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Posted on May 5, 2015

Congratulations to 2015 AABS Grant Recipients!

  AABS announces the recipients of 2015 fellowships: Research Grants for Emerging Scholars Mart Kuldkepp, Tartu University Jānis Grundmanis Postgraduate Fellowship for Study in the U. S. Elina Ruka, Columbia College, Chicago The Aina Birnitis Dissertation-Completion Fellowship in the Humanities for Latvia Indra Purs, Latvian University of Agriculture Mudīte I. Zīlīte Saltups Postgraduate and Post-Doctoral Fellowship Anete Vitola, University of...

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Posted on Feb 10, 2015

The Consequences of Playing the Compatriot Card

Dr. Jennie Schulze, assistant professor of Political Science at Duquesne University, received an AABS Emerging Scholar award in 2012. Her project focuses on how Russia’s kin-state activism influences decision-making surrounding minority policies in Estonia and Latvia. Estonia and Latvia have been primary targets of Russia’s Compatriot Policy. The restrictive citizenship and language polices they adopted in the early 1990s ultimately disenfranchised their large Russian-speaking minorities. Russia has used a variety of tools in the name of protecting its compatriots including military and economic pressures, historical aggravation, border agreements, citizenship policy, international organizations, media campaigns, cyber warfare, and the funding and organization of protests. Concerns over Russia’s influence in Estonian and Latvian society have been escalating in recent years, particularly in the wake of mass protests over school reform in Latvia in spring 2004 and the Bronze Soldier riots in Estonia in April 2007. Both are evidence of Russia’s increasing use of soft power strategies to co-opt Russian-speakers in order achieve its political objectives. Russia’s activism is particularly worrisome in...

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Posted on Sep 27, 2014

AABS Emerging Scholar Explores Linguistic Landscape

  In his project “Multilingualism and the internationalisation of higher education in the Baltic states: A linguistic landscape approach,” Josep Soler-Carbonell focuses his analysis on languages displayed in universities’ public space, i.e. their linguistic landscape. In the context of the internationalization of higher education, the growing presence of English in higher education has become a widespread phenomenon and concern, especially in Europe. As a result of students’ and staff’s mobility, universities have adapted to this new era by offering a growing number of courses and degree programs (particularly at the masters and doctoral levels) partially or entirely in English. Soler-Carbonell explains, I aim at offering a picture of the kinds of multilingual scenarios that we can detect in the linguistic landscape of universities in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The data gathered in the frame of this project will provide both a quantitative and qualitative examination of (1) the languages displayed in the linguistic landscape of the three universities selected for this study and their relative weight; and (2) the...

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Posted on Mar 24, 2012

Performing the East: AABS Scholar Examines Performance Art in Latvia

In 2011, Dr. Amy Bryzgel was awarded an AABS Emerging Scholar Award to assist with the completion of her book, Performing the East: Performance Art in Russia, Latvia and Poland since 1980. The book dedicates one chapter to an analysis of performance art in Latvia as viewed through the works of contemporary artists Miervaldis Polis and Gints Gabrans. The funding was utilised to offset the cost of copy-editing and indexing of the final manuscript. Performing the East examines the phenomenon of performance art as it emerged in Eastern Europe by examining distinct case-studies of artists working in Russia, Latvia and Poland. While Performance Art is a thoroughly theorised and codified genre within the Western Art Historical canon, there has yet to emerge a comprehensive study of the meaning and significance of this art form to artists and audiences in the ‘East,’ where it emerged under entirely different socio-historical conditions. This book is one of the first efforts to fill that gap in the scholarship. The chapter on Performance Art...

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Posted on May 3, 2011

AABS Emerging Scholar Investigates “Dark Tourism”

The 2010 Emerging Scholars Award assisted Dr. McKenzie in financing his travel to Tallinn, Riga, and Vilnius to conduct field research about Dark Tourism. The field studies in Estonia included interviews with owners of a firm that provides Soviet Tours in Tallinn; an interview with a tour guide who conducts Soviet Tours in Tallinn; and an interview with a representative of the Tallinn tourism bureau. In Riga, he conducted an interview with a representative of the Latvian Institute to discuss the role of Soviet tourism in Latvia and an interview with a representative from the Latvian Tourism Development Agency. In Vilnius, he conducted an interview, and a tour, with a guide at the Museum of Genocide Victims, an interview with a tourist who visited Grūto parkas (“Stalin World”), and an interview with a representative of the Lithuanian tourism bureau. To date, in addition to his presentation, “Remembrance versus Nostalgia: ‘Dark’ Tourism in the Baltic States”, at the 2010 Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies Conference, Dr. McKenzie has...

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