2021 is a year of multiple anniversaries in Georgia. It marks one hundred years since the Bolsheviks crushed the independent Georgian Republic in February 1921 and thirty years since Georgia became independent again after the collapse of the Soviet Union. This year’s British Georgian Society Annual Cambridge Seminar will focus on the path that Georgia has travelled since 1991.
A panel of eminent specialists from Georgia and the USA – Zaal Andronikashvili, Nutsa Batiashvili, and Stephen Jones– will give us their thoughts on the lessons Georgia has learned over thirty tumultuous years. A discussion with the audience will follow moderated by Dr Hubertus Jahn.
The seminar will take place via Zoom on Friday, 25th June, at 14:00 BST. Registration via email to email@example.com by 23 June is essential, and you will receive the zoom link. Panelists:Zaal Andronikashvili is research fellow at the Centre for Literary and Cultural Studies in Berlin and Professor at Ilia State University in Tbilisi. His research focusses on narratology, meta-history of literature, minor literature(s) and world literature, cultural semantics, political theology, the cultural history of Georgia as well as Soviet and post-Soviet cultural history. He is the author of Die Erzeugung des dramatischen Textes. Ein Beitrag zur Theorie des Sujets (2008) and Landna(h)me Georgien. Studien zur kulturellen Semantik (co-edited with Emzar Jgerenaia and Franziska Thun-Hohenstein, 2018). He is currently working on a new book with the title Literature in Georgia: between small literature and world literature.
Nutsa Batiashvili is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Dean of the Graduate School at the Free University of Tbilisi. Previously she was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oxford, School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies. Her recent book, The bivocal nation: memory and identity on the edge of empire (2018), is about Georgia as a divided nation. It explains divisions and polarization as a form of cultural imagination. Her current research is situated at the intersection of cultural anthropology and the studies of nationalism, memory, and post-Soviet transformations.
Stephen Jones is Professor of Russian Studies and Chair of Russian and Eurasian Studies at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. He is an expert on post-communist societies in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe with a particular focus on Georgia. He is also a member of the Georgian Academy of Sciences and he regularly advises the US government on current events in the Caucasus. Among his many publications are Socialism in Georgian Colors: The European Road to Social Democracy, 1883–1917 (2005), Georgia: A Political History Since Independence (2012), and The Making of Modern Georgia, 1918-2012: The First Georgian Republic and its Successors (2014).
Hubertus Jahn is Reader in the History of Russia and the Caucasus in the Faculty of History at the University of Cambridge. He is also a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and a Senior Fellow of the Historisches Kolleg in Munich. Jahn holds a PhD from Georgetown University and a second higher doctorate from the University of Erlangen in Germany. He has taught at universities in the USA, Germany, and the UK. His research covers much of Russian history, with a focus on social and cultural aspects, as well as the history of Georgia and the South Caucasus. His current project explores the imperial scenarios and aesthetic representations of the Russian Empire in Georgia in the 19th century. Among his many publications are the monographs Patriotic Culture in Russia during World War I, a study of patriotic manifestations in Russian cultural life during the First World War, and Armes Russland: Bettler und Notleidende in der russischen Geschichte vom Mittelalter bis in die Gegenwart, an interdisciplinary study of begging and poverty in Russia from the Middle Ages to the present. He regularly guides Oxbridge alumni tours through Georgia and splits his life between Cambridge and Tbilisi.