. From anthropological fieldwork research is leading to comparative analysis on possible future outcomes.

Bartłomiej Krzysztan is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Wroclaw. He is a graduate of Political Science at the University of Wrocław and Université Libre de Bruxellesraduate of Cultural Studies at the University of Wrocław, and an exchange researcher at Ilia State University in Tbilisi. His research interests are connected with the issues of postmodern socio-political thought, as well as cultural memory, identity, anthropology of everyday life and postcolonialism, with particular emphasis on the Post-Soviet sphere – the Caucasus and Central and Eastern Europe.

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

Reading Group in Tbilisi

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

Reading:  “Georgia – A Political History since Independence.” Chapter 8, The Myth of Georgian Nationalism  

by Stephen Jones

The group will read the Chapter 8 from the Stephen Jones’ book during the session and discuss the various forms of nationalism in Georgia. Having read the chapter in advance is not required.    

Date: Thursday, 26 February 2015, at 18:30
Venue: 3/5 Cholokashvili St., Ilia State University, E Campus, room #301

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

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

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

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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 – Japan’s Northern Borders: Spatial Epistemology and the State

By Edward Boyle, Hokkaido University

Date: February 25, 2015, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

During the two centuries traditionally characterized as Japan’s ‘closed-country’ period, the ‘barbarian land’ at the northern end of the Japanese archipelago went from an ill-defined alien expanse of land to one that was uneasily demarcated between Japan and Russia, and in the subsequent Meiji period open to colonization. This process of delimitation continued into an era of open Imperial competition between Japan and Russia and remains contested today, forming the long-running ‘Northern Territories Issue’ that has poisoned Russo-Japanese relations into the present.

This presentation shall provide an overview of this process of knowing a territory and bordering the space of the state from a Japanese perspective. In so doing it shall connect this seemingly parochial northeast Asian history to larger questions regarding the naturalness of state borders and the manner through which knowledge of the contemporary world of nation-state territories came into being.

Edward Boyle is a PhD candidate at Hokkaido University in Japan, focusing on the intersection of state, space and territory and the manner in which this has developed into the modern notion of sovereignty. Due to the vagaries of marriage, he is currently resident in Tbilisi, 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 – Defiant discourse under an oppressive regime and international solidarity: the case of Portugal and “The Three Marias”

By Vera Peixoto, Utrecht University

Date: February 18, 2015, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

In 1972, three female authors that became known as “Three Marias” wrote a very polemic book called New Portuguese Letters, under the Portuguese fascist dictatorship (1933-1974). In a time when D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover and – of course – Beauvoir’s The Second Sex were forbidden in Portugal, these three women dared speak of female desire, while defying all conventions from the myth of romantic love, traditional gender roles, marriage and motherhood, national symbols, heteronormative and patriarchal discourse, to the mere notions of literary genre and authorship. Upon publication, the book was censored and the authors faced a sentence of two years in jail. Thanks to the support of Simone de Beauvoir and Marguerite Duras, amongst others, the case soon became a global phenomenon – voted in 1973 as the “first international feminist protest action” – compelling women from all over the Western world to demonstrate for the freeing of the “Marias”. On the other hand, the book’s incredible popularity and universal appropriation had a downside: instrumentalized by the media and fetishized by mainstream discourse, it has been pigeonholed as a dated political manifesto (symbol of either second wave feminism or anti-fascism). But what these writers created was a timeless text, a literary masterpiece among the most innovative of the twentieth century, continuously inspiring new generations and lending itself to ever renewed readings.

Vera Peixoto did both her undergraduate studies in English and German Language and Literature and her MA in Iberian Studies at the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Porto, in Portugal. She studied in Germany for 2 years and worked in the Netherlands for 5, teaching at Utrecht University. In 2013 she moved to Tbilisi, where she is the director of the Portuguese Language Center at Tbilisi State University. She is also doing her PhD on Gender Studies and 20th Century Portuguese Literature at Utrecht University. Her research focuses on the book New Portuguese Letters (Barreno, Maria Isabel et. al. 1972) and its representations of the female body as a place of discipline and transgression, analyzed from a European feminist perspective, exploring notions of embodiment, corporeality, subjectivity, identity and desire.

*****
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 – Performing Soviet Literacies in the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic

By Jeremy Johnson, University of Michigan

Date: February 11, 2015, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

In the 1920s and 1930s, the Soviet Union undertook large-scale, multilingual literacy campaigns, which dramatically increased reported rates of literacy across the country. In the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, these campaigns initially involved preexisting literacy societies, educational organizations and international relief missions, each with particular understandings of what constituted literacy or literacies, along side newly formed Soviet organizations. Using archival material from Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, this talk will examine the ways competing notions of literacy or literacies came to play out in the production of discourses of literate citizenship and they ways in which citizens performed literacy or illiteracy in specific contexts.

Jeremy Johnson is a PhD Candidate at the University of Michigan in the Interdepartmental Program in Anthropology and History. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, American Councils, and the Manoogian Simone Foundation.

*****
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 – Housing Inequalities in the South Caucasus – The Cases of Yerevan and Tbilisi 

By David Sichinava, Tbilisi State University, CRRC Georgia

Date: February 4, 2015, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

Yerevan and Tbilisi underwent a spectacular economic and sociocultural shift during the process of transition from a command to a market economy. The privatization of formerly state-owned housing stock and transferring building activities to the hands of private business have been the central features of this process. It is widely documented that socialist cities were characterized by significant residential segregation. Despite drastic changes in every aspect of life, at the first stage housing inequalities were not dramatically affected, contrary to expectations. However, currently the situation is changing and the gap is gradually widening. This presentation seeks to examine the main factors influencing housing inequalities in contemporary Yerevan and Tbilisi. It looks at the dynamics of the first two decades of the 21st century and evaluates the effect of socio-demographic and economic variables. The project is based on the pooled survey data from the Integrated Household Surveys of Armenia and Georgia, as well as from 10% sample data files from the Armenian national censuses from 2001 and 2011.

This talk is part of a larger study on the “Social contents of changing housing landscapes of the capital metropolises of Armenia and Georgia: Institutions, stakeholders, policies”, funded by the Academic Swiss Caucasus Network and undertaken by Yerevan State University and Tbilisi State University.

David Sichinava is a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Human Geography, Tbilisi State University and in parallel, works with CRRC-Georgia. His research interests include geographic aspects of electoral behavior, urban geography, and internal displacement 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 – Emigration and Return Migration of North Caucasian Muslims in 1860-1880

By Vladimir Troyansky, Stanford University

Date: January 28, 2015, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

Integration of the North Caucasus region into the Russian Empire sparked mass emigration of Muslims into the Ottoman Empire. By the late nineteenth century, hundreds of thousands of North Caucasian Muslim refugees (muhajirs) resettled in the Ottoman state. A little-known part of the story is that of return migration to the North Caucasus. Some refugees undertook a return journey to the Russo-Ottoman frontier, and few of them succeeded in obtaining (or regaining) Russian subjecthood and a permission to resettle in the Caucasus. Return migration presented diplomatic and legal challenges, and a host of national security and humanitarian concerns for the two empires. This talk will focus on the attempts of return migration to Chechnya (1865-68) and Abkhazia (1878-80).

Vladimir Troyansky is a doctoral candidate in History at Stanford University. He received his undergraduate degree in Arabic and International Relations at the University of St Andrews and a Masters degree in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Edinburgh. In 2014/15, he is conducting fieldwork for his dissertation, with support from the Social Science Research Council’s International Dissertation Research Fellowship.

*****
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 – Higher education admissions reform and access to university: the case of Georgia

By Lela Chakhaia, European University Institute

Date: January 21, 2015, at 18:30
Venue: Eurasia Partnership Foundation/CRRC, Kavsadze St. #3

The Georgian higher education (HE) system was fundamentally transformed in 2005-2006 with the introduction of the unified national admissions, thus eliminating corruption from the entrance process. The new meritocratic admissions mechanism was coupled with increased private costs for students and parents on the one hand, and halving the number of newly admitted students through a strict university accreditation procedure on the other. Using Caucasus Barometer data, this paper analyses how these changes affected the equality of access to HE. While overall access for those who went through the new admissions system decreased, not all social groups were uniformly affected. The analysis suggests that the probability to access to HE decreased more for the children of highly educated parents after the introduction of the new admissions system compared to the children of low-educated parents. No such difference was found for variables such as place of residence or respondents’ gender.

Lela Chakhaia is a doctoral researcher at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. Her research interests include educational inequalities, social stratification during post-Soviet transition, and the effect of educational policies on inequality. She holds degrees from Harvard University, Central European University and Tbilisi State University. In the past worked at the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia, UNICEF, and Ilia State University.

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

Seminar on Metallurgical Analysis and Archaeology

Tbilisi, Georgia

In 2015, ARISC is planning to co-sponsor a seminar on metallurgical analysis and archaeology that will be held in Tbilisi. Plans for this program are still underway.
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