Görkem Aydemir

Areas of Expertise

Conflict, displacement and mobility, borders, the state, uncertainty, time, materiality, affect, infrastructure, post-Soviet spaces, the Caucasus


Anthropology Ph.D. program

Yeat of Entry: Fall 2013.

Advisor: Sarah E. Wagner

Current Research

My dissertation project, Eventful Things of a “Frozen Conflict:” Contingency, Time, and Materiality in the Contested Periphery of Georgia, explores the temporal and material anatomy of lives under a decades long “frozen conflict” between Georgia and breakaway Abkhazia. With its focus on the Gali district where contested mobilities and uncertainty reconfigure everyday lives of a displaced community, my project investigates the workings of contingency, and people’s temporal and material orientations in navigating long-term uncertainty and political ambivalence. My research has been supported by National Science Foundation, and the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies.


MA (Anthropology), 2016, George Washington University

MA (Cultural Studies), 2010, Sabanci University

BA  (English Literature), 2006, Bogazici University


Published and Working Papers

2021    “Contingent Homes: Mobility and Long-term Conflict in the Contested Periphery of Georgia." Journal of Refugee Studies. Volume 34, Issue 1.

2021      "Uncertainty and Viral Emergencies in the Margins of Georgia." Anthropology News. DOI: 10.14506/AN.1603

2017     “Constructing Lives on the Move: Displacement and Return in the de facto Georgia-Abkhazia Borderland.” In Maintaining Refuge: Anthropological Reflections in Uncertain Times, edited by David Hanes, Jayne Howell and Fethi Keles. Committee on Refugee and Immigrants. AAA.

In preparation    “Homes in Decay: Repair, Ruination, and Long-term Displacement in Collective Centers of Georgia”

In preparation    “Generative Exhaustions: Time, Contingency, and Stinkbug Infestation in Georgia’s Disputed Borderland”