Date: Thursday, February 2, 2023 Time: 3:00 – 4:00 PM Location: McGhee Library (ICC 301) Light appetizers will be served.
About the Book:
Soviet Georgia received the same nation-building template as other national republics of the USSR. Yet Stalin’s Georgian heritage, intimate knowledge of Caucasian affairs, and personal involvement in local matters as he ascended to prominence left his homeland to confront a distinct set of challenges after his death in 1953. Utilizing Georgian archives and Georgian-language sources, in her new book Claire P. Kaiser argues that the postwar and post-Stalin era was decisive in the creation of a “Georgian” Georgia. This was due not only to the peculiar role played by the Stalin cult in the construction of modern Georgian nationhood but also to the subsequent changes that de-Stalinization wrought among Georgia’s populace and in the unusual imperial relationship between Moscow and Tbilisi. Georgian and Soviet reveals that the republic-level national hierarchies that the Soviet Union created laid a foundation for the claims of nationalizing states that would emerge from the empire’s wake in 1991. Today, Georgia still grapples with the legacies of its Soviet century, and the Stalin factor likewise lingers as new generations of Georgians reevaluate the symbiotic relationship between Soso Jughashvili and his native land.
About the Author:
Dr. Claire P. Kaiser is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies and head of strategy for McLarty Associates, a Washington-based global strategy firm. She is the author ofGeorgian and Soviet: Entitled Nationhood and the Specter of Stalin in the Caucasus(Cornell UP, 2023). She has also contributed to edited volumes on Georgian nationalism and empire in the Soviet periphery. Dr. Kaiser has been an instructor at the Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute, served as an election observer for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in missions to Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan, and began her career at the US Embassy in Kyiv. She earned a PhD in modern Russian and Soviet history at the University of Pennsylvania; and an MA in Eurasian, Russian, and Eastern European Studies and a BS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. She is a term member of the Council of Foreign Relations and speaks Russian and Georgian.
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