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Posted on Jul 2, 2017

Transnational Approach to Cold War Immigration

Pauli Heikkilä, who received his PhD from the University of Helsinki, was the 2016 AABS Emerging Scholar. My research deals with the political emigrants from Eastern Central Europe in the US during the Cold War, and especially their international cooperation, where the Assembly of Captive European Nations (1954-1972) was the most prominent organization. As my research focuses on Estonians, it has naturally expanded to their closest national groups, Latvians and Lithuanians. Despite old antagonisms, the emigrants wanted collaboration in their fight against the common enemy, the aggressive Soviet Union occupying or otherwise ruling their home-countries. Whereas the ultimate goal was to restore national independence and liberal democracy, a more solid international and European organization was considered a parallel objective. Therefore various plans for regional and continental unions were floated especially in the 1950s. Thanks to the Emerging Scholar Award I was able to complete my archival studies at the Immigration History Research Center by the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. The archives of the ACEN was taken there at the...

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Posted on May 1, 2017

Historical institutions → Culture → Socioeconomic development

  Alise Vitola is a post-doctoral researcher, graduated from the Riga Technical University, Latvia. She received a 2016 Mudīte I. Zīlīte Saltups Award for a research visit to Indiana University for her project “Institutions & Regional Development in the Baltic States”. In my research I focus on the regional institutional differences in the Baltic region. I explore the lasting effects of the historical institutions on the contemporary economic development and societal values by exploring a following sequence: Historical institutions → Culture → Socioeconomic development. Currently I study the long run effects of the historical German presence in the Baltic region. Are localities with a higher share of German historical population more inclined to be wealthy today? Did the German colonizers bring individualist values such as high levels of work ethic, self­initiative and trust? Furthermore, I explore the overlapping German, Swedish, Polish and Russian legacies as an additional basis for divergent development paths in the Baltic regions. With the AABS research grant I was able to visit the Indiana University,...

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Posted on Apr 12, 2017

Developing new techniques for teaching English language vocabulary

Baiba Kačanova received the 2016 Aina Birnitis Dissertation-Completion Fellowship in the Humanities for Latvia. In March, Baiba received her PhD from the University of Liepaja. I am an English teacher and I have been teaching English as a second language for about 14 years in Latvia. I really enjoy the process of teaching by looking for the most suitable methods, materials and approaches for each group because each group is different and a method which works well in one group might not be suitable for the other group. The most interesting thing is to find the right method and words to motivate students to study hard J  It is also very pleasant when I meet my students about 5 years later – they have already finished school and they appreciate the knowledge they got in my lessons. Then most probably I am doing it right. My point of view is that the teacher can’t just stop and say “now I know everything I need.” There always should be a process...

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Posted on Mar 28, 2017

15 October CFP Deadline for AABS Conference

The 2018 AABS Conference at Stanford University will celebrate two important milestones – the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies (AABS) and the 100th anniversary of independence for the Baltic republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The three-day program, to be held on the Stanford University campus on June 1–3, 2018, will feature panels, roundtable discussions and workshops on 16 broad topics. The conference will also include numerous additional events, such as keynote talks by leading Baltic scholars, film screenings, exhibits, and tours of Stanford’s Baltic collections. The conference is organized by the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies (AABS) and the Stanford University Libraries (SUL). AABS is the world’s premier scholarly society for research on Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Its global membership includes scholars and supporters from North America, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Australia, Great Britain, Russia, Israel, Japan, and elsewhere. The Stanford University Libraries is considered one of the top academic libraries in the United States...

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