2010 Events

Armenia      Azerbaijan      Georgia      USA

Armenia

“Courting the Nation Abroad: Diaspora Policies in Post-communist Armenia, Croatia and Serbia”

Sarah Garding
PhD candidate, University of California, Berkeley
ARISC Fellow

August 27, 2010  
14.00-16.00
CRRC-Armenia

Over the last several decades, a growing number of contemporary and historical sending states have developed policies to engage their diasporas in the politics and economy of the homeland. In Eastern Europe and Eurasia, the collapse of communism presented a unique opportunity for new governments to reconfigure relations with their diasporas and overcome the antagonism that had hitherto marred state-diaspora relations. This talk addressed the varying approaches to engaging the diaspora in post-Soviet and post-Yugoslav Armenia, Croatia, and Serbia.  Specifically, it focused on citizenship policies, extraterritorial voting, parliamentary representation, and the creation of diaspora bureaucracies — policies that are often used by sending states to deepen emigrants’ political ties to their country of perceived origin.  These three postcommunist countries simultaneously grappled with war, independence, state-building, and economic collapse, and thus one might expect to find strong policies to engage the diaspora.  In fact, governments in these three states showed varied willingness to deepen state-diaspora ties. This talk assessed the sources of this variation.

Sarah Garding is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. Her dissertation looks at the policies of post-Soviet Armenia and post-Yugoslav Croatia and Serbia towards diaspora populations, and the participation of the latter in homeland political affairs in the wake of independence. She carried out the research for this project in Croatia and Serbia during 2009-2010 as an IREX fellow, and was in Yerevan as a fellow with the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus.

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

“The Kura Araxes Culture in Regional Context with Special Reference to Shengavit”

Dr. Mitchell Rothman
Widener University

July 6, 2010  4:00pm
CRRC-Yerevan, Armenia

The Kura Araxes Culture is a unique culture of the 4th and early 3rd millennia BC in the Transcaucasian area. Originally thought to be a minor village culture, it is now clear that it was part of an ancient globalization stretching from the Persian Gulf to the plains of the North Caucasus opening into eastern Europe and western China. Peoples from the Transcaucasus migrated into the Taurus and Zagros Mountains all the way to the north Jordan valley of modern Israel in the early 3rd millennium creating a unique blending of cultures. This illustrated talk spoke of the nature of this culture and work of an Armenian-American team under the leadership of Hakop Simonyan at Shengavit.

Dr. Mitchell Rothman is a Professor of Anthropology and Archaeology at Widener University in Pennsylvania and a consulting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania Museum. Beginning in 1974 he has been doing archaeology in the greater Middle East, first in Iran then Turkey, and now Armenia and has analyzed material from Iraq. His interest is in the development of cultures in the 4th and 3rd millennia BC. His publications include books on the theory of cultural evolution, Tepe Gawra, Iraq, Godin Tepe, Iran, and the Uruk Culture of Mesopotamia. His interest in the Kura Araks Culture began while surveying in Mus by Lake Van.

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

Azerbaijan

Rethinking the Origins of Civilization in Azerbaijan: 2010 Excavations at Oglanqala, Naxcivan

Dr. Lauren Ristvet, University of Pennsylvania

August 10, 2010
7:00pm
60, R. Behbudov Street, American Center
Azerbaijan University of Languages, 1st floor
Baku, Azerbaijan

From 2008-2010, a joint American-Azerbaijani team of archaeologists and scientists have been excavating an Iron Age site called Oglanqala in Naxcivan. The project focuses on the creation of a small state during the 9th century, one of the earliest in Azerbaijan , and the important roles resistance and cultural exchange played in the origins of politics here. The fortification walls of Oglanqala enclose an area of 12 hectares, but there are extensive architectural remains and pottery scatters across a 50 hectare area, making this one of the largest sites in the Caucasus from this period. Excavation has revealed four phases, from 1200-100 BC, during which this site was one of the principle centers of Azerbaijan.

Lauren Ristvet (BA, Yale 1999; MPhil, PhD, Cambridge 2005) specializes in Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern history and archaeology, with an emphasis on the formation and collapse of archaic states, landscape archaeology, human response to environmental disaster, and ancient imperialism. She is the associate director of excavations at Tell Leilan, Syria (ancient Shehna/Shubat-Enlil), where she has excavated since 1999. This was one of the largest ancient cities in Northern Mesopotamia, and the short-lived capital of the Kingdom of Upper Mesopotamia during the 18th century B.C. She is also co-director of the Naxcivan Archaeological Project in Naxcivan, Azerbaijan, a combined survey and excavation project.

This event is co-sponsored by the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC) and the US Educated Azerbaijani Alumni Association (AAA). For more information, please visit http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=102692836453766&ref=mf

Workshop: Research Grant Writing

Session I
June 12, 2010  
10:30am – 1:00pm
CRRC-Baku, Azerbaijan

Session II
June 19, 2010
  10:30am – 1:00pm
CRRC-Baku, Azerbaijan

This workshop, led by Anar Valiyev and Sabina Manafova, aimed to help scholars and academicians in the humanities and social sciences learn how to write winning proposals for research related grants. A comprehensive, hands-on workshop that covered researching funding sources and writing real proposals, this program aimed to teach participants how to use the proposal writing format, the most widely used in the world. Participants left this workshop with new skills and the ability to apply those skills to their own needs or to the needs of their institutions.

During the first session, participants were given instruction and practical exercises going through all the stages of a grant proposal. In the second session participants prepared their own complete proposals related to their research interests, which were then reviewed and evaluated.

This workshop was sponsored by the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC) and the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC).

Georgia

“Nineteenth-Century City of Colonial Convergence: The Role of Tiflis in the Development of an Azerbaijani Intelligentsia”

Aimee Dobbs
PhD candidate, Indiana University
ARISC Fellow

July 29, 2010
17:30 – 18:30
CRRC-Tbilisi, Georgia

This presentation focused on the role of Tbilisi and its surrounds in fostering the development of an Azerbaijani intelligentsia in the mid-late nineteenth century. Of particular focus are the institutions of cultural production; the colonial-administrative apparatus, Imperial schools (specifically Gori Teachers’ Seminary), printing presses, and philanthropic societies that generated spaces for cultural and intellectual development among immigrant Azerbaijanis. Whether by direct participation in or observation of these institutions, through their experiences these men cultivated state-dependent social and cultural capital that came to challenge traditional Azerbaijani circles of power. This newly-emerging Azerbaijani elite eventually endeavored to use its new position as a liaison between the state and the local Muslim population as a method by which to claim the right to lead the modernization campaign, thereby redefining local educational, social, and cultural values. Thus an understanding of Tbilisi ’s influence upon the Azerbaijani intelligentsia aids Ms. Dobbs’ overall dissertation research by providing a point of genesis from which they came to understand themselves as the heart of the modernization campaign and the Russian Imperial state as a lever of transformation.

Aimee Dobbs is a PhD Candidate from Indiana University Department of History and an ARISC Fellow. Her research is on nineteenth-century Russian Imperial educational efforts and local Azerbaijani responses from 1862 to 1890. In the summer of 2010 she had been researching in Tbilisi, Georgia on a grant from the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus . In the previous year she spent her time researching in Baku, Azerbaijan on a Fulbright-Hays grant. Ms. Dobbs’s primary research interests include education policies and the establishment of non-Russian schools in late imperial Russia, colonial relationships, and the formation of nationalism among the Russian empire’s Muslim groups.

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

“Terroir  -izing Land: Property, Value, and Wine in Georgia”

Adam Walker
PhD candidate, City University of New York

July 1, 2010
  17:30 – 18:30
CRRC-Tbilisi, Georgia

Adam Walker presented his PhD research in this talk. The question of the eventual success of the Georgian wine industry on the international wine market is the subject of intense scrutiny among a variety of state, private, and development interests within Georgia, a focus which has, since privatization, considerably narrowed the scope of rural interventions.  This focus on wine is understandable since, aside from its status as a privileged export commodity, wine is a beverage that has wide-ranging symbolic and political importance in Georgia.  As an essential requirement in toasting during the supra, wine operates as a complex symbol that mediates conflicting ideologies of consumption, idealized forms of sociality, and claims to nation and “tradition.”

Yet the particularities of decollectivization and privatization of land and wineries have produced a disjuncture between the interests of large-scale producers and re-traditionalized, land-holding farmers.  This paper was an attempt to articulate how the increasing economic and social inequality that is part and parcel of the neoliberalizing postsocialist Georgian landscape can be analyzed by foregrounding the contestation over the meaning and value of wine and its intersection with claims over property and terroir.  In particular, the push to integrate Georgian wine production into an international marketplace by a matrix of state, private, and international-development interests is accompanied by a range of techniques which, in the name of the “protection of Georgian wine appellations,” may increasingly reconfigure the bases on which the construction and consolidation of value can take place, and claims by rural populations for state-intervention can be legitimized.

This presentation was sponsored by the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC) and the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC).

“Gender, Family and Migration in Georgia: Exploring household dynamics and migration decisions”

Erin Hofmann
Ph.D. candidate, University of Texas – Austin
June 16, 2010
  5:30 – 6:30pm
CRRC-Tbilisi, Georgia

In this WiP, Erin Hofmann presented her Ph.D. project, which focused on gender differences in the motivations for labor migration from Georgia. In this mixed methods project, she used a combination of statistical analysis and in-depth interviews to explain the socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of male and female migrants from Georgia, and explored the role of gender norms and family structures in explaining differences between male and female migration. Georgia is unusual among migrant-sending countries due to its high levels of both male and female migration, and the extreme diversity of destination countries where Georgian migrants can be found. The issue of migration from Georgia has received little attention outside the country, despite its potential to enrich our theories of gender and migration.

The presentation focused on the theoretical background of the research, the challenges of conducting migration research in Georgia, the potential benefits of combining survey data and interviews, and methods for exploring migration as a household decision.

This series was co-sponsored by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), American Councils for International Education, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC).

“On the Question How to do Study Dynamics of Violence in the South Ossetian Conflict: Patterns, Practices, Mechanisms”

Lara Sigwart, Ph.D researcher
June 9, 2010
 5:30 – 6:30pm
CRRC-Tbilisi, Georgia

In this WiP, Lara Sigwart presented her Ph.D. project, which studies dynamics of violence in the South Ossetian conflict from 1989 to 2008. In her project, she hypothesized that practices of state actors in the context of the conflict relate to their power-consolidating ambitions and, in this way, help to explain how violence came to escalate at certain points in time, and not at others. Considering this, structures such as Russian and Western policies, internal power shifts, economic incentives and political talks factor into the transitions between the respective phases of violence.

The presentation focused on the turning points in the process of violence after 1989, shedding light on the working hypotheses with which the project deals. The presentation then turnrf to the methodical problems the project faced at its current state, such as how to gather the data, how to use the data, and answers to be obtained from the data.

This series was co-sponsored by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), American Councils for International Education, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC).

“Youth Culture in Modern Georgia – A Case of Westernization or Invention of a New Tradition?”

Dr. Lika Tsuladze
June 2, 2010
5:30 – 6:30pm
CRRC-Tbilisi, Georgia

In this WiP, Lika Tsuladze presented her research, which sought to find out how youth identities are constructed through bricolage in modern Georgia. The main method of her research is discourse analysis. In a unique way, Tsuladze has invloved her students as co-researchers in her research in order to analyze the youth culture seen from the perspective of youth themselves.
This series was co-sponsored by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), American Councils for International Education, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC).

“Small Scale Monitoring of IDPs: the Art of the Possible”

David Jijelava
May 19, 2010
 5:30 – 6:30pm
CRRC-Tbilisi, Georgia

In this talk, which was part of the WiP series, David Jijelava discussed a project he recently finished which involved a brief analysis of donor development projects going on in new settlements. He was then working to try to design another project to continue this analysis. He discussed this research and gained insights from attendees about what one can realistically achieve in small scale monitoring of this kind.

This series was co-sponsored by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), American Councils for International Education, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC).

“‘Party’ or ‘Tusovka’: A Questionnaire on the Changing Roles of English and Russian in Georgia”

John King
Wednesday, May 12, 2010 5:30 – 6:30pm
ISET building (CRRC), Zandukeli 16, Tbilisi, Georgia

This series 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). For more information, please see http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=124011424277647

“On Nationalism and Abkhazia: Theoretically speaking, of course”

William Sadd
May 5, 2010
5:30 – 6:30pm
CRRC-Tbilisi, Georgia

In this WiP, William Sadd outlined the different theoretical approaches to studying nationalism more generally, and explored what use, if any, the ‘historical ethno-symbolist’ approach can serve in understanding nationalism in Abkhazia at the end of the Soviet Era. This talk was a proposal, and still in early stages of development.
This series was co-sponsored by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), American Councils for International Education, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC).

“Studying Community Safety in a Post-Conflict Scenario”

Dr. Hans Gutbrod, Mr. David Wood, and Mr. Giorgi Babunashvili
April 28, 2010
6:00 – 7:00pm
CRRC-Tbilisi, Georgia

This talk was part of the Works-in-Progress (WiP) series.  How do we get at community safety in a post-conflict scenario? How do we use focus groups to plan for a survey? This workshop introduced a draft questionnaire that was being designed for a survey in May 2010.

Registered participants received access to the questionnaire, which we was then discussed in detail. The workshop was introduced by Hans Gutbrod, and co-moderated by David Wood from Saferworld (who has done similar work in Moldova, Macedonia and other locations) and Giorgi Babunashvili from CRRC.
This was a great session for learning about the nuances of questionnaire development.

This series was co-sponsored by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), American Councils for International Education, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC).

“Difference in Attitudes towards Political Participation of Azeris in Azerbaijan and Georgia”

Joshua Noonan
Fulbright fellow, Azerbaijan and Georgia
April 21, 2010
5:30 – 6:30pm
CRRC-Tbilisi, Georgia

This talk was part of the Works-in-Progress (WiP) series.  Mr. Noonan’s topic concerned the comparison of the attitudes towards political participation for Azerbaijani minorities in Georgia and those attitudes of Azerbaijanis in Azerbaijan in order to find if and why these attitudes are divergent.

This series was co-sponsored by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), American Councils for International Education, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC).

“Complexity of the Caucasus”

Sarah Slye
April 14, 2010
5:30pm
CRRC-Tbilisi, Georgia

Undertaking academic research on the Caucasus in the Caucasus can be quite a challenge. It is a region usually overlooked not only because of its status as a borderland but also due to its complexity. Simply put most people can’t handle it and don’t get it. That’s why, back in the USA, there are so few mentors for students interested in the region. Ms. Slye discussed several strategies for overcoming this handicap and emerging victorious.

This talk was part of the Works-in-Progress (WiP) series and was co-sponsored by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), American Councils for International Education, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC).

“Neither Empire Nor Nation: Networks of Trade in the Caucasus, 1750-1925”

Megan Dean
Ph.D. candidate, Stanford University
ARISC Fellow

March 31, 2010
5:30pm
CRRC-Tbilisi, Georgia

Megan Dean presented her ongoing research, “Neither Empire Nor Nation: Networks of Trade in the Caucasus, 1750-1925” at Tbilisi’s Caucasus Research Resources Center (CRRC). Her work probes the limits of identity politics, state control and violence and explores how basic economic exchanges and cultural interactions unfolded in daily life in the Caucasus, a frontier zone of multiple empires.  A 2010 recipient of the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC) Graduate Fellowship for her research at the National Archives of Georgia, she is also a Ph.D. Candidate in history at Stanford University in California.

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

“Georgian Dialectology and Language Contact in the Caucasus: Two Case Studies”

Thomas Wier, Ph.D candidate (University of Chicago)
Wednesday, March 24, 2010 5:30pm
ISET building (CRRC), Zandukeli 16, Tbilisi, Georgia

This talk is part of the Works-in-Progress (WiP) series.  The purpose of this series is twofold:• To provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining to Georgia and the Caucasus region, and• To engage the vibrant academic community living in Tbilisi, and local residents, with a more consistent level of discourse, discussion, and debate in consideration of the most curious matters concerning Georgia and its neighbors.

This series 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). For more information, please see http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=372225542025&index=1

“How do Foreigners Learn Georgian? Results from a Small Expatriate Census”

Dr. Hans Gutbrod and Mr. Malte Viefhues
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 5:30pm – 6:30pm
ISET building (CRRC), Zandukeli 16, Tbilisi, Georgia

This talk is part of the Works-in-Progress (WiP) series.  The purpose of this series is twofold:• To provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining to Georgia and the Caucasus region, and• To engage the vibrant academic community living in Tbilisi, and local residents, with a more consistent level of discourse, discussion, and debate in consideration of the most curious matters concerning Georgia and its neighbors.

This series 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). For more information, see http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=361900478567&index=1

“An Experiment in Language Status in Georgia”

Dr. Timothy Blauvelt (American Councils)
Wednesday, March 10, 2010 5:30pm – 6:30pm
ISET building (CRRC), Zandukeli 16, Tbilisi, Georgia

This talk is part of the Works-in-Progress (WiP) series.  The purpose of this series is twofold:
• To provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining to Georgia and the Caucasus region, and
• To engage the vibrant academic community living in Tbilisi, and local residents, with a more consistent level of discourse, discussion, and debate in consideration of the most curious matters concerning Georgia and its neighbors.

This series 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). For more information, see http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=384087365080&ref=mf

“Anthropology: Heritage as a Cultural Resource,” February 2010

On February 2, 2010, the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC) and the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC) sponsored a talk by American Councils Title VIII fellow Hülya Sakarya.  She discussed her research on heritage, both its revival in the aftermath of the Rose Revolution and its potential with respect to Georgia’s diverse constituents. Her research asked how Tbilisi’s culturally diverse social fabric can be compared to diversity in American and European settings. She also conducted a unique photodocumentation project during Tbilisoba 2009 with Tbilisi State University students as co-collaborators. Her talk included pictures from this project as well as a frank discussion on if and how Georgia is multicultural.

“Holiday Moments: Photographic Essays on the City of Tbilisi,” January 2010

A collaborative photodocumentation project conducted at Ioseb Grishashvili Tbilisi History Museum (“Karvasla”, 8, Sioni Street, Tbilisi, Georgia) by Tbilisi State University Students from the Humanities Faculty and curated by Hulya Sakarya and Maia Kutateli.  With partial support from the Title VIII Combined Research Language Training Program of the US Department of State and from the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC).

Exhibit Poster HolidayMoments2010

 

Exhibit Poster.

USA

Workshop: “Anthropologies of the South Caucasus”

April 9, 2010, 10am – 6pm
Harriman Institute, Columbia University

A workshop sponsored by the Harriman Institute, Columbia University, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus.
Click here for the 2010_Columbia_Workshop_Program.
Click here for the 2010_Columbia_Workshop_Flyer.

Comments are closed.