Dr Jo Laycock

Senior Lecturer in Modern History

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Research interests

My first monograph, Imagining Armenia, was published by Manchester University Press in 2009 (paperback, 2016). This drew upon postcolonial theory and critiques of Orientalism to examine how European actors engaged with regions conceived of as ‘in-between’ East and West, and with what consequences. Subsequently, the focus of my research has shifted to displacement, diasporas and humanitarianism in the ‘peripheries’ of the Soviet Union in the aftermath of two World Wars.

My current project, which has been funded by a British Academy Small Grant and Rockefeller Grant-in-Aid examines how mass displacement and its aftermaths shaped the South Caucasus 1914-1928. It examines how Soviet authorities, the Armenian diaspora and international organisations responded to mass displacement through emergency relief measures, resettlement schemes and attempts to initiate co-operative schemes for the ‘development’ of the region. I am currently working on a monograph provisionally titled Unsettled States: Refugees, Relief and Development in Armenia and the South Caucasus.

I also recently co-edited a transnational history of humanitarian relief and international intervention in Armenia, Aid to Armenia, which was published by Manchester University Press.

My previous research has addressed the ‘repatriation’ of diaspora Armenians to the Soviet Union after the Second World War, examining the ambiguous ways that the Soviet Union related to its diaspora communities and demonstrating how diasporic constructions of ‘homeland’ were transformed through the process of ‘homecoming’. Articles based on this work have been published in Cultural and Social History, History and Memory and Kritika.

I am also interested in histories of conflict, displacement and memory in the wider South Caucasus region. I am a member of the editorial board of Caucasus Studies journal and co-convenor of the BASEES Eurasian Regions Study Group. I am also part of the editorial team for the Peripheral Histories? blog and welcome suggestions for articles, interviews or other contributions on the Caucasus region or on themes of displaccement and migration.


Research and projects

No current projects are available for public display