Virtual talk on Viticulture Vocality in Georgia

Viticultural Vocality: Mapping the official and non-official “Wine Routes” in Georgia

Rikki Brown

University of California, Santa Cruz and ARISC Fellow

Magda Rukhadze

Tbilisi State University, Project Mentee

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

5:00-6:30PM Tbilisi Time / 9:00-10:30AM EDT

The talk will be held via Zoom. To register:

Georgia’s “Wine Route” is a state-sponsored initiative that places brown placards along roads and in front of wineries to encourage and promote wine tourism. This summer, Rikki and Magda spent two months tracing the Wine Route and examining how this state project impacts local wine economies. They ask who is included and who is excluded from these projects, for what reason, and what are the impacts of these state programs. Focusing primarily on the regions of Kakheti and Bolnisi, this talk will summarize summer field work and explore themes that have arisen so far. Research on the Wine Route is part of Rikki’s dissertation project that examines the confluence of wine, politics, land, and forms of sovereignty in Georgia.

Rikki is a Ph.D. candidate in Cultural Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research is interested in the intersection between Georgia’s wine economy, geopolitics (specifically in relation to Russia), and cultural heritage. She has been conducting fieldwork in Georgia since 2019, and her research has been supported by the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus, American Councils for International Education, the National Science Foundation, and an upcoming Fulbright-Hays Dissertation Research Grant. She is the recipient of an ARISC Research and Mentoring Fellowship. Funding for this fellowship is provided by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) through a grant to the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC).

Magda Rukhadze is a Master’s student of Sociology at Tbilisi State University. Magda is interested in research activities and is actively involved in scientific conferences. The main focus of her research is young people and their problems. Two of her studies were published in international peer-reviewed journals. For her scientific achievements, she was named the best scientific student by the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences. She participated in the ARISC Research and Mentoring Fellowship as a mentee of Rikki Brown.

This talk is organized as a part of the ARISC Event Series that showcases the work of ARISC fellows. ARISC does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, physical or mental disability, medical condition, ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or status as a covered veteran.