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Posted on Jan 17, 2016

JBS, Volume 46, Issue 4, 2015

The most recent issue of the Journal of Baltic Studies features the following articles: “Baltic Refugees and Policy Formation in Sweden 1940–1950” by Anu Mai Kõll “Soviet Refugees to Sweden 1941–1947 and the Raoul Wallenberg Case” by Johan Matz “Leaving the ESSR: Sweden’s Attempts at Repatriating the Estonian-Swedes from Soviet-Controlled Estonia, 1940–1941” by Glenn Eric Kranking “The Paradox of National Language Acquisition: Russian Speakers’ Labor Market Positions in Estonia” by Marianne Leppik & Triin Vihalemm “Kalevipoeg: Aspects of Genre and Authorship” by Arne Merilai “Home Environments, Memories, and Life Stories: Preservation of Estonian National Identity” by Jaak...

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Posted on Oct 7, 2015

Imagining A Place for Jews in Interwar Lithuania

  Michael Casper, a doctoral candidate in History at the University of California, Los Angeles, received a 2015 Dissertation grant from AABS. Michael’s dissertation explores how Jews negotiated the demands of citizenship and national belonging in the interwar Republic of Lithuania. I am interested in how Jewish and Lithuanian thinkers imagined the Jewish place in the new democratic state and, after 1926, under the authoritarian regime. With the generous assistance of the AABS Dissertation Grant I was able to conduct extensive research in Vilnius this summer. I worked at the Martynas Mažvydas National Library, Vilnius University Library and the Lithuanian Central State Archive...

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Posted on Sep 29, 2015

JBS, Vol. 46, Issue 3, 2015

  Journal of Baltic Studies Special Issues: Food Culture in the Baltic States Exploring Modern Foodways: History, Nature, and Culture in the Baltic States by Diana Mincytė and Ulrike Plath Good, Clean, Fair… and Illegal: Paradoxes of Food Ethics in Post-Socialist Latvia by Guntra A. Aistara Geographies of Reconnection at the Marketplace by Renata Blumberg Changing Values of Wild Berries in Estonian Households: Recollections from an Ethnographic Archive by Ester Bardone and Piret Pungas-Kohv “Is that Hunger Haunting the Stove?” Thematization of Food in the Deportation Narratives of Baltic Women by Leena Kurvet-Käosaar The Evolution of Household Foodscapes over Two Decades of Transition in Latvia by Lani Tranouth and Talis Tisenkopfs The Making of the Consumer? Risk and Consumption in Europeanized Lithuania by Ida Harboe Knudsen Atlantic Herring in Estonia: In the Transverse Waves of International Economy and National Ideology by Kadri Tüür and Karl...

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Posted on Sep 7, 2015

Chris Shabow | Beginning Estonian BALSSI 2015

I am not of Baltic descent, but I discovered an interest in Estonian history and a passion for its culture while in grad school. When I discovered the BALSSI program, I decided to take a chance with the language. I looked forward with eager anticipation to the start of the classes. The first week passed by in a blur as I emerged into the mysterious world of the Estonian language. Every moment was focused on absorbing a deluge of information and attempting to remember what we learned in the weeks before. As I struggled to master Estonian vocabulary and grammar, Liina-Ly proved to be the most patient and compassionate instructor. After classes ended, I was reading an article on Estonia’s Song Festival tradition. Midway through, I noticed I wasn’t stumbling over the Estonian words peppered throughout, and I smiled. This summer is only the beginning of what will be a long and fulfilling...

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Posted on Sep 7, 2015

Len Barcousky (Barkauskas) | Intermediate Lithuanian @ BALSSI 2015

  What did I get out of my experiences as a student in 2014 and 2015 at BALSSI? A working vocabulary of about 1,000 words, ability to use verb tenses and a basic understanding of number, case and gender in grammatical forms. That technical knowledge, however, was the less important part of what I learned from my teacher, Dalia Cidzikaite. I was encouraged to be fearless in experimenting with my new language skills. I gained confidence in writing, speaking, reading and singing in the language of my grandparents. I worked as hard in class as I ever have in 40 years of doing daily journalism. I found that hard work paying off with concrete improvement after each day and week of a truly intensive program. At age 65 I was not only the oldest student at BALSSI, but likely older than anyone else on the entire faculty and staff at SLI. Age proved to be no barrier to interaction with my follow students as we regularly ate together, sang...

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Posted on Sep 7, 2015

Margarita Safronova | Intermediate Latvian @ BALSSI 2015

BALSSI provides an excellent opportunity to learn a language and interact with fellow scholars who are interested in the region. As a doctoral student who studies the post-Soviet states, I was looking for an intense language course to prepare me for research in Latvia. Enrollment at BALSSI was the ideal opportunity to improve my knowledge of Latvian. The six-week session was rigorous but effective. By the end of the program, I was eager to converse in Latvian. However, the benefits of the program extend beyond the classroom. During the six weeks, students from different disciplines and backgrounds had a chance to interact and learn about culture, history, and values of Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian nations. Learning songs and traditions of different countries contributed to a better understanding of the Baltic states. In addition, the lectures by visiting scholars provided cross-disciplinary perspectives about prominent issues in the region. The students had a chance to speak directly to the visiting scholars, adding to the well-rounded curriculum. BALSSI courses helped me revive...

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