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Armenia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preserving the Cultural Heritage of Karnut Cemetery

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

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

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

Maureen E. Marshall is a bioarchaeologist whose work focuses on early complex polities and empires in the South Caucasus and Eurasia. She earned a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Chicago in 2014. Dr. Marshall is the Associate Director of the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is an Associate Director of Project ArAGATS, the joint American-Armenian project for the Archaeology and Geography for Ancient Transcaucasian Societies, and has been excavating in Armenia since 2005. She also collaborates with physical anthropologists in Armenia.  She serves on the advisory board for the Aragats Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting Armenia’s cultural heritage through heritage preservation, development, and education. Dr. Marshall’s work has been published in edited volumes on global perspectives in human remains analysis, including Archaeological Human Remains: A Global Perspective in 2014 and The Routledge Handbook of Archaeological Human Remains and Legislation in 2011. Her research interests include political subjectivity, violence in ancient societies, disease and health in ancient populations, the archaeology of Eurasia and the Near East, and the history of physical anthropology.

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

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

 

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Azerbaijan

ARISC Presentation in Baku “Hounds and Jackals and Fifty-Eight Holes: Ancient Mesopotamian Board Games in Azerbaijan?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Abstract:

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

Speaker’s bio:

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

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

 

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Georgia

WiP: Some Reflections on the Historiographical Materials of Aurangzeb ‘Alamgir (gov. 1685-1707), Or: How to Legitimize India’s most Controversial King?

By Tilmann Kulke, Ilia State University

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Mariya Amelicheva, Georgetown University

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

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

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

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

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

By Dustin Gilbreath, CRRC Georgia

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

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

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

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

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

By Koba Turmanidze, Director, CRRC Georgia

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

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

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

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

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

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

WiP: “Student Expectations and Perceptions of Universities in Georgia”

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

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

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

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

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

Sophia Gorgodze is associate professor in the School of Education at Ilia State University.

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

WiP: “The SCOPUS diaries and the (il)logics of academic survival. A short guide to design your own strategy and survive bibliometrics, conferences and unreal expectations in academia”

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

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

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

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

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

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Networking Calls

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

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

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

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

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

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

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