Conference in Batumi, Georgia
05 Sep 2017 – 06 Sep 2017 · 10.00 am

Port Cities as Contact Zones and Cities of Exception (with a special focus on the Black Sea after 1774)

Research project(s): Batumi, Odessa, Trabzon

The conference is organised in the framework of the research project Batumi, Odessa, Trabzon The Cultural Semantics of the Black Sea from the Perspective of Eastern Port Cities, implemented by the ZfL in cooperation with the Ilia State University (Tbilisi) and funded by the Volkswagen Foundation.


Tuesday, 05 Sep 2017
Zaal Andronikashvili (ZfL/ISU), Giga Zedania (ISU): Opening Remarks
Panel I. Maritime Topographies
Lauren Jacobi (MIT): Nomos of the Sea. The Late Medieval Mediterranean as Territory 
Hannah Baader (MPI for Art History Florence): Urbanism, Thalassography and the Paradigms of Maritime Histories
Panel II. Blak Sea Port-Cities Between Land and Sea
Gelina Harlaftis (Institute for Mediterranean Studies/Foundation of Research and Technology - Hellas & Ionian University): Maritime transport systems, dynamic change of port-cities and the globalization process of the eastern shore of the Black Sea in the nineteenth century
Αnna Sydorenko (Institute for Mediterranean Studies/Foundation of Research and Technology – Hellas): Imperial interests in the Crimean port-cities. Sebastopol: main export port or military naval base? (second half of the 19th, beginning of the 20th century)
A walk trough old and new Batumi and Batumi Port with Shota Gujabidze (author of »Journey to Old Batumi«)
Keynote Lecture by Eyüp Özveren (METU): A Revisit to the Black Sea World and Its Port Cities in Comparative Perspective
Wednesday, 06 Sep 2017
Panel III. Batumi-Odessa-Trabzon
Candan Badem (ZfL): Trabzon as a port city and point of exchange between the Russian and Ottoman empires
Eka Tchkoidze (ISU): Russian imperial strategy to make port-cities into contact zones (South Caucasus railway network and Batumi in the 1880s1910s)
Vera Skvirskaya (University of Copenhagen): Reconfiguring Odessan identity: between »Novorossiia« and a Deep Blue Sea
Panel IV. The Modern Life of Port Cities
Claudia De Martino (UNIMED): Globalizing the Levantine cities over State-boundaries: the forerunners of change
Giorgi Ghvinjilia (ISU): Seaside and Ethnography of Season Economics in Batumi
Round Table: Towards the Theory of Port Cities (with Zaal Andronikashvili, Hannah Baader, Candan Badem, Esma Berikishvili, Giorgi Ghvinjilia, Claudia De Martino, Gelina Harlaftis, Georges Khalil, Lauren Jacobi, Giorgi Maisuradze, Eyüp Özveren, Vera Skvirskaya, Ana Sydorenko, Giga Zedania)
Visit to the Photographic Exhibition Odessa/Batumi Photo Days 2017

Media Response

19 Sep 2017
Die Angst vor dem Meer

TV interview by Giorgi Gvakharia with Zaal Andronikashvili, in: Radio Free Europe/Adjara TV, program: Anareklebi [engl.: Reflections], 19 Sep 2017 (46:55 min) [in Georgian]

06 Sep 2017
The role of the port cities in the past and today

Article by Lela Dumbadze, in: Batumelebi, 06 Sep 2017 [in Georgian]

05 Sep 2017
Academic conference in Batumi

TV program in: Adjara TV, 05 Sep 2017 [in Georgian]

05 Sep 2017
Conference in Batumi

TV program in: TV25, 05 Sep 2017(1:20 min) [in Georgian]