2012 Events

Armenia      Azerbaijan      Georgia      USA

Armenia

New Technologies and Methods for the Online Publication of Archival and Museum Collections, and for Integrating them into Studies of History, Social Sciences, and the Humanities

by Dr. Paul Michael Taylor (Smithsonian Institution, USA)

Monday, October 8, 2012 at 16:00
CRRC-Armenia, 52 Abovyan Street, 3rd Floor, Room 305
Yerevan, Armenia

This talk will examine methods currently used to present historical, archeological, and ethnographic information online, in contrast to print publication, considering how new media enhance the presentation of data and interpretation but also present new challenges for scholars in these fields. Examples will include Dr. Taylor’s large online publications of source materials and interpretations of data such as the records of the joint Dutch & American expedition of 1926 to New Guinea (www.sil.si.edu/expeditions/1926); the book and accompanying website about discoveries along the BTC-SCP pipelines from the Caspian to the Mediterranean (www.agt.si.edu); and the expeditions of Chokan Valikhanov as an introduction to Kazakhstan (www.valikhanov.si.edu). Such digitization/publication projects have often arisen through international partnerships, so Dr. Taylor and his research team from the Smithsonian will also briefly outline the Smithsonian’s activities in this area, with information on internships, fellowships, and other potential opportunities for collaborative research.

Paul Taylor, a research anthropologist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, is Director of that museum’s Asian Cultural History Program, and serves as Curator of Asian, European, and Middle Eastern Ethnology. He has written numerous books and scholarly articles on the ethnography, ethnobiology, languages, and art (or material culture) of Asia, especially Indonesia. Most recently, he and his co-authors published the books Past and future heritage in the pipelines corridor: Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey (Smithsonian, 2011; English/Georgian and English/Azerbaijani editions), andTurkmenistan: Ancient Arts Today (Smithsonian, 2011).

If interested in the lecture, please, confirm your attendance via crrcnews “at” crrc.am or call at 58 13 30, 58 14 50 before October 7 at 17:00, mentioning your name and organizational affiliation. For more information, please seehttps://www.facebook.com/events/125070957640368/

This talk is co-sponsored by the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC), Caucasus Research Resource Center (CRRC) – Armenia, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Embassy of the United States of America in Armenia.

The Marmarik Archaeology Project Season 1: Survey and Aerial Kite Photography in Kotayk

by David Peterson (Idaho State University), John Dudgeon (Idaho State University), Arthus Petrosyan (Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, NAS RA), Arsen Bobokhyan (Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, NAS RA), Khachatur Meliksetian (Institute of Geological Sciences, NAS RA), and Hannah Chazin (University of Chicago)

Friday, August 3, 2012 at 1:00pm
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography (Library)
15 Charents Street, Yerevan, Armenia

In July and August, 2012, archaeologists and geologists from Idaho State University (Pocatello, Idaho, USA) and the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, and Institute of Geological Sciences, NAS RA (Yerevan), have collaborated in a archaeological and geoarchaeological survey of the the Marmarik Valley in Kotayk, Armenia. The goal has been to identify a group of sites for continuing exploration of interactions between ancient communities in the valley, including the utilization of the area’s rich mineral resources, including the Hankavan mine. Methods included pedestrian and GPS survey, and utilization of low altitude, high resolution kite-based aerial photography for aerial photomapping. This presentation will summarize our efforts, and will discuss kite-based aerial photography of archaeological sites, including how archaeologists may begin their own program of this work.

For more information, please see https://www.facebook.com/events/129387823869645/.  Click here for poster.

This talk is co-sponsored by the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC) and the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, NAS RA.

Middle Paleolithic Lithic Technology and Behavior in the Hrazdan River Gorge, Armenia

Beverly A. Schmidt
ARISC Fellow and Doctoral Candidate at the University of Connecticut

Friday, July 13, 2012 at 14:00
CRRC-Armenia, 52 Abovyan Street, 3rd Floor, Room 305
Yerevan, Armenia

The current project presents a technological analysis of Lusakert Cave I, a Middle Paleolithic lithic assemblage from Armenia, an important geographic region for the understanding and testing of hypotheses relating to Late Pleistocene hominin behavior in the southern Caucasus, such as technology, behavior, site occupation and duration, mobility range, and raw material economy. The site is located in the Hrazdan Gorge, dated to 60–40kya BP (OIS3), a known time range of occupation overlap for Neanderthals and modern humans, with an assemblage consisting of >97% obsidian. It is imperative to investigate local MP lithic technologies and behaviors in Armenia and how these compare to published record elsewhere in the southern Caucasus and neighboring regions.

Beverly A. Schmidt is Doctoral Candidate at the University of Connecticut who has conducted Paleolithic archaeological research as a lithic analyst in southwest France, Morocco, and Egypt since 2005 and in Armenia since 2008. Her main interests are lithic technology, human origins, behavioral evolution and ecology, quantitative methods and computer applications in archaeological fieldwork.

For more information, please see https://www.facebook.com/events/365729170167567/

This talk is co-sponsored by the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC), Caucasus Research Resource Center (CRRC) – Armenia, the National Science Foundation (NSF), the University of Connecticut, and the Institute for Archaeology and Ethnography RA.

Palaeolithic Lifeways in the Hrazdan Gorge, Armenia

Daniel S. Adler, Associate Professor
University of Connecticut, Department of Anthropology, USA

Monday, June 18, 2012 at 14:00
Yerevan State University
Auditory No. 219 of the Faculty of History
Educational building of YSU No. 6, Abovyan 52 street
Yerevan, Armenia

For more than a century numerous archaeological sites attributed to the Middle Palaeolithic have been investigated in the southern Caucasus, but to date few have been excavated, analyzed, or dated using modern techniques. Thus only a handful of sites provide the contextual data necessary to address evolutionary questions regarding regional hominin adaptations and life-ways. This talk will consider current archaeological research in the southern Caucasus, specifically that being conducted in the Republic of Armenia. While the relative frequency of well-studied Middle Palaeolithic sites in the Southern Caucasus is low, those considered in this talk, Nor Geghi 1 (late Middle Pleistocene) and Lusakert Cave 1 (Upper Pleistocene), span a variety of environmental, temporal, and cultural contexts that provide fragmentary glimpses into what were complex and evolving patterns of subsistence, settlement, and mobility over the last ~200,000 years. While a sample of two sites is too small to attempt a serious reconstruction of Middle Palaeolithic life-ways across such a vast and environmentally diverse region, the sites discussed here provide initial glimpses into the technological, economic, and social behaviors of perhaps the earliest, and certainly the latest Neanderthals in the Southern Caucasus.

Prof. Adler is a Paleoanthropologist who has conducted archaeological research in the southern Caucasus since 1995 and in Armenia since 2008. His main interests are Neanderthal behavioral ecology and extinction.

For more information, please see https://www.facebook.com/events/254925491280876/ 

This talk is co-sponsored by the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC), Yerevan State University and the Institute for Archaeology and Ethnography RA.

Azerbaijan

“Archaeological Landscapes of Highland and Steppe Zones in Northwestern Naxçıvan”

Emily Hammer
New York University
ARISC Fellow

3 August 2012 at 6.30pm
US-Azerbaijan Education Center
Caspian Business Center
40J. Jabbarli Street, 2nd Floor
Baku, Azerbaijan

The talk will present preliminary results from a new archaeological survey in Şerur Rayon. Our primary goals are to look for the remains of ancient settlement in the area surrounding a fortress site that has been excavated by the Naxçıvan Archaeological Project since 2008. In particular we are looking for traces of other, smaller ancient fortresses and the campsites of nomadic herders.

Emily Hammer has just completed her PhD in Archaeology in the Department of Anthropology at Harvard University, with a dissertation on the archaeology of pastoral nomads of the Ottoman period in southeastern Turkey. Beginning in September 2012, she will be a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University. Her general interests are Near Eastern landscape archaeology, especially the use of survey and satellite imagery to examine ancient settlement patterns, roads, and irrigation networks. In addition to her research in Turkey on pastoral nomads, she is actively involved in several archaeological excavations in the Emirate of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

For more information, please visit https://www.facebook.com/events/249657191818881/

This talk is co-sponsored by the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC), Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University, the American School of Prehistoric Research, and the US-Education Azerbaijani Alumni Association (AAA).

Georgia

WiP – Georgia’s March 1956 and Soviet Nationalism

Claire P. Kaiser, University of Pennsylvania
Wednesday, December 19, 2012, 6:15 PM
ISET/CRRC Georgia, Zandukeli St. 16, Tbilisi, Georgia

Abstract: In spite of Nikita Khrushchev’s February 1956 “secret speech” and the initiation of a campaign of de-Stalinization across the Union, Georgians in Tbilisi and elsewhere commemorated the third anniversary of Stalin’s death on 5 March 1956. What began as commemoration evolved into demonstrations with concrete demands that were violently suppressed by Soviet troops on the night of 9-10 March. Claire will share her archival findings regarding the ways two groups of stakeholders in Soviet Georgia — Communist Party members and servicemen — interpreted the March events and the anti-Stalin campaign over the course of 1956. Additionally, Claire will situate the events of 1956 within her broader dissertation project, which studies nationality policies and the cultivation of a “Soviet Georgian” national interest and identity between 1938 and 1978, drawing from the fields of Soviet history and nationalism studies.

Claire Kaiser is a Ph.D. candidate in Russian and Soviet history at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. She is conducting archival research in Tbilisi for the 2012-2013 academic year as an American Councils Title VIII Research and Language Scholar. Her dissertation examines nationality policies in the late- and post-Stalin-era Georgian S.S.R. Prior to coming to Penn, Claire worked at an international strategic advisory firm in Washington, DC, the U.S. embassy in Kyiv, and has served in Azerbaijan and Ukraine on OSCE election observation missions. 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.

For more information, please see https://www.facebook.com/events/393561967384834/

W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the International School of Economics (ISET) building (16 Zandukeli Street). It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public. The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region. This is the twelveth talk of the Works-in-Progress Series for Fall 2012.

WiP – Georgia’s state formation and geographical imaginaries: Georgian policy-making practices in the global community

Rachel Naylor, PhD Candidate, Dept. of Human Geography, Goethe University
Wednesday, December 5, 2012, 6:15 PM
ISET/CRRC Georgia, Zandukeli St. 16, Tbilisi, Georgia

Rachel Naylor is a newcomer to Georgia, but has lived in Ukraine and Russia for more than five years. She has been conducting her field work in Tbilisi over the past year, working towards her PhD in Human Geography from the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. She is a convert to Social Science after getting her degrees in Comparative Literature, Russian language and literature and Eastern European, Russian and Eurasian Area Studies from University of Wisconsin-Madison and Georgetown University, respectively. Her work in Georgia will contribute to BMBF funded research cluster, “Eurogaps”, which researches perceptions of partner countries outside the EU. Her interests include anti-corruption discourses in postsoviet space, neoliberalism and technologies of governance, critical geopolitics, and policy mobility.

Rachel’s work looks at the global proliferation of ‘best practices’, international standards and models, and how those models as exemplars are constructed and reified in the emergent neoliberal logics of governance. Her work explores policy tourism, how policy actors engage with the global community through ‘policy boosterism’–or the promotion of ostensibly ‘home-grown’ models, how policy knowledge is circulated and mobilized, and the hegemonic framing of anti-corruption (as good governance) objectives in postsoviet states. Her presentation will discuss Georgian policy-makers under Saakashvili being transformed from policy borrowers to policy lenders and ‘going global’ and ‘mobile’ with the Georgian model of anti-corruption reforms across geographical fields.

For more information, please see https://www.facebook.com/events/377504842344504/

W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the International School of Economics (ISET) building (16 Zandukeli Street). It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public. The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region. This is the eleventh talk of the Works-in-Progress Series for Fall 2012.

WiP – Integrated Conservation: Heritage Management and Urban Planning in Tbilisi

Angela Wheeler, US Fulbright Fellow
Wednesday, November 28, 2012, 6:15 PM
ISET/CRRC Georgia, Zandukeli St. 16, Tbilisi, Georgia

The future of Old Tbilisi’s architectural heritage has become an increasingly contentious subject of public debate in recent years. While many residents lament the destruction of historic landmarks like the iconic Lermontov House, others argue that the dilapidated old buildings only hinder Tbilisi’s economic growth. This presentation will examine how the rehabilitation of architectural heritage should be a key element in urban economic development, rather than an opponent of it. Angela will review international standards for architectural rehabilitation, the unique challenges presented by Tbilisi’s architecture and social/political issues, and case studies of two recent programs in Tbilisi’s historic districts: “New Life for Old Tbilisi” and “Betlemi Quarter Revitalization Programme.”

Angela Wheeler holds a BA in Cultural and Historic Preservation and a BA in International Relations from Salve Regina University (’12). After working on projects in Georgia in 2010 (historic cemeteries) and 2011 (Dmanisi Archaeological Field School), she currently works in Tbilisi as part of the Fulbright US Student Research program. Her host institution is ICOMOS Georgia (International Council on Monuments and Sites), one of three NGOs that advises UNESCO on cultural heritage management. The aim of her project is to promote the integration of architectural conservation into urban economic development plans. Angela hopes to continue her studies as a graduate student in the fields or urban planning or public policy.

For more information, please see https://www.facebook.com/events/132500606902662/

W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the International School of Economics (ISET) building (16 Zandukeli Street). It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public. The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region. This is the tenth talk of the Works-in-Progress Series for Fall 2012.

WiP – Features of Ioane Petritsi’s commented translation of Proclus’ ‘Elements of Theology’

Levan Gigineishvili, Ilia State University and American Academy in Tbilisi
Wednesday, November 14, 2012, 6:15 PM
ISET/CRRC Georgia, Zandukeli St. 16, Tbilisi, Georgia

Ioane Petritsi translated Proclus Lycaeus” “Elements of Theology” in the 12th century, which makes him the first ever translator of this singularly important work of neo-platonic philosophy. Moreover, since all the extant manuscripts of Proclus’ treatise date at the earliest from the end of 13th century, Petritsi’s translation gives an oblique access to the oldest Greek manuscript and can be used for establishing the most reliable readings. However, this should be taken with caution, for Petritsi’s translation reveals several important idiosyncrasies and peculiarities, some of which sprout from his philosophical outlook, others from his religious background. In this presentation, presentation Levan Gigineishvili will discuss the importance of Petritsi’s translation and its interesting features.

Levan Gigineishvili has a PhD in Medieval Studies from the Central European University in Budapest. He also graduated from the Classics Department of Tbilisi State University, the Institute of Philosophy of the Catholic University of Leuven, and Graduate School of Education of Harvard University. His PhD thesis “The Platonic Theology of Ioane Petritsi”, which was published as a monograph in 2007, is the first comprehensive treatment of Petritsi’s philosophy for an English-speaking audience. He is the author of numerous scholarly articles and participant of international conferences related to neoplatonic studies. He is currently associate professor at Ilia State University and a teacher of History of Philosophy and Georgian literature at the Givi Zaldastanishvili American Academy in Tbilisi.

For more information, please see https://www.facebook.com/events/550599581633304/

W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the International School of Economics (ISET) building (16 Zandukeli Street). It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public. The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region. This is the ninth talk of the Works-in-Progress Series for Fall 2012.

WiP – Political Discourses and Voting Behavior in Georgia

Giorgi Babunashvili, CRRC Georgia
Wednesday, November 7, 2012 – 6.15 PM
ISET/CRRC Georgia, Zandukeli St. 16
Tbilisi, Georgia

Despite 20 years of emerging multi-partism in post-Soviet Georgia, the Georgian political party system is still far from consolidated. One of the primary ways in which it differs from consolidated Western party systems lies in the way that parties position themselves along the spectrum of political agendas and ideas. While in consolidated party systems each party tries to win the support of certain constituencies or segments of the electorate, post-authoritarian political party systems sometimes tend to produce catch-all type parties that are oriented towards a wide mixture of ideologies and political standings.

This research project utilizes recent data from CRRC’s survey on political attitudes in Georgia in order to examine how voters structure their attitudes towards the political actors. Factor analysis is used to identify variables that have impact on voters choices and trust towards political parties.

Giorgi Babunashvili holds an M.A. in International Relations from Tbilisi State University State University. He joined CRRC in 2008 and his research interests include political parties and processes of political transition in post-Soviet societies.

For more information, please see https://www.facebook.com/events/485975031424157/

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

 The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region. This is the eighth talk of the Works-in-Progress Series for Fall 2012.

WiP – “Public Attitudes towards NGOs in Georgia”

Prof. Roger Ritvo, Auburn University
Wednesday, October 31, 2012 – 6.15 PM
ISET/CRRC Georgia, Zandukeli St. 16
Tbilisi, Georgia

Working with five students, Professor Roger Ritvo is collecting data through surveymonkey.com on public attitudes toward NGOs. As Georgia moves toward institutionalizing its civil society structures, laws and aspirations, NGOs have an key role to play. Thus it is important to understand how they are viewed.

Hoping for 1000 responses, to date, over 250 surveys have been completed. Roger will present this ‘work in progress’ with the data collected thus far and some possible tentative conclusions.  Whether you attend this presentation or not, please feel free to complete the survey at www.surveymonkey.com/s/RLTPG6J  And then encourage tour friends and colleagues in Georgia to do so as well!

Roger A. Ritvo is a Distinguished Research Professor of Management at Auburn University Montgomery in Alabama. As a Fulbright Scholar, he is teaching a class on Organizational Behavior and Leadership at Tbilisi State University during the Fall semester.

For more information, please see https://www.facebook.com/events/425726694153657/

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

The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region. This is the seventh talk of the Works-in-Progress Series for Fall 2012.

WiP – “Mixed Marriage and Ethnic Boundaries in Georgia”

Milena Oganesyan, University of Montana
Wednesday, October 24, 2012 – 6.15 PM
ISET/CRRC Georgia, Zandukeli St. 16
, room # 3.13
Tbilisi, Georgia

This presentation will explore perceptions about intermarriage in Georgia. This research project aims at providing contextual understanding of shifting boundaries between major ethnic groups in Georgia and also exploring some of the factors that might have contributed to inter-ethnic processes in the country.

Milena Oganesyan is a doctoral student in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Montana (UM), MT, USA. Milena holds an MA in History from UM with the focus on diplomatic history. She earned a Diploma (combined B.A. and MA) from the Tbilisi Institute of Asia and Africa, Georgia, in International Relations and Near East History. Milena is a McGill Echenberg Human Rights Fellow in Canada and is an International Fellow at the CRRC’s Regional Office in Tbilisi. Her research interests include sociocultural processes, ethnic conflict, human rights, and international development in the South Caucasus region.

For more information, please see https://www.facebook.com/events/165101363631029/

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

The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region. This is the sixth talk of the Works-in-Progress Series for Fall 2012.

WiP – “South Caucasus- Ancient Near Eastern Connections in the Bronze and Iron Ages: Still Looking After All These Years”

Dr. Karen S. Rubinson, ARISC and NYU
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 – 6.15 PM
ISET/CRRC Georgia, Zandukeli St. 16
Tbilisi, Georgia

Abstract: This talk will note some of the connections between the South Caucasus and Near East, placing some new information from Dinkha Tepe and Hasanlu in Iran, old excavations recently revisited by Gabriel H. Pizzorno (University of Pennyslvania) and Michael D. Danti (Boston University), into the shifting picture of cultural interrelationships in the Middle Bronze through early Iron Ages.

Karen S. Rubinson, Research Associate, Institute for the Study of the Ancient Work, New York University is President of the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). She first visited Georgia in Soviet times, while working on her dissertation (Ph.D. Columbia University), to explore ancient Near East- South Caucasus connections. Dr Rubinson edited Archaeology in the Borderlands with Adam T. Smith and Ceramics in Transitions with Antonio Sagona, among other volumes. Author of many papers on the archaeology of the South Caucasus, one on the silver goblets from Trialeti and Karashamb will be forthcoming from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

For more information, please see https://www.facebook.com/events/330569117040370/

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

The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region. This is the fifth talk of the Works-in-Progress Series for Fall 2012.

WiP – “Do ‘Caucasian’ languages really exist? Areal features (or
the lack thereof) in the languages of the Caucasus”

Dr. Thomas Wier, Free University
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 – 6.15 PM
ISET/CRRC Georgia, Zandukeli St. 16
Tbilisi, Georgia

Since the Middle Ages, when Arab geographers would call it the ‘Mountain of Languages’, the Caucasus has always stood out for its linguistic peculiarities, but almost always in a negative sense: for what they were not, rather than for what they were for. In this talk, I would like to lay out the state of the art in area studies of the Caucasus and challenge the notion that any such thing as a ‘Caucasian language’ exists. We will frame the talk by juxtaposing two ends of the debate: Klimov (1965) and Chirikba (2008) on the one hand, who argue that as many as four dozen features identify the Caucasus as a linguistic area or Sprachbund; and Tuite (1999) on the other, who argues that the only feature that properly identifies the Caucasus as a Sprachbund is glottalized consonants.

Of course, both cannot be true. I will argue that, while the truth lies somewhere in between, in a larger sense, treating the Caucasus as a single, coherent unit reflects outdated 19th- and early 20th-century Orientalist attitudes towards the Caucasian languages and peoples, and prevents us from fully understanding the linguistic complexity of the region.

Thomas Wier has a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Chicago and is Assistant Professor at the Free University in Tbilisi. 


For more information, please see https://www.facebook.com/events/537987319561805/

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

The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region. This is the fourth talk of the Works-in-Progress Series for Fall 2012.

WiP – “Cleavage Theory and the Electoral Geographies of Georgia”

Davit Sichinava, CRRC
Wednesday, October 3, 2012 – 6.15 PM
ISET/CRRC Georgia, Zandukeli St. 16
Tbilisi, Georgia

Georgia, unlike the western European countries, has a relatively short history of free and competitive elections. Consequently, there has been very little research done to explain voting behavior, and particularly, its spatial aspects. Cleavage theory, originally suggested by Seymour M. Lipset and Stein Rokkan, cannot be applied to Georgian elections in its original form, as the authors’ arguments are not relevant to this case. The presenter will prove the existence of electoral cleavages and try to reconceptualize the theoretical pillars of spatial voting behavior through examining the results of voting of the two national elections held in 2008, to build a quantitative voting model, and to address additional important aspects of voting behavior in Georgia, while at the same time making some preliminary observations about the current parliamentary elections.

David Sichinava works for CRRC as GIS and database analyst and is a PhD candidate at the department of Human Geography at Tbilisi State University.

For more information, please see https://www.facebook.com/events/468188213203716/

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

The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region. This is the third talk of the Works-in-Progress Series for Fall 2012.

WiP – Caucasus Research Resource Centers – Overview of Resources and Opportunities

Nana Papiashvili, CRRC

6.15 PM, Wednesday, September 26, 2012
ISET/CRRC Georgia, Zandukeli St. 16
Tbilisi, Georgia

Regional Projects and Outreach Coordinator Nana Papiashvili will present an overview of CRRC’s activities and resources, including CRRC’s main projects, the Caucasus Barometer surveys and other ongoing research projects, the Online Data Analysis (ODA) tools, resources such as blogs and libraries, and fellowship opportunities.

Nana Papiashvili is Regional Projects and Outreach Coordinator for CRRC, where she has worked since 2007. She has an MA in International Relations and European Studies from Central European University, a Diploma in Humanities from Tbilisi State University of Economic Relations. Nana has also completed an intensive public policy analysis program at GFSIS in 2010-2011.

For more information, see https://www.facebook.com/events/207701829360271/

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

The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region. This is the second talk of the Works-in-Progress Series for Fall 2012.

WiP – The Role of Euro-Atlantic Discourse and Symbolism in Georgia

Frederik Coene, PhD Student at Ghent University (Belgium)

6.15 PM, Monday, September 3, 2012
ISET/CRRC Georgia, Zandukeli St. 16
Tbilisi, Georgia

The Georgian authorities have made their Euro-Atlantic orientation the guiding principle for their domestic reforms and foreign policy. Legislation and construction works are all modeled according to the ‘European standards’ and often even exceed them, European flags are flown on all government buildings next to the Georgian one, opposition is portrayed as pro-Russian and not in line with the European aspirations, etc. This research focuses on three different aspects: First of all, it looks at the link between ‘Europe’ and the Georgian national identity. Secondly, it analyses how this discourse and symbolism are instrumentalised in the legitimacy management strategies of both ruling elite and opposition. Finally, arguments are made of how this discourse fits in creating an entitlement for Western patronage.

A PhD student at Ghent University, Frederik Coene has more than a decade of experience with the Caucasus. He lived and worked in different parts of the region, and his book The Caucasus – An Introduction was published by Routledge in 2009. He is currently also employed in the Central Asia division of the European External Action Service.

For more information, please see https://www.facebook.com/events/297200593720190/

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

The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region. This is the first talk of the Works-in-Progress Series for Fall 2012.

WiP – What Does Home Ownership Mean for Georgia’s Internally Displaced Persons?

Caitlin Ryan, PhD student at the University of Colorado-Boulder
ARISC Fellow and Recipient of the Title VIII Short-Term Travel Grant, National Council for Eurasian and East European Research

Wednesday, 25 July 2012 at 6:15pm
ISET/CRRC Georgia, Zandukeli St. 16
Tbilisi, Georgia

Since 2008, the Government of Georgia has sought to turn over ownership of state-run IDP housing to its tenants. Claims about the positive relationship between private property and self-sufficiency underlie the program, which is supported by international humanitarian agencies and donors. But the effects of private property ownership in Georgia are complex. Through the lens of Georgia’s IDP housing programs, Caitlin will explore the role that property plays in Georgian development programs.

A PhD student in Geography at University of Colorado-Boulder, Caitlin worked in Georgia from 2005-2011, most recently managing research for Transparency International-Georgia on government transparency and international aid.

For more information, please see https://www.facebook.com/groups/358813616610/ orhttps://www.facebook.com/AmericanResearchInstituteoftheSouthCaucasus

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

The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

WiP – Civil Society in Competitive Authoritarian States: NGOs and Georgia’s Rose Revolution

Dr. Robyn Angley, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University

Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 6:15 PM
ISET/CRRC Georgia, Zandukeli St. 16
Tbilisi, GEORGIA

Dr. Angley is Research Programs Coordinator at the Davis Center

For more information, please see https://www.facebook.com/events/468957606447826/

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

The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

WiP – “Critical Junctures, Institution Building, and Regime Survival in Armenia and Georgia”

Prof. Christoph Stefes
University of Colorado Denver/Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB)

7 PM, Tuesday, July 3, 2012
ISET/CRRC Georgia
Zandukeli St. 16, downstairs Conference Hall
Tbilisi, Georgia

Christoph Stefes studied political science and international relations in Tübingen/Germany, Groningen/Holland and at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver where he received his MA and Ph.D. in International Studies in 1997 and 2002, respectively. He joined the University of Colorado Denver in 1999 as a part-time lecturer. In 2002, he became an Assistant Professor for Comparative European and Post-Soviet Studies at UC-Denver’s Department of Political Science. With the award of tenure in 2009, he was promoted to Associate Professor.

In his research and teaching, Prof. Stefes focuses on the political developments in Europe and the former Soviet Union. He has published numerous books, book chapters, and articles on the political transitions in the South Caucasus, paying special attention to governance related issues. In addition, he has collaborated with Prof. Frank Laird at the University of Denver in a project on the politics of renewable energy development in the United States and Europe. This project has received funding from the National Science Foundation. He and his colleague have presented the findings of this research at several conferences and in journals.

On sabbatical/academic leave, he has joined a research group at the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung (Social Science Research Center Berlin) that investigates the conditions of stability of autocratic regimes. This research project is funded by the German Science Foundation. In addition, he currently serves as a Senior Fellow at the Ecologic Institute Berlin, analyzing societal conflicts that are caused by climate change.

For more information, please see https://www.facebook.com/events/447088045325246/



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

 The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region. This is the first “extra sesson” of the Works-in-Progress Series for Summer 2012.

WiP – “Georgian Police Reforms in Comparative Perspective”

Matthew Light, University of Toronto

Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 6:15pm
ISET/CRRC Georgia, Zandukeli St. 16
Tbilisi, Georgia

Professor Light’s doctoral and post-doctoral research has focused on issues of migration control, individual rights, and policing in post-Soviet Russia. His dissertation (2006) was a study of migration controls in four regions of post-Soviet Russia. The motivation for his research was the persistence of extra-constitutional residence restrictions in at least some regions of the Russian Federation, notably Moscow, despite the legal right to internal mobility guaranteed by the constitution of the Russian Federation.

He has also studied and written on the legal and political regulation of Muslim religious institutions in Russia and has also written on the political situation in several regions of Russia, including Belgorod Oblast and the highly unstable North Caucasus (Krasnodar and Stavropol provinces, and the autonomous republic of Adygeia).

His most recent project is a study of the causes and effects of police reform measures in Georgia, which have dramatically reduced the problem of police corruption.

For more information, please see https://www.facebook.com/events/254427757992801/

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

The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

This is the 20th talk of the Spring 2012 Works-in-Progress Series, co-sponsored by American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), and American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC).

WiP – “Journey in Abkhazia”

Régis Genté
Le Figaro, RFI
6:15 PM, Wednesday, June 13, 2012
ISET/CRRC Georgia, Zandukeli St. 16
Tbilisi, Georgia

When the French publishing house “Cartouche” proposed to me to write a book about Abkhazia for its collection “Voyage au pays des…” (“Journey in the land of the…”), I thought it was a great opportunity to describe that republic. For once, somebody could just describe, not analyze, what’s going on there. It is so important! So, I took seriously this challenge, to try to stick as much as possible to the description. From that, I adopted a kind of “traveller methodology”: wandering. But of course, having travelled and reported around 15 times before in Abkhazia, I knew how the idea of a “Voyage au pays des Abkhazes” (“Journey in the land of the Abkhazians”) could be problematic, if not provocative. What does it mean “the land of…”? I knew from the very beginning that this journey would be a journey in the post-soviet identities, a journey in the minds of people who think that ethnic identity is the base of their identity, a travel through the way that people a building their self perception.

Regis Gente, 43, is a French freelance journalist, based since 2002 in Tbilisi (except in 2006 and 2007 when he moved to Central Asia). He is covering Caucasus and Central Asia for Le Figaro, Radio France Internationale, and France 24 TV. He follows especially the internal and international politics in these regions, as well as energy issues in the Caspian Basin, and the socio-economical developments. He reported about all the important events of the region of the last decade, such as the colored revolution in Former Soviet Union in 2003-2005, the Russian-Georgian war in 2008, the ethnic riots in South Kyrgyzstan in 2010…

For more information, please see https://www.facebook.com/events/248570905256609/

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

The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

This is the 19th talk of the Spring 2012 Works-in-Progress Series, co-sponsored by American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), and American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC).

WiP – “Hard to rule the poor: street-venders, informal practices and culture of disobedience”

Lela Rekhviashvili
Central European University

Wednesday, June 6, 2012, 6:15 PM
International School of Economics of Tbilisi (ISET)/CRRC Georgia
Zandukeli St. 16, downstairs Conference Hall
Tbilisi, Georgia

Despite relative institutional and economic progress that Georgia achieved over last decade, poverty and inequality remain prevalent. Street- vending among other informal economic practices has become one of the main coping tactics for the poor throughout 1990s. Since the rose revolution government has been trying to eliminate the practice in the urban areas of the country. The numbers as well as spread of the vendors is remarkably reduced, but still many people decide to disobey the strict and costly regulations and pursue illegal vending in the streets of Tbilisi. The presentation aims to discuss the forms and the ways that disobedience takes; the reasons of continued vending; the ways the police and the city hall controllers are being coopted and the tentative reasons of the constant failure from the side of the state to reach the aim of eliminating street vending. As De Soto claims, the way to formalize informal practices is to alter the cost benefit balance for the persons engaged in informal practices. On macro level Georgian state seems to fulfill the expectations that legalist/institutionalist thinkers would suggest for the developing country like Georgia , where the share of informal economy for last couple of years is on average around 70 % of GDP (Schneider, Buehn and Montenegro, Shadow Economies all over the World: New Estimates for 162 Countries from 1999 to 2007 2010). The micro picture uncovers the reasons why informal economy doesn’t decrease and informal practices remain so widespread in Georgia despite positive macro changes.

Lela Rekhviashvili is a second year PhD student at the Doctoral School of Political Science, Public Policy and International Relations, Central European University, Political Economy Track. She received MA degree in Transition in South Caucasus from Center of Social Sciences, Tbilisi State University in 2009 and another MA degree in Political Science from Central European University in 2010. Previously she studied at the University of Tartu, Prometheus Program on Transition Studies. She conducted field research in Georgia to study the results of humanitarian response to the needs of Internally Displaced Persons after 2008 Russian-Georgian war in spring 2009. Her current research focuses on studying coping mechanisms of the poor, changes of formal and informal institutions.

For more information, please see https://www.facebook.com/events/400765723299181/

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

The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

This is the 18th talk of the Spring 2012 Works-in-Progress Series, co-sponsored by American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), and American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC).

WiP – “The First Sedentary Populations in Transcaucasia: An Archaeo-Anthropological Approach”

Modwene Poulmarc’h
Phd student, Archéorient Laboratory, University Lumière Lyon 2, France

Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 6:15 PM
International School of Economics of Tbilisi (ISET)/CRRC Georgia
Zandukeli St. 16, downstairs Conference Hall
Tbilisi,  Georgia

This lecture will discuss the continuities and breaks that we observe in the archaeological data between the VI and the III millennia. It concentrates on the period extending from the Neolithic to the Early Bronze Age with the aim of better understanding the peculiarities of the various populations which occupied Transcaucasia (Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan).

The purpose of this research consists of the study of the funerary practices and the biological characteristics of these populations, about which we know very little for the moment. Material is supplied by the current excavations in the region and from the re-examination of the series resulting of the previous excavations. The main methods and technique include Archaeothanatology, Standard methods of physical anthropology, and Archaeology.

Modwene Poulmarc’h is a Phd Student in Archaeology, specialization physical Anthropology, under the direction of Alain Beeching and Françoise le Mort, at Archéorient Laboratory, Maison de l’Orient et de la Méditerranée, Lyon, France.  Prior to this, she received a M.A. in physical Anthropology, University de Provence, Marseille, France, and a M.A. in archaeology from University Lumière Lyon 2, France.

For more information, please see https://www.facebook.com/events/235030819940156/

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

The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

This is the 17th talk of the Spring 2012 Works-in-Progress Series, co-sponsored by American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), and American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC).

WiP – “No More Interesting or Inspiring Task: Soviet Art during the Khrushchev Period and Today”

Paull Randt
Fulbright

Wednesday, May 23, 2012, 6:15 PM
International School of Economics of Tbilisi (ISET)/CRRC Georgia
Zandukeli St. 16, downstairs Conference Hall
Tbilisi, Georgia

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the mistaken conception arose within art history that the years 1989-1991 marked the end of a chapter in history. In the next chapter, it was reasoned, the disappearance of Soviet cultural institutions would liberate artists to innovate bold new styles and revive repressed ethnic traditions. This idea was especially prominent for self-evident reasons regarding the non-Russian former Soviet republics. However, recent scholarship is acknowledging that the USSR’s dissolution had variable impact across space and discipline. In the case of Kazakh painting, the connections between artworks of the Soviet and contemporary periods are strong. In fact, many of the visual and stylistic conventions of contemporary Kazakh painting were first articulated and developed during the Khrushchev period (approx. 1954-1964). This is the result of a series of historical transfers of artistic sensibilities and technologies from Russia to Kazakhstan before and during the 20th century. The primary implication is that contemporary Kazakh art bases its national imagery, at least in painting, upon Soviet and Russian imaginings of the Kazakh people. These conventions were born in a context of orientalism and colonialism, a condition which contemporary Kazakh art is yet to negotiate.

Paull Randt is a US Fulbright Fellow in Almaty, Kazakhstan, where he is researching Kazakh art of the post-Stalin period. He received his undergraduate degree in art history from Yale University and an MPhil in political science from the University of Cambridge. His interests include Central Asian political and cultural development before and after the collapse of the USSR. Currently, he is exploring Central Asia’s formal and informal cultural links to Moscow and Leningrad and the fate of these connections in the post-Soviet era. In August, Paull will begin an MBA program in the US and hopes to return to Kazakhstan in the near future.

For more information, please see https://www.facebook.com/events/252149588226253/

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

The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

This is the 16th talk of the Spring 2012 Works-in-Progress Series, co-sponsored by American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), and American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC).

WiP – “Down With Illiteracy! Assessing and Combating Illiteracy in the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic (1922-1936)”

Jeremy Johnson
University of Michigan

Wednesday, May 16, 2012, 6:15 PM
International School of Economics of Tbilisi (ISET)/CRRC Georgia
Zandukeli St. 16, downstairs Conference Hall
Tbilisi, Georgia

One of the often upheld accomplishments of the early Soviet state was the mass eradication of illiteracy among its multinational and multilingual population through a process commonly known as LikBez (likvidatsiya bezgramotnosti).  This WiP presentation will explore how early Soviet activists assessed and combated illiteracy among non-Russian speaking populations in the South Caucasus during the TSFSR with a particular emphasis on the role of women important actors in campaigns to increase literacy.  The presentation will largely focus on evidence from Georgian and Armenian archival and print sources.

Jeremy Johnson is a PhD Candidate at the University of Michigan in the Interdepartmental Program in Anthropology and History.  He has an MA in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies from the University of Michigan and is the recipient of dissertation research fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, American Councils and U of M’s Armenian Studies Program. His research focuses on literacy education and LikBez among non-Russian speakers in the South Caucasus in the 1920s and 1930s.

For more information, please see https://www.facebook.com/events/249871461786940/

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

The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

This is the 15th talk of the Spring 2012 Works-in-Progress Series, co-sponsored by American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), and American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC).

WiP – “Radarami: Connecting Georgian Villages to Global Conversations”

Mark Mullen
Radarami

Wednesday, May 2, 2012, 6:15 PM
International School of Economics of Tbilisi (ISET)/CRRC Georgia
Zandukeli St. 16, downstairs Conference Hall
Tbilisi, Georgia

The rest of the world is discussing some big new ideas. We want Georgians to join those conversations.

Radarami brings the most important, timely, and excellent international non-fiction books to Georgian readers in high quality translations and affordable prices — and then we help connect our readers to each other.

Georgians are blessed with one of the world’s unique languages – it has no resemblance to any other language on the planet. Not Russian. Not English. Not Arabic. Georgians are proud of their mother tongue, but it poses some problems if, like a lot of Georgians, it’s the only language you know well enough to enjoy reading. Finding good things to read is one of them.

That’s where Radarami comes in. Georgians are highly literate, well-educated, and have a long tradition of writers, thinkers, and poets. But people aren’t reading much these days. We looked around and noticed that for many Georgians there isn’t a lot to read in the Georgian language, particularly from outside Georgia. International publishers aren’t interested in translating books into a language spoken by so few people. Around the world, every month, new and stimulating books with big new ideas about how the world works appear on bookshelves in major metropolises. These books shape the debates from Parliaments to kitchen tables. They’re translated into Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Turkish. But not Georgian.

We’re publishing one book a month, beautifully translated by expert linguists and sold inexpensively throughout the country. Readers can find a four digit number in our books, send a text message to let us know their names and where they live. We want readers to be a part of Radarami so we can connect them with each other – around ideas.

Mark Mullen is from Dallas, which he left to attend and graduate from Wesleyan University in 1989.  There he was captain of the swim team and failed aesthetics.  He then moved to Japan and played go, to Washington where he held several wacky hand-to-mouth jobs, finally moving to Malawi where he worked in drought relief and voter education.  From there he moved to Palestine where he set up a civic education program, on to Albania and in early 1997 moved to Tbilisi, Georgia where he was involved in helping the population express its feelings about the government, heading www.ndi.org. When the Shevardnadze regime collapsed of ennui, he left NDI and ramped up the Georgia chapter of Transparency International.  In late 2006 he moved to London and did a Sloan fellowship at the London Business School, a one year MBA for old people. In Georgia he currently works with www.GeoCapital.ge, www.BetsysHotel.com, www.TbilisiOpenLabs.org, www.Transparency.ge and www.Radarami.org, the last two of which he chairs.

For more information, please see https://www.facebook.com/events/229541750478778/

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

The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

This is the 14th talk of the Spring 2012 Works-in-Progress Series, co-sponsored by American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), and American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC).

WiP – “Metal, rituals and interactions: Western and Central Caucasus in the Late Bronze/ Early Iron Age”

Giorgi Bedianashvili
Georgian National Museum and
Tbilisi Representative for ARISC

Wednesday, April 25, 2012, 6:15 PM
International School of Economics of Tbilisi (ISET)/CRRC Georgia
Zandukeli St. 16, downstairs Conference Hall
Tbilisi, Georgia

This talk deals with the interactions that took place during the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age in the Caucasus, more particularly among different societies that in the regional archaeological literature are referred to as the Koban, Colchis and Samtavro cultures. The people of these societies inhabited both the southern and northern slopes of the Caucasus mountains. This territory covers what are today the republics of northern Caucasus (Russia), and the western and central parts of Georgia.

Focusing on bronze materials and hoarding practice as an indicator of communication networks, this talk will discuss how different Koban, Colchian and Samtavro cultures are tied together through common ritual beliefs.

Giorgi Bedianashvili obtained his Masters Degree at the Sorbonne University in Paris. In 2006-2008 with the Professional scholarship of Ministry of culture of France he worked at the Caucasian archaeological collections stored at the National Archaeological Museum of France, and in 2010 Giorgi was a Carnegie fellow at Purdue University. Currently Giorgi Bedianashvili works for the Georgian National Museum and also for American Research Institute of the South Caucasus as the Tbilisi Representative. He has authored a number of articles on Georgian archaeology and has about 10 years of fieldwork experience in Georgia and overseas.

For more information, please see https://www.facebook.com/events/105911096211241/

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

The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

This is the 13th talk of the Spring 2012 Works-in-Progress Series, co-sponsored by American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), and American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC).

WiP – “Data Driven Advocacy in Georgia: A Grassroots Perspective”

Eric Barrett
JumpStart Georgia

Wednesday, April 18, 2012, 6:15 PM
International School of Economics of Tbilisi (ISET)/CRRC Georgia
Zandukeli St. 16, downstairs Conference Hall
Tbilisi, Georgia

JumpStart Georgia was formed in Tbilisi, Georgia in October, 2009 with the purpose of creating open-source digital maps of Georgia using a network of community organizers and volunteers. JumpStart Georgia began with the funding, technical, administrative and financial management support of JumpStart International. JS Georgia has built more than merely maps, however. It has evolved to embody the spirit of open information, improved communication, and increased citizen participation in the world around. We are defined by a set of core values, and we work hard to engage others in what we believe in.

This WiP discussion seeks to draw attention to the challenges of a tech-driven non-governmental organization in Georgia trying to advocate for improved data use among civil society organizations. This will not be an academic discussion by any means, but will focus on JS Georgia’s experience to-date and future goals.

Eric Barrett hails from Houston, Texas. While he studied Russian literature at Boston University, he is a long-time technologist and supporter of open-source software. He has been living in Georgia since 2005 and currently is the director of JumpStart Georgia, a non-governmental organization seeking to improve fact-based discourse in Georgia using technology.

For more information, please see https://www.facebook.com/events/434470719901543/

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

The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

This is the 12th talk of the Spring 2012 Works-in-Progress Series, co-sponsored by American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), and American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC).

WiP – “The Postcolonial Contexts of 20th century Georgian Literature”

Bela Tsipuria
Ilia State University

Wednesday, April 11, 2012, 6:15 PM
International School of Economics of Tbilisi (ISET)/CRRC Georgia
Zandukeli St. 16, downstairs Conference Hall
Tbilisi, Georgia

Georgian literature of past two centuries can be seen as a mission-based, anti-colonial cultural reality which can be interpreted through the Postcolonial theoretical approaches. Georgia spent two centuries as a part of nother state – the Russian Empire in the 19th century, and the USSR in most of the 20th.  In Georgian social and cultural understanding, this period is characterized by colonial dependence on Russia. This dependent relationship influenced the whole cultural process and affected the specifics of cultural development. In Soviet times the whole cultural space, the National Narrative Culture was shaped with anti-Soviet/anti-colonial mission. Under the pressure of Soviet ideological control Georgian writers still managed to develop artistic/allegoric forms of resistance to Soviet/colonial regime, thus supporting the preservation of national identity. Poems and novels with clear national aspiration earned great social power, and influenced public moods and affections. The idea Georgia’s sovereignty and future state independence, suggested through allegorical figures and tropes, is the main connotation of literary texts within this space. On the other hand, the romantic vision of future was irrational and dim, since the collapse of the Soviet Union was not something foreseen and predicted. Thus the vision of future was indeed trailed by unreliability, uncertainty and anxiety. Consequently, National Narrative Culture contributed to the process of carrying out the idea of state independence, but was not able to prepare Georgian society to the new reality. As a result, in post-Soviet times the public still stayed oriented towards the irrational resistance and not toward the process of building new society. Considering the role of National Narrative Culture this can even explain why Georgian society occurred to be non-adapted to the new long-expected reality; the hidden cultural/societal ambivalence of colonial period was resulted into the open social controversy in post-Soviets.

Bela Tsipuria is a professor of comparative literature, and a director of the Institute of Comparative Literature at the Ilia State University, Tbilisi, Georgia. She earned her PH.D. from the Tbilisi State University, Georgia, were she has worked as an associate professor. In 2004-2008 she was a Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Georgia. She was a research fellow at Lund University, Sweden; JFDP fellow at the Pennsylvania State University, USA; Thesaurus Poloniae fellow at the ICC, Krakow, Poland. She specializes in twentieth-century Georgian literature and comparative literature, with a focus of interculturalism, modernism and avant-garde movements, Soviet ideological influences and poscolonialism. She has written textbooks of Georgian literature for the use of Georgian high schools and some fifty research papers some of them available in English.

For more information, please visit https://www.facebook.com/events/262240400535370/?notif_t=plan_user_invited

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

The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

This is the 11th talk of the Spring 2012 Works-in-Progress Series, co-sponsored by American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), and American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC).

WiP – “Varieties of Corruption: Implications for the Georgian Reform Process”

Peter Nasuti, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Wednesday, April 4, 2012 – 6:15 PM
ISET/CRRC Georgia, Zandukeli St. 16, Downstairs Conference Hall
Tbilisi, Georgia

Many accounts of the decline in petty corruption in Georgia after the Rose Revolution, such as a recent World Bank report, have attributed this change to the application of political will. Why is it, then, that successful anti-corruption drives are quite rare, given the great toll that corruption exerts on a developing country and the corresponding incentive for leaders to enact reforms? This talk will look at the political factors that allow corruption to persist over a long period of time, as well as to adapt to attempts to reduce its prevalence. In doing so, it will examine how Georgia managed to see significant changes in its corruption levels while other countries continued to face problems with corruption even after reform-minded governments took power.

Peter Nasuti is a Ph.D. student in the Political Science department of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently, he is a Fulbright scholar in Tbilisi, Georgia, where he is researching his dissertation on the anti-corruption reforms that took place in the country after the Rose Revolution. Before Peter came to Wisconsin, he received a B.A. in Russian Studies from Yale University and an M.A. in International Relations from Johns Hopkins-SAIS. He also spent two years in the Peace Corps as an English teacher in Jizzakh, Uzbekistan.

For more information, please visit https://www.facebook.com/events/236961606401108/

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

The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

This is the 10th talk of the Spring 2012 Works-in-Progress Series, co-sponsored by American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), and American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC).

WiP – “Elite Configuration in Post-Soviet Georgia and the Political Power of the Cultural Elite”

Inge Snip, Uppsala University

Wednesday, March 28, 2012 – 6:15 PM
ISET/CRRC Georgia, Zandukeli St. 16, Downstairs Conference Hall
Tbilisi, Georgia

Invisible structures in society, such as elite configurations, both enable and restrict the social interactions that reinforce the exercise of power and influence, which in turn affect political/economic development and social mobility. In order to understand how societies work and why certain political processes seem to develop in unexpected ways, it becomes necessary to take a closer look at different aspects of society.

In post-Soviet Georgia, the cultural elite seem to possess a large amount of status, and hence, power. For example, when one only looks at the Wikipedia page on ‘Influential Georgians’ one notices right away the emphasis on cultural figures. Therefore, this presentation will focus on Georgia’s current cultural elite. Following the theoretical framework constructed by Mattei Dogan and his colleagues on elite configuration, the project will study Georgia’s elite groups, concentrating on ‘the relative position and size of various elite circles in the constellation of power.’

Currently, the project is in the process of collecting data through informal snowballing methods on one hand, and through in-depth qualitative interviews with various elite groups on the other hand. The elites are identified through John Scott’s interpretation of Max Weber stratification theory, looking at status, and hopefully identifying which of these groups possess perceived command. The research will focus on the perceptions of these groups towards each other’s position in society and their own – arguing that it will be possible to come to a conclusion regarding their perceived positions by cross-referencing the interviews and looking for comparisons and discrepancies.

Inge Snip has been living in and out of Georgia for the last 4 and ½ years, working for several NGO’s and founding Evolutsia.net, a news and analysis website covering the political landscape of Georgia. She is currently completing a Master’s degree in Politics and International Studies at Uppsala University, for which she spent 6 months conducting individual research on elite configuration at the Harriman Institute of Columbia University in NYC. Her thesis will focus on Georgia’s current cultural elite, and the research will include sociologist Pierre Bourdieu’s ideas of capital, arguing that not only economical capital creates power within society, but also social, cultural and symbolic capital.

Inge has a LLB degree in International and European Law from the University of Groningen, and a Russian language certificate from Kyiv National Economic Trade University, where she studied for one year. For a full resume you can visit her linkedin profile at http://www.linkedin.com/in/ingesnip

For more information, please visit https://www.facebook.com/events/206628042779648/

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

The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

This is the 9th talk of the Spring 2012 Works-in-Progress Series, co-sponsored by American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), and American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC).

WiP – “Hearths and Andirons in Kura-Araxe Culture: The Early Bronze Age Caucasus”

Davit Darejanashvili

Wednesday, March 21, 2012 – 6:15 PM
ISET/CRRC Georgia, Zandukeli St. 16, Downstairs Conference Room
Tbilisi, Georgia

One of the most important features of Kura-Araxe culture are the hearths and andirons that occur in each site.  Such kind of material is characteristic only for this culture. We see various types of andirons in all of the sites in the entire existence of the Kura-Araxe culture, regardless of changes in construction equipment.  This lecture seeks to define the functions of this material using the example of Inner Kartli. The presenter will try make a conclusion as to how they were used after this description of materials.

Davit Darejanashvili graduated from Tbilisi I. Javakhishvili State University in the Faculty of Humanities with a Bachelor’s Degree in Archeology.  He is currently pursuing his Master’s Degree in archaeology science at the same university. He is the founder of the NGO, “History Club” (http://geohistoryclub.blogspot.com/), and has taken part in numerous conferences and archeological expeditions.

For more information, please see https://www.facebook.com/events/248663945228453/

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

The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

This is the 8th talk of the Spring 2012 Works-in-Progress Series, co-sponsored by American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), and American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC).

WiP – “Playing at Democracy: Designing a Game to Show How the System Really Works”

Mark Rein·Hagen

Wednesday, March 14, 2012 – 6:15 PM
ISET/CRRC Georgia, Zandukeli St. 16, Downstairs Conference Room
Tbilisi, Georgia

This Works in Progress lecture will delve into the process of developing board games, focusing specifically on the presenter’s latest game: “Democracy: Majority Rules”.  This game simulates how a democratic system works (or can fail), based on the presenter’s work in political campaigns, experiences with political systems around the world and Selectorate Theory.

Democracy is a game about the thorny and convoluted machinery of democracy: the absolute worst form of government… except for all the others. It is focused on the retail work of politics at any scale: making friends, forging alliances, outmaneuvering rivals, deceiving enemies, building consensus, selling your point of view, creating a coalition, hiding resentment, feigning weakness, blindsiding foes and turning doubters into believers. You play power broker or leader of a political party; someone who organizes campaigns, games the system and wins elections.

The goal of the game is to collect victory points known as Political Capital, which represents moral authority, political dominance and the trust and respect of the people. Players earn Political Capital by winning votes, forming winning coalitions, and not using their powers.  Every player has a particular a political identity (loosely based on the Nolan Chart) and assumes various roles throughout the game as they navigate the various modular domains of the board, including Lawmakers, Voters, Activists, Media, Bureaucracy, Justice, and Money.

The game is flexible and can be customized to play-simulate various historical political situations, including the French Revolution, the Rise of Hitler, and the Velvet Revolution. It is designed to be able to used in an educational context. The presentation will include sample gameplay and audience participation.

Mark Rein·Hagen is a game designer from the United States, notable as the founder of White Wolf and the creator of “Vampire: The Masquerade”, and for his work relating to theories of social manipulation, especially in games. A founding co-owner of Wizards of the Coast he helped bring Magic:The Gathering and the Pokemon trading card game to the world, but has also worked on numerous roleplaying and video games. He further has experience in TV production and film, and was the co-creator of a prime-time TV show on FOX with Aaron Spelling. Mark lives in Tbilisi, where he has worked for the Government of Georgia in various capacities and is married with children.

For more information, please see https://www.facebook.com/events/388901161138283/?notif_t=event_invite

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

The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

This is the 7th talk of the Spring 2012 Works-in-Progress Series, co-sponsored by American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), and American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC).

WiP – “The Early Stage of Prosperity of Goldsmithery in Georgia”

Marina Puturidze, PhD

Wednesday, March 7, 2012 – 6:15 PM
ISET/CRRC Georgia, Zandukeli St. 16, Downstairs Conference Room
Tbilisi, Georgia

Dr. Marina Puturidze is the head of The Centre of Archaeological Research in Tbilisi.  She has participated in many archeological expeditions, including a long running project in Shida Kartli, focusing on investigating local cultures of the 4th and 3rd millennium B.C. and their connections with the contemporary cultures of the Ancient Near East.   This presentation will focus on early metals culture in the Caucasus, drawing from her experiences.

For more information, please see https://www.facebook.com/events/360178967348782/

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

The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

This is the 6th talk of the Spring 2012 Works-in-Progress Series, co-sponsored by American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), and American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC).

WiP – “Security Sector Reform, State Building and Social Consequences in Georgia”

Leslie Hough, PhD Candidate in Political Science, Yale University

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 – 6.15 PM
ISET/CRRC Georgia, Zandukeli St. 16, Downstairs Conference Room
Tbilisi, Georgia

This presentation lays out the plan for Ms. Hough’s dissertation research through which she hopes to explore how the security sector reforms following the Rose Revolution dramatically impacted the daily lives of Georgian citizens, particularly the freedom of movement of women and business prospects for local entrepreneurs, in Tbilisi and Svaneti.

Leslie Hough first came to Georgia in 1999 to work for then Chairman Zurab Zhvania’s Office in the Georgian Parliament, returned in 2006 as a longterm election observer with the OSCE and again in 2011 as an IREX US Embassy Policy Specialist. She has worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, the OSCE Mission in Kosovo and the South Korean Mission to the United Nations, holds an MA in Conflict Management from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and has conducted research and election-monitoring missions in Russia, Kosovo, Albania, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Haiti.

For more information, please see https://www.facebook.com/events/240165262740983/?notif_t=event_invite

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

The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

This is the 5th talk of the Spring 2012 Works-in-Progress Series, co-sponsored by American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), and American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC).

WiP – “‘Zhiviom, ra?’: Affective Registers of Russian Language Use in Contemporary Georgian”

Perry Sherouse, University of Michigan
February 22, 2012 
6:15pm
CRRC-Tbilisi, Georgia

This project investigates the social contexts in contemporary Tbilisi in which Russian language acts as a resource for affectively-charged Georgian utterances. Despite appearing “Russian”, speakers treat loanwords in aesthetic rather than political terms, semantically refiguring Russian terms in Georgian social practice. In this talk I will present examples from several different contexts and briefly discuss the historical links that speakers perceive for various parts of the Russian-influenced lexicon. Additionally, I will discuss the category of speech designated by Georgians as “zhargoni” and the analytical problems it poses. One of the main goals of this project is to describe how modes of linguistic and cultural practice are passed on outside of educational institutions.

Perry Sherouse is a Ph.D. candidate in Linguistic Anthropology at the University of Michigan. He is currently conducting his dissertation research in Tbilisi, Georgia.

This talk was co-sponsored by the Caucasus Research Resource Center (CRRC) and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC).

WiP – “Zero Tolerance Schooling: Crime and Education in Georgia”

Gavin Slade
February 15, 2012 
6:15pm
CRRC-Tbilisi, Georgia

In this presentation, Dr. Slade will discuss his research on the Georgian school system, specifically the institution of the mandaturi, or uniformed officers patrolling the schools.

Dr. Slade graduated from the University of Oxford, UK with a PhD. He first came to Georgia in 2002 and conducted has conducted his PhD research here over the past few years. His interests are criminological in focus and include: organized crime and state responses to it, penal subcultures, and prison and police reform in the post-Soviet space.

This talk was co-sponsored by the Caucasus Research Resource Center (CRRC) and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC).

WiP – “Ethnic Conflict and Political Control in the 3rd and 4th Century Caucasus”

Marco Bias
February 8, 2012 6:15pm
CRRC-Tbilisi, Georgia

This presentation will examine (or reexamine) the changes in the political control over the Eastern Caucasian coast, according to some written sources (particularly Armenian, Iranian and Classical sources), laying stress on the emergence, the development and the collapse of the Kingdom of the Mazk’ut’k’ (to use the ethnic name we find in Armenian sources) between the 3rd and the 4th c. A.D.

Marco Bais  is Associate Professor of Ancient Armenian Language (grabar) at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome. His main interests are the history of Caucasus in Late Antiquity, particularly the missionary activity within Caucasia and the history of Caucasian Albania. Another line of his research focuses on the Mongol conquests and domination as depicted by Caucasian (Armenian and Georgian) sources. One of his desiderata is writing a study on the shaping of Caucasus as a physical and cultural region throughout the history of European culture.

This talk was co-sponsored by the Caucasus Research Resource Center (CRRC) and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC).

WiP – “The Diversification of Post-Soviet Cultural Spaces”

John Schoeberlein, Harvard University
February 1, 2012
 6:15pm
CRRC-Tbilisi, Georgia

This is the 1st talk of the Spring 2012 Works-in-Progress Series , co-sponsored by American Councils, the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), and American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC).

W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place every Wednesday at the International School of Economics (ISET) building (16 Zandukeli Street). It is co-organized by CRRC and the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS.

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.

For more information, please visit https://www.facebook.com/events/234901146591516/

USA

4th Eurasian Archaeology Conference

October 11-13, 2012
Cornell University

The preliminary program for the conference is available here: http://eac.arts.cornell.edu/?page_id=22.

The online registration form is available here: http://eac.arts.cornell.edu/?page_id=42. Please complete both pages of the form before clicking the submit button.  There is no conference fee thanks to the generous support of our sponsors: Cornell College of Arts and Sciences, Cornell Anthropology, Cornell Archaeology, Cornell Classics, Cornell History, Cornell Near Eastern Studies, The American Research Institute of the South Caucasus.

Space at the conference is limited.  Please register by August 1, 2012 to guarantee space at the conference events. Organizer cannot guarantee that registrations received after that date will be accommodated.

Talk: “On the Formation of Prehistoric Agriculture in the South Caucasus”

Roman Hovsepyan
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Republic of Armenia
Fulbright Scholar

Tuesday, May 22, 2012, 11.00-12.00
Purdue University
700 W. State Street, Stone Hall B2
West Lafayette, IN 47907

As one of the Caucasus region’s leading specialists in the analysis of botanical remains, Dr. Hovsepyan is examining ancient economies and subsistence practices at sites across Armenia, from the Neolithic to the Iron Age.

This event is co-sponsored by the Purdue University Department of Anthropology and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus.

“Centering the margins: Sociopolitical development in the ancient South Caucasus and its contributions to global archaeology”

SAA Annual Meeting
Memphis Cook Convention Center
Room: Chickasaw
Memphis, Tennessee
Friday April 20, beginning at 8:00am.

Participants:

8:00 Opening remarks

8:15 Gregory Areshian and Pavel Avetisyan—The Rise of Social Complexity in the Chalcolithic of the Near Eastern Highlands: A View from South Caucasus

8:30 Break

8:45 Roman Hovsepyan—On the Specifics and Origin of Agriculture of the Kura-Araxes Culture: Recent Archaeobotanical Data from the South Caucasus

9:00 Mitchell Rothman—Changing Organization of Kura Araxes Culture

9:15 Jeffrey Leon and Adam T. Smith—Devotion and Divination: The Temple Fortress at Gegharot and Rituality in the Ancient Caucasus and Near East

9:30 Alan Greene—Within and Without: Late Bronze Age Polities in the South Caucasus and their Regional Interlocution

9:45 Ian Lindsay—Mobile pastoralism and political allegiance: Recent findings at the Late Bronze Age fortress settlement of Tsaghkahovit, Armenia

10:00 Maureen Marshall—Regional Practices and Local Experiences: An Osteobiographic Approach to Late Bronze Age Human Remains from the Tsaghkahovit Plain, Armenia

10:15 Hannah Chazin—“Were the sheep sweeter?” The circulation of domesticated animals in the Late Bronze Age, the Tsaghkahovit Plain, Armenia

10:30 Catherine Kearns and Lori Khatchadourian—An Imperial Style?: ‘Achaemenid’ Pottery and the Practice of Empire in Satrapal Armenia

10:45 Lauren Ristvet—Confronting Urartu: Local Identities, Integration and Resistance in the Iron Age Caucasus

11:00 Hilary Gopnik—Empire on edge or on the edge of empire? The unfinished building of Oglanqala Period III

11:15 Elizabeth Fagan—Political marginalization between Rome and Parthia: a problem of centrality

11:30 Ryan Hughes—The Eastern Vani Survey: A Preliminary Report

11:45 Karen Rubinson—Discussant

Attendees must be registered for the conference.
For more information, please see http://www.saa.org/

“The Prehistory of Agriculture in the South Caucasus”

Roman Hovsepyan, Fulbright Scholar
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, RA
February 13, 2012
Cornell University

Dr. Roman Hovsepyan is a Research Scientist in the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography in Yerevan Armenia.  He is currently a Fulbright Scholar at Ohio State University where is collaborating on a research project centered on the early history of agriculture in the Caucasus region.  With support from ARISC, Dr. Hovsepyan delivered a public lecture at Cornell University entitled “The Prehistory of Agriculture in the South Caucasus”.  18 people, students and faculty, were in attendance.  Dr. Hovsepyan also set aside time to meet with some of graduate students at Cornell.

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