Beautiful staircase in Bethlemi street, Tbilissi (Georgia)

About us

Beautiful staircase in Bethlemi street, Tbilissi (Georgia)
Image: Johanna Preißler

Our institute is the only academic knowledge institute in Germany devoted to the study of the Caucasus from an interdisciplinary perspective. Our staff members and guests come from a range of different disciplines such as linguistics, anthropology, political science, literary and cultural studies and history. Our innovative research has been recognized with a number of prestigious grants and awards from the German Science Foundation, the Volkswagen Foundation, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the European Union.

Why study the Caucasus? Show content

The Caucasus is not only a natural border, but since antiquity has also been a cultural bridge between Europe and Asia. It boasts some of the oldest and most vibrant cultures in the world. The Caucasus region is a unique contact area characterized by the coexistence of world religions such as Islam and Christianity as well as impressive ethnic, linguistic and cultural diversity.

Learn how to make the most of it.

Caucasus Studies at the FSU Jena Show content

Caucasus Studies combines cultural studies, anthropology, history, political science, linguistics, and related disciplines. It is one of the small disciplines with great research strength and international impact. We offer language courses in Georgian and Russian from beginners to advanced levels as well as the opportunity to learn Armenian and Azerbaijani at one of our partner universities in Germany or the Caucasus. 

Our teaching is characterized by small-scale classrooms, innovative teaching methods and contact with diverse cultures. You learn a variety of methodological skills and can gain hands-on experience during courses, student expeditions to the Caucasus, and workshops. In addition, regular guest lectures, colloquia and film series provide opportunities for students to interact with affiliated faculty and students across the campus.

In addition to their traditional academic training, Caucasus Studies students are supported with numerous study abroad opportunities. Students can travel to Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan or the northern Caucasus, where they have the chance to develop their linguistic and cultural skills, as well as to form personal connections in the Caucasus region.

Learn more about admission requirements

Our courses Show content

Our courses provide knowledge and a solid basis for critically understanding the great diversity of languages, cultures, societies and political systems of the Caucasus including Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia. It explores the impacts of the religious traditions of the region such as Christianity and Islam, and investigates the dramatic changes that conquests, revolutions and modernization have brought to the region.

We offer two courses, the BA Caucasus Studies minor (60 ECTS) and the MA Caucasus Studies major, as well Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) research opportunities with academic staff members who are experts and leaders in their fields of research. The BA Caucasus Studies minor is available to students of all disciplines studying the Bachelor of Arts.

BA Caucasus Studies minor
MA Caucasus Studies major
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

History Show content

Kartvelian Studies at the University of Jena was established in 1961 for teaching and research devoted to Georgian language and culture, for training of scholars, and to support exchange programs between the FSU and the TSU in Tbilisi. In 1966, the FSU Jena and the Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, the oldest university in Georgia and the entire Caucasus region, signed an official cooperation agreement that allowed students, faculty and staff of both universities to study and do research at the respective partner institution. During the following decades students were trained in Georgian language, literature, culture and history. With the introduction of the BA and MA courses the program was restructured and broadened into an interdisciplinary area studies program. It now encompasses the entire Caucasus region and offers seminars and lectures in cultural studies, anthropology, linguistics, literary studies, political science and history that focus on the Caucasus. 

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