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The Challenges of Historiography in the South Caucasus 
Timothy K. Blauvelt (American Councils Ilia State University)
Hans Gutbrod (Ilia State University)
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Timothy K. Blauvelt (American Councils Ilia State University)
Sunday 17 October, 11:30-13:00 (UTC-4)

Short Abstract:

This panel aims to address this the challenges of historiography of the Caucasus and to seek a transcendence of circular narratives through multiple perspectives from scholars based in the region itself.

Long Abstract

Next to the actual history of the countries themselves, societies often face the challenge of historiography. One-sided accounts can contribute to circular narratives, reinforce collective stereotypes, constrain political space, and make it harder to achieve reconciliation. Such narratives, and how to transcend them, therefore, is itself a relevant topic of study. This panel seeks to address this topic from multiple perspectives, with scholars based in the Caucasus region. Ana Lolua (Ilia State University) will look at how remembering changes over time, with History through exhibits: case of Simon Janashia State Museum from 1930's until today, and how the museum aligns with dominant state narratives, currently emphasizing the foundational myth of the first independent republic. Oliver Reisner (Ilia State University) will speak on Ivane Javakhishvili's Long Shadow in Times of Globalization - National Identity in Post-Soviet Georgian Historiography, to examine how Georgia has grappled with its past, identifying the three trends of Renovation, Reconstruction and Nationalisation. Naira Sahakyan (Yerevan State University) would speak on Historical Narratives in Motion: Identity Construction and the Emergence of Antagonism between Armenians and Azerbaijanis, to also examine how historical framings connect to ongoing issues. Hans Gutbrod (Ilia State University) will suggest in Ethics of Political Commemoration -- How to Remember, Wisely that Just War Theory may help scholars and societies finding a constructive approach for dealing with the past. Jeremy Johnson (formerly University of Michigan) would serve as a chair for the panel, and Timothy Blauvelt (also Ilia State University) as the discussant. The panel should provide diverse and illuminating perspectives that could stimulate discussion and also be relevant for people with related interests from other regions.

Accepted papers: