LV Latviski

The 13th conference "Shifting Literary Culture since Stagnation in the Brezhnev Era: The Baltic Paradigm", organized by the Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art of the University of Latvia, will take place on 23 and 24 September 2021 at the National Library of Latvia.

The first biannual conference of Baltic literary scholars took place in Riga in 1996, and it has been followed by meetings in Vilnius and Tallinn. The 13th conference will focus on the Stagnation, an era with its own unique rules and place in the history of the Soviet period. Manifestations of the Brezhnev Era strongly affected cultural processes and continue to influence literature and art today since contemporary authors have experienced the period as adults, adolescents, or children, even if they explored this period only through the eyes of their parents.

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Between August 15–23, 2021, researchers from the Literature department of the Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art of the University of Latvia, with support from the Baltic-German University Liaison Office, carried out the project "Latvian Archives in Exile: selection of the archive materials, digitization, and interviews in the Latvian Centre Münster and in the House Annaberg of Baltic Christian Federation".

The researchers continued the work done in 2020 in the Latvian Centre in Münster (LCM), and this year travelled also to House Annaberg of Baltic Christian Federation where they studied and digitalized archival material related to Latvian writers, social workers and the activities of organizations in Germany, as well as materials pertaining to cultural communication, Baltic intelligentsia – including Latvians and Germans from the Baltic, Latvian and Estonian – mutual connections and links to German society. The digitized materials will be added to the collection of documents and audio materials of Latvian writers and organizations in the online database of Latvia’s literature www.literatura.lv.

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Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art kindly invites you to register for participation in the seminar held on September 15th, 2021, 3:00PM. Liisa Steinby, Professor Emeritus of comparative literature at University of Turku (Finland), will give a lecture titled Literary History Today.

Literary historiography today can be said to be in a crisis, which started already at the end of the twentieth century. For understanding the character and the reasons of this crisis, it is advisable not to focus only on the present situation, but also to ask some very basic questions concerning the entire tradition of literary historiography. When, why and how did literary history emerge as a field of the study of literature? Which transformations did the “traditional” literary historiography undergo in the course of time? Which are the “permanent” problems of literary historiography? What did cause a crisis in literary historiography towards the end of the previous century, and what are the new forms of literary history like that were developed? Which are the problems of literary historiography today?

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LU LFMI researcher Jānis Daugavietis participated in the 15th conference of the European Sociological Association (ESA), which took place online in Barcelona from August 31 to September 3.

On September 1, Jānis Daugavietis presented a report "Environmental Concern in Neighborhood Context: Comparison of Riga Port Communities at the Individual Level" in one of the environmental sociology section / network sessions. The presentation of the report can be viewed by all interested parties here.

Three LU LFMI researchers - Aigars Lielbārdis, Agita Misāne and Guntis Pakalns - participate in the 18th International Society for Folk Narrative Research (ISFNR) Congress "Encountering Emotions in Folk Narrative and Folklife", which is held in Zagreb, but takes place online from September 5 to 8. The congress is dedicated to emotions in folk tales and traditional culture.

Topics of Latvian researchers' reports: Aigars Lielbārdis - "Curses and Eliminating Formulas in Latvian Charms", Agita Misāne - "Emotional Narratives of the Latvian Hikers on the Camino de Santiago", Guntis Pakalns - "Latvia's Amateur Storytellers about Emotions".
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LU LFMI researchers Eva Eglāja-Kristsone, Jānis Oga, Artis Ostups, Zita Kārkla, and Ivars Šteinbergs are participating in the 14th Conference of Baltic Studies in Europe from 1 to 4 September in Uppsala, Sweden. The conference is organized by the Institute of Russian and Eurasian Studies of Uppsala University.
Conference program here.
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Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art kindly invites you to register for participation in the seminar held on September 08, 2021, 3:00PM. Dirk Göttsche, Professor of German at University of Nottingham (United Kingdom), will present the paper Literary Playing Fields in Motion: Remapping Nineteenth-Century Realism.

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Application is now open for the international conference “Regīna Ezera and Eastern European Literature”, organized by the Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art of the University of Latvia in cooperation with the National Library of Latvia. The conference will take place in the National Library of Latvia on 3–4 December 2021. The conference is financially supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia.

Regīna Ezera (1930–2002) is one of the most important Latvian prose writers, who has written novels, short stories, journalistic works and diaries with equal mastery. Her novel “Smoulder” (Zemdegas, 1977) is included in the Latvian Culture Canon for “simultaneously being a striking documentation of her era and a weaving together of timeless themes and characters in a vivid and, at times, strangely surreal narrative.” Read more...


Workshop "Life Writing Collections: Practice and Challenges" is the second episode in a workshop series dealing with the Nordic and Baltic life writing. Its aim is to acknowledge experiences and discuss strategies for creating and managing life writing collections.

The workshop will take place on 20 May 2021 (Thursday).
Registration: https://tinyurl.com/life-writing-collections

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From May 11 to May 14, an international conference Narrations of Origins in World Literature and the Arts was organized by the European Society of Comparative Literature/Sociéte Européenne de littérature comparée. The event was hosted online by the Department of Humanities at University of Turin (Dipartimento de Studi Umanistici) and the Centre of Comparative Modernisms (Centro Studi Arti della Modernità). Leading researchers of IlFA, Pauls Daija and Benedikts Kalnačs, participated with a paper titled The Textual Genesis of 19th-Century Latvian Literary Culture in the Context of European Literature.

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Volume I of a new major investigation of literary realism, Landscapes of Realism. Rethinking Literary Realism in Comparative Perspectives, has appeared within the series of A Comparative History of Literatures in European Languages, sponsored by the International Comparative Literature Association and published by John Benjamins (Amsterdam/Philadelphia). The volume, edited by Dirk Göttsche, Rosa Mucignat and Robert Weninger, reconsiders theoretical approaches to realism and traces major developments in European literatures from the late eighteenth to twentieth century. The volume includes a contribution by leading researcher of ILFA Benedikts Kalnačs titled The polyphony of late nineteenth-century Baltic realism.



On 27 April 2021, a workshop dealing with collecting and collections of pandemic life writing will take place online. Registration: https://tinyurl.com/pandemic-life-writing

This workshop offers life writing archivists and researchers an opportunity to reflect and share experiences on intense work carried out during the pandemic year in collecting and creating collections of pandemic diaries, memories and other types of life-writing material. Workshop participants will provide insight into collecting projects carried out in Estonia, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Latvia.

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The first biannual conference of Baltic literary scholars took place in Riga in 1996, and it has been followed by meetings in Vilnius and Tallinn. The 13th conference “Shifting Literary Culture since Stagnation in the Brezhnev Era: The Baltic Paradigm” is organized by the Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art of the University of Latvia (ILFA) on 23–24 September 2021. We hope to host an in-person two-day conference at the National Library of Latvia in Riga, but, if necessary, we are ready to convert it into a virtual event in response to the pandemic restrictions. Read more...


Records of the "Socialist Folkloristics: A Disciplinary Heritage" international conference presentations are now available at the Archives of Latvian Folklore YouTube channel.

The themes covered in the conference were related to the Socialist heritage’s impact on the development of folkloristics and related disciplines in Central and Eastern Europe. Among those were the role of the Socialist regimes of knowledge in the organization of folklore archives, ethnographic collections and other institutional representations of folklife; the contribution of folkloristics and related disciplines to resistance and dissent in the former USSR and the Soviet bloc countries, as well as history of folkloristics and ethnography in the light of Soviet postcolonialism. Read more...


A new digital text corpus for charm research in Latvia was developed by the researcher of Archives of Latvian Folklore Aigars Lielbārdis in the postdoctoral project "Digital Catalogues of Latvian Charms" (No. 1.1.1.2/VIAA/1/16/217). The methodology is based on digital humanities principles that allow charm texts to be analyzed according to multiple criteria simultaneously. This methodology has been applied to ALF Collection 150 which is the main charm collection of the Archives of Latvian Folklore. Read more...