Graduate Fellowship, The American Research Institute of the South Caucasus

The American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC) announces the availability of US graduate fellowships in support of research in the South Caucasus (Armenia, Georgia, and/or Azerbaijan). Awards will be made for a maximum of $1500 each. Projects in all fields in the social sciences and humanities are eligible. Proposals will be judged on their quality and on the potential of the research to strengthen scholarship on the Southern Caucasus. The purpose of the fellowship is to help cover travel to and/or living expenses in the Southern Caucasus. During his/her stay in the Southern Caucasus, the fellow is expected to give an ARISC sponsored presentation on a subject related to his/her research. The fellow will acknowledge ARISC in any publication that emerges from the research carried during the fellowship.

Application requirements: Please send a complete application including the application form, a project statement of not more than 3 pages, work schedule, budget, curriculum vitae, and two letters of recommendation by January 15, 2011 to All information must be received by January 15, 2011 in order for the applicant to be considered for the fellowship.

Please see for the full description of the fellowship as well as the application form.

Conflict Resolution in the South Caucasus, Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution, George Mason University


May 27th– June 5th, 2011    3 CREDITS    $3695 w/o Airfare

DESCRIPTION: This exciting new program brings you to the heart of conflict in the South Caucasus. The course will take place in Tbilisi, Georgia with lectures by a variety of specialists, including academics and practitioners.  Formal sessions are complemented by various site visits, governmental and non-governmental, to encourage a more comprehensive understanding of the multifaceted issues affecting societies in conflict.

The program aims to provide context for understanding the change that the South Caucasus has experienced during the past years, opportunities for understanding conflict tensions surrounding inter-community relations, and the aftermath of wars involving South Ossetians, Abkhaz, Russians, and Georgians, as well as the conflict over Karabakh. Related dynamics in the North Caucasus and globally will also be considered.

Dr. Susan Allen NanINSTRUCTOR: Dr. Susan Allen Nan will lead this program.  Dr. Nan is a scholar-practitioner of conflict resolution whose main focus is on the South Caucasus. She also works on evaluating conflict resolution initiatives and community conflict resolution approaches. She has engaged long-term in conflict resolution in Eurasia, as well as contributing to a variety of initiatives in Eastern Europe.

APPLICATION PROCESS: In order to be eligible for the course in the Caucasus,  participants must submit a CV (or resume), a personal statement of no more than one page explaining why they want to participate  and a photocopy of their passport to Program Director, Bram Houben at



Program fee includes double-occupancy hotel lodging; daily breakfast; most other meals; in-country ground transportation; airport transfer; emergency evacuation insurance; pre-departure orientation; cultural excursions; course trainers and speakers costs; Tuition for 3 Credits (CONF 399*/695); but NOT international airfare. 

ELIGIBILITY: Conflict Resolution in the South Caucasus is open to all Mason and Non-Mason bachelors, Ms and Ph.D students as a 3 credit course and to non-students as a professional development seminar.  Mason students can take the course as CONF 385*/399*/695  (Other options may be available – check with your advisor).

*Please check with your advisor

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Master Students graduating in the Spring 0f 2011 are still eligible to walk during the May Graduation Ceremony while enrolled in this class.


Call for Papers: The Black Sea region in XXI century, North Caucasus Research Institute, Abstract Deadline December 25

On June 15 – 19, 2011 the International scientific conference «The Black Sea region in XXI century: socio-economic development and interregional interactions in the globalization context» will take place on the base of the Southern Federal University in Rostov-on-Don.

Conference organizers: North Caucasus Research Institute of Economic and Social problems of the Southern Federal University; Centre of Geopolitical Studies of the Institute of Geography of the Russian Academy of Sciences; Center for Mediterranean and Black Sea Studies of the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

The conference is expected to be held with an active assistance and support of the Institute of Economics and Foreign Economic Relations of the Southern Federal University, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), Council of Investigating Production Forces (CIPF), International Geographical Union, and also Association of Russian  Geographers and Social Scientists.

Within the framework of the conference it is planned to hold plenary meetings and round-table discussion in the following directions:

– The Black Sea Region unity and inner borders: natural environmental, historical, cultural and economic characteristic.

– Regionalization in the Black Sea region countries: does the Black Sea identity exist?

– The Black Sea region as a new junction of geostrategic, political and economic problems and conflicts. Potential for cooperation and conflicts in the Black Sea region in the globalization context: regional and external forces. Complication of the geopolitical situation in the Black Sea region: new and old participants (actors).

– «The Black Sea vector» of EU, USA, NATO, Russia policy. Similarities and differences of strategic aims and methods used at the Mediterranean and the Black Sea region.

– The place of the Caucasus in the system of economic, cultural, geopolitical relations in the Black Sea region.

– Factors, mechanisms and prospects of the Russia South regions integration in the system of economic, demographic and cultural interactions in the Black Sea region.

– Priority directions and basic mechanisms of the Black Sea region countries cooperation in the globalization and regionalization context.


Applications (with stating your work status) and proposals in English not exceeding 300 characters (with doubling in Russian for Russian-speaking participants): December 25, 2010

Conference invitations: March 1, 2011

Papers in English not exceeding 20000 characters (with doubling in Russian for Russian-speaking participants) for publication by the beginning of the conference: April 1, 2011

Please send proposals and applications for the conference to the conference organizing committee secretariat

Conference working languages:

English, Russian

Conference organizing committee co-chairs

Aleksandr Druzhinin,

D.S. in Geography, prof., the head of the North Caucasus Research Institute of Economic and Social Problems of the SFU, Rostov-on-Don,

Vladimir Kolosov,

D.S. in Geography, professor, the head of the Centre of Geopolitical Studies of the Institute of Geography of the RAS, Moscow

Alla Yazkova, D.S. in History,

prof., the head of the Centre for Mediterranean and Black Sea Studies of the Institute of Europe of the RAS, Moscow

“The Political Machine: Sense, Sensibility and Sentiment in the Late Bronze Age South Caucasus,” Adam T. Smith, May 24


Adam T. Smith

Associate Professor
Department Anthropology
University of Chicago

Speaking on

“The Political Machine: Sense, Sensibility and Sentiment
in the Late Bronze Age South Caucasus”

Monday, May 24,  3:30 pm  Haskell 315 (5836 S. Greenwood Ave)

Call for Papers: “Imagining Freedom, Negotiating Dominion,” University of St. Andrews, Deadline: March 1

**This is an updated call for papers. The deadline has been extended to March 1 thanks to additional funding from the British Academy***



Organised by:
The Centre for Russian, Soviet and Central and Eastern European Studies,
University of St Andrews; supported by CRCEES.

The Centre for Russian, Soviet and Central and Eastern European Studies at
the University of St Andrews will dedicate its annual conference to the
history, culture, politics, and regional and international security of the

The Caucasus Mountains mark the transition point between Europe and Asia,
and it is this geographical position that has largely defined the history of
the region. As a meeting place between East and West, it retains many of the
signs of cross-cultural influence, as well as the scars of past conflicts.
Due to its intermediary location, scholarly discussion of the area has often
been overdetermined by the nations and cultural traditions surrounding it.
The aim of this conference is to look at the Caucasus as it appears in the
cultural imaginations of those nations and empires with which its historical
life has been inextricably intertwined, and to compare such views with the
self-understanding and experience of the diverse national traditions of
which it is comprised. By juxtaposing perceptions of the Caucasus from
without with those from within we hope to arrive at a more nuanced picture
of the region in the cultural and political landscape of the twenty-first
century. We invite paper proposals from young and established scholars in
the humanities and social sciences in the following strands:

•        Caucasian self-identity
•        The Caucasus as a place of foreign imagining (particularly in Russia and the Near and Middle East)
•        Geopolitics and the Soviet legacy
•        Imperial history and cultural domination
•        Religion and ecumenical developments
•        Language, translation and cultural exchange
•        Sustainable development and environmental thought
•        Energy and pipeline politics
•        Conflicts and peace negotiations
•        The roles of NGOs and intergovernmental organizations
•        The August 2008 war and its aftermath
•        Prospects for regional integration

Among confirmed keynote speakers:

—His Excellency Fakhraddin Gurbanov, Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan
—Professor B. George Hewitt (SOAS), ‘The Georgian-Abkhazian Conflict: A Non-Conventional View’
—Professor Donald Rayfield (Royal Holloway) on ‘Processes since the end of the USSR: A Pattern since Antiquity?’
—Professor John Russell (Bradford), ‘Peace after Protracted Conflict: Lessons from Chechnya for the North Caucasus and Beyond’


Deadline for Submission: 1 March 2010.

(i) Individual proposals
Should be of 300-400 words, and must be in English. Please also supply a
short bio-bibliographical statement. Individual proposals should be
submitted electronically to Dr Claire Whitehead at:

(ii) Panel proposals
We particularly welcome proposals for interdisciplinary panels covering two
or more strands, or more than one Caucasian country. One proposal (in
English) of 400-500 words, and including each paper title, should be
submitted electronically to Dr Claire Whitehead at:
Please also supply a short bio-bibliographical statement for each proposed
speaker and individual paper abstracts as above.

REGISTRATION (including refreshments and Saturday conference lunch):  £40
graduate students; £50 academics.

There may be a limited number of travel and accommodation subsidies
available for the conference. Participants are asked to contact the centre
directly when registering.

Publication of conference papers. The Centre intends to publish a fully
refereed collection of contributions from the conference. Selected authors
will be asked to expand their conference papers into article-length pieces
for consideration for this publication.

Conference Committee:
Rick Fawn; Emily Finer; Oliver Smith; Claire Whitehead (director of centre)

New Spring Quarter Course: “History of the Caucasus,” Michael Khodarkovsky

Spring Quarter Course

History of the Caucasus, HIST 25806/35806, INST 25806, NELC 20702/30702

Instructor: Michael Khodarkovsky
Wednesdays,  3:00-5:50 p.m.


This course examines the history of the region, which for centuries remained a meeting point of several world religions and civilization. We will consider some of the following issues: How did the Caucasus, a quintessential frontier region, become a contested borderland of the Russian, Ottoman and Persian empires? How and why did the region evolve into one of the most politically unstable regions in the world? Who are the peoples behind the news headlines: the Chechens, the Circassians and other peoples of the North Caucasus? Why are the countries of the Southern Caucasus, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan, locked in a state of seemingly permanent hostilities with each other or their neighbors? Is there a conceptual framework that binds the peoples of the region together? And finally, how does the history of the region contribute to our understanding of the issues of identity, empire and state-formation?

Anthro. Dept. Seminar Series: “The Social Life of Shrines in the Contemporary Caucasus,” Bruce Grant (NYU), February 8


Bruce Grant

Associate Professor of Anthropology
New York University

speaking on

“The Social Life of Shrines in the Contemporary Caucasus”

Monday, February 8,  3:30 pm  Haskell 315

Here is some background information

BA               1985     McGill (Anthropology)
PhD              1993    Rice (Anthropology)

2004-05  Member, School of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton

Interests:  Former Soviet Union, Siberia, Caucasus; Azerbaijan; (post-) Soviet nationality policies; expressive culture; state culture; nationalism; shamanism; Islam; historiography; cinema; modernism; histories of anthropology

Selected Publications

1995    In the Soviet House of Culture: A Century of Perestroikas. Princeton U Press. (Winner of the 1996 American Ethnological Society Prize for Best Book in Anthropology by a First Author.)

2009  The Captive and the Gift: Cultural Histories of Sovereignty in Russia and the Caucasus, Cornell U Press

2007   “Brides, Brigands, and Fire-Bringers: Notes Toward a Historical Ethnography of Pluralism,” IN Grant and Yalcim-Heckman, eds, Caucasus Paradigms, 47-74.

2005  “The Good Russian Prisoner: Naturalizing Violence in the Caucasus Mountains,” Cultural Anthropology 20(1): 39-67

2004  “An Average Azeri Village (1930),” Slavic Review 63(4) 705-731

2001  “New Moscow Monuments, or, States of Innocence,” American Ethnologist 28(2): 332-362.

1999  “The Return of the Repressed: Conversations with Three Russian Entrepreneurs,” in G. Marcus, ed., Paranoia within Reason: A Casebook on Conspiracy as Explanation, U Chicago Press, 241-267

1997  “Empire and Savagery: The Politics of Primitivism in Late Imperial Russia,” in Brower & Lazzerini, eds., Russia’s Orient: Imperial Borderlands and Peoples, 1700-1917. Indiana U Press 292-310

1993  “Dirges for Soviets Passed: Conversations with Six Russian Writers,” In G. Marcus, ed., Perilous States: Conversations on Culture, Politics, and Nation, U Chicago Press, 17-51

1993  “Siberia Hot and Cold: Reconstructing the Image of Siberian Indigenous Peoples,” in Diment & Slezkine, eds., Between Heaven and Hell: The Myth of Siberia in Russian Culture. St. Martin’s Press, 227-253.

“Terror in Chechnya: Russia and the Tragedy of Civilians in War,” from Princeton University Press

Terror in Chechnya

Terror in Chechnya

Terror in Chechnya is the definitive account of Russian war crimes in Chechnya. Emma Gilligan provides a comprehensive history of the second Chechen conflict of 1999 to 2005, revealing one of the most appalling human rights catastrophes of the modern era–one that has yet to be fully acknowledged by the international community. Drawing upon eyewitness testimony and interviews with refugees and key political and humanitarian figures, Gilligan tells for the first time the full story of the Russian military’s systematic use of torture, disappearances, executions, and other punitive tactics against the Chechen population.

In Terror in Chechnya, Gilligan challenges Russian claims that civilian casualties in Chechnya were an unavoidable consequence of civil war. She argues that racism and nationalism were substantial factors in Russia’s second war against the Chechens and the resulting refugee crisis. She does not ignore the war crimes committed by Chechen separatists and pro-Moscow forces. Gilligan traces the radicalization of Chechen fighters and sheds light on the Dubrovka and Beslan hostage crises, demonstrating how they undermined the separatist movement and in turn contributed to racial hatred against Chechens in Moscow.

A haunting testament of modern-day crimes against humanity, Terror in Chechnya also looks at the international response to the conflict, focusing on Europe’s humanitarian and human rights efforts inside Chechnya.

Emma Gilligan is assistant professor of Russian history and human rights at the University of Connecticut. She is the author of Defending Human Rights in Russia: Sergei Kovalyov, Dissident and Human Rights Commissioner, 1969-2003.


“This book constitutes a major step forward in the study of war crimes and human rights violations during the second Russo-Chechen war. In Gilligan’s view, the principal objective of the Russian leadership was the subjugation and punishment of the Chechen populace. Her book is unprecedented in scope. Henceforth, those interested in this subject will turn first to this volume as a treasure trove of information.”–John B. Dunlop, author of Russia Confronts Chechnya

“This is an important study of the human rights disaster that befell the people of Chechnya in the wake of renewed warfare between Russian armed forces and the breakaway republic in 1999. Terror in Chechnya, is a valuable contribution to our understanding of a long-neglected human rights tragedy.”–Matthew Evangelista, author of The Chechen Wars

Terror in Chechnya can be purchased from the Princeton University Press website:

The American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC) Is Welcoming New Members

The American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC) encourages and supports scholarly study of the South Caucasus states (Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia) across all disciplines of the Humanities, Sciences, and Social Sciences. ARISC currently has an office open in Baku and is working to establish offices in Tbilisi and Yerevan, which will serve to facilitate research and nurture scholarly ties between institutions and individuals. ARISC’s mission is to promote and encourage American research in the region and to foster intellectual inquiry across boundaries within the South Caucasus as well as between the South Caucasus and its neighbors. ARISC is led by a growing consortium of U.S. academic institutions and individual scholars interested in the region, and welcomes the participation of new institutions and individuals who are interested in becoming members. Institutional, individual, and corporate membership plans are all available. For more information, please visit the ARISC website at