2011 Events

Armenia      Azerbaijan      Georgia

Armenia

Medieval Archaeology at the Crossroads: Excavations at the Arai Caravanserai

Kathryn Franklin, PhD Candidate
University of Chicago Department of Anthropology

2 September 2011 2:00pm
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography NAS RA
Charents Str. 15
Yerevan, Armenia

This presentation will provide an early summary of results from this summer’s excavations at the Arai Caravanserai site. This caravanserai or road-inn was a node in the late medieval world trade network, which intersected the Armenian Highlands and connected Europe and the Far East. As the presentation will discuss, local sites such as the Arai caravanserai are interesting because they connect this large scale trade with questions of local politics and social life during the medieval period.

Kathryn Franklin is a senior graduate student at the University of Chicago in the Department of Anthropology. For the last four years she has worked in Armenia in connection with the joint American-Armenian Project for the Archaeology and Geography of Transcaucasian Societies (ArAGATS). Kathryn’s research focuses on political economy of the late medieval period, specifically the links between local highland perceptions of politics and long distance trade. This research is fueled by a wider interest in trade as a cultural practice, and in the history of the Armenian highlands.

This event is co-sponsored by the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC), the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography NAS RA, Project ArAGATS, and the Wenner-Gren Foundation. For more information, please visithttps://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=270650042947803

Azerbaijan

Xinaliq Documentation Project, in process

Tamrika Khvtisiashvili, PhD Candidate and ARISC Fellow
University of Utah, Linguistics

September 6, 2011 6:30pm
Caspian Business Center
Jafar Jabbarli str.40

Baku, Azerbaijan   Xinalug language is a language isolate within the NorthEast Caucasian language family spoken only in one village of the high mountains of Azerbaijan. Although there are some materials available on this language, the sources are limited. It is the goal of this documentation project to create a descriptive grammar and dictionary of Xinalug language in English. It is also our intent to document the ancient traditions and history of this unique population before it is too late.

Tamrika Khvtisiashvili is a Ph.D. candidate in Descriptive Linguistics at the University of Utah, U.S. Her dissertation will be based on the grammar of Xinalug language that she intends to finish within the next 3 years. She loves the Caucasus and its cultural/linguistic diversity, thus she has chosen it to be her goal to make U.S. more aware and educated about this region, through her own work and work of her colleagues.

This talk is co-sponsored by the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC), the US-Educated Azerbaijani Alumni Association and VolkswagenStiftung (Volkswagen Foundation) in affiliation with Frankfurt University in Germany.

For more information, please visit https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=215054555219015

Georgia

WiP – “Creating Brand Identity for the Georgian National Museum and New Opportunities to Join the International Museum Network”

Natalia Shelegia
Wednesday, December 21, 2011 – 6:15 PM
International School of Economics of Tbilisi (ISET)
CRRC Georgia
Zandukeli St. 16
Tbilisi, Georgia

This presentation will examine American and European museum culture, explore the methodologies that are used to create the brand identities in museums, study Western communication paradigm transformation; discover new trends affecting museum activities, examine Georgian museums concept and what is most important, adopt the researched materials and knowledge to modern Georgian museum model.

The ultimate goal of the empirical study is to describe the brand identity building process and analyze the branding methodologies, in order to broaden the knowledge about museum branding and to deliberate a set of recommendations for the Georgian National Museum. The data obtained with the qualitative research could assist museum in creation of affective branding  tools for transforming Georgian museums into living and interesting, vital community resource and educational center, devoted to diffusion of knowledge and understanding in society.

Natalia Shelegia  is the Director of Communications Department at the Georgian National Museum and  is currently pursuing her PhD at Tbilisi State Academy of Arts.  She has extensive experience in PR, communications, and marketing as well as being an artist.  Her website is www.natalia.ge.

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/134939156619255/

This is the 11th talk of the Fall 2011 Works-in-Progress Series, co-sponsored by American Councils, the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), and American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC).

WiP – “Why Me?” – First Findings of the MYPLACE Project in Georgia

Tinatin Zurabishvili and Tamuna Khoshtaria, CRRC
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 – 6:15 PM
International School of Economics of Tbilisi (ISET)
CRRC Georgia
Zandukeli St. 16
Tbilisi, Georgia

This presentation will address the findings of the first phase of fieldwork in the MYPLACE (Memory, Youth, Political Legacy and Civic Engagement) Project.

MYPLACE is a four-year international project employing a combination of survey, interview and ethnographic research to provide new, pan-European data that not only will measure levels of civil participation of the young people (aged 16 to 25), but also capture the meanings young people attach to it.

Dr. Tinatin Zurabishvili has been coordinating the CRRC Caucasus Barometer survey since 2007 and the MYPLACE project since 2011. Since 1999 she has taught BA and MA courses in sociology, focusing on research methods, at Telavi State University and at the Center for Social Sciences of Tbilisi State University, where she was a Civic Education Project (CEP) Local Faculty Fellow (2001-2003) and Academic Fellowship Program Returning Scholar (2005-2006). Since 2010, she has been teaching at the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA). Prior to teaching in Georgia, between1999 and 2001 Dr. Zurabishvili served as a junior researcher for Yale University’s Poverty, Ethnicity and Gender in Eastern Europe during Market Transition project. Dr. Zurabishvili also worked for five years as a sociologist at the Russian Center for Public Opinion and Market Research (now the Levada Center), where she worked on the Russian Public Opinion Monitor.

Tamuna Khoshtaria is a research associate at CRRC. She holds a BA and MA in Social Sciences from Tbilisi State University. During her MA study she was awarded a scholarship to study at Humboldt University in Berlin, where she spent a year conducting qualitative research in family sociology.

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/306278279394172/?notif_t=event_invite

This is the 10th talk of the Fall 2011 Works-in-Progress Series, co-sponsored by American Councils, the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), and American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC).

WiP – “Results of a Language Status Experiment in Georgia”

Timothy Blauvelt
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
International School of Economics of Tbilisi (ISET)
CRRC Georgia
Zandukeli St. 16
Tbilisi, Georgia

This presentation will highlight the results of a “matched-guise” experiment in language status conducted on a large sample of young people in Tbilisi, Samtskhe-Javakheti and Kvemo Kartli in 2010. This experimental design isolates the cognitive mechanism of language status in the minds of the respondents, which makes it an ideal technology for studying the status of various languages in contemporary Georgia as well as the incentives and costs for assimilation of minorities into the Georgian majority. This project was partially funded by CRRC.

Timothy Blauvelt has a PhD in Political Science from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and has been working in the region for more than a decade. He has been Country Director in Georgia for American Councils since 2003, and is Associate Professor of Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies at Ilia State University. He was a Visiting Fulbright Professor in Georgia in 2002-3, and in 2006-2011 he lectured on Soviet political history at Tbilisi State University. He has published numerous articles on Soviet politics, clientalism, nationality policy, and ethnic mobilization in Europe-Asia Studies, Communist and Post-Communist Studies, Kritika, War & Society, and Nationalities Papers.

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, the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC).

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 see https://www.facebook.com/events/156665297767326/

This is the 9th talk of the Fall 2011 Works-in-Progress Series, co-sponsored by American Councils, the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), and American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC).

Lecture: Uncovering the 1956 Georgian Protests and Their Memory

Melissa F. Gayan
Ph.D. Candidate in History, Emory University
ARISC Fellow

Wednesday, August 3, 2011 at 5:00pm

Ilia University
Austrian Library
3/5 Cholokashvili Str. room H105
Tbilisi, Georgia

This presentation introduces Ms. Gayan’s dissertation project which examines Georgian reaction to Khrushchev’s February 1956 “Secret Speech.”  The project focuses on the multi-leveled contested cultural nature of national identity in the Soviet Union.  She will place this event in the current historiography, speak about methodology and source problems, and explain why this topic is still relevant to scholarship.  Finally she will share how her project has turned to questions of how these events have been remembered or forgotten.

Melissa Gayan is a history Ph.D. candidate at Emory University specializing in Russia and the former Soviet Union with a focus on the Caucasus.  Ms. Gayan’s dissertation topic is on the 1956 Georgian pro-Stalinist, anti-Soviet protests which took place after Nikita Khrushchev’s February 1956 “Secret Speech.”  She also holds a Master’s Degree in History from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where her thesis examined Russian influence in Georgia during the first ten years after the collapse of the Soviet Union.  Ms. Gayan has been a teacher for many years in both public schools, institutes, and universities.  She lives outside of Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, cat, and two dogs.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=180015715399090

This talk is co-sponsored by the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus, Ilia University, and also made possible by a Russian and East European Studies Graduate Travel Grant from Emory University.

Cohesion and Coercion in the Ruling Parties of Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan

Eli Feiman, PhD candidate at Brown University
ARISC Fellow

Thursday, 30 June, 2011 at 18.00

Ilia University
Austrian Library
3/4 Cholokashvili str.
Auditorium H105
Tbilisi, Georgia

This talk will address the formation, growth, and in some cases collapse of the ruling political parties of Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. By examining cohesion among party elites and by examining the various other tools which parties use, he will present the different trajectories of the parties over the past 20 years. His dissertation addresses the issues of democratization and the consolidation of political institutions, and examines these topics in the South Caucasus where these processes are still underway. This talk draws from interviews with political actors, election returns, internal party documents, and archival research.

Eli Feiman is a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Political Science at Brown University. He is currently an ARISC Graduate Fellow in Georgia and is conducting field research for a dissertation on political party development in the South Caucasus. He received an MA in Political Science from Brown University (2008) and holds a BA in Slavic Languages and Literature from Yale University (2002). He research interests include the formation and consolidation of political institutions, patronage and clientelism, informal politics, and durable authoritarianism.

This talk is co-sponsored by the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC) and Ilia University.

For more information or to RSVP, please visit https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=225526637472503

Bridging Two Continents: Archaeology at Samtavro in the Central Caucasus

Antonio (Tony) Sagona
University of Melbourne

21 June 2011 at 19:00

Ilia University
32, Chavchavadze Ave.
101 Auditorium
Tbilisi, Georgia

The talk will provide an overview of three years of renewed excavations(2008-2010) at the important cemetery site of Samtavro in central Georgia.  A collaborative Project between the Georgian National Museum and the University of Melbourne, the excavations have provided new and intriguing information for the period between 100 BC and AD 500.  The talk will present a range of evidence from a diversity of mortuary practices through social customs to tantalizing hints of possible connections with Europe at the end of the Roman Empire.

Antonio Sagona is a professor of Archaeology at the University of Melbourne.  His research interests have centered on ancient Turkey and the Caucasus.  He is an elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities and an elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, London.  His latest book, co-authored with Paul Zimansky, is Ancient Turkey, A Survey from the Earliest Settlements to the End of the Iron Age.

This talk is co-sponsored by the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC), Ilia University, the Georgian National Museum, the University of Melbourne and the Australian Research Council.

For more information and to RSVP, please visit https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=208766215826668

Pencils and Erasers: Harmonizing Georgian Chant in the Early 20th Century

John A. Graham (Princeton University Graduate School)
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
6:00pm – 7:30pm

ISET Lecture Hall
Zandukeli St. 16
Tbilisi, Georgia

Faced with the task of organizing thousands of rough-draft chant transcriptions, three monks labored diligently during the period 1912-1915 to harmonize unfinished chants. It is well known that Ekvtime Kereselidze commissioned master-chanter Razhden Khundadze to harmonize more than one thousand chant melodies, but recent research on three manuscripts (National Centre of Manuscripts Q687, Q688, Q689) reveals that his harmonizations were later erased and rewritten. Stylistic differences point to a mysterious third chanter who contributed significantly to the way chant is harmonized and performed today.

For more information, and to RSVP, please visit https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=141915102540904&index=1

WiP 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).

The purpose of the Works-in-Progress series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining to Georgia and the Caucasus region.

The talk is being co-sponsored by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), American Councils for International Education, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC).

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