Adrien Mercat is a Ph.D. student in Near Eastern Studies at Princeton. He studies the South Caucasus in the 19th and early 20th centuries. His interests lie in studying the intellectual milieu in which ideas of national consciousness emerged and how they were shaped by the multiethnic fabric of the city of Tbilisi. The formation of nationalism in a cosmopolitan environment, the cross-pollination of national movements in Transcaucasia and the role of the urban space are the prisms through which he wishes to approach the intersection of Imperial and Intellectual History. His prospective doctoral research will embrace the three communities that achieved statehood in the South Caucasus: Armenians, Azerbaijanis, and Georgians.
Before joining the Department of Near Eastern Studies, Adrien earned a B.A. in Political Science and Russian from McGill University and a M.A. in Regional Studies: Russia, Eurasia and Eastern Europe from Columbia University’s Harriman Institute. His master’s thesis entitled “Claims to Autochthony in Georgian Historical Discourse” examined political uses of history and their impact on nation-building in Georgia’s Armenian and Azerbaijani communities. His research languages include French, Russian, Georgian, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Turkish and soon enough Ottoman Turkish.