Nino Siprashvili

  • BA Studies: History, Politics and Culture, University of Georgia, 2005-2009
  • MA Studies: Social Anthropology, University of Bergen, 2012-2014
  • Research Assistant, Turkey as a F(actor) in Caucasus, German Institute for Security and International Affairs, April 2015-July 2015
  • Supporting the Repatriation of People Deported from Georgia in the 1940s, European Center of Minority Issues, August 2011-October 2011

Islamic Discourse: Between Local practices, Transnational Islam, Georgian Nationalism and Liberal values”

After the collapse of the Soviet Union Christianity became an inspiration for the people of Adjara for building a renewed Georgian identity. This followed a nation-wide trend, enforcing a narrative that Adjarans truly belong to the Georgian nation. At the time Islam was often viewed as an outdated religious practice, associated with the undesired Soviet and pre-Soviet past. However, the fall of the iron curtain opened borders, which made both knowledge about western liberal values and transnational resources of Islamic knowledge accessible. Young Adjarans were now traveling from Georgia to Turkey to get secular and religious education. As they returned they started influencing and rebuilding the Muslim community in Adjara.

The broader purpose of the research will be to explore religious transformation in Adjara post the Soviet era, as various types of information have become accessible and the connection with neighboring Turkey re-established. A specific focus will be how Muslims are reshaping Islam in Adjara, and how this is exerting influence over the wider population. Moreover, a goal with the research is to study the Adjaran Muslim discourse which is built and shaped through the interrelation of different influences like local practices, transnational Islam, Georgian nationalism and western liberal values.

Scientific Articles/Papers:

  • Afro Georgians: African Migrants living in Georgia” [with Data Chigolashvili and Manana Tsereteli], 3rd Annual Conference in Humanities at the University of Georgia, 2011, The University of Georgia Press, pages from 352 to 367
  • 3rd Annual conference in University at the University of Georgia, 2011, Tbilisi, “African Migrants living in Georgia” (with Davit Chigholashvili and Manana Tsereteli)
  • Ethnology and Archeology in Armenia and Neighboring Countries, 2010, Yerevan, “Religious Opposition in Pankisi George”
  • Eurasia Partnership Foundation, Mphil student/Researcher, Anthropology of Development, University of Bergen 2012-2014

The joint PhD program in Cultural and religious studies between Ilia State University and The University of Goettingen represents a unique opportunity for me to pursue my research interests and develop as a researcher. The double degree program gives me a chance to be connected both with local and international research communities as well as have access to recent international and local scholarly contributions to my field of study. Finally, the funding opportunity of the program makes it possible for me to take on my research as a full-time job, which indeed is the ideal opportunity for me.