CREES Noon Lecture. “Visions of Society: Discourse on Etiquette, Ethics, and Adyg Identity in the Northwest Caucasus.”
This presentation will explore the ways Adygs (also identifying themselves as Adygei, Cherkes, and Kabardians) have evaluated tradition, embodied in a code of etiquette called adyge khabze and a related ethical framework, adygaghe, following the demise of the Soviet Union. Drawing on reflections and writings, the talk will analyze images of society, of adyge khabze, and of adygaghe that appear in these sources. The images depict an Adyg society, often from the remembered or the more distant past, governed by its own norms. At the same time, these portraits and the broader discourse on etiquette and ethics reflect Adygs’ encounters with other sources of authority. The visions call Adygs to identify with the community and its traditions, accepting the obligations of communal membership, while also inviting outsiders to appreciate this society.
Julie Fairbanks is assistant professor of anthropology at Coe College. She earned a B.S. in Russian and French from Georgetown University, an M.A. in Regional Studies from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. from Indiana University. Fairbanks taught at the University of Akron before accepting her current position at Coe. Her research, focused on the Caucasus, concerns historical memory, tradition, identity, and sense of place.
Sponsors: CREES, Eurasia Collective.