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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Students following this semester’s course “Caucasus Field and Case Studies” are returning from fieldwork. The course includes individual project work and students are encouraged to conduct this in the Caucasus region.
The photo to the left shows Shane, returning from Tbilisi (with his family), where he was studing the 2015 flooding catastrophy that, among other things, effected the city zoo and nearby areas.
Clayton (to the right) selected the North Caucasian republic of Ingushetia as his fieldwork site (holding the republic’s flag on the photo).
Björn went to the Black Sea city of Batumi in Georgia to conduct his study, and is seen with some of the city’s spectacular modern buildings.
Read more about the course: http://edu.mah.se/en/Course/IM115L
A memorial conference celebrating the 130 anniversary of Prof. Akaki Shanidze, one of the most prominent specialists on the Georgian language, was organized at Tbilisi State University on February 27-28. link
A joint paper by Maka Tetradze – former visiting PhD candidate to Malmö University – and Karina Vamling was included in the program and book of abstracts: https://www.tsu.ge/data/image_db_innova/shanidze.programa.Tezisebi.pdf
ჰანს ფოგტის ქართველოლოგიურიკვლევის დასაწყისი და აკაკი შანიძე (p. 12). The topic of the paper is Hans Vogt’s early kartvelological studies and Akaki Shanidze.
Katrine Gotfredsen, Senior lecturer in Caucasus Studies (Malmö University), is giving the paper “Soviet, National, Local? Representations and perceptions of Joseph Stalin as a political and cultural figure in Gori” at the colloquium Representations and Identities in Georgia in the 19th and 20th Centuries.
February 15-17, 2017. Historisches Kolleg, München.
In this paper, I explore official attempts at re-signifying Stalin in his birth-town Gori in order to tally with post Rose Revolution political visions and re-assessments of the (national) past. Based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in 2010 and 2011, and drawing on the case of the removal of the Stalin Monument and an effort to reframe the town’s Stalin Museum, I flesh out some of the local responses and attitudes to this effort, and to Stalin as a political and cultural figure in a wider sense.
The volume is based on the 2014 International CUA Conference on Endangered Languages, organized by the Caucasus University Association (CUA) at Ardahan University, Turkrey. Prof. Karina Vamling, Malmö University, contributes with an article on Megrelian.
Read more about the publication:
A workshop was held on November 24-25 at the Section for Caucasus Studies (Malmö University), with support from the research platform RUCARR. The focus of the workshop was to discuss perspectives on fieldwork in the Caucasus during the period shortly before and after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Participants in the workshop were (photo, from the left) Märta-Lisa Magnusson, Søren Theisen, Lars Funch Hansen, Helen Krag and Karina Vamling, who all conducted research in different parts of the Caucasus during this period of transition (Ib Faurby and Vibeke Sperling were not present at the workshop).