The head of the Caucasus Educational District, Kirill Yanovsky, epitomized the liberal minded reformers in the Russian Empire who saw the reform of pedagogy – introducing modern sciences, languages, critical thinking and emphasis on the individual – as a means to bring modernity and civilization while respecting ethnic, linguistic and religious diversity. The Caucasus Educational District became a sort of refuge for liberal reformers among educational administrators, beyond the grasp of conservative elements in St. Petersburg. Yet Yanovsky and his colleagues in the Caucasus Educational District came to be viewed in the narratives of nationalists as instruments of Russification and assimilation. Using archival sources, this project examines the intersection of reform and nationalism in the question of language teaching in schools in the Caucasus at a time of state directed centralization in the Russian Empire.
Timothy Blauvelt is Associate Professor of Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies at Ilia State University, and Country Director of American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS.
Anton Vacharadze is the Director of the Central Historical Archive at the National Archives of Georgia and a PhD student at Ilia State University.
W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the new office of CRRC at Chkhikvadze St. 1. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public.
The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.
Would you like to present at one of the W-i-P sessions? Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.