Asiac yearly conference 2020 – 3-4-5 December 2020

Asiac yearly conference 2020

3 – 4 – 5 December 2020

Due to the global pandemic and its repercussions on travel, we will offer an online-only format this year: participants will be able to join remotely via e-conferencing tools.

On Thursday 3, Friday 4, and Saturday 5 December 2020, the Sapienza Università di Roma will coordinate the annual conference of the Italian Association for the study of Central Asia and the Caucasus (Asiac).

This conference is organised by professor Gabriele Natalizia of Sapienza Università di Roma and Asiac’s board of directors: Aldo Ferrari, Vittorio Springfield Tomelleri, Fabio Indeo, Gabriele Natalizia, Daniele Artoni, and Paolo Sorbello

Thursday, 3 December 2020

Introductory Session – Opening greetings – 9:15 to 9:45
Aldo Ferrari – Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, President of ASIAC
Antonello Biagini – Rettore UNITELMA Sapienza e Presidente della Fondazione Roma Sapienza

Session 1 – Central Asia and Caucasus Art – 9:45 to 11:00
Chair: Paolo Sorbello, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice

Karolina Kluczewska, University of Giessen, Creating at the periphery: Artists’ subjectivities and perceptions of freedom in Soviet and post-Soviet Tajikistan
Giovanni De Zorzi, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Notes on the Birth of Art Music (On Ikki Muqam) among Uyghurs

Break – 11:00 to 11:15

Session 2 – Identity, Access, and Labour in Kazakhstan’s Oil Sector – 11:15 to 13:00
Chair: Tommaso Trevisani, Università degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”

Maurizio Totaro, Ghent University, Governing Extraction and Making Neoliberal Subjects in Kazakhstan’s “Troublesome” Oil Region
Paolo Sorbello, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Transmission belts of hegemony: Trade Unions in Kazakhstan’s Oil Sector
Aydyin Lukpanov, Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Professional and Labor Identity of Oil and Gas Industry Employees in the Atyrau Region: Methodology of Sociological Research

Break – 13:00 to 14:30

Session 3 – Regime legitimation and social change in contemporary Azerbaijan – 14:30 to 16:00
Chair: Carlo Frappi, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice

Cristina Boboc, Ghent University, Modernization in steel and glass. The politics of social change in the capital city of post-Soviet Azerbaijan
Eske van Gils, Leiden University, Azerbaijan as a transport hub and implications for authoritarian regime legitimacy
Laura Luciani, Ghent University, Practices of (in)visibility in the authoritarian state: human rights activists and the EU in Azerbaijan

Break – 16:00 to 16:15

Session 4 – Change and Continuity in Central Asia – 16:15 to 17:30
Chair: Fabio Indeo, OACC

Guido Orange, Independent researcher, The intricate cultural policy of Central Asia: A reflection on the Turkmen case
Alberto Turkstra, European Institute for Asian Studies, Uzbekistan – a two-speed reform process

ASIAC Assembly – 17:45 to 18.45 (In Italian)

Friday, 4 December 2020

Session 5 – Ossetian Studies – 1 – 9:30 to 11:00
Chair: Vittorio Springfield Tomelleri, University of Macerata

Diana Sokaeva, SOIGSI of V.I. Abaev, Sacral characters of Ossetian folklore and mythological and religious belief systems: their connection with Scythian, Sarmatian and Alanian mythology
Madina Tezieva, Journalist Union of the Russian Federation, The epos David Sasunsky and Shah-name in the light of the markers of the patrimonial history of the ancient Ossetian clan Tsargasat
Elmira Gutieva, SOIGSI of V.I. Abaev, Longevity of Historical Heroes in Epics
M.A. Tsalikova, North Ossetian State University, Reflection of gender stratification in North Ossetian society in the media

Break – 11:00 to 11:15

Session 6 – Ossetian Studies – 2 – 11:15 to 13:00
Chair: TBD

Izeta Mamieva, SOIGSI of V.I. Abaev, Syrdon’s Priestly Essence in the Ossetian Narts Epic and its Refraction in Fiction
Elizaveta Dzaparova, SOIGSI of V.I. Abaev, The contribution of Russian poets-translators to the Ossetian literary process
Indira Cherdzhieva, Union of Cinematographers of the Russian Federation, Cinema of North Ossetia. Origin and developmental features

Break – 13:00 to 14:30

Session 7 – Echoes of Tragedies between Caucasus and Black Sea: Events, Documents, Heritage – 14:30 to 16:00
Chair: Andrea Carteny, Sapienza University – Rome

Fabio L. Grassi, Sapienza University – Rome, A Survey on the Oral History of the Circassians of Turkey
Valentina Sommella, Università degli Studi di Perugia, Pan-Turanism in Turkey and in the Caucasus in the eyes of Italian diplomats (1919-1922)
Giuseppe Motta, Sapienza University – Rome, The Trial of Soghomon Tehlirian and its impact for the New Perspective of International Law
Alessandro Vagnini, Sapienza University – Rome, Civil War, Refugees and the Great Powers: the Italian Navy in the Black Sea (1919-1922)

Break – 16:00 to 16:15

Session 8 – Literature and Tradition – 16:15 to 17:30
Chair: Daniel Pommier, Sapienza University – Rome

Andriy Danylenko, Pace University, Bridging al-Qabq (Caucasus) with Aldeigjuborg (Old Ladoga): Ibn al-Nadīm on Rus’ Writing
Elisabetta Ragagnin, University of Ca’ Foscari, Venice, Gastronomica in Bābur-nāma
Alessio Giordano and Vittorio Spriengfield Tomelleri, IUSS Pavia and University of Macerata, Khetagurov’s Dodoj. Between written and oral tradition

Saturday, 5 December 2020

Session 9 – Caucasus History and Records – 9:30 to 11:00
Chair: Aldo Ferrari, University of Ca’ Foscari, Venice

Manuel Castelluccia, Università degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”, From Chiefdoms to Kingdom: Military Elites in the Caucasus in the First Millennium BC
Irakli Tskhvediani, Akaki Tsereteli State University, “Across the Main Caucasus Ridge”: The Caucasus Writings of George Kennan
Ana Cheishvili, École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Importance of Correspondence in Studying the Activities of 19th Century Researchers: Expedition of Stephen Sommier and Emile Levier to the Caucasus

Break – 11:00 to 11:15

Session 10 – Eurasia between the EU and the BRI – 11:15 to 13:00
Chair: Fabio Indeo, OACC

Rustami Suhrob, Ural Federal University, Yekaterinburg, The new European Union strategy for Central Asia
Paolo Sorbello and Gian Marco Moisé, University of Ca’ Foscari, Venice and DCU, Reframing Geopolitics in the Energy Sector of Central Asia
Giulia Sciorati, University of Trento, Looking East? An Analysis of Kazakhstan’s Geopolitical Code after the Launch of the Belt and Road Initiative

Break – 13:00 to 14:30

Session 11 – Contemporary Caucasus Language and Literature – 14:30 to 16:00
Chair: Daniele Artoni, University of Verona

Ketevan Gadiliya, Russian State University for Humanities, The early stage of Georgian-Russian language contacts
Elena Simonato, University of Lausanne, Swiss communities in the Caucasus, 19-20th centuries
Tamari Lomtadze, Akaki Tsereteli State University, Georgian Language in the Educational System
Valentina Marcati, Università degli Studi di Milano, Identity construction and fragmentation in contemporary Russophone literature by North Caucasian writers: the case of German Sadulaev

Break – 16:00 to 16:15

Session 12 – Gender and Political Discourse – 16:15 to 17:30
Chair: Giorgio Comai, OBCT/CCI

Claudia Ditel, University of Graz, Challenges and Opportunities of Women’s Transformative Power in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
Flavia Lucenti, Roma Tre University, Discussing Russia’s Growing Dissatisfaction: a Political Discourse Analysis

17:30 End of conference

China and Russia: Cooperation or Rivalry along the Belt and Road Initiative?

Nuovo articolo di Fabio Indeo all’interno di questa special issue.

ASIAC annual conference – Rome, 3-4 December 2020 – Call for papers

On Thursday 3 December and Friday 4 December 2020, the Sapienza Università di Roma will host the annual conference of the Italian Association for the study of Central Asia and the Caucasus (Asiac).

The aim of this edition of the annual conference is to foster the scientific dialogue between scholars working on these areas, from Italy as well as from abroad. The topics of the conference include, but are not limited to, such disciplines as history, linguistics, literature, politics, archeology, geography.

We strongly encourage participants to submit proposals for thematic sessions, including participants from different universities or research institutions, in the spirit of sparking feedback and fostering collaboration among scholars working on similar topics. The conference sessions will generally combine three or four accepted proposals, one moderator, and, in certain cases, a discussant.

All proposals should include a title and an abstract (around 500 words), affiliation, and contact information for each of the speakers and should be sent by July 1st 2020 to the following email address: [email protected].

Due to the global pandemic and its repercussions on travel, we will offer a hybrid format this year: Those able and willing to travel to Rome will convene at Sapienza – unless otherwise specified by university or government regulations – while the rest of the participants will be able to join remotely via e-conferencing tools.

Presenters will be encouraged to submit their papers for publication to Eurasiatica, the peer-reviewed academic journal edited by Edizioni Ca’ Foscari at the University of Venice.

The working language of the conference will be English.

The notification of acceptance will be communicated by July 24th 2020.

Attendance is free, but all speakers have to register and pay the conference fee (50 euro for professors and academics, 25 euro for students or independent researchers); follow this link for payment details.


Deadline for proposals: 1 July 2020;

Notification of acceptance: 24 July 2020;

Registration and fee payment: 6 September 2020 (lack of payment will result in removal from the programme);

Publication of the final programme: 30 September 2020.

Submission of papers to panel discussants (where applicable): 10 November 2020

This conference is organised by professor Gabriele Natalizia of Sapienza Università di Roma and Asiac’s board of directors: Aldo Ferrari, Vittorio Springfield Tomelleri, Fabio Indeo, Gabriele Natalizia, Daniele Artoni, and Paolo Sorbello

Monitoring Central Asia and the Caspian Area

Development Policies, Regional Trends, and Italian Interests

Clicca sulla copertina per scaricare il volume

a cura di

Carlo Frappi – Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italia    

Fabio Indeo – Nato Defense College Foundation    

Il presente volume della serie «Eurasiatica. Quaderni di Studi su Balcani, Anatolia, Iran, Caucaso e Asia Centrale» è interamente dedicato all’area centro-asiatica e caspica. Scopo del volume è di catturare e restituire al lettore una parte delle rilevanti trasformazioni istituzionali, politiche ed economiche che stanno interessando l’area centro-asiatica. Lungi dal rivolgersi ai soli studiosi d’area, il volume muove dal presupposto che guardare all’Asia centrale aiuti a comprendere dinamiche che trascendono i confini della regione, a inquadrare cioè processi e tendenze che caratterizzano il sistema internazionale post-bipolare e la più ampia convivenza nello spazio eurasiatico. Intercettare e rappresentare queste dinamiche e questi temi è lo scopo del presente volume, che – sullo sfondo del crescente interesse istituzionale e imprenditoriale italiano verso l’area – mira non secondariamente a delineare gli interessi e le priorità di azione del Sistema Paese nei rapporti con gli interlocutori centro-asiatici e caspici.

Il volume rappresenta la prima pubblicazione dell’Osservatorio Asia Centrale e Caspio (OACC), costituito nel 2019 con l’intento di dar vita a un forum di confronto tra mondo accademico, imprenditoriale e istituzionale sulle dinamiche politiche, sociali ed economiche di un’area troppo spesso e ingiustificatamente sottovalutata nel dibattito nazionale.

Asiac yearly conference 2019 – Rome, 5-6 December 2019

Asiac yearly conference 2019

5 December – 6 December 2019

Interdepartmental Research Centre on Central-Eastern Europe, Russia, and Eurasia

Università degli Studi – Roma Tre

via Gabriello Chiabrera 199, Rome

This conference is organised by professor Simona Merlo of Università degli Studi – Roma Tre and Asiac’s board of directors: Vittorio Springfield Tomelleri, Giorgio Comai, Carlo Frappi, Fabio Indeo, Francesco Mazzucotelli, and Paolo Ognibene

Download the programme in pdf

Thursday 5 December

9.00 Registration

9.30 Opening greetings and introduction

Francesco Guida (Università degli Studi – Roma Tre), president of the Interdepartmental Research Centre on Central-Eastern Europe, Russia, and Eurasia

Vittorio Tomelleri (Università di Macerata), president of ASIAC

9.45 Understanding contemporary Chechnya

Chair: Giorgio Comai (OBCT/CCI)

Image as a tool of power legitimization: the case of Ramzan Kadyrov / Marat Iliyasov (University of St. Andrews)

The Islamisation of the Chechen society under Kadyrov leadership: implication for the national and regional dynamics / Giuliano Bifolchi (University of Rome Tor Vergata)

Chechnya’s current status in the Russian Federation and its geopolitical futures / Giorgio Cella (Catholic University of Milan)

11.15 Coffee break

11.30 Language and education in Georgia and the South Caucasus / Session A

Chair: Vittorio Tomelleri (Università di Macerata)

The young and the Russian Language in the contemporary Southern Caucasus / Daniele Artoni (University of Verona)

The Language of Academic Journals in Georgia: Georgian vs Other languages / Gogolashvili Giorgi (Tbilisi State University) / Tamari Lomtadze (Akaki Tsereteli State University)

Svan-speaking communities and emergent literacy / Alessio Giordano (IUSS Pavia)

Issues of Language Policy in First Democratic Republic of Georgia / Mariam Manjgaladze (Tbilisi State University)

The origins of Caucasus studies in Georgia / Maka Tetradze (Tbilisi State University)

11.30 International relations in Central Asia / Session B

Chair: TBD

Central Asia: new trends of connectivity and regional integration / Fabio Indeo

Tamerlane’s trip to Shanghai: analysis of Sino-Uzbek relations from 1991 to 2016 / Frank Maracchione (University of Sheffield)

Understanding the Role of Turkey in the Geo-Politics of the Central Asian States (With Special Reference to Afghanistan)/ Angana Kotokey (Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India)

Perspectives on Central Asian Security involving Afghanistan / Anchita Borthakur (Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India)

13.00 Lunch

14.30 Cultural encounters

Chair: Simona Merlo (Università Roma Tre)

Central Asia in Contemporary Russian Literature: Among Nostalgia, Stereotypes, History and Myth / Dmitry Novokhatskiy (Università di Padova)

Georgian-Dagestan ethno cultural relations X-XIV centuries / Maia Tsitsvidze (Tbilisi State University)

In search of unknown languages, flowers and butterflies. The other side of the Russian military expeditions in Central Asia and the Caucasus / Paolo Ognibene (University of Bologna)

Country at Crossroads: Oriental-Occidental Encounters in Georgian Literary Modernism / Irakli Tskhvediani (Akaki Tsereteli State University)

16.00 Coffee break

16.15 Architecture in the Caucasus between urban form and identity

Chair: Marco Falsetti (Università degli Studi di Roma “Sapienza”)

Caucasian architecture between vernacular and modernism / Giusi Ciotoli (Università degli Studi di Roma “Sapienza”)

The myth of Soviet Tashkent from Revolution to Reconstruction / Marco Falsetti (Università degli Studi di Roma “Sapienza”)

The geographic architectures of the Caucasian landscape / Antonella Pettorruso (Politecnico di Torino)

17.30 Book presentations

Book presentation: Daniel Pommier, “Storia internazionale dell’Azerbaigian“, Carocci Editore, 2019

Book presentation: Aldo Ferrari, “L’Armenia perduta“, Salerno Editrice, 2019

17.50 End of session

18.00 Asiac association meeting (in Italian)

Friday 6 December

9.30 In the Caucasus, from the Caucasus

Chair: Carlo Frappi (Università Ca’ Foscari, Venezia)

Mещанство and Intelligentsia between Azerbaijan Democratic Republic and Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic / Cristina Boboc (University of Ghent)

Tek Millet, İki Devlet: Turkey and Azerbaijan between operational environment and psychological environment / Federico Lanza (Università di Pavia)

The quest for visibility and self-assessment of the caucasians in Turkey / Fabio L. Grassi (Sapienza University – Rome)

Armenian Clergy and Conflict Management between Etchmiadzin and Beirut, 1943–1994 / Francesco Mazzucotelli (Università di Pavia)

Urban Transformations in Post-Soviet Tbilisi / Vincenzo Zenobi

11.00 Coffee break

11.30 Domestic politics in contemporary Central Asia

Chair: Amb. Stefano Ravagnan

Protest under Patronal Presidentialism: Kyrgyzstan, 1991-2010 / Katherine Crofts-Gibbons (King’s College London)

The role of Kazakh society in the state development: an overview of the current situation, between governmental fickleness and nation branding initiatives / Lucia Bortolotti

Media Education in Kyrgyzstan: Challenges and New Opportunities / Elira Turdubaeva (American University of Central Asia)

Globalization of Kazakhstan Economy: Success or Failure? / Garima Tomar (Visiting scholar, Università Ca’ Foscari, Venezia)

The Uzbekistan turn: true changes or just geopolitical calculations? / Igor Jelen (Università di Trieste), Alessandro Carile

13.00 Lunch

14.30 Contemporary South Caucasus

Chair: Gabriele Natalizia (Università degli Studi di Roma “Sapienza”)

The EU’s human rights promotion in the South Caucasus: constructing ‘civil’ society, depoliticizing human rights? / Laura Luciani (Ghent University)

The role of bargaining power in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution process / Eske van Gils (University of Kent)

Establishing sustainable peace, the linkage between financially beneficial energy projects and conflict resolution: the case of trans-Caspian energy pipelines and Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno Karabakh conflict / Gunel Madadli (University of Bergamo)

Why joining the “international donors club”? Portraying Azerbaijan’s Humanitarian Diplomacy/ Carlo Frappi (Università Ca’ Foscari, Venezia)

Russia hacked: problematic sources for insights on conflicts in Ukraine and the South Caucasus / Giorgio Comai (OBCT/CCI)

16.00 Coffee break

16.15 – South Caucasus linguistics

Chair: Vittorio Tomelleri (Università di Macerata)

Correlation of Adverbs and Semantics of Present Perfect in Georgian / Giuli Shabashvili (Tbilisi State University)

The Spatial Categories of the Kartvelian Languages As the Cultural and Linguistic Representants of the Kartvelian Mentality / Rusudan Gersamia (Ilia State University), Ketevan Lortkiphanidze (Tbilisi State University), Nino Tsulaia (Ilia State University)

On Some Phonetic Processes at the Edge of Morphemes in Megrelian / Tsita Janjgava

17.30 – End of conference