WiP: “Geopolitics, Terroir, and Wine: Imperial Histories of Winemaking and Their Contemporary Counterparts”

CRRC, ARISC and American Councils are pleased to announce the 6th talk of the Spring 2023 Tbilisi Works-in-Progress series!

This week’s WiP session will take place in hybrid format in-person at CRRC Georgia and virtually via this Zoom link: https://us06web.zoom.us/…/tZclcu6prjooHNbT0eorYt9s1trqw…

“Geopolitics, Terroir, and Wine: Imperial Histories of Winemaking and Their Contemporary Counterparts”

Rikki Brown, UC Santa Cruz

Date: 12 April 2023, at 18:30 Tbilisi time

Rikki is interested in Georgia’s relationship with imperial histories of winemaking, particularly the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union, and how current-day winemakers engage with these histories while reconfiguring their own market relationships towards the West. This WiP session will briefly set some current geopolitical context, then shift into histories of cartography and land reconfiguration, with a specific lens on mapping as a form of territoriality and how imperial projects have reconfigured Georgian vineyard land. She juxtaposes this historical context with oral histories from contemporary winemakers alongside their own current-day practices to understand how winemakers relate to their wine histories under imperialism. As a stepping stone to her dissertation, Rikki is hoping to use this space to think through some of the intersections between historical and contemporary winemaking practices, paying particular attention to forms of resistance – both from the land and humans – as well as how imperial influence has shaped the land, winemaking, and the enactment of winemaking identities.

Rikki Brown is a PhD candidate in Socio-Cultural Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is currently conducting fieldwork here in Georgia on the domestic wine economy in relation to historical and contemporary geopolitics, specifically with Russia, and is a fellow of the American Councils Title VIII Combined Research and Language Training Program.

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Works-in-Progress is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place office of CRRC at Liziko Kavtaradze St. 1 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.