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Scenarios of empire and local identity: Public culture in 19th c. South Caucasus

This project, which is led by Dr Hubertus Jahn, was initially funded by a British Academy Small Grant. In 2017 it attracted a Senior Fellowship at the Historisches Kolleg in Munich, where it was at the centre of an international conference about identities and representations in Georgia in the 19th and 20th centuries. The project explores representations of imperial power and ideology in the Russian Empire at its Southern periphery before 1917. It is inspired by the wealth of recent studies that have investigated Russian imperial peculiarities in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union and by new works about ceremonial practices, the role of ethnography and symbolic representations in the processes of empire building more generally. It thus explores official ceremonies and tsarist visits to the region, the creation and unveiling of monuments, the internal arrangements of museums and the peculiar aesthetics of exhibitions and puts these official images of empire and the underlying “civilizing mission” in the context of local identities and traditions.