CRRC, ARISC and American Councils are pleased to announce the 5th talk of the Fall 2023 Tbilisi Works-in-Progress series!
The talk will take place online through this Zoom registration link: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMkdeGgqzMpHde4dkd-k0jFt8ctD6PhS1wM
“The Backbone of the Country” and “A Wedge Driven into the Turkic World”: Historical and Geographical Imaginations in Siunik, Armenia, after the Second Karabakh War
Dr. Nareg Seferian
Wednesday, November 1, 2023, at 18:30 Tbilisi time
The Second Karabakh War of 2020 had far-reaching repercussions in the South Caucasus. The province of Siunik (Syunik) in southern Armenia turned into a particularly sensitive space as a result. The new effective political geography of Siunik represents an intersection of competing local, regional, and global interests. The population of Siunik has found itself facing substantial security challenges since 2020, reflected in ideological discourses. Based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Siunik in the autumn of 2021, this talk presents how the people of Siunik situate and explain the threats to the province since the war within broader nationalist narratives. Primordial, romantic readings of history, the prevalence of various cultural tropes in that context, and the celebration of past historical figures are instrumentalised in order to discursively resist the undesirable current circumstances and set expectations for desirable future visions. Those expectations and visions function as coping mechanisms in the face of substantial challenges, often framed as existential threats.
Nareg Seferian received his PhD from the School of Public and International Affairs, Virginia Tech in 2023. His dissertation investigated the perceptions of space and place in Armenia and its province of Siunik in the aftermath of the Second Karabakh War. Seferian served on the faculty of the American University of Armenia between 2013 and 2016 and also taught at Virginia Tech during his doctoral studies between 2019 and 2022.
Works-in-Progress is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place office of CRRC at Chavchavadze Ave. 5 and online. 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.
In observation of the spirit of the Chatham House Rule, the talks will not be recorded, and we courteously request that the other participants refrain from recording and/or distributing recordings as well. The opinions expressed in WiP talks are those of the speakers alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of CRRC, ARISC or of American Councils.