LV Latviski

The conference "Back to the Future. Central European Avant-Garde Reclaimed" on 16th–17th November 2018 will be the next step of the international project "Reclaimed Avant-Garde” that has been developed by The Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute since 2017. In London, we will analyse the visions and projects of the historical Central-European theatre avant-garde that have not been completed, yet still may serve as a starting point for the future. The "theatre of the future"" was an obsession of avant-garde theatre artists, who intended for their work to be further developed by future generations. We know that these dreams never came true as many projects of the ‘theatres of the future’ were strictly utopian. Through a selection of case studies, we will consider those projects that still have a potential for contemporary theatre.

The conference will coincide with the 100th anniversary of Poland’s independence, as well as the independence of many Central-European countries involved in the project. One of our aims is to ask about independence in arts and art of independence. The programme includes conference sessions and a special panel discussion with two outstanding contemporary theatre artists Alvis Hermanis and Katie Mitchell.

The conference will be attended by our leading researcher Edīte Tišheizere.

Programme and more information here.


Emily Beyer is a US Fulbright Student Scholar who is affiliated with our department from September 2018 – June 2019. She will be working on intersecting projects in scholarship, translation, and creative writing.







Audun Kjus and Fredrik Skott will deliver a guest lecture entitled "Collection and dissemination: digital archival strategies" at the Archives of Latvian Folklore of the Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art of the University of Latvia (ILFA) at 3 pm on Tuesday, 16th october 2018.

Digital technology is opening new possibilities for tradition archives, both for disseminating old materials and for collecting new documentation. Fredrik Skott and Audun Kjus have been leading the development projects www.sprakochfolkminnen.se/sagenkartan, matkult.se and minner.no. They will share experiences and insights from these projects (both success and failure) and discuss pros and cons of different digitalisation strategies. Read more...


Simo Laakkonen, researcher from Finland, University of Turku, will deliver a guest lecture entitled "The Long Shadows: Global Environmental Impacts of WWII" at the Archives of Latvian Folklore of the Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art of the University of Latvia (ILFA) at 1 pm on Wednesday, 10th october 2018.

What is the place of the Second World War in local, national or global environmental narrative? Up to day it seems that while this war affected nearly everything in the world, it did not affect the nature, the environment or our understanding of related issues. The presentation approaches these questions from historical and cultural point of view and argues that we need to address the Second World War and environmental issues together in order to understand both of them. The Second World War was not fought in all countries of the planet but its environmental consequences were of global scale. The presentation aims to provide an overview of the main environmental impacts of this war. Simo Laakkonen is an environmental historian and senior lecturer of landscape studies at the University of Turku, Finland. The presentation is based on his long-terms studies of the environmental history of the Baltic Sea and international publications that he has edited on militarized landscapes of World War II and the Cold War.

Contact information: simo.laakkonen@utu.fi


The 6th Estonian Digital Humanities Conference will take place on Sept 26-27 in the Conference Centre of the University of Tartu Library (Struve 1).

The conference seeks to share knowledge and support co-operation in digital humanities in Estonia and internationally. This year the main focus is on applications and tools for working with textual data. Additionally, presentations and discussions on all areas associated with digital and computational humanities are welcome, in order to develop a stronger community of the field in Estonia and neighbouring countries.

The conference will be attended by our researcher Jānis Daugavietis "Motivation to engage in creative crowdsourcing: case of campaign "Recite Veidenbaums’ Poetry!".

Presentations, discussions and workshops at the conference are in English.

The conference is followed by the 8th Conference Human Language Technologies – The Baltic Perspective (hlt2018.ut.ee) on September 27-29.

The programme and registration information is available at the conference web page https://dh.org.ee/events/dhe2018/

Conference is organized by the Centre for Digital Humanities and Information Society at University of Tartu in cooperation with Estonian Society for Digital Humanities, Centre of Excellence in Estonian Studies, CAA Estonia, and Archaeovision R&D.


Letonica 36

In June 2018, the 36th issue of the interdisciplinary scholarly journal "Letonica" was published. This peer-reviewed journal is indexed in "Scopus", ERIH PLUS and EBSCO, and its contents are available online.

A year ago, the International Council on Archives’ Section on University and Research Institution Archives (ICA-SUV) held its annual conference in Riga. The conference, "Cultural Heritage Materials–University, Research and Folklore Archives in the 21st Century",was organized in cooperation with the National Archives of Latvia and the Archives of Latvian Folklore, Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art of the University of Latvia. Its main focus was on the folklore archives and archival methodology regarding intangible cultural heritage. One of the key topics of the methodological and intellectual debate was the new standardization in archives, the Records in Contexts conceptual model.

Read more...

The second edition of the international conference "Queer Narratives in European Cultures" on June 7–8, 2018 in Riga gathers scholars from various fields of humanities who deal with LGBTI history and queer theory. The conference will be focused on the region of the Baltic States and their neighboring countries – the region of East and Central Europe where LGBTI and queer studies are still an emerging discipline. Due to the historical conditions and the post-socialist legacy, LGBTI activism and scholarship of gay and lesbian history of the region has developed almost simultaneously with queer theory and its politics of difference and anti-representation. The conference will focus on both of these divisions, serving as a meeting point for scholars of different backgrounds and disciplines.

The full conference programme and website: http://lulfmi.lv/en/queer2018

Picture: Jaanus Samma NSFW. A Chairman’s Tale. Props. 2015. Photo by Reimo Võsa-Tangsoo.


The very first Baltic Summer School of Digital Humanities (BSSDH 2018) on July 17–20, 2018 offers an introductory crash-course to the text mining methods, use of digital tools and resources in humanities and social sciences. The programme is co-taught by an international team of researchers and practitioners of digital humanities and social sciences and is delivered in a form of lectures and practical workshops covering: corpus analysis, computational stylistics, data journalism, GIS in the Humanities, data visualization.

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Latvian Folkloristics in the Interwar Period

The Finnish Academy of Science and Letters in the FF Communications series has released a collective monograph on the history of Latvian folklore studies. Latvian Folkloristics in the Interwar Period is a contribution by Latvian scholars to the current reflexive trend of folklore studies toward an intense focus on the discipline’s past. It also joins the recent efforts to broaden the geographical scope of folklore history by concentrating on internationally less represented research traditions.

The interwar period in Latvia, as in most European countries, was a formative era during which the patriotic duty of collecting and publishing folklore was transformed into a full-fledged, institutionalised academic discipline. The Archives of Latvian Folklore was established; the University of Latvia began offering courses in folkloristics and ethnography; and Latvian folklorists sought a place in the networks of international cooperation flourishing in Europe at that time. By offering a broad perspective on Latvian interwar folkloristics, this book covers relevant national and international contexts of folklore research, dominant research paradigms and key personalities in the field.


Call for papers: The 2nd International conference Queer Narratives in European Cultures: subjectivity, memory, nation, Riga, June 7–8, 2018

The second edition of the international conference „Queer Narratives in European Cultures” invites scholars from various fields of humanities who deal with LGBTI history and queer theory. The conference will be focused on the region of the Baltic States and their neighboring countries – the region of East and Central Europe where LGBTI and queer studies are still an emerging discipline. Due to the historical conditions and the post-socialist legacy, LGBTI activism and scholarship of gay and lesbian history of the region has developed almost simultaneously with queer theory and its politics of difference and anti-representation. The conference will focus on both of these divisions, serving as a meeting point for scholars of different backgrounds and disciplines.

The themes of the conference are subjectivity, memory and nation. We welcome you to explore both the history of the region and the current situation, to focus on the role of the subject with its desires and experiences as well as on the problem of agency in different time periods. We also invite you to think about the processes of construction and representation of the memory both by individuals and groups. Discussions of nation and nationalism are also present when speaking about the LGBTI and queer community and relationship between the state and the individual choices of persons. The scholars are welcomed to propose their papers or panels which fall in the relevant topics. Read more...


Reflecting on Disciplinary Ethics in Folkloristics

Are there situations when personal engagement can get in the way of truthful reporting? To whom the folklorist should be responsible more – the scholarly truth or the informant? What are the researchers’ responsibilities to those being studied? Are there any fields of research too sensitive and ethically too difficult to be addressed at all? What are the principles of ethically correct work with archived material and its representation in the digital tradition archives? What are the new ethical challenges introduced by the Digital Age? How the research is going to affect the lives of informants and should such influence be exerted by the results of the research? Can researchers have too much empathy? Some questions regarding the ethics in folkloristics might never be answered, but nevertheless: with this conference we would like the young folklorists to join the international debate. Read more...


Seminar for researchers of Latvian Roma

On 24 October at 10 am a seminar for researchers of Latvian Roma will take place at the Conference Centre of the National Library of Latvia (Riga, Mūkusalas street 3, room 078), organized by the Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art of the University of Latvia. It will be the first time in the history of Latvia when fifteen researchers from Latvia, Estonia, Sweden and Great Britain will come together to share their research in the fields of history, folkloristics, ethnomusicology, sociology, anthropology, pedagogy and psychology. The aim of the seminar is to inform society about research on Latvian Roma, to increase the visibility of the research of Roma, and to contribute to communication and collaboration between researchers. Read more...


The series of publications "Studia humanitarica" by the University of Latvia Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art has just published another valuable addition the scholarly monograph by Dr. philol. Sanita Reinsone "Apmaldīšanās poētika teikās, stāstos un sarunās" (The Poetics of Getting Lost in Legends, Stories and Conversations) Rīga: LU LFMI, 2017, 248 lpp.). The book is based on the dissertation defended by the author in 2012 at the University of Latvia. The book was prepared and published within the framework of the budget sub-programme No. 05.04.00 "Krišjāņa Barona Dainu skapis" (The Cabinet of Folksongs of Krišjānis Barons) of the Ministry of Education and science of the Republic of Latvia and with the support of State Culture Capital Foundation. Read more...


The series of publications "Studia humanitarica" by the University of Latvia Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art has just received a valuable addition the scholarly monograph by Dr. art. Ieva Tihovska "Īsta čigānu mūzika: Autentiskums un etniskums Latvijas čigānu (romu) mūzikā" (Real Gypsy music: Authenticity and ethnicity in the music of the Latvian Gypsies (Roma people); Rīga: LU LFMI, 2017, 248 lpp.). The book is based on the dissertation defended by the author in 2014 at the Academy of Music named after Jāzeps Vītols. The book was prepared and published within the framework of the budget sub-programme No. 05.04.00 "Krišjāņa Barona Dainu skapis" (The Cabinet of Folksongs of Krišjānis Barons) of the Ministry of Education and science of the Republic of Latvia and with the support of State Culture Capital Foundation. Read more...


The International Council on Archives Section on University and Research Institution Archives (ICA-SUV) is holding its 2017 Conference, “Cultural Heritage Materials–University, Research and Folklore Archives in the 21st Century” in Riga, the National Library of Latvia, from August 21—25. The participants have been invited to explore the archival practices in universities and research archives and those in folklore archives where more intensive collection management, access, and use practices have been critical. The conference was organized by the ICA-SUV in collaboration with the National Archives of Latvia and the Archives of Latvian Folklore, Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art of the University of Latvia. Read more...