Sődertőn University in Stockholm hosted the 2011 Baltic Studies in Europe Conference on June 12-15. The 230 participants came from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Sweden, UK, USA, and even two participants from Japan. In addition to panel presentations, the conference featured three key note speakers. Bengt Jacobsson, Sődertőn University, opened the conference with a talk on “Changes in Governance: Europeanization and the Baltic States.” Valdis Muktupavels, University of Latvia, presented case studies of Latvian musical instruments to discuss local, regional and continental components of national musical culture. Tiina Kirss, Tallinn University, addressed post-Soviet “memory work” in her talk “Writing Baltic Lives: Continuities and Caesuras.”
A highlight of the conference was a concert by the Hans Antehads Quartet, which performed jazz arrangements of traditional and contemporary Latvian songs. The concert, held at the historical Konserthuset, was followed by a reception hosted by the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian embassies in Sweden. On Sunday evening, the Estonian House hosted a reception with a performance by The Lavettes, a 1960s music Stockholm band comprised primarily of doctoral students. Despite a heavy rain that forced a move inside from the Blåporten restaurant’s courtyard, the conference dinner was an opportunity to enjoy Swedish food and conversation with colleagues.
The 2013 Baltic Studies Conference in Europe will be held in Tallinn, Estonia.