Elene (Hélène) Kekelia is a Peace Fellow at ICRD and a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Virginia, Department of Sociology. At ICRD, she assists in drafting proposals and research. She supports work at ICRD by applying her multilingual abilities, research skills, and experience in the post-Soviet area. Her dissertation engages with comparative-historical sociology, memory studies, and the sociology of exile. In her research, she focuses on and contributes to understanding exile as a comparative historical sociologist.
For her dissertation, she compared the Georgian, Ukrainian, and Azerbaijani exiled communities that fled the Soviet occupation around the 1920s, titled: “The Imaginaries and Claims of 20th Century Forced Migrants: A Comparative Study of the Georgian, Ukrainian and Azerbaijani Exiles”. Previously, Elene has worked on the Soviet Georgian sites of memory (including the conflicted memory around Stalin, Pantheons and Soviet art).
Elene received a Ph.D. degree in 2019 from the Ilia State University in Cultural Studies after defending her dissertation on “The 20th-century monuments and national narratives in Georgia”. She has received several fellowship awards and has been a member of various scholarly communities.