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The Death of Caucasus Philology: Towards a Discipline Beyond Areal Divides

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image of Iran and the Caucasus

This essay investigates the challenges facing Caucasus philology, by which I mean the institutional capacity to conduct deep research into the literary cultures of Azerbaijan Republic, Georgia, Daghestan, and Chechnya. I argue that the philological approach to the literary cultures of the Caucasus has been a casualty of the rise of areas studies in the North American academy during the Cold War, and that Cold War legacies continue to shape Caucasus Studies to this day. I conclude by offering three proposals for opening exchanges between the humanities and the social sciences within Caucasus Studies. More broadly, this essay argues for a rapprochement between the social sciences and philological inquiry vis-à-vis the Caucasus.

Affiliations: 1: Yale-NUS College


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