Tamta Khalvashi

Assistant Professor of Anthropology

Free University of Tbilisi

Tamta Khalvashi holds her doctorate from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Copenhagen. Since 2015 she has been an Assistant Professor in the School of Governance and Social Sciences at the Free University of Tbilisi. She has held scholarships from the Soros Foundation and the British Council at the University of Oxford, where she was also a Chevening Research Fellow at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology and the International Gender Studies Center.  

Tamta Khalvashi’s research focuses on the affective dynamics of peripheral places during times of profound change. Rather than representing borders through pre-conceived notions of nation, ethnicity, or state, she proposes a different kind of borderology that underlines the role of affects such as shame, optimism, fear, or sympathy in the transformation of worlds in flux. 

As a Fulbright Scholar at NYU, Khalvashi is turning her thesis into a book that deals with the effects of neoliberal urban transformation in the Georgian province of Ajara, located on the Black Sea along the border with Turkey. Empirically, she focuses on Muslim and Christianized Georgians and the unresolved feelings of shame shared by many in connection with marginal historical and social sensibilities.  

Khalvashi’s research is closely connected to the courses that she has taught on the “Anthropology of Borders” and “Political Anthropology” at the University of Copenhagen and the Free University of Tbilisi.  

Her research interests also include social theory, film, and new media. Through a generous grant from the Georgian National Film Center and the SSHRCC, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, she recently prepared a documentary film script on the unbuilt city of Lazika, located on the shores of the Black Sea.