Dr. Zaal Andronikashvili


Research Interests

  • Narratology (theory of sužet)
  • Small/minor literature(s) – world literature
  • Cultural semantics
  • Political theology
  • Cultural history of Georgia, Caucasus and Black-Sea-Region
  • Soviet and post-soviet cultural history



  • Uʒlurebis dideba. Ṗolitiḳuri teologia sakartveloši [Glory of Feebleness. Political Theology in Georgia]. Tbilisi: Ilia State University Press 2020
    Four chapters of this book follow 1) the development of political theology in Georgia from the medieval historiography and the development of the martyrological paradigm of the Georgian political theology 2) to the crisis of medieval political representation between 1500 and 1800 and the attempt to find new political-theological formulas for the weak Georgian States 3) to the invention of the secular political idea of the Fatherland and the Georgian Nationalism around 1870ies 4) to the renaissance of Georgian Orthodoxy since the 1990ies.

  • Landna(h)me Georgien. Studien zur kulturellen Semantik. Berlin: Kulturverlag Kadmos 2018, 450 p. (with Emzar Jgerenaia and Franziska Thun-Hohenstein)
    This monograph is a theoretical study in cultural semantics and a case study of colonial history in the former second world. It describes the two-century-long political domination of Russia in the South Caucasus during the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union (1801–1990). It employs the method of cultural semantics. A fundamental difference between cultural semantics and other investigative models such as cultural memory or realms of memory derives from the fact that cultural semantics does not deal with meaning as a “connective structure” (Assmann) in a culture or society, nor is it concerned with cultural memory as a mechanism for the preservation of identity or a group, nor with “realms of memory” (lieux de mémoire) as Pierre Nora understands it. Instead, cultural semantics focuses on meanings as they emerge in the interface between multiple societies and cultures due to negotiations, polemical exchanges, and mutual relationships. Whereas other approaches are primarily interested in groups and cultures that create specific meanings and pass them on to others, cultural semantics studies meanings foremost as they inhere in places, things, and objects and how over time they come to sediment themselves there to the point that it is no longer possible to expunge them from these places definitively, things, and objects. By taking these elements as the point of departure instead of groups and cultures, a different set of relationships becomes apparent within the field of meaning, namely, a palimpsest of multi-vocal and multi-perspectival configurations. In our book, this method allows us to reconstruct the imperial (Russian), national (Georgian), and minority (Abkhaz) perspectives on history, imagined geography, nation, state, and culture not as three different and isolated discourses but as a dialogue in debating political and cultural hegemony over the geographical territory between the Caucasus and the Black Sea.

  • Die Erzeugung des dramatischen Textes. Ein Beitrag zur Theorie des Sujets. Berlin: Erich-Schmidt Verlag 2008, 340 p.
    Sužet is a concept developed by Russian formalism, roughly translated as the plot. This monograph deals with Sužet as a concept of “narrative content.” This entails the artistic material organized at the level not dependent on the medium of presentation, organized meaningfully through the following components: a (fictional) space-time continuum, events taking place in this space-time continuum, and figures enacting this event. This book treats the Sužet as a key concept in literary and cultural studies, building a bridge between narratological, textual, and cultural analysis and modern approaches to cultural studies. This monograph does not remain within the limits of classical perspectives in literary studies but shows how the Sužet can be regarded as a cognitive principle to organize human experience. This book traces in theory and exegesis the conceptual development of the Sužet from Aristotle via Lessing and Diderot to Deleuze, Guattari, and Foucault. It shows the analysis of the Sužet as an instrument of text production that creates meaning and order opens up an instructive interdisciplinary insight into the connection between cultural behavior patterns, schemes of rationalization, and paradigms of cultural self-understanding.


  • Ed.: The Black Sea as a space of Literature and Culture. Tbilisi: Ilia State University Press 2019 (with Mzagho Dokhturishvili, Alexis Nuselovici, Bela Tsipuria)

  • Ed.: Merab Mamardashvili, Die Metaphysik Artauds. Berlin: Matthes und Seitz 2018
    First book edition of the most important philosopher of the USSR Merab Mamardashvili in German and combines two seminal essays “Antonin Artauds Metaphysics” (1988) and “Vienna in the Beginning of a Century” (1990). At the center of his philosophy was the ontology or metaphysics of consciousness. It is connected with a cluster of other themes that have immediate relevance for the understanding of the political in Mamardashvili: “The essence of the phenomenon of consciousness” is “freedom.” French scholar Annie Epelboin sums this up by calling him a “philosopher of consciousness who has overcome the totalitarian phenomenon from within and translated it into existential reflection.” In his endeavor to reflect philosophically on life under totalitarian conditions, Mamardashvili’s work is comparable to Theodor Adorno’s great exile-book Minima Moralia -Reflections from Damaged Life (1951). His reflections on the damaged life in the Soviet Union form a constant of his thinking.

  • Ed.: Der Kulturheros. Genealogien, Konstellationen, Praktiken. Berlin: Kulturverlag Kadmos 2017 (with Giorgi Maisuradse, Matthias Schwartz, Franziska Thun-Hohenstein)
    Modernity has created a new symbol of collective identity: the cultural hero. Poets, artists, and scholars seem to succeed religious or political rulers, sometimes even replacing them as national figures of authority. Relying on case studies, more than 20 essays in this volume describe the phenomenon of cultural heroes from a comparative perspective for the first time. In the chapter “Genealogies and Concepts” focusing on cultural history and theory, the essays deal with heroes and heroines in antiquity, figurations of a saint, national allegories, and heroes of literature and science. In the second chapter, “Constellations and Figurations, the authors examine not only cultural heroes such as Luther as the founder of the religion, Voltaire as the prototype of the intellectual or Schiller as the national poet but also the Russian Tsar Peter I as the city founder, Stalin as the ‘socialist Messiah,’ Yuri Gagarin as the icon of technological progress or Taras Ševčenko as a popular icon of Ukraine. The third chapter, “Techniques and Practices” includes contributions on the iconology of death masks, the iconography of Georgian banknotes, portraits of scientists in Stalinist film biographies, the voice of the Kazakh folk singer Džambul Džabaev and the jubilees of poets Aleksandr Puškin and Šota Rustaveli.

  • Ed.: Grundordnungen. Geographie, Religion und Gesetz. Berlin: Kulturverlag Kadmos 2013 (with Sigrid Weigel)
    Europe always becomes an issue when upheavals take place on the geopolitical or intellectual map.The authors of this volume develop five orders as parameters of an investigation into European cultural history: The establishment of national literatures, as well as sacred, profane, magical languages and scriptures or the transitions between different languages and systems of writing, are examined as text orders. Image orders concern the circulation of images and image practices between different registers and cultures; here, it can also be shown how different image traditions meet a global image policy. Vestimentary orders illustrate how relationships between the public, the private, or the familial are regulated by clothing and how social, ethnic, religious, or gender-specific identities are signaled. Ritual, cultic, or media modes of expressing feelings and passions can be analyzed as orders of affect, whether in private or public communication. Finally, under the consciously ambiguous concept of basic orders, both the meaning of the soil, i.e., territorial derivations and justifications, and the written and unwritten norms on which these are based are questioned. The locations in which these orders are examined are characterized by demarcations that are not static but flexible, if not fought over: Berlin, Yugoslavia, Georgia, Armenia, Lebanon, Palestine, Israel.

  • Ed.: Die Ordnung pluraler Kulturen. Figurationen europäischer Kulturgeschichte, vom Osten her gesehen. Berlin: Kulturverlag Kadmos 2013 (with Andreas Pflitsch, Tatjana Petzer and Martin Treml)
    The reference point for this collection of essays is the year 1989. In the context of widespread geopolitical upheavals, national and cultural belonging and orientation questions had to be reexamined, especially in the southeastern regions of Europe and the neighboring regions. For with the ‘shift of Europe to the East,’ geography has returned to politics. The conflicts in the ‘Middle East’ and the Caucasus as well as the ethnic and confessional demarcations and warlike conflicts in the Balkans are expressions of the increased reference of cultural and political orders to space. All these confrontations are symptomatic of a crisis in which the transnational integration of Europe, conceived for many decades by the West alone, has got into. Against this background, the essays examine the relationship between space and order in European cultural history. The focus here is on the attempt to shed new light on Europe from its supposed edges and to question the interrelationships between geography, religion, and law. For this purpose, discourses on Europe and the cultural semantics of land and sea are taken into consideration, the geo-cultural foundation of the Crimea as well as the Israeli constitution, the mythical foundation of patriotism and literary-philosophical foundations of Europe, e.g., in the works of Joseph Roth, Karl Jaspers or Merab Mamardašvili.

  • Ed.: Karlo Ginzburgi: nakvalevebi, mit’ebi, mikroistoria [Carlo Ginzburg: Traces, myths, microhistory]. Tbilisi 2011 (with Giorgi Maisuradze)
    A first collection of Essays by Carlo Ginzburg in Georgian specially selected for the Georgian audience with foreword by Zaal Andronikashvili and Giorgi Maisuradze

  • Ed.: Port cities as contact zones and cities of exception. Identity Studies in The Caucasus and the Black Sea Area (2019)

  • Ed.: Traumland Georgien. Deutungen zur Kultur und Politik = Osteueroa 7 (2018) (with Manfred Sapper, Volker Weichsel)

  • Ed.: Freundschaft. Konzepte und Praktiken in der Sowjetunion und im kulturellen Vergleich. Interjekte 2 (2011) (with Susanne Frank, Giorgi Maisuradze, Franziska Thun-Hohenstein, Stefan Willer)


  • Dunkel wie die Nacht. Nichtliebe als Kultur der Putinjahre, in: Ästhetik und Kommunikation 190/191 (2023), 79-85
  • National Form: The Evolution of Georgian Socialist Realism,” Slavic Review vol. 81, Winter 2022, (to be published 2023)
  • Nationalfrage in Georgien um 1900: Polemik zwischen Menschewiki und Bolschewiki im Kontext des europäischen Nationendiskurses, in: Michael Quante und Giga Zedania (Ed.), Marxismus im Spannungsfeld von Philosophie und Politik. Zur Rezeption der Marxschen Theorie im östlichen Europa in der ersten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts, Deutsch-Georgische Jahrbücher, vol. 2, Paderborn 2023, 67-100.
  • Constitutional Origins of Ethnic Nationalism. Cultural Aporia of the Nation State, in: Telos 202 (Spring 2023)
  • Was heißt Weltliteratur? Wegscheiden eines Begriffs zwischen Philologie und Kulturtheorie, literaturwissenschaft-berlin.de, [15.04.2022] 
  • The first and the second Modernism in Georgia. Figurations of Modernity, in: Nini Palavandishvili, Irina Khutsishvili (eds.), Building Socialist Georgia, Tbilisi 2022, pp. 78-97
  • Anthropologische Katastrophe. Warum sich die sowjetische Geschichte wiederholt, in: Ost-West: Europäische Perspektiven 2 (2022), 98-106
  • Germania im Rollstuhl. Rammsteins Deutschland im postnationalen Zeitalter, Undisciplined thinking_, 2022
  • Sujetfahrzeuge – Nabokovs Automobile, in: Gwendolin Engels, Claude Haas, Dirk Naguschewski, Elisa Ronzheimer (eds.), Im Fuhrpark der Literatur. Die literarischen Imaginationen des Automobils, Berlin 2022, 136-150
  • Kartuli inteligenciis genealogia da transformacia [Genealogy and Transformation of Georgian Intelligezija], in: Ghia Nodia and Thomas Schrapel (eds.): Damoukideblobidan tavisuplebisaken: rogor icvleba saxelmcpo da szogadoeba axal sakartveloshi [From Independence to Freedom: How the State and Society are Changing in the New Georgia], Tbilisi 2021, 151–191

Minor works

  • Editorial. Traumland Georgien, in: Osteueroa 7 (2018) = Traumland Georgien. Deutungen zur Kultur und Politik, ed. by Manfred Sapper, Volker Weichsel and Zaal Andronikashvili (with Manfred Sapper and Volker Weichsel)
  • Meister der georgischen Groteske, in: Surab Leschawa (ed.): Ein Becher Blut, Berlin: Edition Monhardt 2018
  • Nachwort, in: Merab Mamardaschwili (ed.): Die Metaphysik Antonin Artauds, Berlin: Matthes und Seitz 2018
  • Grundlagen und Ursprünge. Eberhard Lämmerts Bauformen des Erzählens, in: Eva Geulen (ed.): ‘Complicirte mannigfache Harmonie‹ Erinnerungen an Eberhard Lämmert, Berlin: Wallstein 2017, 13–18
  • Das richtige Leben im Falschen. Über die Freiheit von Kunst und Wissenschaft in Sowjetgeorgien, in: Martin Hermann (ed.): Leben ohne Freiheit. Jürgen Durch und die DDR - Welche Lehre?, Jena: Geramond 2016
  • Crashkurs Georgische Dichtung, in: Matthias Unger (ed.): Aus der Ferne. Neue Georgische Lyrik, Berlin: Corvinus Presse 2015, 5–9
  • Die Boutonnière. Der Dandy und seine Blume, in: Christine Kutschbach and Falko Schmieder (eds.): Von Kopf bis Fuss. Bausteine zu einer Kulturgeschichte der Kleidung, Berlin: Kulturverlag Kadmos 2015, 108–112
  • Am Unort. The Beatles. Nowhere Man, in: Dirk Naguschewski & Stefan Willer (eds.): Also singen wir. 60 Beiträge zur Kulturgeschichte der Musik, Berlin 2010
  • Subversive Zweisprachigkeit. Mziuri, in: Dirk Naguschewski & Stefan Willer (eds.): Also singen wir. 60 Beiträge zur Kulturgeschichte der Musik, Berlin 2010
  • Ilia Tschawtschawadse – Die Vaterlandsreligion georgischer Dichter, in: Sigrid Weigel (ed.): Märtyrer-Porträts. Von Opfertod, Blutzeugen und heiligen Kriegern, München: Wilhelm Fink 2007, 248–251

Encyclopedia article

  • Mythos, in: Daniel Weidner (ed.): Literatur und Religion. Stuttgart: Metzler Verlag 2016, 399–403


  • karlo ginzburgi, ganedebi, “monebi da biblia,” in: Zaal Andronikashvili, Giorgi Maisuradze (eds.): karlo ginzburgi, minišnebebi, mit’ebi, metaistoria [Carlo Ginzburg, Die Briten, Sklaven und die Bibel, in: Carlo Ginzburg (ed.): Spuren, Mythen, Mikrogeschichte: Essays über Europäische Geschichte und Kultur], Tbilissi 2011 (in georgian language)
  • karlo gizburgi, šiši, “mociceba, terori,” in: Zaal Andronikashvili, Giorgi Maisuradze (eds.): karlo ginzburgi, minišnebebi, mit’ebi, metaistoria [Carlo Ginzburg (Hg.), “Angst, Ehrfurcht, Terror,” in: Carlo Ginzburg, Spuren, Mythen, Mikrogeschichte: Essays über Europäische Geschichte und Kultur], Tbilissi 2011 (in georgian language)
  • karlo gizburgi, “šen sčirdebi šens k’veqanas,” in: Zaal Andronikashvili, Giorgi Maisuradze (eds.): karlo ginzburgi, minišnebebi, mit’ebi, metaistoria [Carlo Ginzburg, “Your Country Needs You,” in: Carlo Ginzburg (ed.): Spuren, Mythen, Mikrogeschichte: Essays über Europäische Geschichte und Kultur], Tbilissi 2011 (with Eka Meskhi, in georgian language)


Newspaper articles

Essays und Blogs (Auswahl)

Radio and TV (selection)



  •  (With Eva Geulen and Georg Töpfer ) Epochal Turns and Epochal Change, Annual Conference of the Leibniz-Center of Literary and Cultural Research 7-8 April 2022, (15 participants)
  • (With Susanne Frank and Eugene Ostashevsky) International conference in cooperation between Leibniz-Center of Literary and Cultural Research, Free University of Berlin (Excellence Cluster Temporal Communities, Humboldt University Berlin) The Soviet Project of World Literature and its Legacies,  9-11 December 2021, a collaboration with the research project (Post-) Soviet Literary Cosmopolis at the Cluster of Excellence 2020 “Temporal Comunities: Doing Literature in the Global Perspective”. (33 participants)
  • (With Susanne Frank and Eugene Ostashevsky) Inherit the World: Strategies of Translatio in the Post-Soviet Literary Cosmopolis, a collaboration with the research project (Post-) Soviet Literary Cosmopolis at the Cluster of Excellence 2020 “Temporal Comunities: Doing Literature in the Global Perspective”. (15 participants)
  • Summer Academy Small/Minor Literatures. Perspectives on World Literature from Elsewhere, 11-20 July 2019, in cooperation with Forum Transregionale Studien, (40 Participants) 

Vorträge (Selection):

  • Der populäre Lotman: (Fernseh-)Unterhaltungen über die russische Kultur, Ringvorlesung »Lotman Lectures. Kultursemiotik im Wandel« zum 100. Geburtstag von Jurij Lotman, HU Berlin, FU Berlin, Europa-Universität Viadrina, Universität Potsdam, 07.06.2022
  • Das Imperiale Sujet: Die Modellierung des Imperiums in der Literatur, Ringvorlesung zum Dauerhaften Imperialismus Russlands, Universität Kassel, 06.07.2022
  • The Language of World Literature: Nikolai Marr’s Utopian Linguistics,  ICLA 2022: Re-Imagining Literatures of the World: Global and Local, Mainstreams and Margins, XXIII Congress of International Comparative Literature Association (ICLA) at TSU in Tbilisi (Georgia), TSU, 27.07.2022
  • Vorstellungen von Weltliteratur in der sowjetischen Literaturtheorie: Šklovskij, Bachtin, Marr, 14. Slavistentag an der Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Seminar für Slavistik / Lotman-Institut für Russische Kultur, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 29.11.2022
  • Tbilisi as cosmopolis.  A sound portrait, Inherit the World: Strategies of translatio in the Soviet Literary Cosmopolis, Leibniz-Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Freie Universität Berlin, Cluster Temporal Communities, 27.05.2021
  • Avant-garde and Urban Culture in Tbilisi 1912-1921, Borrowed Wor(l)ds. Aneignung jenseits der Anführungszeichen, 11. Jahrestagung der Schlegel-Graduiertenschule/ Freie Universität Berlin, 29.10.2021
  • Alles war besser als Bolschewisten! – Lichte Vergangenheit und Dunkle Zukunft in der georgischen Gegenwartsliteratur, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Osteuropakunde, Ludwig-Maximillian-Universität München, Leibniz-Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung, 11.11.2021
  • Europäische Verantwortung. Warnung an Europa aus der Sowjetunion, Europäische Manifeste seit 1989, Universität Zürich, 18.11.2021


  • Saxelmcipo da religia [State and Religion] ISU, MA 2017/2018
  • Populismus und die Aufhebung des Rechts, HU Berlin, MA 2017/2018
  • Das radikal Böse, HU Berlin, MA 2016/2017
  • Тheorie der Revolution, HU Berlin, MA 2015/2016
  • Heiße Kontaktzone Russland-Georgien. Ambivalenzen Gemeinsamer Erfahrung aus der Perspektive von Literatur und Film, HU Berlin, MA 2013/2014
  • Theorien der Weltliteratur und ihre literarische Praxis in Russland, in der Sowjetunion und im postsowjetischen Raum, HU Berlin, MA 2012/2013 (with Susanne Frank)
  • Kleine Literaturen im russischen, sowjetischen und postsowjetischen Kontext, HU Berlin, MA 2012 (with Susanne Frank)
  • Theorien des Imperialen und die literarische Praxis im russischen, sowjetischen und postsowjetischen Raum, HU Berlin, MA 2011/2012) (with Susanne Frank)
  • In der Sowjetunion denken/ die Sowjetunion denken – Merab Mamardashvili, eine andere Erfahrung der Philosophie, HU Berlin, MA (2009/2010) (with Franziska Thun-Hohenstein)
  • Der sowjetische Kulturheros, HU Berlin, MA 2008/2009 (with Franziska Thun-Hohenstein)