Research Projects

Surrogacy as Networked Phenomenon

Principal Investigator Elene Gavashelishvili; Coordinator Nino Rcheulishvili; Participants Mariam Darchiashvili and Ketevan Gurchiani
Funded by the Rustaveli National Scientific Foundation, 2020-2023.

Surrogacy, as an assistive reproductive method has grasped the interest of the scientific community from the end of the twentieth century (Markens 2007, Pande 2007, Ragoné 1996, Teman 2010). In this project, we discuss surrogacy as a networked phenomenon, constructed jointly by humans, material objects and institutions (Latour 2005). The project aims at identifying and examining key as well as peripheral actors and their interrelations in the field of surrogacy and related practices. Project will be based on ethnographic research, through which two key sides: surrogate women and intended parents’ motives, experiences, everyday lives and their interrelations will be studied. Besides, surrogacy agencies and clinics will be examined ethnographically. The project also examines the transnational dimension of surrogacy and conceptualizes it from legislative perspective.

Tbilisi as Urban Assemblage

Principal Investigator Ketevan Gurchiani; Coordinator Ia Kupatadze; Participants Tamta Khalvashi and Paul Manning.
Funded by the Rustaveli National Scientific Foundation, 2020-2023

The aim of the project is to study Tbilisi as an urban assemblage where human – nonhuman, infrastructure – nature, formal – informal, public – private, past – present are entangled and constitute each other. The project analyzes layers of architecture, infrastructure, and landscape and their multiple relations from the interdisciplinary perspective. Adopting Actor Network Theory approach the project will concentrate on 1. Life-Worlds and Infrastructure of Tbilisi, and 2. Landscape: Domesticated and Undomesticated Nature of Urban Spaces. The city in the 20th and 21st centuries will be studied as an assemblage of changing attitudes towards nature and by the response of nature to human changes. The main methods include ethnography, interviews, archival research, anthropology of architecture, and computational analysis. The project will analyze and create visualization of layers (neighborhoods, infrastructure, and landscape/’waterscape’) as something overlapping and mutually constitutive.