Presentation of a new book by Manana Kobaidze

Manana Kobaidze, Senior Lecturer in Georgian at Caucasus Studies, Malmö University, had a presentation on November 5 of her book of poems “axali agvist’o” (Publ. Intelekti). This is a collection of Manana’s poetry from different periods. Congratulations to the new book!

The presentation took place in the Tbilisi bookstore “Shakro Babua (below, photos: Nino Kobaidze).

 

Conference in Nalchik for Prof. Mukhadin A. Kumakhov

The memorial conference “Caucasian Philology – Perspectives and History” was organised in Nalchik on October 19 on the occasion of Prof. M.A. Kumakhov’s 90th birthday. So many former colleagues and friends gathered at the meeting organized by the Institute of Studies in the Humanities at the Research Center of Kabardino-Balkaria, Russian Academy of Sciences. Prof. Kumakhov was originally from Nalchik but worked most of his professional career at the Institute of Linguistics at the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow and was an associate of the Institute in Nalchik and supervisor of many members of its staff.

The conference was attended by many presenters from Kabardino-Balkaria but also Adygeya, Karachaevo-Cherkessia, Abkhazia and others. The conference was opened by Director Kasbolat Dzamikhov and Prof Boris Bizhoev. Prof. Karina Vamling, Malmö University, who had a close and fruitful collaboration with Prof. Kumakhov during many years, gave the prenary presentation О зарубежной научной деятельности профессора Мухадина А. Кумахова (Professor M.A. Kumakhov’s academic visits and work abroad).

 

Visit to the University of Kabardino-Balkaria

University of Kabardino-Balkaria (KBSU) is one of the major universities in Russian North Caucasus and the State University of the Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria.

Prof. Karina Vamling, Malmö University, had meetings with Rector of KBSU, Professor Yuri K. Altudov and colleagues at the Department of Kabardian language and literature. She visited the sections for language and culture of the three main ethnic groups of the Republic – the Kabardians, Balkars and Russians. At the Kabardian section Prof. Madina Ezaova showed a Kabardian ethnographic exhibition prepared by the students. The final meeting during the visit to KBSU was with students of Kabardian Philology, including a musical performance of Kabardian songs and a declamation in Kabardian.

Take a virtual tour of the https://eng.kbsu.ru/3d-tour-virtual-tour/

Caucasus Studies at Frankfurt Book Fair

New publication – Basque–Georgian-Russian Dictionary

Congratulations to Dr. Revaz Tchantouria, Caucasus Studies at Malmö University, who has published a Basque–Georgian-Russian Dictionary. The book was on display at the Frankfurt Book Fair October 11-14, 2018, in a series of dictionaries published by Saba Publishers, Tbilisi. The Basque-Georgian-Russian Dictionary is edited by Prof. Merab Chukhua and has been published with kind support from Prof Marina Beridze. At the 2018 Frankfurt Book Fair, Georgia was the “Guest of Honour”, and  books from Georgia were widely exhibited at the Fair.

Apart from the trilingual dictionary, the Basque–Georgian-Russian Dictionary includes a grammar sketch of Basque and a Georgian index.

 

Kartvelological Congress at the Georgian Academy of Sciences

On September 26-29 the Georgian Academy of Sciences organized the II International Kartvelological Congress, celebrating ‘100 years of Tbilisi State University’, with sections on language, history, archeology, literature, art etc. It was opened by the President of the Academy, Prof. Giorgi Kvesitadze.

pptProf. Karina Vamling, Malmö University, gave the plenary presentation: ‘A Swedish travelogue from a journey to Georgia in 1920’ about the book Min dotters bröllopsresa till Kaukasien (My daughter’s wedding trip to the Caucasus, in Swedish) by Hugo Wachtmeister.

Two presentations  that could be mentioned from the Linguistics’ session were given by Prof. Alice C. Harris (Massachusetts, USA): ‘Why Linguists Love the Georgian Language’ and Dr Alessandro Maria Bruni ( Venice, Italy): The Old Georgian tradition of the book of Esther and its value for the criticism of the Bible’.

Visit to TSU Department of Caucasology

During Tbilisi University’s Anniversary conference, Prof. Karina Vamling and Dr. Revaz Tchantouria, Malmö University, were invited to meet Head of Department, Prof. Tsira Baramidze, and other colleagues at the Department of Caucasology.

Congratulations to Tbilisi State University – 100 years

Tbilisi State University, named after Ivane Javakhishvili, one of its founders, recently celebrated its 100th anniversary. The establishment of a Georgian national university in 1918 during the short period of independence after the Russian revolution and before the Bolshevik takeover was of huge importance for the development of science and culture in Georgia.

 

 

 

Tbilisi online & campus seminar Nov 1-3

On November 1-3 students from Malmö University, Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University and Flinders University (Adelaide, Australia) conducted an online and campus seminar, broadcasted from Tbilisi State University. This was a collaborative event for students from Caucasus Studies and Communication for development (Malmö University), Development studies (Flinders University) together with MA students from the Faculty of Social and Political Studies at Tbilisi State University. Ten Malmö students participated in the seminar in Tbilisi together with Georgian students and other students participated online, including all Australian students. From the Swedish side several members of staff came to Tbilisi for the seminar: Oscar Hemer, Karina Vamling, Hugo Boothby, Tobias Denskus, Katrine Gotfredsen, Mikael Rundberg, Anders Høg Hansen. The group was accompanied by Dean of the Faculty of Culture and Society, Rebecka Lettevall (Malmö University), and visual storyteller Conor Ashleigh.

The thematic focus of the three day seminar was Georgia’s separatist conflicts, and in particular the South Ossetian/Tskhinvali conflict, and the challenges the internally displaced persons (IDPs) are facing. The seminar included academic lectures and presentations from representatives of NGOs and other organisations, such as European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) and Civil Forum. In addition to the seminar students and staff visited an IDP settlement outside Gori close to the conflict zone.

 

Visit to Batumi University

On October 26 Malmö University researchers Karina Vamling, Jean Hudson and Revaz Tchantouria visited Batumi Shota Rustaveli University (https://bsu.edu.ge/). During the contact visit they met with colleagues Lali Tavadze at the Dept. of European Studies,  Rector’s advisor Revaz Diasamidze at the Dept. of Public Affairs and Political Studies and Nino Dolidze, Head of Press Service of Batumi University.

 

 

Creating a documentary film about the last speaker of Ubykh

Tevfik Esenç, the last fluent speaker of Ubykh, and prof. Hans Vogt of Oslo University, could hardly have imagined during their fieldwork in Norway in 1959 that their grandson and son would meet in Oslo almost 60 years later to talk about their fieldwork on Ubykh….

 

Burcu and Burak Esenç, Tevfik Esenç’s granddaughter and grandson, are following in their grandfather’s footsteps, gathering materials and memories related to Ubykh and its last speaker. This is part of creating a documentary film. The Turkish film team has already visited Paris, focusing on Georges Dumezil’s work on Ubykh.

The team recently visited Oslo, which included a meeting and interview with Karina Vamling, professor of Caucasus Studies at Malmö University (photo below: Burak and Burcu to the left, Karina to the right).

The North-West Caucasian language Ubykh, well-known to linguists for its uniquely high number of consonants, became extinct in Turkey in 1992 with the death of its last speaker, Tevfik Esenç. He had learned the language from his grandparents, who were among the Ubykhs who were forced into exile in the mid 1860s when their lands on the Caucasian Black Sea coast had been conquered by the Russian Empire after fierce resistance.