International Conference: The Caucasus: Imagining Freedom, Negotiating Dominion - University of St Andrews

International Conference on the Caucasus - University of St Andrews, 16th-17th April 2010. Organised by The Centre for Russian, Soviet and Central and Eastern European Studies, University of St Andrews.

University of St Andrews

Centre For Russian, Soviet, Central And East European Studies

Annual Conference 

The Caucasus: Imagining Freedom, Negotiating Dominion’

16-17 April 2010

Gateway Building, North Haugh, St Andrews 

Supported By The British Academy And CRCEES


Provisional Programme


Friday April 16th 2010


12.45 – 13.15             Registration 

13.15 – 13.30             Welcome

Opening Address by the Principal, Dr Louise Richardson                                                                                
                                                            Seminar Room 6

13.30 – 15.00             Session 1          Seminar Room 6            

His Excellency Vahe Gabrielyan, Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia;

His Excellency Fakhraddin Gurbanov, Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan;

His Excellency Giorgi Badridze, Ambassador of Georgia. 

15.00-15.30                Tea / Coffee Break 

15.30-17.00                Session 2: Recent Conflicts and Their Aftermath   Seminar Room 6
Professor Paula Garb
(Center for Citizen Peacebuilding, UC, Irvine, USA)
‘Citizen Peacebuilding Efforts in the Georgian-Abkhaz Conflict’ 

Professor B. George Hewitt (School of Oriental and African Studies, UK)
‘Some Thoughts on Ronald Asmus’ Hypothesis on the Events of August 2008’ 

Professor John Russell (University of Bradford, UK)
‘Peace after Protracted Conflict: Lessons from Chechnya for the North Caucasus and Beyond’ 

17.00 – 17.15             Break 

17.15 – 18.45             Session 3: Caucasus and the West      Seminar Room 6 

Professor Stephen F. Jones (Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts)
‘Reflections on the Rose Revolution’

Professor Giusto Traina (University of Rouen, France)
‘A Buffer State? Geopolitical Reflections on the Kingdom of Greater Armenia’ 

Professor Donald Rayfield (Queen Mary, University of London)
‘A Thousand Years of Broken Promises and Renewed Delusions – Georgia’s Appeals to the West’

Saturday April 17th 2010

9.00 – 10.30               Session 4:  Nationality in Historical Perspective   Seminar Room 6 

Professor Christopher Haas (Villanova University, PA, USA)
‘Geopolitics and Georgian Identity in Late Antiquity: the Dangerous World of Vakhtang Gorgasali’ 

Professor Peter Cowe (UCLA, USA)
‘Modern Armenian Nationalism between Regionalism and Globalized Integration’ 

Professor John Colarusso (McMaster University, Ontario, Canada)
‘The Storehouse of History: Ancient Ethnonyms from the Caucasus’

10.30 – 11.00              Tea / Coffee Break 

11.00 – 13.00             Session 5: In Parallel 

5.1   Contemporary Circassia           Seminar Room 6                      

Zeynel Besleney (School of Oriental and African Studies, UK)
‘Nationalism through Internet: The phenomenon of “Virtual” Circassian Nationalist Movement in the North Caucasus’

Sufyan Zhemukhov (Kabardino-Balkarian State University, Russia)
‘Circassian Perspectives on the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics’ 

Setenay Nil Dogan (Yildiz Technical University, Turkey)
‘Diasporic Encounters with the Diasporic Homeland: The Case of Circassians in Turkey’ 

Dr Fethi Acikel (Faculty of Political Sciences, Ankara University, Turkey)
‘The Vicissitudes of Circassian Diaspora: Between the Myths of Repatriation and the Challenges of Citizenship’ 

5.2   Imagining the Caucasus from Within and Without      Lecture Room 4 

Mary Childs (University of Washington, USA)
‘On Translating Otar:  Reading Captivity as Freedom’ 

Nina Wieda (Northwestern University, USA)
‘Armenia as a Russian Ethical Ideal in Literature, Film and Folklore’ 

Dr Duccio Colombo (University of Macerata, Italy)
‘A Change of Glasses? The Chechen War as Perceived by Russian Culture’ 

Professor James West (Dept. of Slavic Langs. & Lit. University of Washington, USA)
‘Escape From and within the Empire: A Journey to the Caucasus’

13.00 – 14.00             Lunch

14.00 – 16.00             Session 6: In Parallel 

6. 1   Language and Identity      Seminar Room 6 

Dr Bert Vaux (University of Cambridge, UK)
‘The Fate of the Sadz’

Professor Liudmilla Pravikova (Piatigorsk State Linguistic University, Russia)
‘Language Identity Change and the Loss of Linguistic Diversity in the North Caucasus’ 

Doris Vogl (Vienna University, Austria) and Dr Emzar Zhgerenaia (Tbilisi University, Georgia, in absentia) 
‘Cultural Markers in the Rhetoric of Georgian Political Leaders (1991-2009)’

6.2   Conflict, Politics and Criminality      Lecture Room 4 

Salvatore Di Rosa (Ghent University, Belgium)
‘Living the Border:  Challenging Boundary Control in Abkhazia’s Gali District’

Professor Timothy Waters (Indiana University Maurer School of Law, USA)
‘Plucky Little Russia: Legal and Normative Assessment of the Resort to Violence in South Ossetia’

Luke Chambers (University of Oxford, UK)
‘Post-Soviet Normalization and Neo-Imperialism in Georgia: August 2008 and the National Unit in the Post-Soviet Space’

Gavin Slade (Oxford, UK)
‘Maintaining Distinction: Recruitment Practices and Status Anxiety amongst the Georgian Criminal Elite’

16.00-16.30                Tea / Coffee Break 

16.30-18.30                Session 7Reality, Reconciliation and Religion   Seminar Room 6 

Jane Buchanan (Senior Researcher on the former Soviet Union, Human Rights Watch)

‘Human Rights Issues Surrounding the War in South Ossetia’ 

Professor Alexey Malashenko (Carnegie Moscow Centre, Russia)
‘Losing the Caucasus: Russian Policy and the Inevitability of Conflict in the North Caucasus’

Dr Galina Yemilianova
(University of Birmingham, UK)
‘The Caucasus: Islam, Nationalism and Globalisation’

Professor Boghos Levon Zekiyan (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy)
‘From Subcaucasia to Transcaucasia. An Attempt to Restate Some Vital Issues and Key Approaches in the Cultural and Political Relations of the Region’

Source: University of St Andrews