Batumi Shota Rustaveli State University is an important educational, scientific and cultural center of Georgia. BSU is represented by the Department of Slavonic Studies and the Department of History, Archaeology, and Ethnography. The departments’ work focuses on interdisciplinary research in the fields of communication, culturology, history, sociology, social linguistics and ethnology. Due to close cooperation with South-West University of Blagoevgrad (Bulgaria), BSU launched a program on establishing a Caucasus-Balkan science centre, which will coordinate the studies on the research of the given regions and will assist the successful cooperation between the scholars and scientists.
The national coordinator Prof. Dr. Marine Aroshidze is the head of the department of Slavonic Studies at BSU and a specialist in semiotics, communication, culturology, and sociolinguistics. Her work is furthermore dedicated to problems of intercultural relations and the manipulation of collective memory. She currently works on “the linguistic factor in national identification processes” and on the role of Russian and English languages in the post-Soviet Caucasus. Together with Tamaz Phutkaradze, she has also worked to establish common ground in comparative analyses of historical events, ethnology and sociolinguistics in the Eastern and Western BSR.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tamaz Phutkaradze is part of the department of history, archaeology and ethnography at BSU. His research focuses on ethnology, history, political and cultural memory as well as on ethno-demographic parameters of the population. He has been included in joint research on geopolitical orientation and perspectives of regional cooperation in the Caucasus and currently works on the role and perception of Georgian civilization in the context of contemporary globalization processes. Furthermore, Tamaz Phutkaradze is the head of the international relations department of Batumi’s Ajara State Archive.