Concert: Alioni Georgian Choir of Chicago, May 20

Friday, May 20th, Alioni will present their annual Spring Concert — this year with the theme, “Colorful Characters.”  The ensemble’s Musical Director, Dr. Clayton Parr, has this to say about the upcoming program:  “Colorful Characters highlights the many fascinating personalities in Georgian song, from queens to traitors, from beautiful women to lecherous old uncles!”  Special guest Brandon Acker on stringed chonguri & guitar, and featuring Max Evrard on bowed chunir.

Alioni is a 12-member vocal ensemble founded in Chicago in 2008 by Clayton Parr and Sarah Burghardt with the purpose of sharing the ancient choral folk music traditions of the Republic of Georgia through teaching and performing.

What:    Ensemble Alioni, 3rd Annual Spring Concert
“Colorful Characters”

When:    Friday, May 20th, 2011  — 8pm
Parking can be a challenge, allow extra time
or use public transportation.

Cost:        Suggested donation $10 — CASH Only!
($5 for students and children under 16)

Where:    Saint Josaphat Church
2311 N. Southport (at Belden)
Chicago, IL 60657
map link (opens a GoogleMaps page)
Come early!  There are many food and drink options
just a short walk away on Clybourn.

St Josaphat Church is located at Southport and Belden in the lively DePaul neighborhood approximately one mile east of the Kennedy Expressway — Fullerton exit.  St Josaphat is near public transportation: #9 Ashland or #74 Fullerton buses or a healthy walk from the Brown Line / Red Line “el” stop at Fullerton (you can also transfer to the #74 Fullerton bus), or a different 15 minute walk from the Metra UP (union pacific) North, or Northwest line’s Clybourn Metra station (see map link above).
A small amount of free parking is available in a lot behind the church – accessible via Belden to Wayne St, or street parking along Southport, Clybourn, or Fullerton.  (The rest of the area has zoned parking restrictions at night.)  Some additional public parking is available (for a price) three blocks away at the Webster Place Theaters (Webster Place System Parking ‪1465 West Webster – at Clybourn)‬.  Since Clybourn cuts diagonally through the area, we suggest you use the map link above so you can see where the parking options are located in relation to the church and surrounding streets.  You can also print the map.

Come and hear Ensemble Alioni!
Experience for yourself the rough majesty of Georgian traditional music,
where Western musical traditions and Eastern tonalities blend… and collide!



D.9. Discover Georgia Tour, Georgia Chant

Join Georgian Chant this year on the Discover Georgia tour through an exploration of the strikingly beautiful countryside featured as the cradle of wine cultivation. See the ways in which locals still make pure delicious wine in ancient buried amphoras, take guided trips to 6-12th century Christian monasteries, medieval fortresses, and Persian bathhouses, and of course, who can resist the wonderful singing, dining, and hospitality of modern Georgia! Don’t delay, be in touch.

Dates: June 23rd – July 2nd

Lecture: “First Out of Africa,” Dr. David Lordkipanidze, The Field Museum, April 9

First Out of Africa

David Lordkipanidze

First Out of Africa

David LordkipanidzeGeneral Director at the Georgian National Museum

Saturday, April 9, 2011 @ 1:00 pm
The Field Museum | Chicago, IL
Free with museum admission.
Information: 415.561.4646

Some of the most controversial issues remaining in paleoanthropology are when and why our ancestors left their motherland and began global colonization. The site of Dmanisi, Georgia has produced surprising evidence for the early dispersal of hominids out of Africa. Dmanisi dates to approximately 1.77 million years ago and has revealed a wealth of cranial and post-cranial hominid fossil material along with many well-preserved animal bones and quantities of stone artifacts. The Dmanisi hominids have a surprising mosaic of primitive morphology such as small body and brain sizes and an absence of humeral torsion coupled with derived human-like body proportions and lower limb morphology. These fossils bring into question whether Homo erectus was the first hominid out of Africa. The Dmanisi hominid remains are the first discovered outside of Africa to show clear affinities to early Homo, they represent the missing link between Africa, Asia and Europe.

David Lordkipanidze, Ph.D. is the first General Director of the newly founded National Museum of Georgia which unifies 10 major museums of the country and 2 research institutes. Under his leadership the Museum is gradually transforming from a Soviet-type institution into a vibrant space for culture, education and science. Lordkipanidze’s professional activities are connected with Dmanisi, the world famous archaeological site. Lordkipanidze has authored over 100 scientific articles published in widely respected and well-known scientific journals such as Nature, Science Magazine, Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences of USA, Journal of Human Evolution and more. He is regularly featured in the popular scientific magazines such as National Geographic magazine, GEO magazine, Scientific American. In 2004 Lordkipanidze received the Rolex Award for Enterprise. He was also given the National Decoration of Georgia (2001), Award of the Prince of Monaco (2001), the French decorations Palmes Académiques (2002) and L`Ordre du Mérite (2006), a Fulbright Scholarship (2002), and the Georgian National Prize for Science and Technology (2004). Since 2007 David Lordkipanidze is a foreign associate member of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), corresponding member of German archaeological institute(2008), corresponding member of Georgian National Academy of Sciences (2009), Member of European academy of Science and Arts (2009).

Film: “Legend of Suram Fortress”, Georgia Movie Night

This quarter’s Georgian Movie Night will be this Wednesday, November 17th, from 4:30-6:00 in Cobb 218. There will be a showing Sergei Parajanov’s “Legend of Suram Fortress” in Georgian with English subtitles. For those unfamiliar with Parajanov — this is a visually stunning and rather surreal film.

Here is a brief synopsis from Kino “Based on an ancient legend, this dazzling film by visionary director Sergei Paradjanov (Ashik Kerib, Shadows Of Our Forgotten Ancestors) is a surreal ode to Georgian warriors throughout the ages who died for their country. Repeated efforts by the Georgian people to construct a defensive stronghold continually fail. The building collapses until a fortune teller remembers an old prophecy that the son of her erstwhile lover must be bricked up alive in order for the fortress to stand. The young man is faced with the prospect of sacrificing himself to save his country.”

There will be (non-Georgian) refreshments. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Tami Wysocki-Niimi

Call for Papers: International Seminar “Georgia Republic: Previous Activities, Future Prospects”, Abstract Deadline November 2

The following message comes to CEERES from the Caucasus Studies Institute, University of Tehran:

International Seminar

Georgia Republic: Previous Activities, Future Prospects

5 December 2010, University of Tehran

The Republic of Georgia is an important country located in the southern Caucasus that has received attention internationally due to its large number of human resources, its strategic situation, as a junction point between the Caucasus and Europe, for having a high degree of capacity in goods transition and energy carriers, and for its economic growth in recent years. There are other reasons for Georgia becoming a principal focus in the region. There were military conflicts between Georgia and Russia in August 2008, the crisis in Abkhazia and South Ossetia is ongoing, and also because Georgia wanted to join NATO.

In order to investigate internal and external changes in Georgia, the Caucasia Studies Foundation of Tehran University with collaboration of some other Georgian Research institutes is going to inaugurate an international seminar called “Georgia: Previous Activities, Future Prospects”. This seminar will be held in Tehran University 5 December 2010. The most important subjects of this seminar are as follows:

Seminar Topics:

  • Georgian-Russian Ties; Conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia,
  • Georgian-US Ties; Effects on Caucasia,
  • Georgian-Azerbaijan Ties, Azerbaijani residents in Georgia and Georgian residents in Azerbaijan,
  • Georgian-Armenian Ties, Armenian residents in Georgia,
  • Georgian-Turkey Ties, Economic Relations and Convergence among Turkey-Georgia-Azerbaijan
  • Georgian-Iranian Ties, Political Interrelations and Economic-Cultural exchanges, Energy and Technical Collaborations,
  • Georgian-Ukrainian Ties, Existing Situation and Future Relations,
  • Georgian-Regional Organizations Ties (Society of Commonwealth Nations, Guam, Black Sea Organization for Economic Cooperation)
  • Georgian-UN Ties; Intercession processes in relation with Russia, Development of Democracy, Free Market,
  • Georgian Status in South Caucasia’s Economy, Culture and Diplomacy,
  • Security, Energy and Investment in Georgia,
  • Georgia and Transportation and Transit Corridors in Caucasia,
  • Internal Changes in Georgia regarding Presidential Election in 2013,
  • Investigating the membership processes of Georgia in NATO,
  • The Role of Islamic Republic of Iran in Solving South Caucasian Crisis.

To participate in this seminar please send an abstract, and a one page СV in Word format to the Seminar Secretariat by November 2, 2010. Acceptance notification will be sent to authors by July 18, and the full paper should be submitted to Seminar Secretariat before August 13, 2010.

Working Languages of the Seminar: Persian, Gerogian, Russian, English

Seminar will be held on  December 5, 2010 at University of Tehran

Abstract Submission Deadline: November 2, 2010

Acceptance Notification: November 11, 2010

Full Paper Submission Deadline: November 21, 2010

Electronic Address:

Secretariat Address:

  • Iran, Tehran, Valiasr St., West Zartosht St., No.56, Caucasus Studies Institute, University of Tehran

Tel: +98218899366-7, Fax: +982188956620 –


  • Caucasus Studies Institute
  • Some of Georgian Institutes

Georgian Music and Dance Ensemble, Zedashe, Performing with DePaul’s Alioni Chorus, September 24

The Zedashe Ensemble will be giving a concert on September 24 with DePaul’s Alioni Chorus (in conjunction with the Chicago World Music Festival) at 8:00pm at the St Josaphat Church (2311 North Southport Ave.).

The Zedashe Ensemble is a group of Georgian folk musicians and dancers. Please visit the following link for more information:

To read more about Georgian church chant, check out this recent NYT article:

Call for Papers: Perspectives on Kurban Said’s Ali and Nino – Literary, Cultural, and Linguistic Contributions, Abstract Deadline: September 15

Call for Papers
Perspectives on Kurban Said’s Ali and Nino: Literary, Cultural, and Linguistic Contributions

The editors of this proposed volume seek papers that look at Kurban Said’s novel Ali und Nino (1937) from a wide range of perspectives and approaches (e.g., literary and cultural studies, linguistics, Jewish studies, gender studies, philosophy and religion) and that reflect on the text’s usefulness in the classroom from linguistic and content perspectives. Our aim is to provide a broad companion to Kurban Said’s text that helps its readers to understand the many different possible scholarly approaches and the heterogeneous readings different frameworks make possible.

Since the publication of Tom Reiss’s 1999 essay ‘The Man from the East’ (The New Yorker, October 4, 1999: 68‐83) and his subsequent book The Orientalist: Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life (New York: Random House, 2005), much more has come to light about Ali und Nino’s author. ‘Kurban Said,’ an alias of Lev Nussimbaum (1905‐1942), grew up in a Jewish household in Baku, Azerbaijan, converted to Islam and then fled to Berlin to work as a journalist and expert on the Orient under the name Essad Bey in the 1920s and 1930s. Interest in Lev Nussimbaum’s life and texts sparked by Tom Reiss’s journalistic work has led to the republication of Ali und Nino in German and English. Set in Baku around 1917, Ali und Nino tells the love story between a young Arab, Muslim man Ali and a
young Georgian, Christian woman Nino. Not only is the novel a rare example of early Germanophone literature written by a multilingual speaker from outside of the German‐speaking world, but it also takes up cultural constructions of the Orient and Occident long before Edward Said’s seminal Orientalism published in 1978. Yet, despite recent interest in the author and the book’s ability to thematize modern debates and discussions of culture, virtually no scholarly literature on Ali und Nino exists. The proposed volume seeks to change this by inviting scholars from all kinds of different backgrounds to shed their light on Ali und Nino. Themes and topics to explore may include, but are not limited to:

• East‐West dialogues
• Cultural clash(es)
• Tradition and modernity
• Religion and identity
• Love and affect
• Youth and coming of age
• Authorship and attribution
• Multilingualism

The editors envision papers solicited not just as academic exercises, but also welcome approaches that emphasize the text’s relevance for teaching literature in a culturally heterogeneous classroom. For the classroom, Said’s engaging narrative style and the book’s interesting thematic focus make the novel an accessible and relevant text for students of German to engage with linguistically and intellectually. The novel also promises teachers and students opportunities for rich dialogue about modern‐day issues. Please contact us as soon as possible, if you are interested in contributing to this volume so that we can have a preliminary discussion about the scope of your paper.

Deadline for 400‐word abstract: September 15, 2010
Deadline for final version of essay: August 15, 2011

Please e‐mail your materials to both editors:

Cori Crane, Asst. Professor ( & Carl Niekerk, Assoc. Professor ( Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign 2090 Foreign Language Building, 707 S. Mathews Ave, Urbana, IL 61801

Discover the Republic of Georgia Tours, Summer 2010

Several tour dates are approaching, including the Discover Georgia Tour, starting July 1st, Tao-Klarjeti (July 14th), Vardzia-Batumi (July 27th), and Svaneti (August 6th). See for more details.

The Discover Georgia Tour
July 1st – 11th:

In our fifth season, the Discover Georgia Tour routinely draws an eclectic group of world travelers pursuing individual interests in religious history, architecture, viticulture, music, linguistics, and other subjects.

This year the new itinerary, will take tour participants through southern Georgia to visit the 12th century cave city of Vardzia that was once on the pilgrimage route from Cappadocia to Bodbe Convent, the Gelati Cathedral in West-Central Georgia, as well as familiar points of interest in Eastern Georgia where the thirteen 6th century Assyrian Fathers first established Christian monasticism.

Please contact the organizers (John A Graham, Luarsab Togonidze) immediately for more information. For the detailed 2010 Tour Itinerary, Reviews, Photos, and Application, visit our website here:

Teach and Learn with Georgia: English speakers wanted for 6-12 month teaching positions in Georgia

The Republic of Georgia is recruiting English speakers to help teach English through the project “Teach and Learn with Georgia”. They are offering benefits of housing and living accommodations; medical insurance; round-trip tickets for work related travels and a vacation; and a 500 lari monthly per diem.

Teachers will stay in Georgia for 6-12 months with the once in a life-time opportunity of helping Georgian children learn the English language and thus influencing their lives; become familiarized with amazing Georgian customs and traditions by living in local families; experience unique Georgian folklore and cuisine by socializing with local communities and if willing, learn the Georgian language, one of the oldest and most unique languages of the world.

For more information please contact Jason DuPont at or visit