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.
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).
Maka Tetradze, PhD Candidate at Chikobava Institute of Linguistics and visiting researcher at Malmö University, and Prof. Karina Vamling (Malmö University) have visited archives in Oslo, an active center for research on the languages of the Caucasus in the mid 1920s up to the beginning of the 1980s. For several decades the Institute for Comparative Research in Human Culture in Oslo hosted a programme on Caucasology. The most prominent researchers were prof. Hans Vogt (1903-1986), Alf Sommerfelt (1892-1965) and later Fridrik Thordarson (1928-2005), who were also working at Oslo University. Prof. Hans Vogt is most known as the author of “Dictionnaire de la langue oubykh” (1963) and “Grammaire de la langue géorgienne” (1971), whereas Prof. Alf Sommerfelt focused on North-East Caucasian Languages and Fridrik Thordarson devoted most of his research to Ossetic.
Abkhaz is one of the languages targeted in the research project LUNDIC “Lund Digital Atlas of Language and Culture” (http://project2.sol.lu.se/lundic/). Prof. Teimuraz Gvantseladze at the Institute for Abkhazology, Sokhumi State University (Georgia) http://sou.edu.ge/index.php discusses the process of data collection and the upcoming workshop with prof. Karina Vamling.
We often think about the Caucasus as the crossroads of Asia and Europe. Add another ancient road to this: Africa! At archealogical excavations in Dmanisi 1.75 million years old Hominid remains have been discovered. (reconstructions below).
A unique project in Abkhazalogy was presented at Sokhumi State University, Tbilisi, on November 6. The aim of the project is to create an electronic library of Abkhaz literature published mainly after 1991 on the Abkhaz language, grammars and dictionaries, as well as works on Abkhaz archeology, history, ethnography, folklore, literature and other areas of the Humanities. The project is funded jointly by UNDP and EU (COBERM).
Project leader is professor Teimuraz Gvanceladze (photo above, to the right), a prominent specialist on the Abkhaz language and Director of the Institute of Abkhaz Language and Culture at Sokhumi University. Co-workers in the project are both Abkhaz and Georgien scholars: Dr. Rezo Kacia, Dr. Gvanca Gvanceladze, Dr. Tamar Gitolendia and Sofiko Chaava. The research team has already started their work and at the project site around 60 pubications are already available: www.abkhazovedenie.com.
The project presentation was covered by the Abkhaz team of the news program Moabe, 2TV (Meore Arkhi), November 7. In the clip below professor Teimuraz Gvanceladze tells about the project and, as one of the foreign guests at the presentation, professor Karina Vamling, Malmö University (Sweden), gives her views and comments on the importance of the project. The program is broadcasted in the Abkhaz language.
Contacts and international exchange – Sokhumi University and Malmö University
Today, on November 15, the central Rose Square and Rustaveli Avenue i Tbilsi, were closed for traffic. From the morning police vehicles and hundreds, or most probably several thousand, policemen lined up along the avenue, blocking off side-streets. By 3 o’clock the square was packed with demonstrators, gathering with flags and banners. Among the Georgian flags were many EU flags, US and UK flags, Ukrainian flags. The banners carried slogans such as “Stop Russia”, “Russian troops – get out of Georgia”.
The rally is a protest against “Russia’s occupation” of Georgia’s breakaway regions. It is organized by the opposition party United National Movement, which criticises the current Georgian government for not being sufficiently active in countering this development.