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Posted on Sep 6, 2016

Baumanis recipient investigates history of Lutsi-speakers in Latvia

Uldis Balodis received the first AABS Baumanis grant to document the current state of villages historically inhabited by Lutsi Estonian speakers, as well as to conduct archival research in Tartu, Estonia and Helsinki, Finland on the work of Oskar Kallas, the original researcher of the Lutsi Estonians (Lutsis). The Lutsis are a little-known ethnic minority group in rural parishes surrounding the city of Ludza in eastern Latvia (Latgale), the members of which still spoke their own dialect of South Estonian until very recently. Balodis’ book, entitled In Kallas’ footsteps in Lutsimaa, will retrace the journey of Oskar Kallas through this region through extensive photography of village communities and interviews with village residents. The historical language of the Lutsis is most similar to that of the present-day Seto minority of southeastern Estonia and their ancestors most likely came to Latgale from Estonia approximately three to four centuries ago. The project will introduce this little-known minority group in Latvia to a wider audience – Estonians, Latvians, and English speakers interested in linguistics,...

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Posted on Jun 16, 2016

Food Culture in the Baltic States receives Vitols Award

The Vilis Vitols Award for Best Article published in the Journal of Baltic Studies went to Diana Mincyte and Ulrike Plath for their editorship of and short introduction to special issue 46.3: Food Culture in the Baltic States. The award is usually presented to a writer of a specific article; however, the awards committee received so many positive comments from readers about the food issue that it decided to break with tradition and honor the editors. Every article in this issue speaks insightfully and eloquently to a topic that previously has not received much attention in the field of Baltic...

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Posted on Jun 16, 2016

AABS Awards Book Prize to Power of Song

Guntis Smidchens’ The Power of Song: Nonviolent National Culture in the Baltic Singing Revolution (University of Washington Press) received the 2016 AABS book prize. Smidchens expertly depicts how music, specifically singing, was used as a form of nonviolent resistance to Soviet force by Estonians, Latvians, and Lithuanians during the period preceding independence. The book is meticulously researched, with more than 110 choral, rock, and folk songs used to support the thesis and illustrate the richness and beauty of Baltic song. Interested readers can acquire the book through Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/ or directly from the University of Washington Press website at...

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Posted on May 9, 2016

AABS Conference Keynote by Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves

Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves will give the keynote address “International Order Under Strain: Implications for the Baltic Sea Region” at the AABS conference on Thursday, May 26. The keynote will be followed by a reception in the Hall of Flags, Houston Hall at the University of Pennsylvania. For conference details, download the preliminary program in the left hand column on the AABS website’s home page....

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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 27, 2015

Baltic Scholars Discuss “Traditions, Transitions, Transfers” in Marburg

The eleventh Conference on Baltic Studies in Europe took place in Marburg, Germany, from September 7-10, 2015. The host, the Herder Institute, and its partners, the Justus Liebig University of Gießen and the Philipps University of Marburg, welcomed 195 participants from seventeen countries to discuss “Traditions, Transitions, Transfers.” The opening event took place in the magnificent ballroom of the Landgraves castle, which sits on top of the mountain overlooking the medieval city and the valley of the Lahn River. The series of welcome addresses by Peter Haslinger, the director of the Herder Institute, Egon Vaupel, the mayor of Marburg, Benedikt Stuchtey, the dean of the Faculty of History at Marburg University, and Joybarto Mukherjee, the president of Gießen University, was interspersed with musical deliberations by Aivars Kalejs (piano) and the most delightful Martina Doehring (soprano) introducing and singing pieces by the composer of Baltic descent Ella von Schultz-Adaïewsky (1846-1926). Theodore Weeks of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale lifted spirits with his highly enjoyable keynote speech “On the Edge: The...

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