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Posted on Jul 8, 2019

“Baltic Memory of the Gulag” Receives 2019 Baumanis Award

The AABS Board is pleased to announce that Stepan Cernousek of the Gulag.cz Association has been awarded the 2019 Baumanis Grant for Creative Projects. His project, “Baltic Memory of the Gulag,” aims to create an online virtual museum dedicated to the Baltic experience of the Gulag. The goal of the project is to add a special Baltic section to the already existing Gulag.Online virtual museum. This virtual museum is a unique tool that introduces the history of the Soviet repressions to a broader public – it includes and combines results of expeditions to abandoned Gulag camps, 3D models and panoramic pictures of camps and prisoners’ items, interactive maps for all the main Gulag administrations, and stories of people who went through the Soviet repressions. Right now, the virtual museum includes testimonies and stories of Czechs, Slovaks, Polish, and Hungarians. Adding a Baltic section to the exhibit will extend the scope of the virtual museum and expose visitors from all around the world to the topic of Baltic history during...

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Posted on Jul 3, 2019

The Prose by Andra Neiburga: Narrative Structure, Narrator, and the Levels of Narration: A Report on How Birnitis Grant Supported my Research

In my report, I would like to give an insight into the conclusions relating to Andra Neiburga’s prose which is the object of my dissertation. The dissertation has been developed in the field of literary theory. I analyze the narrative structure of Neiburga’s works; the cage metaphor that applies the historical layer in the narrative; as well as the various models of masculinity—a concept which Neiburga has implicitly put in the foreground of her prose as a changing thing in a situation of crisis. Neiburga’s literary activity can be divided into two periods. The first one covers the period from 1985 to 1993, when a new generation of writers entered the literary field. Among the first debutants were several young women writers, including Neiburga, that expressed themselves vividly. The prose’s “new wave,” as it was then called, exposed itself with a new aesthetic program. It differed sharply from the works of older writers and shocked with the ugly, unpleasant truth it revealed. Neiburga entered this scene with an autobiographical...

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Posted on Jun 10, 2019

Gendered Inequalities and Gendered Social Relations: How Grundmanis Fellowship Supported My Studies

  In May 2019, I graduated from the Wayne State University, Detroit, MI with an M.A. degree in Anthropology majoring in Medical Anthropology. My essay was supervised by my academic advisor Dr. Jessica C. Robbins and focused on gendered inequalities and gendered social relations in late life. In addition to declining health resilience, old age also often comes with increased financial and social inequality and may cause a subjective and objective sense of insecurity and narrowed possibilities in resource procurement. For these reasons, late life is often seen as an extended period of vulnerability. Additionally, data on inequality show gendered differences, such that overall women tend to be in more unequal and challenging positions throughout their life than men. My study showed that gender can be used as both impediment and promoter when it comes to social inequalities: older women and men negotiate gendered social and kin relations to differently address gender-related issues and inequalities. More broadly this study examined how through transformations of personhood gender comes to matter...

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Posted on May 11, 2019

Highlights of May 2018 Board Meeting, Stanford University

Mara Lazda, 2016-2018 Director-at-Large The biennial AABS conference provides an opportunity for the incoming and outgoing board members to meet in person, with the outgoing board members sharing their experiences and familiarizing the incoming members with the structure of the organization. At the May 31, 2018 meeting, the outgoing board focused on two initiatives that have been the subject of much discussion over the last two years. The first was a clarification of AABS’s stance on political advocacy. As reported in the last newsletter, a growing number of societies have been issuing public statements on policy issues (e.g. ASEEES statement against racism and intolerance). Some AABS members have asked why the AABS did not issue a statement about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine or the threats to close Central European University. Academic Executive Director Olavi Arens and Director-at-Large Mara Lazda presented the results of their research on the AABS history of political advocacy and the positions of other learned societies. Arens pointed out that maintaining a non-political, non-partisan position has...

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Posted on Apr 10, 2019

2019 Birnitis, Grundmanis, Emerging Scholar, and Dissertation Awardees Announced

  The AABS Board is pleased to announce that seven scholars and graduate students have been awarded the following 2019 grants and fellowships. The Aina Birnitis Dissertation-Completion Fellowship in the Humanities for Latvia Kristine Bekere Latvian Academy of Sciences Baltic Strategic Studies Centre For the proposed research project, Activities of Latvian Exiles to sustain the idea of independence of Latvia   Jānis Grundmanis Postgraduate Fellowship for Study in the U. S. Renate Prancane Hunter College         Research Grants for Emerging Scholars Laura Dean Millikin University For the proposed research project Gender dynamics both feminist and anti-feminist in Latvian politics     Catherine Gibson European University Institute For the proposed research project Mapping Religious Communities in the Baltic Provinces of the Russian Empire     Eleonory Gilburd University of Chicago For the proposed research project Weary Sun: Tango in Eastern Europe and Soviet Russia     Dissertation Grants for Graduate Students Kristina Jõekalda Estonian Academy of Arts For the proposed research project Local and National in the 19th-Century...

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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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