Happy New Year, 1988!

This year has been a year when I have looked back in time. In two publications I have returned to Georgia in 1988 and the last Soviet years. Together with Märta-Lisa Magnusson and other colleagues we published the anthology “Vi såg sammanbrottet” (We witnessed the break-up – Six Swedish and Danish researchers on the final years of the USSR seen from the Caucasus). Link to the book.

The Georgian grammar sketch that I wrote together with Revaz Tchantouria in 1988 has emerged in a new shape as an epub3 ebook (link to the book). This is a short Georgian grammar (in Swedish) with texts, reference tables and Georgian/Swedish wordlists. Both publications include a number of photos from Georgia around 1988 – but the New Year’s photos appear here, exclusively.

Festschrift Language and Society in the Caucasus (link)

In the spring semester we organized a number of online seminars, including many long-distance online presenters, for instance, the RUCARR seminar on April 9 on the Restoration of Georgia’s statehood 30 years with Prof. Merab Chukhua and Tina Tskhovrebadze.

The seminar on May 25 with Prof. Oliver Reisner turned out to be a huge surprise for me. Instead of chairing the following discussion session, I was presented with the festschrift Language and Society in the Caucasus. Understanding the Past, Navigating the Present. What a surprise! My sincere thanks to the initiatiors, editors and dear colleagues Bo Petersson, Jean Hudson, Katrine Gotfredsen and Christofer Berglund, as well as all authors and colleagues in the Tabula gratulatoria. Revaz Tchantouria’s painting on the cover gave the book a special touch.

In April, finally, our joint article with Manana Kobaidze and Revaz Tchantouria appeared “On olfactory terminology in Georgian and other Kartvelian languages” in the volume The Linguistics of Olfaction: Typological and Diachronic Approaches to Synchronic Diversity (edited by Łukasz Jędrzejowski and Przemysław Staniewski. On the final day of the Spring semester, on Midsummer’s eve, I was invited to give a lecture at the Slawisches Institut, Universität Köln, in their series ”Russian outside Russia” . The topic of my presentation was The Russian language in the South Caucasus: special focus on Georgia”.

No travel abroad this year either! A new word has been coined in Swedish – hemestra – based on hem + semester ‘home + vacation’, so the summer offered trips to two beautiful provinces in mid-Sweden, one to Värmland and one to Leksand in Dalarna.

In the fall we organized the online seminar series Meet Georgian Culture at Malmö University, in connection with the 20 years anniversary of our Georgian online course. The themes spanned from Georgian linguistics and literature to art, film and Georgian traditions. Special thanks to colleagues Manana Kobaidze, Zaal Kikvidze, Tinatin Bolkvadze, Tamta Khalvashi, Kevin Tuite and Denis Keefe for their great contributions!

The fall is conference time: The VII International Scientific Conference on “Prospects of Developing Georgian-Ossetian Relations” was held on October 13-15. I participated with the paper “Maria Anholm in Georgia and her book “I Gogs och Magogs land” (1895)”. At Malmö University we organized the conference Sixth Annual RUCARR Conference, 10-11 November 2021. Thanks to Zoom I managed to participate in a conference that was held in Tbilisi at the same time: the VI International Caucasiological Symposium”, Chikobava Inst./TSU 9-11 November (fortunately, my presentation was scheduled on the 9th). My last conference this year was 7th Scientific Session of the Circassian Cultural Centre on December 16-17 in Tbilisi. This conference was truly multilingual, with sessions in Georgian, Circassian, English and Russian. Quite impressive!

Last year’s conclusion applies to this year as well: we have been isolated from seeing friends and colleagues who we were used to meet frequently, but our international networks and online contacts and activities have expanded even more. We have probably become more patient, but are so eager to meet again, to travel again. Looking forward to possible changes to the better in 2022!