Chosen Traumas: Ethno-Centric Mythology and Perspectives of Etnic Conflicts in the Caucasus

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Unresolved losses of the past-"chosen-traumas," are numerous in the Caucasus and characterize all ethnic groups in the area. Collective memories of victimization by ethnic neighbors or outside powers, like Russia, run deep and are profound. Since this important building block of ethnic conflicts in Georgia, South Ossetia, and Abkhazia is not discussed in the literature, this paper attempts to shed light on the expression of chosen traumas and ethno-centric myths that plague these people. Individual interviews from ethnic communities in conflict and relavent literature serve as the demonstrative base. The paper also elaborates certain holding mechanisms that may be effective in overcoming the negative impact of "chosen traumas" and help the rapprochement of these people.

Keywords: Ethno-Centric Nationalism, Chosen Traumas, Holding Mechanisms
Stream: Nations, Nationalism, Communities
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Dr. Anatoly Isaenko

Professor of History, Department of History, Appalachian State University
Boone, NC, USA

I was born in Vladikavkaz, N. Ossettia USSR in 1949 and was
formally educated in the USSR including Premier School of Moscow State University where I defended a PhD. in the History of World Religions 1975. For twenty-three years I worked as a professor and chair of N. Osettian State University in the Caucasus. In 1997 I came to the United States and took a position as a Professor of History at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC.
My primary research interests are the historical and pyscho-historical roots of the formation and constant rejuvenation of ethnicity in the Caucasus and Central Asia. I have published several books, monographs and compilations as well as more than one hundred articles and broadcasts on the subject.

Ref: D08P0404