Armenia Beyond Borders: The Transnational Management of Armenian Cultural Heritage
2018 Dissertation Fellowship
My dissertation entitled Armenia Beyond Borders: The Transnational Management of Armenian Cultural Heritage explores the networks of social, political, and economic relations that emerge from the transnational financing and management of Armenian cultural heritage. Armenia, a post-Soviet nation in the South Caucasus, is home to a reported 33,000 prehistoric, classical, and medieval heritage sites. Starting in the Soviet era, the state took an interest in refurbishing and managing these sites of heritage, often located in remote villages, as a means to illuminate Marxist theories of universal development, to support Soviet tourism agendas, and to bring employment to impoverished locales. However, since the collapse of the Soviet Union, financing for heritage administration has diminished, propelling the government to turn to private forms of transnational funding to restore, monitor, and manage cultural heritage and to finance tourism development. My dissertation examines what happens to heritage and the communities that surround sites when they become the nexus of transnational development and heritage initiatives that often put heritage at the center of diplomatic and neoliberal agendas.