Elene Kekelia received her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, Department of Sociology. Her work engages with comparative-historical sociology, memory studies, and the sociology of exile. In her research, she focuses on and contributes to the understanding of exile as a comparative historical sociologist. Elene is particularly interested in the third wave of memory studies, transnational and migrant memories. 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 also received a Ph.D. in 2019 from the Ilia State University in Cultural Studies after defending her dissertation on “The 20th century monuments and national narratives in Georgia”. Elene has received several fellowship awards and has been a member of various scholarly communities.