Teaching the South Caucasus: A Workshop for Educators

June 21-25, 2022
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC) in conjunction with the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center’s (REEEC) Summer Research Lab at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign invite applications for the 2022 Teaching the South Caucasus workshop, a five-day forum focusing on curricular development for post-secondary educators, with a priority given to community college and minority serving institutions (CC/MSI).

Often overlooked in Western education, the region of the South Caucasus is not only a current hotspot for adventure tourism and historically a fault zone for international geopolitics, it is also home to unique cultures and diverse geographies. This year’s workshop focuses on the themes of sustainability and internationalization and considers three subtopics: civic and political institutions, climate action, and culture/music/art. The workshop aims to assist educators in integrating the South Caucasus into their coursework through the development of teaching modules with South Caucasus experts.

In a five-day workshop hosted at the University of Illinois participants will engage with topics on the history, societies, politics, environment, and culture of the South Caucasus; participate in pedagogical activities; conduct research at the University of Illinois’ world-renowned library; and workshop individual and group projects. Prior to the workshop participants will propose a module that they would like to develop during the workshop. Participants will work with scholars specializing in the South Caucasus who will give lectures, lead discussions, and provide feedback on participants’ projects. The workshop will also include a session with a UIUC librarian, three nightly films, one from each South Caucasian country, as well as a presentation from a regional film scholar over Zoom.

Presenter-facilitators for the Teaching the South Caucasus workshop include the following experts: Maureen Marshall (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign), Rebecca Mitchell (Middlebury College), Julie George (Queens College, City University of New York), Alyssa Mathias (University of California, Los Angeles), and Jeannine Mitchell (University of Washington). The workshop will also include presentations from a librarian Christopher Condill (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign), and a film scholar Tamta Tatarashvili (Ilia State University).

Program Schedule

Presenters’ Bios

Link to Livestream of Lectures: https://ensemble.illinois.edu/Watch/ARISC2022
Note that only lectures will be livestreamed

  • Tuesday, June 21 8:30-9:00am CDT
    • “Why Teach the South Caucasus?” with Dr. Etuna Tsintsadze-Maass (Old Dominion University)
  • Tuesday, June 21 9:00-9:15am CDT
    • Welcome, with Dr. Maureen E. Marshall (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and ARISC)
  • Tuesday, June 21 1:30-2:30pm CDT
    • Contextualization: Anthropology, with Dr. Maureen E. Marshall (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and ARISC)
  • Wednesday, June 22 9:15-10:15am CDT
    • Contextualization: History, with Dr. Rebecca Mitchell (Middlebury College)
  • Wednesday, June 22 1:00-2:00pm CDT
    • Subtopic: Civic and Political Institutions, with Dr. Julie George (Queens College, City University of New York)
  • Thursday, June 23 9:15-10:15am CDT
    • Subtopic: Climate Action, with Dr. Jeanene Mitchell (University of Washington)
  • Friday, June 24 10:30-11:30am CDT
    • Subtopic: Culture/Music/Art, with Dr. Alyssa Mathias (University of California, Los Angeles)

Information about the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Application Information (note that the application deadline has passed):


The Teaching the South Caucasus workshop (TSC) is open to college and university educators. Priority will be given to educators who teach at community college and minority-serving institutions.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Application Requirements:

Please send the completed application form* and curriculum vitae, by Monday, January 31, 2022, to programs@arisc.org, with the subject, “TSC 2022.”

*The application form needs to be downloaded to be completed. You will need to use Adobe Reader (free) to complete the form using the add text comment tool.

With a grant from the US Department of Education, we are able to reimburse selected participants’ domestic airfare up to $500, ground transportation up to $120, and offer five days of meals and incidentals at the Illinois rate of $32 per day, all within federal and ARISC travel guidelines. ARISC will also arrange lodging for selected participants at UIUC’s campus housing at Presby Hall.

Applications will be prioritized based on the applicant’s qualifications, their ability to incorporate the South Caucasus into their courses, and the significance and impact of incorporating the South Caucasus into their courses.

Applicants who are interested in a longer stay to do research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are welcome to apply to their Summer Research Lab separately. For more information visit the website.

Participants of the 2022 TSC workshop will have priority for consideration to ARISC’s 2023 overseas program, the South Caucasus Overseas Program for Educators (SCOPE). This program offers educators an immersive area studies experience over 10 days in Armenia and Georgia.

Application deadline: January 31, 2022

Organized by Dr. Eteri Tsintsadze-Maass, Dr. Aimee Dobbs, and ARISC Executive Director Talin Lindsay; co-sponsored by ARISC and REEEC; supported with a grant from the US Department of Education Title VI AORC and NRC programs and the Ralph and Ruth Fisher endowment at REEEC.

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