LSUS professor awarded prestigious fellowship to conduct research abroad

LSUS faculty member Dr. Alex Mikaberidze taught graduate students during a trip to the Caucasus mountains in the nation of Georgia over the summer. He will use a Fulbright Scholar Award to return to the region for research in 2024 and 2025.

LSU Shreveport faculty member Dr. Alexander Mikaberidze has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award.

Dr. Mikaberidze is an internationally known expert on Napoleon. He holds the Ruth Herring Noel Endowed Chair and is curator of the James Smith Noel Collection at LSUS.

Founded by U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright in 1946 and administered by the U.S. Department of State, the Fulbright program is considered one of the most widely recognized and prestigious international education exchange programs in the world.

“Much of what has been written on the history of the Caucasus tends to be inward-looking, national history,” Dr. Mikaberidze said. “I want to produce a study examining Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia at the onset of modern era and exploring their shared historical past.”

The three Caucasian nations, sandwiched between Russia, Turkey and Iran as well as hemmed in by the Black Sea and Caspian Sea, are one of the gateways between Europe, Western Asia, and the Middle East.

Dr. Mikaberidze is a native of the nation of Georgia. He worked in the Georgian government before moving to the United States to pursue graduate degrees and a career in teaching and research. He joined the LSUS faculty in 2007.

“I will take a comparative approach to see how the experiences of these nations compare to historical developments in Europe and elsewhere,” he said.

Dr. Mikaberidze’s research will focus on the spread of the Enlightenment and Enlightened Despotism, a form of government in which monarchs co-opted Enlightenment ideas to strengthen their authority but also to improve the daily lives of their people.

The research will lay the foundation for a book and a series of lectures. In addition to teaching and writing, Dr. Mikaberidze speaks at numerous conferences, including the Napoleonic Historical Society’s conference in Austin Texas this fall. In the spring, he and Dr. Suzanne Marchand of LSU, will co-host The Consortium on the Revolutionary Era in Baton Rouge. That conference will bring together over 100 scholars from across the United States and Europe for a three day symposium.

The Fulbright Award will allow Dr. Mikaberidze to travel to all three Caucasus countries and parts of Europe, conducting research at national archives and consulting with local historians.

But students won’t have to miss Dr. Mikaberidze in class – he will continue to teach history courses and plans to undertake research trips overseas during winter and summer breaks.

He also plans to make the research project a learning experience for students.

“I will work with graduate students in Georgia and might recruit LSUS students to help me in research as well,” he said.