Preliminary Schedule
*The schedule may be subject to changes. Please check this page for updates.*
June 18-21, 2019

A four-day curriculum development and pedagogical workshop at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, co-organized by ARISC and REEEC.

Program Coordinators: Dr. Stephen Jones (Mount Holyoke College), Dr. Mauricio Borrero (St. John’s University), and Talin Lindsay (ARISC)

**Sessions open to registered workshop participants only

June 18, 2019
101 International Studies Building (910 S. Fifth St., Champaign, IL 61820)

Day One: Links Between Past and Present in the Caucasus: Myths, Parallels, Cause and Effect

8:30 – 9:00am  Why Teach the South Caucasus?
Dr. Donna A. Buchanan, Acting Director, REEEC (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), and Dr. Maureen Marshall, Associate Director, REEEC (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)

9:00 – 9:30am  Welcome and Introductions

9:30 – 10:30am  Empires and States in the South Caucasus
Dr. Stephen Jones (Mount Holyoke College)

This introductory lecture will examine the intersections between empires, nations and states in the South Caucasus. In what ways have the imperial contests for possession of this region shaped the social and political contours of South Caucasian nations and states today? What has been the impact of geography, size, and location on patterns of conflict and cooperation between Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan?

10:45 – 11:45am  Patterns of Nation- and State-Building 1918–2018
Dr. Stephen Jones (Mount Holyoke College)

Focusing on Georgia, but with references to Armenia and Azerbaijan, the lecture examines parallels and differences between the independence periods of 1918-21, and the present. We will discuss the problems of state and nation-building, regional relations, and the role of the South Caucasus region in global politics.

11:45am – 1:00 pm **Group Lunch and SRL presentation
Kit Condill (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)
During this working lunch, Kit Condill will describe the relevant holdings of the UIUC libraries, how best to find resources to further research the South Caucasus, and how to access materials located at other institutions.

1:00 – 1:45 pm  Pedagogical Discussion: Integrating the SC into classrooms
Dr. Stephen Jones

5:30 – 7:30 pm  Movie and Discussion
131 School of Information Sciences (501 E. Daniel St., Champaign, IL 61820)

Tangerines (2013). Discussion with Dr. James Steffen (Emory University)

June 19, 2019
101 International Studies Building (910 S. Fifth St., Champaign, IL 61820)
Day Two: Silk Roads, Trade Routes

9:00 – 10:00am  Caucasia on the Silk Roads: Situating Global Cultures in Local Histories
Dr. Kathryn Franklin (University of London)

This lecture will explore ways of telling the history/archaeology of the Caucasus in the context of global cultures, specifically that of the ‘Silk Roads.’ Focusing on the medieval and early modern periods, we will look at how research in the Caucasus informs on regional and even ‘world’-scale phenomena, and we will reflect on the importance of these histories for ongoing cultural and political interactions.

10:15 –11:15am  The Politics of Population and Health in the Southern Caucasus: Global Trends in Regional Perspectives
Dr. Cynthia Buckley (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)

11:30am – 1:00pm  Pedagogical Discussion
Dr. Mauricio Borrero, Dr. Kate Franklin, Dr. Cynthia Buckley, Dr. Stephen Jones

5:30 – 7:30 pm  Movie and Discussion
126 School of Information Sciences (501 E. Daniel St., Champaign, IL 61820)

The Color of Pomegranates (1969).Discussion with Dr. James Steffen (Emory University)

June 20, 2019
101 International Studies Building (910 S. Fifth St., Champaign, IL 61820)
Day Three: Sport, Recreation, and Music

9:00 – 10:15am  Sport and National Identity in the Caucasus: The Cases of Dinamo Tbilisi and “Baku 2020”
Dr. Mauricio Borrero (St. John’s University)

This lecture will discuss sport as a vehicle for nationalism in the Soviet period, and how sport continues to affect societal and cultural identities in the Caucasus today.

10:30 – 11:15am  Teaching the Caucasus through the Lens of Sport History: mtamsvleloba and the History of Georgian Climbing
Ben Bamberger (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)

This presentation will focus on the possibilities of using sport and sport history in teaching the South Caucasus as a way to illuminate larger questions about the meaning of regionality and national identity. Focusing on a set of key expeditions by Georgian climbers, this presentation will show how a study of mountaineering offers unique insights into the relationship of the Georgian intelligentsia and rural peasantry, the construction of Georgian masculinity, and the meaning of mountainous space to ideas about the nation.

12:15 – 1:00 pm  Music and National Identity: A Brief Look at 3 Musical Genres in Azerbaijan
Dr. Natasha Kipp Maki

The identity of a nation is a living phenomenon–in a constant state of flux. A look at national self-representation through music offers an exciting and dynamic handhold for grappling with such complexities. This presentation gives a peek into Azerbaijani folk dance music, mugham, and pop music as case studies highlighting how cultural identity is negotiated both within the nation and for export abroad.

1:00 – 1:15pm  Break

1:15 – 2:15pm  Hearing Armenia: Expressive Culture as Intangible Heritage at Home and in Diaspora
Dr. Donna A. Buchanan (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)

This presentation will focus on the role of expressive culture, particularly instrumental music, song, dance, and architectural monuments, in building community, forging sentiments of belonging, and articulating and asserting national consciousness in the Republic of Armenia and the Balkan Armenian diaspora, with special attention to those Armenian art forms inscribed on the UNESCO Intangible Heritage List. Through a portfolio of case studies, the goal is to provide workshop participants with accessible curricular materials that highlight different aspects of contemporary Armenian social concerns and that might be adapted to a variety of humanities and social science courses that address or incorporate units on the southern Caucasus.

2:15 – 3:00pm  An Overview of Musical Instruments and Ensembles in the South Caucasus
Dr. Donna A. Buchanan and Dr. Natasha Kipp Maki

5:00 – 6:30pm  Recent Political and Economic Developments in the South Caucasus and Q&A
General Lounge, 210 Illini Union (1401 W. Green St., Urbana, IL 61801)

Diplomats from the Embassy of Armenia, the Embassy of Azerbaijan, and the Embassy of Georgia in the U.S.

  • Mr. Ara Margarian, Minister Plenipotentiary, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of the Republic of Armenia to the United States
  • Mr. Giorgi Tsikolia, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Georgia to the United States

June 21, 2019
101 International Studies Building (910 S. Fifth St., Champaign, IL 61820)

Day Four: Games and Workshop

9:00 – 10:30am  Group Work: Scenario – The Great Game
Dr. Stephen Jones (Mount Holyoke College) and Dr. Mauricio Borrero (St. John’s University)

In this exercise, participants in the workshop will split into groups to discuss and debate what role “Great Powers,” neighboring states and international formations like the EU and NATO play in the current tussle for influence in the region. We will focus on Russia, China, Turkey, the US, and NATO. Participants will consider the goals and strategies of the South Caucasian states as they deal with international pressures and enticements from contesting powers.

10:45 – 11:15am  Group discussion of the scenario

11:15 – 12:15pm  Restaging the Classroom for War: Teaching empires and nationalism through emergent learning and immersive play
Dr. Judith Pintar (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)

In this presentation, the use of games, game design and gameful pedagogies, particularly roleplay and simulations, to teach REEES area studies will be covered. Specific examples on how to use creative approaches to address violent, contested and potentially polarizing course content will be shared.

3:30 – 3:45pm  Further Pedagogical Resources
Talin Lindsay (ARISC Executive Director)

A brief presentation on resources available from ARISC and major universities, and resources for study abroad and language programs.