Lars Funch Hansen defended his PhD thesis on the Circassians

larsLars Funch Hansen defended his PhD thesis circThe Circassian Revival: a quest for recognition on October 23 at the Department of Crosscultural communication and Regianal studies, Copenhagen University. The thesis focuses on the Circassians, a North Caucasian people that fiercely resisted the conquering of their lands by the Russian Empire in the 19th century. Following their final defeat in 1864, most Circassians were forced into exile and today their descendants live in large diaspora groups in Turkey and neighbouring countries in the Middle East.

IMG_2277Having been the focus of the Russian and Western European romantic imagination in the 19th century, in the 20th century the Circassians fell into nearly complete oblivion. In Soviet times the remaining small Circassian communities in the North Caucasus were divided into Adygs, Cherkess and Kabardians. Having lived in authoritarian societies with restrictive minority policies over several generations, in recent decades Circassians
have been experiencing a revival which comprises the main focus of the thesis. Lars Funch Hansen sets out to explore the conditions of this revival and the ways in which Circassians both in the North Caucasus and in the diaspora are being mobilized to participate in it. In the author’s own words, the main aim of the thesis is “to unveil, present and discuss the rising transnational revival of the Circassians” (p.9) which emerged in the mid-1990s and continues today.

Photo: Supervisor Helen Krag giving a speech to Lars Funch Hansen at the reception after the defence

PhD Committee:
– Ildikó Bellér-Hann, Associate Professor, ToRS, University of Copenhagen (Head of PhD Committee)
– Wulf  Köpke, Professor, Direktor des Museums für Völkerkunde, Hamburg
– Karina Vamling, Professor of Caucasus Studies,  Malmö University



Photo to the left: Lars Funch Hansen and the 1810 map of the Caucasus, presented to him by Helen Krag 

De-facto Entities in the Post-Soviet Space: Dynamics and Prospects

Web/campus seminar

At our third webseminar this semester Märta-Lisa Magnusson mlm– based on a paper presented at the international conference “De-facto Entities in the Post-Soviet Space: Dynamics and Prospects”, Sevan, Armenia, Sept. 4-5 – will discuss the different outcome in terms of political status obtained by post-Soviet Abkhazia, Chechnya, Nagorno-Karabakh and South Ossetia. 

The web-seminar on October 22 starts at 16.15 (Studio at Kranen). Welcome!

Link to the seminar

The international conference ‘De-facto Entities in the Post-Soviet Space: Dynamics and Prospects’ was organized by Caucasus Institute (CI) Yerevan, Armenia  (




The Circassian Revival: A Quest for Recognition

circThe Circassian Revival: A Quest for Recognition. Mediated transnational mobilisation and memoralisation among a geographically dispersed people from the Caucasus is the title of the PhD thesis that will be defended by Lars Funch Hansen on October 23, 13.00 at the Faculty of Humanities, Copenhagen University.

Lars Funch is known to Caucasus Studies students from lecturing at the course module “The Caucasus region: Causes and consequences of migration”.


1st International CUA Conference on Endangered Languages

img389Professor Karina Vamling participates in the 1st International Caucasus University Association (CUA) Conference on Endangered Languages, organized in Ardahan, Turkey, by Caucasus University Association, Ardahan University. Dates: October 13-16, 2014.

The title of her paper is “Internet as a tool for language development and maintenance?”, where she discusses Megrelian as a case in point.

Read more:

The video below shows very short climpses from the different papers with a focus on languages of the Caucasus, presented at the conference.