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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 Mar 14, 2016

AASTEEL Awards Translation Prize to Kaija Straumanis

The American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Studies presented the 2016 award for Best Translation into English to Kaija Straumanis for High Tide, her translation of Inga Abele’s Latvian novel Paisums (2008).  The novel takes place over three decades, told in reserve chronological order from post-Communist Latvia through the time of the Awakening and back to the Communist period. What impressed the judges about Kaija Straumanis’s translation is the lyrical quality of the lines. This is a novel that reads like poetry. Logic is given a long leash in a prose that is evocative and electric. Abele’s is a performative prose in which words call for one another, and Straumanis succeeds in finding the words that both issue and answer that call. But just as resonant as the language of the novel, is the depth of the emotions it portrays and elicits. High Tide is published by Open Letter Pres, (Rochester, New York:...

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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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