Anthropology in/of the Caucasus


Anthropology in/of the Caucasus

Although somewhat clumsy, the in/of should point to the following: The group addresses scholars from the (North and South) Caucasus and their East/West colleagues alike. I would like to discuss both contemporary and Soviet era research projects.

Members: 82
Latest Activity: Oct 26, 2016

extended version

I would like to expand the aforementioned a little.

* I would be happy to include anthropologists, ethnographers, ethnologists, ethnomusicologists, as well as folklorists in this group. Consequently, I favour an inclusive concept of anthropology here.

* I would be even happier if we could bridge the gap between the North and the South Caucasus. Far two often these two parts are treated separately - mainly for political and practical reasons, I assume. The nexus between the North and the South was, of course, much closer during Soviet times. The recent divide between these parts replicates the political division of spheres of (Russian and western) interest. I think we should try to overcome this.

(Please allow me to add a personal experience. I just finished a paper on the role of citizenship in the 2008 war between Russian and Georgia. As my fieldwork was based in Georgia, I needed to confront my one-sided perspective. At the same time, it is almost impossible, or at least quite difficult to conduct research on the two sides of the former front line. Thus, I depended on the advice and experience of my colleagues from the Northern Caucasus, or anthropologists having conducted fieldwork in South Ossetia or Abkhazia. Cooperation is crucial here.)

* Another advantage of this group, I think, is to get anthropologists from the Caucasus in touch with their colleagues from western countries, the Russian Federation, Japan, China or wherever. And vice versa. We can do this in an unbureaucratic, simple way, circumventing the difficulties one faces when trying to institutionalize such kind of group within the framework of the EASA, e.g.

* This group should be open to the discussion of any contemporary anthropological research activity (again, in the widest sense) conducted in the Caucasus. At the same time, I think we should not neglect the history of the anthropology of the Caucasus. This mainly implies Soviet era research, but is not limited to it. The anthropology of the Caucasus is not a new invention, and it is not written on a blank page. We should try to avoid ignorance and arrogance.

* Any additions to this list welcome!!

Discussion Forum

Call for Papers

Dear allFeel free to circulate the attached Call for Papers in any relevant forums or mailinglists you might know - and send in an abstract if you are interested in participatingAll the best,MartinContinue

Started by Martin Demant Frederiksen Feb 21, 2013.

Publications concerning South Ossetia/ П убликации о Южной Осетии 2 Replies

Hello dear Colleagues, may someone suggest me certain anthropological pubblications concerning South Ossetia - both focusing on the war or post-war situation, than pointing on other relevant aspects…Continue

Started by Luca Guiduzzi. Last reply by GiaTM Jul 30, 2011.

Pentacostalism in the Caucasus 13 Replies

Dear All,some colleagues of mine here in Brazil just got a huge grant for the comperative study of pentacostalism in verious regions of the world, including the former USSR. I just wondered about the…Continue

Started by Florian Mühlfried. Last reply by Manouchehr Shiva Jul 4, 2011.

CfP "Political Transformation and Social Change in the South Caucasus: The Case of Georgia"

ASCN Annual Conference "Political Transformation and Social Change in the South Caucasus: The Case of Georgia", 24-25 June 2011, Georgia Call for contributions Interested young researchers (PhD…Continue

Started by Birgit Kuch Jan 27, 2011.

Bruce Grant: The Captive and the Gift - Reviews - PART II 9 Replies

After having posted a wrong review previously, I would now like to give it a new start and post reviews on Bruce Grant's "The Captive and the Gift" here. Cosmopolitan as we are, we start with three…Continue

Started by Florian Mühlfried. Last reply by Florian Mühlfried Oct 14, 2010.

Pictures 1 Reply

Dear Colleagues, For my to be published book, I am looking for pictures. As my book is about the conflicts in the Caucasus they should be preferably about these, but all pictures on the region or…Continue

Started by Babak Rezvani. Last reply by Florian Mühlfried Oct 7, 2010.

Reading Reccomendations 2 Replies

Hi Everybody,I will be teaching English in Georgia (Batumi or Tbilisi) for a year or two.  I want to become an anthropologist focusing on studying the state through the school system.  I was…Continue

Started by Dustin Gilbreath. Last reply by Dustin Gilbreath Jul 30, 2010.


Dear Caucasus People,here's a recent publication which I think is of interest for all of us.Cheers,FlorianLaboratorium No 1 (2010). Special Issue: Rethinking the SouthCaucasus.Edited by: Tsypylma…Continue

Started by Florian Mühlfried Jun 22, 2010.


Dear Group Members, I just thought that you might be interested in a recent article of mine, published in the April 2010 issue of Anthropology Today and looking at the 2008 war between Georgia and…Continue

Started by Florian Mühlfried Apr 5, 2010.

Call for Papers: Law in the Caucasus (EASA2010) 3 Replies

Call for PapersWorkshop: Law in the Caucasus: anthropological perspectives on legal practiceEASA conference 2010: Crisis and imaginationMaynooth, 24/08/2010 – 27/08/2010(…Continue

Started by Stéphane Voell. Last reply by Stéphane Voell Feb 25, 2010.

Comment Wall


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Comment by eleni sideri on February 18, 2010 at 3:09pm
Hi Zeynep,

I am not working on the Turkish-Armenian border but when I was doing my fieldwork it happened to visit Armenia and the monastery of Khor Virap and i had an interesting discussion about Ararat and the borderwiht some young Armenians of the diaspora-they were coming from Jordan- and I was think maybe pilgrimages might be an intersting practice to examine regarding the border,
good luvk and keep in contact
Comment by K. Zeynep Sarıaslan on February 18, 2010 at 11:56am
Hello everybody,

I am planning to focus on Turkish-Armenian border (a closed one) for my future researches. Yet, I cannot find anybody who is working directly this border in South Caucasus or at least the local dynamics between two states. Is there anybody do you know?
Thanks for your interest in advance!

Comment by Ralph Hälbig on February 1, 2010 at 3:38pm
Hi Florian, nice to meet you here ;-) I hope you are well in Brazil ...
for the member in your group I will post here my blog:

Kargad, Ralph
Comment by Oliver Reisner on January 22, 2010 at 1:03am
Cher tous, J'ai l'immense plaisir de vous informer de la parution, ce 21 janvier 2010, de l'ouvrage collectif "Les déportations en héritage", co-dirigé pas Aurélie Campana, Grégory Dufaud et moi-même.

Les déportations en héritage, Les peuples réprimés du Caucase et de Crimée hier et aujourd’hui " Cet ouvrage revient sur l’histoire des peuples déportés du Caucase et de Crimée, sous un angle jusque là peu abordé, celui de la comparaison des déportations et de leurs impacts sur les situations politiques et sociales actuelles de ces peuples. Privilégiant une approche pluridisciplinaire, il mesure sur la longue durée les conséquences de ces déportations, leur actualité et leur traitement, leur héritage et leur mémoire dans le contexte postsoviétique."

L'intro et la table des matières sont téléchargeables sur le site des PUR :

21 janvier 2010

Aurélie Campana, Grégory Dufaud et Sophie Tournon (dir.)
Domaine : Histoire contemporaine
Collection : Histoire
Format : 15,5 x 24 cm
Nombre de pages : 248 p.
ISBN : 978-2-7535-0986-3
Disponibilité : en librairie
Prix : 15,00 €


Sophie Tournon
Sophie Tournon
Skype : Sopikot
Tel mob (Tbilissi) : 995 32 (8)93 137 163
Comment by Tsypylma Darieva on June 27, 2009 at 4:50pm
Hi Florian, hi dear colleagues, great to be a part of this network!
The lamb is not to overlook indeed and if you look at it from the culinary perspective lamb is omnipresent in this area (shashlyk, horovats, kebab...).

Just a few words about me, I am anthropologist coming from Russia, living in Berlin and working on migration, memory and ethnoraphy of postsocialist urban life in Yerevan and Baku. In our project at Humboldt University, Berlin we started to explore the transformation of urban spaces in the three South Caucasian capitals. This September we organise in Tbilisi a workshop under the title "Urban Spaces: Caucasian places. Transformations in the Capital Cities". A more detailed information including program will follow very soon! Those who are interested in anthropology of urban life (not only in the Caucasus!) are invited to participate at the workshop. (22.23-09.2009). Tsypylma
Comment by tina Gudushauri on June 17, 2009 at 12:36pm
It is glad that I see many familiar persons in ours group. excellent idea Florian
Comment by Edward R. Raupp on June 17, 2009 at 6:50am
I'm off to Hong Kong on Friday, 19 June 2008, to present "Lifting the Veil: Forecasting Tourism in Post-Soviet Georgia" at the 29th International Symposium on Forecasting. The presentation features anthropological and archaeological interests for tourists.
Comment by თეა ქამუშაძე on June 16, 2009 at 6:44pm
Glad to participate in this group. By the way this my photo was taken in tushet!:)
Comment by Florian Mühlfried on June 15, 2009 at 11:09pm
You know that I developped a certain sympathy for sheep when doing fieldwork among the Tushetians. Just couldn't escape it. I agree its the classical romanticism of anthroplogists. That's one thing. The other thing is that when I was looking at my images of Caucasus landscapes or Caucasian people or anything related to that, there was always a certain argument against the choice of one particular picture. If we would choose a picture of the mountains, we would replicate the stereotype that the Caucasus is only about mountains. If we would choose a picture from the countryside, we would depict the Caucasus as somewhat anti-urban. If we choose a picture of people, the question is what makes these people so distinctive. In the worst case, it gives the imression of an ethnic zoo, with "real Caucasians" at display. Finally, and I guess this was the most important reason for me, when you look at the "logo" of most other groups, you forget it immediately. In most cases, you can't even figure out what the pictures show. But who will overlook a lamb??!
Comment by Kevin Tuite on June 15, 2009 at 10:53pm
So Florian, why did you choose a lamb as the symbol (or mascot) of our group? Alpine transhumance? Herd instinct? Sacrificial offering? Cuteness and innocence? Agnus Dei qui tollit peccata mundi? aba, gvitxari!

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