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Posted on Sep 13, 2017

Theories of the Prehistoric in a Cold War Context

Rasa Navickaitė, PhD Candidate at Central European University, received an AABS dissertation grant for her project “The Pre-Historic Goddess of the Cold War: Transnational Life and Reception of Marija Gimbutas.”  She tells us about the research she conducted in California this summer: My dissertation is an intellectual biography and reception history of Marija Gimbutas (1921-1994) – a renowned Lithuanian-American archaeologist and an advocate of the controversial hypothesis of the peaceful, egalitarian, matristic, and matrilineal pre-historic civilization of Old Europe. Gimbutas left a wealth of scholarship, from her early works on the Bronze Age Europe, the Balts and Lithuanian folklore, to her later, much debated works on the culture of Neolithic Old Europe and its Goddess-centered religion. Her oeuvre and her charismatic personality made Gimbutas a source of inspiration for various socio-political movements between 1970s and 1990s: from the American Goddess spirituality movement, to the anti-Soviet Eastern European ethnocultural movement, to post-socialist Lithuanian feminism. Despite Gimbutas’ intellectual influence on the both sides of the Iron Curtain, and her reputation as...

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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 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 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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