The AABS Board is pleased to announce that Central European University Press has been awarded the AABS Book Publication Subvention for publishing Defining Latvia: Recent Explorations in History, Culture, and Politics, a volume edited by Michael Loader, Siobhán Hearne, and Matthew Kott.
Michael Loader is a political historian of the Soviet Communist Party, nationality politics, and Soviet Latvia. He received his PhD from King’s College London in 2015 and is currently a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the University of Glasgow and the Assistant Editor of the Journal of Baltic Studies. His publications on Soviet language, education and migration policy, the Latvian national communists, Soviet power struggles and political purges have appeared in several book chapters and in Europe-Asia Studies, Nationalities Papers, and the Slavonic and East European Review.
Siobhán Hearne is a historian of gender and sexuality in the Russian Empire and Soviet Union. She received her PhD from the University of Nottingham in 2017 and is currently a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the School of Modern Languages & Cultures at Durham University. Siobhán has published several articles and book chapters on prostitution, venereal diseases, and pornography in the Russian imperial and Soviet contexts. Her first book, Policing Prostitution: Regulating the Lower Classes in Late Imperial Russia, was published by Oxford University Press in 2021. She is also one of the editors of Peripheral Histories?, a collaborative digital history project exploring ‘peripheral’ spaces in the Russian Empire, Soviet Union, and post-Soviet world.
Matthew Kott is a historian based at IRES, Uppsala University, specialising in the contemporary history of societies in the Baltic Sea region, Latvia in particular. He has written on a range of subjects including the Waffen-SS, fascism, Stalinist repressions, anti-Semitism and antiziganism, racial science, and migration. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (UK) and the editor-in-chief of Journal of Baltic Studies.
In just over a century, Latvia has transitioned from imperial periphery to nation state, Communist republic, and finally an independent republic following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Defining Latvia brings together the most cutting-edge research on the multiple social, political, and cultural contexts of Latvia throughout this turbulent period. This volume arises from an interdisciplinary conference held at Uppsala University in October 2018 entitled “Latvia at a Crossroads,” which attracted leading political scientists, historians, and area studies specialists from across Europe and North America to mark the centenary of Latvia’s declaration of independence. Following the conference, the organizers and editors of this volume selected the ten most conceptually and thematically ambitious papers to be developed into chapters for this anthology.
“Defining Latvia makes a significant contribution to Latvian and Baltic studies by bringing together the most current, cutting-edge scholarship by leading researchers in the field.”
Latvian studies is a lively interdisciplinary field that brings together researchers from a wide variety of disciplines, including history, politics, sociology, and area studies, working within various different linguistic contexts. Defining Latvia makes a significant contribution to Latvian and Baltic studies by bringing together the most current, cutting-edge scholarship by leading researchers in the field.
Defining Latvia: Recent Explorations in History, Culture, and Politics
Introduction: Latvia and Latvian Identity in Historical Perspective
Siobhán Hearne, Durham University
Part One: Whose Latvia? Formulating Nation, State, and Belonging from the Nineteenth Century to 1945
Chapter 1 Mapping Latwija: Matīss Siliņš and Latvian cartographic publishing in the 1890s
Catherine Gibson, University of Tartu
Chapter 2 The Sokolowski Affair: Testing the Limits of Cultural Autonomy in Interwar Latvia
Christina Douglas and Per Bolin, Södertorn University
Chapter 3 More than a Means to an End: Pērkonkrusts’ Antisemitism and Attacks on Democracy 1932-1934
Paula Oppermann, University of Glasgow
Chapter 4 My Home and My Family Are Now Our Regiment’: National Belonging and Familial Feelings in Latvian Units during World War II
Harry Merritt, Amherst University
Part Two: Latvia in the USSR: Contesting Moscow’s Norms from the Soviet Periphery, 1945-1991
Chapter 5 The Economic Program of the Latvian National Communists – Myth or Reality?
Daina Bleiere, Institute of Latvian History
Chapter 6 Latvia goes Rogue: Language Politics and Khrushchev’s 1958 Soviet Education Reform
Michael Loader, University of Glasgow
Chapter 7 Latvian photography of the 1960s: Between Art and Censorship
Ekaterina Vikulina, Russian State University for the Humanities
Part Three: Semantics and Signifiers: Localizing Labels and Definitions for the Latvian Context since 1991
Chapter 8 Onwards and Upwards! Mainstreaming Radical Right Populism in Contemporary Latvia
Daunis Auers, University of Latvia
Chapter 9 Gaming the System: Far Right Entryism in Post-Soviet Latvian Politics
Matthew Kott, Uppsala University
What is AABS book Publication Subvention?
AABS awards two Book Publication Subventions each year. Applications may be submitted for review anytime, on a rolling basis.
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