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Posted on May 10, 2019

Looking Back at the 2018 AABS Conference at Stanford

Liisi Esse, Ph.D. Associate Curator for Estonian and Baltic Studies, Stanford Libraries 2016-2018 AABS VP for Conferences The 2018 AABS Conference at Stanford University: The 100th Anniversary of Baltic Independence, held on 1–3 June, celebrated two important milestones – the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies and the 100th anniversary of independence for Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. The three-day program also highlighted the breadth and depth of Baltic Studies today, featuring 124 panels, roundtable discussions, and workshops—as well as keynote talks, evening receptions, film screenings, literary readings, and exhibits. In total, 473 presenters, including 125 students, and over 200 members of the general public attended the conference. The keynote lectures by leading historians and policy analysts provided historical and contemporary contexts of the Baltic countries and Baltic studies. The conference’s first keynote talk, “Russian and East European Studies and Baltic Studies: A Historical Exploration,” was delivered by renowned Stanford historian Dr. Norman Naimark. The opening keynote was followed by a roundtable...

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Posted on May 10, 2019

Australasian Chapter’s 19th Conference: 100th Anniversary of Baltic Independence

AABS Australasia Committee: Dr. D. Skerrett (Brisbane), Dr. U. Ozloiņš (Melbourne), Dr. E. Reilly (Geelong) Fifteen delegates and another six attendees – including four delegates from Estonia and India – gathered at the Waterfront Campus of Deakin University, Geelong, on a clear and warm weekend Saturday 13 October – Sunday 14 October 2018. Renowned historian, Professor Sheila Fitzpatrick of Sydney University, gave the plenary address on the story of Latvian displaced persons in Europe. She is the author of Mischka’s War, On Stalin’s Team, The Russian Revolution, and other books on the 20th-century Russia. A diaspora studies panel featured Eve Wicks-Puodžiūnaitė’s presentation on her memorial project, In Sunshine and Shadow, a publication resulting from her doctoral research. Independent scholars, Marija Perejma and Ilse Matthews, focused on Latvian post-war experience in Adelaide. A panel on contemporary politics included Dr. Uldis Ozoliņš, University of Western Sydney, who spoke to the timely topic, “Is Latvia the weak link?”, analyzing the results and reporting of the previous weekend’s elections in Latvia. Dr. Skerrett,...

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Posted on Apr 30, 2013

Do the Baltic States Exist?

Several leading historians of the Baltic region sought to answer this question at a symposium titled “Do the Baltic States Exist? Re-Evaluations of Europe and the Post-Cold War World” on April 17, 2013. The authors of three new books on the history of the lands making up Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia — Andrejs Plakans (Iowa State University), Andres Kasekamp (University of Tartu); and Aldis Purs (University of Washington) — participated in a panel discussion. In a dynamic discussion, the historians assessed current issues in Baltic historiography and in the relationship between states and populations. Responding to their remarks and adding her own comments on post-Baltic identities and history was Mara Lazda (Bronx Community College, The City University of New York).  You can read a summary of the panel discussion in the 2013 issue of the Baltic Studies Newsletter. The event was hosted by the European Studies Council and the Baltic Studies Program at the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University. The Baltic Studies Program at...

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Posted on Oct 30, 2012

Food as a Lens for Studying the Baltic Region

In August 2012, scholars gathered together at the Institute of History of Tallinn University for a two-day conference entitled “Turning Points in Baltic and Central East European Food History: Knowledge, Consumption, and Production in Changing Environments.” This first conference on interdisciplinary Baltic food studies and history attracted participants from across Europe, and from as far as North America (Canada). Over 20 papers and posters were presented, all of them focusing on food as a lens for studying broader processes, from regional integration through trade to the politics of heritage preservation. As the theme of the conference suggests, history is filled with turning points, when food-related practices are challenged, transformed, and invested with new meaning. Thus, this gathering of scholars in Tallinn marks in itself another turning point in Baltic food history giving a positive impulse on further research. Following the conference, participants created a listserv as a forum for communication between scholars involved in the emerging field of ‘Baltic Food Studies.’ The conference was organized by The Estonian Center...

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Posted on Oct 3, 2012

16th Australasian Conference Presents Perspectives on Baltic Diversity

Australasian Perspectives on the Baltic States, Multiculturalism and Diversity | 16th Conference The AABS Australasian section’s 16th conference was held at the University of Melbourne on September 29. The conference featured 13 presenters on topics ranging from language policy in Estonia to diaspora identities in Australia to the Teutonic order in an age of transition. Australasian section president, Delaney Skerrett addressed the question of whether an association that advances Baltic Studies is still relevant. “Yes, we are still relevant. Although we are no longer struggling to free ourselves from the Soviet Union and the post-communist transition is for all intents and purposes over, the transformation is not….The transition, Prof Marju Lauristin said, was a boat ride down the river. You get in and you know where you are going. And you know when you have reached the end. The transformation is a little more involved, however. You take the boat out into the ocean, and no one is really sure where the end is or when we might reach...

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