AABS Travel Grant Recipients Share Their Experiences of CBSE 2021, Part 3

Oct 18, 2021

The Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies is happy to bring you stories and experiences from its 2021 student travel grant recipients who attended the 14th Conference on Baltic Studies in Europe (September 1–4, 2021, Uppsala, Sweden).

Applications for the AABS 2021 student travel grants were evaluated by the AABS Student Travel Grants Committee consisting of AABS Student Representative Kristo Nurmis, AABS Executive Officer-at-Large Guntis Šmidchens, AABS Administrative Executive Director Liisi Esse, and Member of the CBSE Organizing Committee Michael Loader. The grants were awarded to 16 students and early career scholars to support their travel to Uppsala in order to attend the CBSE 2021.

Anna Branets

Paper title: The Effect of Mediated Receptive Multilingualism in Facilitation of Language Learning

I was delighted to participate in the 14th Conference on Baltic Studies in Europe (CBSE) at Uppsala University in Sweden, 1-4 September 2021. Initially, I have applied to the 2020 AABS Conference at Queens University: New Directions in Baltic Studies. However, since this conference was canceled due to escalated COVID-19 restriction, the accepted participants were invited to join the CBSE conference in Sweden. I want to thank the organizers for finding such a great solution to this situation.
At the conference, I had an excellent opportunity to deliver a presentation, “The Effect of Mediated Receptive Multilingualism in Facilitation of Language Learning,” within my Ph.D. studies. My paper examines how available resources are used to achieve understanding and how interaction-facilitated learning proceeds in multilingual settings. Empirically, it investigates the degree to which knowing Russian is helpful when Estonians and Ukrainians communicate in Receptive Multilingualism mode.
This conference was the first offline conference for me in a year and a half. I have received valuable feedback on how to improve my research and how to develop my study in the future. In addition, I have established a great network with colleagues from the same field (sociolinguistics) and not only, which might lead to future collaboration. For example, I plan to attend the Ph.D. defense of one of the colleagues in the same field of study I met first time at the CBSE conference. To sum up, this conference is valuable in my field of study and gave me a broader perspective on the studies conducted in the Baltic countries. Participation in this conference was significant for my further research.
I want to express my greatest appreciation for being awarded a student travel grant to participate in CBSE 2021 Conference. This funding allowed me to travel to Sweden and be able to present my study offline. I had a chance to meet excellent researchers conducting different studies in Baltic countries and with whom I would like to collaborate in the future. I had an opportunity to establish new connections and make AABS friends and become a part of the community. In addition, I had a fantastic opportunity to explore Uppsala and visit Uppsala University. Uppsala University and the University of Tartu are the two oldest universities in Sweden and Estonia, respectively. They also share the common history related to Gustav II Adolf, who founded the University of Tartu. Therefore, it was an additional benefit to learn more about the history of Uppsala University and enjoy its ancient and outstanding architecture.
Anna Branets
Anna Branets is a Ph.D. student at the University of Tartu (Estonia). Her research interests comprise such topics as sociolinguistics, multilingualism and namely receptive multilingualism, comprehension between languages, L3 language acquisition. She focuses on Ukrainian, Russian and Estonian cases.

Judita Kasperiuniene

Paper title: Creating a façade of virtual identity: strategies and challenges for role makers

I would like to express thanks to the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies and the organizers of the CBSE 2021 conference in Uppsala, Sweden for giving me the opportunity to participate in a great conference. It was my first “live” conference after more than a year of “academic hunger.” I was worried about going until the last second, but now I am very happy. I was excited to experience how the world of new reality blooms for live contact and scientific discussion.
This conference was very interesting and interdisciplinary. It gave the opportunity not only to present research (I shared my postdoctoral findings on how adults create their multiple professional identities on social media), but also to hear and feel how social reality is seen, measured, and evaluated by scholars from different fields and disciplines: education, ethnology, linguistics, media and political science, and others. Thank you again to the organizers for providing me with the opportunity to benefit from this grant. I am very excited about the new academic acquaintances and discussions and look forward to new conferences.
Judita Kasperiuniene at the 14th CBSE in Uppsala, Sweden.
Judita Kasperiuniene is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Informatics, Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania. Judita received her Ph. D. in Education (Social Sciences) and finished a multidisciplinary Postdoc at Vytautas Magnus University. She has a postgraduate degree in technology-enhanced learning (University of Liege, Belgium) and an M.Sc. in information technologies (Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania). In her work, Judita is currently focusing on issues of online media discourses, identity construction in mediated environments, VR/AR applications in social settings, designing serious games, and intersections of education, communication and new technologies.

Earl Hodil

Paper title: Ivangorod under Boris Godunov: Early Modern Russia’s Entrepot on the Baltic

This generous AABS grant was vital to my participation in the 2021 CBSE conference in Uppsala, Sweden. Without these funds I would have been unable to travel to Uppsala from the United States and participate in the conference. Given my location away from the major airports of the US Southwest (in which region I live), it is impossible to find direct flights within the United States, let alone abroad. The particular generosity of this grant made it possible to find the necessary combination of flights that got me to Sweden. The vast majority of the grant went towards this airfare. Given the intricacies of flying during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was also necessary to get a PCR test to return to the US after the conference, which the grant also helped me to afford.
The second largest expenditure which this grant permitted consisted of the registration for the conference which was an enriching experience both as a presenter and an attendee. My paper was warmly received and I received many interesting questions during the Q/A session which will help me shape this project for future publication. I attended many fascinating panels and round tables each day as well. Finally, the opportunity to meet and plan collaborations with other scholars studying the Baltic proved quite fruitful. Altogether, the support from the AABS to attend this conference has helped to enrich my scholarship.
Finally, the AABS grant went some way towards defraying the cost of my stay in Uppsala as well. I managed to find a fairly reasonable Airbnb not far from the center of town. My host there was friendly and the walk to and from the conference each morning was brisk and invigorating, allowing me to get my mind working before sessions began each day.
In the end, the AABS provided me the means to present my scholarship, learn from experts in the field of Baltic studies, and forge new scholarly relationships for future projects. Thank you again for your generosity in offering me this grant.
Earl Hodil
Earl Hodil is a lecturer in the Department of History at Northern Arizona University where he teaches classes in world, European, and Russian history. His current primary research focuses on the relationship between Russia and Denmark in the early modern period, in particular through the lens of three royal marriage projects.

Rosario Napolitano

Paper title: Italian cultural diplomacy in Estonia during the interwar period: from de jure recognition till the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact (1921-1939)

The CBSE Conference organized at the Uppsala University represented for me the first “real” conference after almost one and a half years. It has been a big pleasure to see in person old colleagues and make new connections during the four days of conference. The student travel grant generously offered by the AABS fundamentally contributed to my ability to take part in the event where I had the chance to present the paper “Italian cultural diplomacy in Estonia during the interwar period: from de jure recognition to the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact (1921-1939),” a topic very relevant since Estonia celebrates this year 100 years from de jure recognition. Indeed, since de jure recognition, the Kingdom of Italy and the young Baltic Republic, despite the geographical distance, established not only diplomatic and business links but also deep cultural relations. This paper was developed thanks to a scholarship for research offered in 2019 by Archimedes Foundation (Republic of Estonia), which allowed me to examine in depth the topic of Estonian-Italian relations during the interwar period at the archives located in Tallinn and Tartu.

Before examining the Estonian case, I approached the Italian and Baltic relations during the interwar period. Between 2017 and 2018, I was involved in a project directed by the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in collaboration with the Latvian Embassy in Italy and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs) which enabled me to collaborate in the creation of the digital exhibition titled “Il ruolo dell’Italia nel riconoscimento della Lettonia e le relazioni bilaterali tra Italia e Lettonia durante il periodo interbellico” presented at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in June 2018.
Rosario Napolitano
Rosario Napolitano is a Research Fellow at the Department of Media and Communication of Riga Stradins University and lecturer of Italian History and Geography at the Department of Philology of University of Latvia. He got his Ph.D. degree in 2018 at the University of Naples l’Orientale with a thesis titled “La censura sovietica nei Paesi baltici: dal processo Daniel’-Sinjavskij alla dissoluzione dell’URSS” (1966-1991)” (The Soviet censorship in the Baltic States: from Daniel-Sinyavsky’s trial to the dissolution of the Soviet Union (1966-1991). His main interests are the bilateral relations between Italy and Baltic States during the interwar time and policies of cinemafication and censorship in Soviet Latvia. With Prof. Diego Ardoino (University of Vilnius/University of Berne) he edited the volume “La cultura italiana nel Baltico orientale: storie, relazioni e approcci” (2020).

AABS 2022

The 28th Biennial AABS Conference
“Baltic Studies at a Crossroads”

May 27–29, 2022, Seattle, WA