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Posted on May 28, 2012

Baltics…Chicago Conference Wrap-Up


The 2012 AABS Conference “The Global Baltics” brought together 209 participants from 17 countries in North America, Europe, Japan and Australia. The 23rd AABS conference was held in Chicago on April 26-28. This group of scholars from around the globe was joined by over 100 local attendees for panel presentations, keynotes and discussions on the Baltic past and future. The conference featured an opening day panel with Ambassadors to the United States Marina Kaljurand (Estonia), Žygimantas Pavilionis (Lithuania) and Andrejs Pildegovičs (Latvia), along with Benjamin Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and Speechwriting to the President of the USA, and Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, Senior Director for European Affairs, National Security Council, The White House.

Other featured speakers included Vjačeslavs Dombrovskis, Member of Latvia’s Parliament, who spoke on the Latvian economy, and Dick Durbin, U.S. Senator from the State of Illinois, who spoke on the U.S.-Baltic relationship. In addition to looking ahead to the next 20 years, keynote speaker: Pietro U. Dini, Linguist and translator, Università di Pisa provided a look back at the Baltic languages and nations in Renaissance Europe. Fifty-six panels addressed various aspects of the history, literature, culture, economy, politics and society of the Baltic region. The conference also included a session with Baltic writers and two evening musical performances. The conference was capped off with a banquet in Chicago’s Greek Town and an entertaining performance by Solo performance by author, director and actor, Kęstutis Nakas, of his play “One Lithuanian Guy.”

Incoming AABS President Ain Haas shares his vision of the future of Baltic Studies. ain-haas-conf.jpg