The Cultural Semantics of Georgia between the Caucasus and the Black Sea

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Both the Caucasus and the Black Sea have acquired roles as antagonistic cultural centers of gravity within the current process of Georgia’s (geopolitical) reorientation after the fall of the Soviet Union. From the Georgian perspective, orientation to the West goes hand in hand with an increased openness towards the Black Sea region along with questions about interpretational sovereignty over the Caucasus. From this point of view on Georgia’s reorientation, the project examined symbolic and affective reinterpretations of this geographical space. Special emphasis is put on the dialogue between Russian (imperial), Georgian (national) and Abkhazian (minority) perspectives. Georgia’s geographical position as a border space between Asia and Europe, or Orient and Occident, contributes to the fact that the study of its cultural semantics holds strong ties with the cultural awareness of Europe as a whole.

Since January 2016, the research has been continued in the project Batumi, Odessa, Trabzon. The Cultural Semantics of the Black Sea from the Perspective of Eastern Port Cities (funded by the Volkswagen Foundation 2016–2018).

A cooperation between the ZfL and Ilia State University Tbilisi funded by the Volkswagen Foundation 2012–2015
Head researcher(s): Sigrid Weigel, Giga Zedania
Associate Researcher(s): Zaal Andronikashvili, Emzar Jgerenaia, Elene Kekelia, Konstantine Ladaria, Franziska Thun-Hohenstein


Zaal Andronikashvili, Emzar Jgerenaia, Franziska Thun-Hohenstein

Landna(h)me Georgien
Studien zur kulturellen Semantik

LiteraturForschung Vol. 33
Kulturverlag Kadmos, Berlin 2018, 460 pages
ISBN 978-386599-399-1


Book presentation
05 Nov 2015 · 6.30 pm

Sonniges Georgien

Botschaft der Republik Georgien, Rauchstraße 11, 10787 Berlin

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Official gala events
12 Jun 2015

Zur Gründung des Instituts für Sozial- und Kulturforschung der Staatlichen Ilia-Universität Tbilisi

Staatliche Ilia Universität Tbilisi, Kakutsa Cholokashvili Ave 3/5, Tbilisi, Georgien

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Workshop in the context of the official gala events on the founding of the Institute for Social and Cultural Research at the Ilia State University Tbilisi
11 Jun 2015

Kulturelle Semantik Georgiens zwischen Kaukasus und Schwarzem Meer

Staatliche Ilia Universität Tbilisi, Kakutsa Cholokashvili Ave 3/5, Tbilisi, Georgien

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International closing conference of the project
19 Feb 2015 – 21 Feb 2015

Cultural Semantics of Georgia between the Caucasus and the Black Sea

ZfL, Schützenstr. 18, 10117 Berlin, Trajekte-Tagungsraum 308

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International conference in cooperation of ZfL and Ilia State Univerity Tbilissi
22 May 2014 – 23 May 2014

Raum, Nation, Imperium. Kulturelle Semantik politischer Räume

Staatliche Ilia Universität Tbilissi, Kakutsa Cholokashvili Ave 3/5, Tbilissi, Georgien

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Project presentation
25 Apr 2012 · 7.30 pm

Ein Land geht auf Reisen

Mendelssohn-Remise, Jägerstr. 51, 10117 Berlin

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Media Response

29 Jan 2017
Von Puschkin bis heute. Der Kaukasus in der Literatur

Radio programme by Olga Hochweis, with ZfL-colleague Zaal Andronikashvili, in: Deutschlandradio Kultur, Sendung: Literatur, 29 Jan 2017

18 Jan 2017
Georgien und Europa. Europäische Perspektiven und Hoffnungen im Südkaukasus

Podcast with Zaal Andronikashvili and Tim Pritlove about Georgia and its relationship to the European Union, in: Fokus Europa (Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung), 18 Jan 2017

17 Feb 2012
Kultur zwischen Europa und Asien [PDF]

Kooperationsprojekt der Literaturforschung mit Georgien, in: TU Berlin intern. Die Hochschulzeitung der Technischen Universität Berlin, Nr. 2/3 (2012), S. 8