People, Politics, and Prose: Entitled Nationhood and The Specter of Stalin in the Caucasus
October 10, 2023 | 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm
About the Event
In her book, Georgian and Soviet, Claire Kaiser highlights the tensions between nationhood and imperial identity in the Soviet Union and their implications for today. The Soviet republic of Georgia, located in the mountainous Caucasus region, 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.
Georgian and Soviet reveals that the entitled, 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.
Claire P. Kaiser - 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.