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


You need to be a member of Anthropology in/of the Caucasus to add comments!

Comment by Florian Mühlfried on August 20, 2012 at 7:09pm

Post-doctoral researcher, Caucasus Studies Program, FSU-Jena

The Caucasus Studies Program at the Friedrich-Schiller-University of Jena solicits applications for a three-year postdoctoral position to be funded by the Volkswagen-Foundation (subject to the final agreement of the grant organization). The postdoctoral fellow will be expected to participate in the activities of the research project entitled Transformations of Sacred Spaces, Pilgrimages and Conceptions of Hybridity in the PostSoviet Caucasus (chief investigators Kevin Tuite and Florian Mühlfried), including several months of fieldwork, writing, and taking part in annual workshops. On occasion, he or she might also be asked to teach a seminar in the Caucasus Studies Program. (Details to be decided in consultation with the Caucasus Studies staff; the seminars may be conducted in German or English).  The postdoctoral fellow will also have the opportunity to carry out individual research, writing and other scholarly activity, with the agreement of the chief project investigators.

Recent or nearly-finished PhDs with fieldwork experience in the North or South Caucasus, a doctoral dissertation on a Caucasus-related topic, and graduate training in sociocultural anthropology or a related discipline, are encouraged to apply. The candidate should be fluent in Russian and/or another language prevalent in the Caucasus. The funding allocated for the postdoctoral fellowship is 2100€ per month for a total of three years, beginning in January 2013, plus additional financial means for fieldwork.

Interested candidates should submit the following materials:

Cover letter with name, address and current position of the applicant including a description of the candidate’s dissertation topic, research interests, accomplishments, and plans.

A recently published article on a relevant topic

Curriculum vitae

Names, positions, institutional affiliations and contact information for two references


Electronic submission of all materials as PDF files is strongly encouraged but materials may also be sent by mail to:

PD Dr. Florian Mühlfried

Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

Abteilung für Kaukasiologie

Fürstengraben 27

D-07743 Jena

Email submissions should be sent to PD Dr. Mühlfried at this address: a href="">>. To receive the fullest consideration, applications should be received no later than October 15, 2012.

Comment by Florian Mühlfried on February 26, 2010 at 3:20pm
Hey Fellows,

I just wondered why nobody is commenting on the reviews on the books of Bruce Grant and Charles King. Haven't read the books? Don't agree with the reviews?

Comment by K. Zeynep Sarıaslan on February 20, 2010 at 4:03pm
Thank you Tsypylma for the mail addresses.
Besides, it would be really nice to see them here too.
Comment by Tsypylma Darieva on February 19, 2010 at 11:36pm
Hi, a very interesting topic. I know that colleagues of mine from Petersburg have organized in 2008 in cooreration with local young scholars a summer school on sociology and anthropology borders in Armenia, moslty focused on the Armenian-Georgian and the Armenian-Iranian borders. They might be helpful for you. Here are the email addresses of the organizers: Viktor Voronkov and Oleg Pachenkov from the Center for Independent Social Research in Petersburg (Russia):;
I let them know about your project and invite them to join Open anthropology Caucasian group. Best. Tsypylma
Comment by K. Zeynep Sarıaslan on February 18, 2010 at 8:53pm
Hi Hulya,

I didn't know him, thank you very much for your sugesstion.
I am not interested in history but he would be a good address, anyway.
I am interested in economic flow too but it is only apart of my project.
Last month I completed my fieldwork in Kars for the MA thesis and unfortunately, nobody is optimistic about the opening anymore.
So, it would be really nice to meet your friend.
Comment by Florian Mühlfried on February 18, 2010 at 8:46pm
Zey Zeynep,

but you can still get in touch with Neshe directly and ask her about her experience, if you want to. And maybe she has some written stuff in her drawer. If you don't have her email address, you can get in touch with me off-list, and I can send it to you.

Comment by Hulya Sakarya on February 18, 2010 at 8:11pm
Hi Zeynep,

Unfortunately I am also not directly working on this issue but support you completely in that endeavor, I think there's lot to explore. Have you written or talked to Yektan Turkyilmaz? Although he doesn't look at the border directly today, I think his work brings out the historical issues of homeland in this area. I have been meeting with Tbilisan Armenians as well as other representatives of diverse communities of Georgian society to discuss issues of national belonging. Also, a friend of mine, a history phd candidate looks also at historical issues of trade across cultures in this whole borderland area. She's gone through the border w/Georgia and Armenia and talked to customs officials. She got the distinct sense of dread w/regard to the possible Kars opening, not a very positive sign. Keep in touch!
Comment by K. Zeynep Sarıaslan on February 18, 2010 at 7:55pm
Thank you Florian,

I already checked her. I think she studied a lot around the area and on borders especially, she is very experienced. However, as I understand from the definition at the website, the project ended and hers is the only article that wasn't publiched yet. I found one(very interesting) working paper in Turkish and it is on Ardahan, the Georgian border.

Thank you again. I am still looking :)
Comment by Florian Mühlfried on February 18, 2010 at 7:14pm
Dear Zeynep,

there is a Turkish sociologist, very sympathetic to anthropology, who has worked on this border. Her name is Neshe Özgen. She has been an associate member of our research group on "Caucasian Boundaries and Citizenship from Below". More here:

(You need to go to "Socialist and Postsocialist Eurasia" first (on the left), and then click on the name of the research group (on the left, again). It kinda sucks that there are no direct links on the website).

Comment by K. Zeynep Sarıaslan on February 18, 2010 at 3:51pm
Thank you Eleni,
Good idea indeed. Though the border is closed, people from Armenia go to Turkey through Georgia to visit many places around the border.

Surely, we'll keep in touch from now on!

Members (82)



OAC Press



© 2019   Created by Keith Hart.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service