Görkem Aydemir


Anthropology Ph.D. program

Yeat of Entry: Fall 2013.

Advisor: Sarah E. Wagner

Current Research

Aydemir’s dissertation research focuses on displacement, border crossings, and legal practices in the de facto Georgia-Abkhazia borderland.

Displaced community in the de facto Georgia-Abkhazia borderland live in a zone of ambivalence where multiple and antithetical forms of sovereignties, statuses, and places fuse into each other. Since the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict following the collapse of the Soviet Union, displaced Georgians who stayed on the Georgian side of the border line and those who returned to their homes on the Abkhaz side claim both sides as their homelands by maintaining their ties across the de facto border and claiming legal rights in both conflicting polities. Aydemir is examining how the displaced community in the region experiences this ambiguous and contested space, and how they navigate an ambivalent legal and bureaucratic domain between/within a “legal” and an “illegal” state. She also explores what this zone of ambivalence implies about notions of displacement, state, sovereignty, and law more generally; and how the displaced community and political situation in the region challenge the dichotomous representations and assumptions spun around the notion of displacement.


M.A. (Cultural Studies) 2010, Sabanci University (Turkey)
B.A. (English Literature) 2006, Bogazici University (Turkey)


Articles and Presentations

Aydemir, G. “Homes in Decay: Displacement and Ruination in Post-Soviet Georgia.” Presentation at GW Anthropology Symposium, March, 2015.

Aydemir, G. “Looking down from a ’Christmas Tree’: Displacement, Memory, and the Hotel Iveria Case in Georgia.” Presentation at American Ethnological Society Spring Meeting, San Diego, March, 2015.

Aydemir, G. “Ordering the City, Ordering the Memory: Hotel Iveria and Remembering/Forgetting 90s in Georgia.” Presentation at Anthropoplus Student Conference, University of Maryland, College Park, March, 2014.

Aydemir, G. “Global Professionals in Turkey: Personal Narratives of MBA-Holders in Turkey.” Presentation at Global Capitalism and Transnational Class Formation. Prague, 2011