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Posted on Mar 24, 2020

2020 Birnitis, Grundmanis, Saltups, Emerging Scholar, and Dissertation Awardees Announced

    This year, AABS received twenty-six solid applications for its Birnitis, Grundmanis, Saltups, Emerging Scholar, and Dissertation grants and fellowships. Ineta Dabašinskienė, AABS’ Vice President for Professional Development, reports that the higher number of applications (compared with 11 in 2019) is a convincing sign from young people around the Western world (USA, Canada, Europe) showing their growing interest in Baltic Studies and also the increasing awareness of grants and fellowships offered by AABS. AABS has always had to make difficult decisions during the selection process as the vast majority of proposals present impressively interesting, credible, and meaningful research topics covering but not limited to issues of identity, citizenship, gender, migration, and trauma studies. Moreover, most of the proposals take an interdisciplinary approach and apply diverse methodologies. AABS thanks all scholars and students who submitted their applications and wishes them success in their studies and research! The AABS Board is pleased to announce that eight scholars and graduate students have been awarded the following 2020 grants and fellowships. The Aina...

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Posted on Nov 20, 2019

“Kaunimad laulud pühendan sul”: How Baumanis Grant Contributed to the Making of Roman Toi Documentary

The Baumanis grant enabled the production of reenactments in Estonia based on Roman Toi’s autobiography, “Kaunimad laulud pühendan sul” (“My most beautiful songs I dedicate to you”). We filmed scenes from Roman Toi’s early life from his autobiography in Tallinn and in the neighboring farming community. Early in the development of this music biography I adapted a monologue from the autobiography for ACTRA performer A.C. Peterson to perform in both English and Estonian. We recorded the monologue in English and it forms the skeletal structure of this film. The documentary uses many archival materials, such as photography, music recordings, news footage and public domain materials to make a compelling biography. The film features Roman Toi’s own compositions, his conducting of songs, his musical influences from teachers and mentors and new works of composers under Toi’s influence in the Toronto community. Reenactments with actors bring alive scenes from Roman Toi’s autobiography and make this film a compelling documentary. The Baumanis grant with other funders enabled five days of production in...

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Posted on Aug 20, 2019

Civic-Cultural Identity and Banal Integration in Latvia: How the Emerging Scholars Grant Advanced My Research

  With the assistance of the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies Emerging Scholar grant, I was able to continue advancing my dissertation project — “Hostland or homeland? Civic-cultural identity and banal integration in Latvia” — in the year following my defense. The support of the AABS grant was indispensable in this pursuit, as without such funds, I would not have been able to complete several projects or work toward reshaping the dissertation for further publication. During the grant tenure, these funds supported my work to complete an article for publication in Europe-Asia Studies, titled “Diversity in Daugavpils: Unpacking identity and cultural engagement among minority school youth in Eastern Latvia.” This was published in January 2019, while much of the editing work was completed in 2018. The AABS Emerging Scholar grant supported follow-up data collection for the article, subsidizing some of my research in Latvia following the completion of a post-doctoral fellowship at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. In addition to completing the article, the Emerging...

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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 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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