Marina Kaganova

Marina Kaganova

Dissertation Review Committee

Research Interest

Research Sub-interest

Nationalism, Semiotics, Sound Studies, Aesthetics and Politics, Ritual


Eastern Europe, The Caucasus; Georgia


Marina’s dissertation (defence 04/26/2019) examines the influences and effects of institutions on folk music practice in post-Soviet Georgia. Her work considers the different kinds of intervention, direct and indirect, into the polyphonic singing practices of two provinces—Guria and Svaneti—both in the Western part of the country, and what these interventions mean in terms of financial and social capital, and opportunity, to the communities of singers in these places. Her research explores liminal space between practice and performance and how different degrees of institutionalization affect this space. In addition to her academic research, Marina is a singer and performs regularly with various folk ensembles. In April 2019 she will begin working on a collaborative documentary, which will examine and question the concept of tradition and cultural expectations, by following the experiences of a Georgian folk ensemble on tour (which Marina also organized) through the US and the communities that host them on their way, both in large coastal cities, and small rural areas in middle America.


Columbia University, MA in Anthropology, 2013
Columbia University, MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry), 2010
University of Arizona, BA in Creative Writing, Classics, and English, 2007

2016. “Whose Ghosts Are These Anyway?” Ulbandus Review 17: 108–123.