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MemberJames Baillie

I’m James Baillie, I’m a pre-doctoral Universitatsassistent in digital humanities at the University of Vienna, originally hailing from the east of England. My research interests focus on the Black Sea region and the Caucasus in the Middle Ages, especially the history of Georgia, and my current project is the construction of a Prosopographical database covering Georgia in the twelfth century.

MemberPietro Shakarian

A native of Cleveland, I am a historian of Russia and the Soviet Union, with a focus on the Caucasus region during the era of Nikita Khrushchev’s Thaw. I earned my PhD in History at The Ohio State University, my MA in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, my MLIS at Kent State University, and my BA in History at John Carroll University in Cleveland.

MemberRebecca Ruth Gould

I am the author of Writers and Rebels: The Literature of Insurgency in the Caucasus (Yale University Press, 2016), which was awarded the University of Southern California Book Prize in Literary and Cultural Studies and the best book award by the Association for Women in Slavic Studies, and the translator of After Tomorrow the Days Disappear: Ghazals and Other Poems Hasan Sijzi of Delhi (Northwestern University Press, 2016), and The Prose of the Mountains: Tales of the Caucasus (Central European University Press, 2015). I post video reviews of books I am reading on my YouTube channel. My articles have received awards ranging from the International Society for Intellectual History’s Charles Schmitt Prize to the Women’s Caucus for the Modern Languages Association’s Florence Howe Award for Feminist Scholarship. From 2018-2023, I am PI for the ERC-funded project, “Global Literary Theory: Caucasus Literatures Compared.”  I have taught at Yale-NUS College, the University of Bristol, and am currently Professor, Islamic World and Comparative Literatures, at the University of Birmingham.

MemberMarilyn Kelly-Buccellati

Professor Marilyn Kelly-Buccellati has been excavating and conducting research on the archaeology and art history of the ancient Near East for over 50 years. Her Ph.D. from the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago was on the third millennium B.C. in the Caucasus. She taught archaeology and art history in California State University, Los Angeles and is now Visiting Professor at the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, UCLA. She is Director of the Urkesh/Mozan Archaeological Project, a site spanning the fourth to the second millennia BC which has provided crucial to our understanding of the history, art and architecture of northern Mesopotamia. Her research interests include Syro-Mesopotamian seal iconography, ceramics, ancient identification markers, pre-history in the southern Caucasus. She has published many site reports based on work in Terqa and especially Mozan/Urkesh, and is currently finishing a digital volume on the excavated ceramics from Urkesh, to be published within the Urkesh Global Record website. One of her important publications was on the function of the necromantic pit excavated in Urkesh, unique in its monumentality and significance; her research on the seal impressions of the AP Palace has brought to light the artistic value of these objects as well as the complex royal court to which they give witness. With the cessation of excavations in Syria due to the war she has returned to the Republic of Georgia to work with the Italian team from the Ca’ Foscari University, Venice. This fieldwork activity lead her to curate an exhibit entitled “Georgia Paese d’oro e di fede. Identita e alterita nella storia di un popolo” on the archaeological and artistic heritage of the Republic of Georgia. Marilyn Kelly-Buccellati has worked for many years in the Near East, especially in Syria, Iraq and Turkey. She and her husband, Giorgio Buccellati, are at present co-directors of the archaeological expedition to Tell Mozan/Urkesh in North-Eastern Syria. They work closely together both in the field and on the publication reports from their excavations, of which five volumes, plus audio-visual presentations, have appeared so far. They lead an international staff comprising colleagues and students from the US, Europe, the Near East and Asia and have given joint lectures on the excavations, and workshops on methods used, at major archaeological centers around the world as well as holding positions as visiting professors in various European universities.

MemberGiula Shamilli

Doctor of sciences (in Art), Leading researcher of the State Institute for Art Studies Russian Federation Ministry of Culture (Moscow) Authored 14 books including a commented translation of medieval treatises on music, about 100 original articles.  Gratitude for the great contribution to the development of culture and long-term fruitful work from the RF Minister of culture V. R. Medinsky (2019).  Research interest: Maqām & Liturgy & History of Middle Eastern Jewish Diasporas, Music & Language &Cognition, Manuscripts on music (Persian, Hebrew,  Arabic, Turkish &Azeri), Art of maqām