On Traumatic Modernities: Forced Migration and Nakh Cultural Memory Along Caucasus Borderlands
Rebecca Gould, Humanities, Yale-NUS College Singapore
Research Grant, 2014
My research for “On Traumatic Modernities,” carried out mostly in the Caucasus, yielded several new insights as well as concrete outputs. My findings include the following:
1. Migration narratives from the 1860s continue to inform the post-Soviet experience of migration.
2. Georgians recognize the role of Muslim displacements within their literary histories and in cultural memory, even though the documentary record leaves a stronger record of solidarity across religious divides.
3. Muslims from the Caucasus link their histories of displacement with Muslims from elsewhere in the Islamic world, including Central Asia.
My conversations with local scholars in Georgia and throughout the Caucasus enable me to probe the ongoing legacies of the violence that constitutes forced migration.
These findings emerge from the comparative perspective I brought to the study of the 1944 Soviet deportations. I spoke with many survivors of the deportation (particularly those who reside on the Daghestan/Georgian border), and documented their stories and experience for future publications. Finally, my conversations with local scholars in Georgia and throughout the Caucasus enable me to probe the ongoing legacies of the violence that constitutes forced migration.
This research has also been disseminated in general interest publications. Among the general interest publications is a widely syndicated piece on the concept of forced migration (hijra) within Islam. First published in 2015 as “The Islamic State’s Perversion of Hijra,” Project Syndicate, this essay was subsequently translated into Arabic, Amharic, Chinese, French, German, Polish, and Serbian, and republished in The Globe & Mail (Canada); Qantara.de (in German and Arabic); The Bangkok Post; Japan Times; Zaman France; L’Orient-Le Jour; La revista de prensa ‘Tribuna Libre’; Reporters: Quotidien national d’information; Media24: Portail d’information économique et politique du Maroc; The Jakarta Post; The Reporter (Ethiopia); Facts & Arts; and The Montreal Review (entitled “Hijra before ISIS”).
Gould, R. (2018). Memorializing Akhundzadeh: Contradictory Cosmopolitanism and Post-Soviet Narcissism in Old Tbilisi. Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies.(https://doi.org/10.1080/1369801X.2018. 1439397).
Gould, R., Shikhaliev, S. (2017). Beyond the Taqlīd/Ijtihād Dichotomy: Daghestani Legal Thought under Russian Rule. Islamic Law and Society, 24(1-2), 142-169.
Gould, R. (2016). Finding Bazorkin: A Journey from Anthropology to Literature. Anthropology and Humanism, 41(1), 86-101.
Gould, R. (2015). Ijtihd against Madhhab: Legal Hybridity and the Meanings of Modernity in Early Modern Daghestan. Comparative Studies in Society and History, 57(1), 35-66.