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Luka Nakhutsrishvili


Luka Nakhutsrishvili teaches critical theory at Ilia State University Tbilisi and is a researcher and project coordinator at the Institute for Social and Cultural Research at the same university. He holds a PhD in Comparative Literature (Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen/Université Via Domitia Perpignan) and an MA in Philosophy (Bergische Universität Wuppertal/Charles University Prague/Université Toulouse-le Mirail). Between 2015 and 2017, he was a postdoctoral fellow of the Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation at the Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung Berlin. In 2019-2020, the Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation of Georgia awarded him with the Ivane Javakhishvili Fellowship for the Best Young Scientist in the Humanities. As a Visiting Lecturer, he taught at the Goethe University Frankfurt in the winter semester of 2020. In Fall 2021, Luka was a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at the Department of Anthropology at NYU.

Luka is currently engaged in an ethnographically grounded transdisciplinary inquiry into the making of and resistance to different projects of modernization in Georgia from the times of tsarist rule to post-Soviet independence. Within this framework, he published a two-part article on the fraught constellation between peasants, radical intelligentsia, and tsarist administration (“Peasant oaths, furious icons and the quest for agency. Tracing subaltern politics in Tsarist Georgia on the eve of the 1905 Revolution. Part I: The prose of the intelligentsia and its peasant symptoms”, Part II: Agents and items of (counter)insurgent political theology on the imperial borderland” in: Theoretical Practice/Praktyka Teoretyczna vol. 39/1, 2021, 15-72). He also headed a collective research project on underexplored aspects of the Georgian Democratic Republic of 1918-1921, with a forthcoming edited volume in Georgian under the title “The Georgian Democratic Republic 1918-1921 in Search of Form and Content”.

Another of his project dealing with issues of modernization is related to the cultural and economic Europeanization of the Caucasus under Russian imperial rule in the mid-19th century, with the introduction of Italian opera and the construction in Tbilisi of the so-called “theatre-caravanserai” as the privileged site of inquiry. Earlier, Luka has explored entanglements of opera, modernity and cultural-political utopia in the context of mid-19th century Germany and France („The promising ruins of the German prima donna. Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient and German musical discourse in the nineteenth century”, in: Tel Aviver Jahrbuch für deutsche Geschichte, “Geschichte und Repräsentation“, Göttingen, Wallstein, 2018, 33-71; „Richard Wagner als Kulturheros. Metonymien und Inflationen einer brüchigen Identität“ in: Z. Andronikashvili et al. (eds.), Der Kulturheros. Genealogien – Konstellationen – Praktiken, Kadmos, Berlin, 2017, 282-308; and the translation from French into Georgian of Charles Baudelaire’s “Richard Wagner and ‘Tannhäuser’ in Paris”, Tbilisi, Bakur Sulakauri, 2016, with an introductory essay.