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Scripts, Sounds, and Songs: Mediating History in the Caucasus and Beyond

The Caucasus and its adjacent regions have long been conceptualized as a meeting place of many scripts, peoples, societies, and empires. The history of the Caucasus in general, and Armenia in particular, is replete with examples of individuals and groups reworking – or resisting – artistic, social, and religious elements from their neighbors in a complex and ongoing process of cultural negotiation, transcending any single language or territory.

This workshop will examine the history of the Caucasus from a long-neglected site of encounter – the combination and recombination of multiple media and forms of cultural production. In what ways might, for instance, medieval Armenian ballads, heterographic wonder tales, or modern filmmaking mediate different histories of shared, fraught space? How do the past and present meet and negotiate the meaning of the other in various forms of cultural labor? Or, more simply: how might a history of this space and its shared regions morph and shift across different media

Friday, October 9, 2020 | 2:00-3:30 PM

Part 1 | Crosscultural Archives and Contrapuntal Reading: Three Texts from an Era of Transition

Harsha Ram, Associate Professor, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and Comparative Literature, University of California, Berkeley

Discussant: Samuel Hodgkin, Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature, Yale University

Friday, October 16, 2020 | 2:00-4:00 PM

Part 2 | Other Archives of Armenian History

Alex MacFarlane, 2020-21 Manoogian Postdoctoral Fellow

Armen Abkarian, PhD student, Department of History

Michael Pifer, Lecturer, Department of Middle East Studies

Discussant: Rebecca Gould, Professor of Islamic World and Comparative Literature, University of Birmingham