In the Caucasus We Count

WiP: Performing Soviet Literacies in the TSFSR, March 11 - Jeremy Johnson


American Councils, CRRC Georgia and ARISC present the rescheduled 4th talk in the Spring 2015 Works-in-Progress Series!

Jeremy Johnson, University of Michigan
Performing Soviet Literacies in the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic

Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at 6:30pm
EPF/CRRC-Georgia, Kavsadze St. 3, Tbilisi

In the 1920s and 1930s, the Soviet Union undertook large-scale, multilingual literacy campaigns, which dramatically increased reported rates of literacy across the country. In the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, these campaigns initially involved preexisting literacy societies, educational organizations and international relief missions, each with particular understandings of what constituted literacy or literacies, along side newly formed Soviet organizations. Using archival material from Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, this talk will examine the ways competing notions of literacy or literacies came to play out in the production of discourses of literate citizenship and they ways in which citizens performed literacy or illiteracy in specific contexts.

Jeremy Johnson is a PhD Candidate at the University of Michigan in the Interdepartmental Program in Anthropology and History. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, American Councils, and the Manoogian Simone Foundation.

W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the Eurasian Partnership Foundation at Kavsadze St. 3. 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