In quest of Eastern Europe: troubling encounters in the post-Cold War field


  • Eleni Sideri SOAS, University of London



This paper examines various transformations regarding the categories of 'us' and 'them' that occurred during my year of fieldwork in Georgia (2003-2004). My research questions concerning the formation of a 'Greek diaspora' in Georgia through family memories and historiographical accounts led me to 'paradoxical' encounters, which seemed to challenge my perceptions of selfhood as well as my ideas about the political, historical and geographical topographies of Greece and Georgia. These troubling encounters seemed to drive me to a re-conceptualisation of both 'East' and 'West', not only as spatial and temporal/historical entities, but also as mutually constructed ideologies during the Cold War and post-Cold War period.

Author Biography

Eleni Sideri, SOAS, University of London

Eleni Sideri has just completed her PhD entitled 'The Greeks of the former Soviet Republic of Georgia: memories and practices of diaspora' at SOAS. She studied French Literature and Linguistics at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece) and did her postgraduate studies in Social Anthropology and Near and Middle Eastern Studies at SOAS. Her main interests include diasporas, history and issues of gender, cosmopolitanism and globalisation. She can be contacted at elsideri(AT)