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Georgian Foodways
Global Pathways/Local Contexts

Although Georgia is only about the size of West Virginia, the tiny country is home to several distinct cultures. Each of these cultures has contributed to Georgia's legendary culinary traditions and many have developed their own variations of dishes now often collectively known as "Georgian."

On this unique travel seminar, you will spend two weeks in an interdisciplinary exploration of Georgian national identity and history through its national cuisine. Using a variety of critical academic approaches, explore issues like climate change and state agricultural policies within the context of such issues as food security, the place of food in social justice and ethnic identity, and the role of Georgian foodways in the current global tourism economy. 

Learn the history, preparation, and traditions of regional dishes that make up Georgian cuisine: khinkali, khachapuri, lobio, suluguni, satsivi, and others while giving special attention to Georgian viniculture (winemaking) and viticulture (grape growing). Vegetarians and even vegans are welcome - while Georgian cuisine offers many tasty meat dishes, it also abounds in dishes that are meat-free and high-protien (from beans, dairy, and nuts). This travel seminar includes most meals so as to fully introduce you to the diverse, rich, traditions of Georgia's foodways. 

Jump to: Dates and Costs; Requirements; Photos; Application; Details.


- Dates and Costs -

Summer: $3,995*
June 17 - June 30, 2018 (Apply by April 1, 2018)
Add this program to any SRAS RSL program at a reduced rate.


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- Curriculum -

REES 390: Georgian Foodways
Students will be assigned several readings before their arrival to Georgia to prepare them for class discussions on the relevant issues. For convenience, travel will begin and end in Tbilisi, the Georgian capital. Currently planned stops include: Mtskheta, one of the oldest cities of Georgia; Sighnaghi, known for its ancient wine traditions (since the 5th Century BC) and for its khinkali (traditional meat dumplings); Borjomi, a resort town in a picturesque gorge whose unique mineral waters are now bottled and are so famous that they are Georgia's number one export product; Akhalkalaki, a city mostly populated by Armenians, where we will meet with local people to discuss everyday life of ethniс minorities and explore Armenian foodways; Svaneti, a mountainous province known for winter sports, hiking trails through striking landscapes, and "Svan salt," an traditional mix of spices that can be added to almost anything to enhance flavors; and, lastly, Batumi, Georgia's the second largest city and a Black Sea resort town. It is the capital of Adjaria, home to the famed Adjarian Khatchapuri, a bread filled with cheese and butter, with an egg baked into its center that can be eaten at any meal. After the conclusion of the program, students will be given time to complete a final project, which should be the equivalent of a 15-page paper, but which can take several forms, including a video or photo essay or a series of shorter essays.
Academic Credits: 4 US semester credits


- Scholarships and Funding -

Students may apply for a $500 ACCESS GRANT for this program. Grant participants will be expected to contribute weekly (a total of 3) write-ups of specific program experiences and one program summary. This can be a written, photos (with extensive captions), or video summary with footage taken while abroad. Write-ups will be about one page long and can include synopsis of lectures or excursions. The summary review will cover generally what the scholarship participant experienced and learned on this program and how they plan to use this knowledge and experience in the future. The grant is awarded after all conditions are met. 

To apply, send in a 30-second video of yourself saying why you want to study with this program. Submit this plus two writing samples (e.g. papers written for college-level classes, preferably on any topic on any country within Eurasia or on Cuba) when applying for this program (under the materials section of the application).


- Housing and Hosting -

Students will be accommodated in guest houses while on this program. All least two meals per day will be included.

This program is hosted by The School of Russian and Asian Studies (SRAS), Dr. Michael A. Denner of Stetson University, and the staff of SRAS partner, NovaMova Language School.

Dr. Michael A. Denner is Professor of Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies at Stetson University. He's also the editor of the Tolstoy Studies Journal and the director of Stetson's University Honors Program. Like most people who have visited Georgia, Denner decided it was the coolest place on earth. He doesn't pretend to have a lot of expertise on Georgia (ask him questions about Tolstoy or Imperial Russia!), but he does field research in Georgia on the topic of climate change and viniculture and viticulture. He's also translating the best cookbook on Georgian cuisine: Lobio, Satsivi, Khachapuri: Georgia with Taste.


Photos from our Students in Georgia


Program Details

*Costs: Program costs include tuition for study as outlined, pre-departure materials, local orientation, accommodations in home stay or guest houses, health and accident insurance, round-trip airport transfers, in-country travel while on program, approximately two meals per day, all transport costs in Georgia, and in-country support.

*Academic Credit:  Stetson University acts as the School of Record for this program and will issue an official transcript reflecting academic work through this program. Students will receive one academic unit (equivalent to four semester credits) for the course under the title REES 390 Topics in Russian Studies: Georgian Foodways. As an accredited institution, this academic credit is easily transferrable to any other accredited institution in the United States.

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