Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted on Nov 5, 2016

Song and Dance and Integration in Latvia

Indra Ekmanis 2016 AABS Dissertation Grant recipient “Latvian culture” is inescapably tied to “Latvian identity,” both colloquially and in policy language. Acceptance of and respect for Latvian culture is also a cornerstone of Latvian integration legislation, which is particularly geared toward individuals speaking Russian as their first language. With the support of the AABS Dissertation Grant, my research focuses on minority participation in Latvian cultural life, particularly through the National and Youth Song and Dance Celebrations. These UNESCO-recognized festivals are a keystone of “Latvian identity,” but participation is not limited to those with “latvietis” stamped in their passport. Particularly in the school youth format, the Celebrations provides a mechanism for minority students to access a form of Latvian cultural identity that can affect their relationship to the Latvian state and “nation.” This extends beyond the days of the festival into the years prior through preparation in school choirs and folk dance collectives. The AABS Dissertation Grant has helped to fund the continuation of my fieldwork in Rīga and rural...

Read More

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,...

Read More

Posted on Mar 30, 2016

Applications for New Baumanis Grant for Creative Projects due 1 May 2016

AABS announces a new grant award to support creative projects such as books, films, or exhibits that promote Baltic studies, with a preference for pan-Baltic or comparative topics. The Baumanis Grant is an award made to honor Velta Marija Baumanis of Mount Brydges, Ontario, who left a generous bequest to AABS at the end of her career as an architect.  Proposals for the 2016 award of up to $5,000 are due 1 May 2016.  Application instructions are available...

Read More

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...

Read More

Posted on Jun 18, 2015

Socialist Ideas & Estonian Intellectuals in Late 19th c.

Mark Moll, a Central Eurasian Studies Ph.D. candidate at Indiana University, received a 2015 AABS Dissertation Grant to investigate the spread of socialist ideas among the Estonian intelligentsia in the late 19th century. Centered in the university town of Tartu, several members of the radical underground, like Jüri Jaakson, Mihkel Martna and August Rei, went on to achieve prominent positions within the interwar Estonian Republic. The grant will finance a research trip to the Estonian Historical Archives and the manuscript collection of the Estonian Literary Museum in Tartu. My research focuses on the men and women in turn-of-the-century Estonia whose radical experiences as first as students, then as journalists, led to the push for Estonian political autonomy via a syncretic fusion of nationalism and socialism in 1905 during the first Russian Revolution. An analysis of the network of these activists reveals the importance that developments abroad played in shaping the discourse at home and helps contextualize the role of Estonians within the larger Russian revolutionary...

Read More

Posted on Jun 16, 2015

A Passion for Better Science and Innovation

  Anete Vitola is the 2015 Mudīte I. Zīlīte Saltups Postgraduate and Post-Doctoral Fellowship. My research is about science and innovation policy. I have finalized my dissertation research on multi-level science and innovation policy mixes in the European Union. I’m interested in continuing my research in other contexts than the EU. While attention to science and innovation policy typically focuses on the national level, in the United States, it is often intergovernmental, involving state governments, industry labs, and university research units.  My plan for the short term research visit will be to interact with science and innovation policy researchers in the U.S. regarding this complex intergovernmental setting, and also to share the results of my dissertation research and plans for future research directions. I will perform my research at the School of Public Policy at Georgia Tech. Specific activities of the short term research visit will include interviews with researchers at School of Public Policy, at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The purpose of these interviews will be to...

Read More