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Posted on Feb 26, 2019

Art, Artists and 19th c. Colonialism in the Baltic Provinces

Bart Pushaw received a 2018 Dissertation grant to complete archival research for his dissertation in Latvia. He will complete his PhD in Art History at the University of Maryland this spring. My dissertation “The Global Invention of ‘Art’: Race and Visual Sovereignty in the Colonial Baltic World, 1870-1920” investigates visual art as a realm of multiethnic cooperation and decolonial possibility, revealing how images and the ability to assume the power of image-making were pivotal to changing the strict social stratifications of the Baltic Provinces. Most importantly, I completed archival research about Emīlija Gruzīte, the first Latvian woman to become a professional artist. While I have accessed many primary source documents about her in Latvian newspapers through the portal Periodika, there nevertheless existed a veritable treasure trove of non-digitzied material which I could only access in person in the archives of the Art Academy and other files at the National Library. These sources, including her autobiography and miscellaneous photographs (of pivotal importance of course for scholars of visual culture!), played a key...

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Posted on Feb 21, 2019

Dissertation grant supports archival research on LGBTQ history in Soviet Baltic

Feruza Aripova is a PhD Candidate in World History at Northeastern University, Center Associate at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University and a Visiting Scholar at the Harriman Institute at Columbia University. My dissertation project, tentatively titled “Silencing of Same-Sex Desire in Post-Soviet Space: Deconstructing the Soviet Legacy,” investigates the legacy of same-sex violence in carceral spaces and its profound impact on public perception of associating homosexuality with crime; as well as the medical establishment that subjected individuals with same-sex attractions to psychiatric treatment in the 1950s through the 1980s. Furthermore, it examines the ways in which legal and medical regulations enabled and constituted “alternative” spaces for same-sex desire in the 1960s through late 1980s. By “queering” the Soviet ideological narrative, it seeks to investigate fragments of same-sex existence, subjectivities, spaces and local and transnational networks. I am immensely grateful to the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies for the financial support which allowed me to complete my archival research in Latvia. I...

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Posted on Feb 17, 2019

The Baltic Question and the Collapse of the Soviet Union

Una Bergmane is a Baltic Sea Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia and a London School of Economics Fellow in Cold War History. She holds a PhD from Sciences Po Paris with highest distinction. Una received a 2018 Emerging Scholar Award to conduct research for her book project at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas. The aim of this trip was to conduct research for my book project “The Politics of Uncertainty: the US, the Baltic Question, and Collapse of the Soviet Union” based on my doctoral dissertation. My first objective for the current trip was to gather material that would provide the overall picture of the US attitudes toward the Soviet disintegration process, thus allowing to contextualize the US reactions to the Baltic claims for independence. Previously declassified documents from collections such as Records on the Dissolution of the Soviet Union and Records on U.S. Policy Toward Post-Coup Soviet Union/Former Soviet Republics provided very interesting information. Policy papers gave useful insights into...

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Posted on Sep 9, 2018

THESIS BALTICANA | A Project in Development

Zane Onckule, recipient of 2017 the Jānis Grundmanis Postgraduate Fellowship, has concluded her first year studies at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College (she is scheduled to complete a Master of Arts program in Spring 2019). She describes the curatorial project that she is developing for her master’s degree. THESIS BALTICANA will cast light on, narrate, analyze and poeticize the ever-obscure concept of the Baltics, which are comprised of three countries – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – all celebrating the centennial of their national Independence in 2018. Maximizing the implicit notion of AMERICANA that comes along with the socio-political framework and geography of the United States this project largely “denounces” the concept of the Nation State and will re-brand the notion of the Baltics, introducing instead the concept of BALTICANA. THESIS BALTICANA will be based on case studies of peculiar (selected) historic, sociopolitical, artistic, and popular culture realities turned into metaphors, keywords and eventually shaped into stories fit for public events, written text or a display of artifacts....

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Posted on Aug 12, 2018

Three Books Receive AABS Honorable Mentions

Three books received Honorable Mentions for the 2018 AABS Book Prize: Christine Beresniova, Holocaust Education in Lithuania (Lexington Books, 2017) The review committee noted that the book “makes an original, comprehensive and significant contribution to the analysis and evaluation of Holocaust education in Lithuania, based on extensive fieldwork and building on earlier publications. The issue of Holocaust education is of central importance to Lithuania’s integration in Europe in terms of political, cultural and educational matters.” Publisher’s website   Dalia Leinarte, The Lithuanian Family in Its European Context, 1800-1914 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)  In its consideration of this book, the committee described it as “distinguished by the methodological diversity. [Parts of the book] present a microscopic view evaluating the subjective range of motives and perceptions of intelligentsia or peasants. At the same time, quantitative data and structural analyses are present…reconstructing long-term developmental tendencies.” Publisher’s website Vasilijus Safronovas, The Creation of National Spaces in a Pluricultural Region; The Case of Prussian Lithuania (Academic Studies Press, 2016) The review committee commented that “this fascinating...

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Posted on Aug 12, 2018

AABS Book Prize awarded to Julija Šukys

  The AABS Board is pleased to announce that Julija Šukys has been awarded the 2018 AABS Book Prize for Siberian Exile: Blood, War, and a Granddaughter’s Reckoning (University of Nebraska Press, 2017). The review committee noted that “rigorous scholarship with personal writing of an autobiographical nature that is inquisitive and insightful.” Additionally the book was commended for its “strong contribution to the field. Its multiple subjects—the Soviet occupation of Lithuania, Siberian exile, and Lithuanian participation in the Holocaust—continue to be of the utmost important not only to Lithuanian scholars, but also to generations of Lithuanians themselves.” Publisher’s website...

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