LV Latviski

The annual conference, "Digital Humanities in the Nordic Countries," invites submissions of proposals for its 5th conference to be held in Riga, Latvia, 17–20 March 2020. The DHN conferences aim to provide an overview of research, education and communication about the interdisciplinary field of digital humanities from the Nordic to the Baltic region, and beyond.

New deadline: 30 September 2019!

In its 5th year, the conference will focus on interdisciplinary connections and methodological links between digital humanities and digital social sciences. Striving to acknowledge productive interconnections between the disciplines, DHN2020 aims to inspire a broad consideration of knowledge sharing and debates inspired by various forms and results of interdisciplinary cooperation.

14th Conference of the SIEF Ritual Year Working Group

15–17 November 2020, Riga (Latvia)


The impact of product marketing is visible in everyday life, including a wide range of traditions and festivities, which have lately become highly commercialized. In marketing terms, the values of traditional culture are considered "products" to be branded, marketed and sold. We have all experienced the pre-Christmas gift buying madness and have visited souvenir counters at major historical sites and cultural venues in different countries, each promoting their "brands". Historically, annual church markets, fairs and pilgrimages attracted people from great distances, providing opportunities to buy, sell, and trade durable goods in addition to food and drink required by pilgrims and merchants. Additional items, such as religious symbols, protective objects, and healing substances were available much as in modern souvenir shops. The means for advertising such objects for sale were, at that time, limited. Today advertising and marketing campaigns appear everywhere. Many people protest against what they perceive as excessive commercialization of their favourite secular or religious festivals. However, marketing practices attract larger crowds and help to preserve and popularize traditions that might otherwise be lost. Commercialization has made the sale of traditional crafts financially viable, preserving them for future generations. Thus, it is possible for craftspeople to continue practicing their traditional arts and crafts. Not only have the traditional artisans benefited, but religious institutions have witnessed an increase in income, which is needed to maintain the facilities visited by the growing numbers of visitors. New forms of commercialization of rituals with the developing practices of creating new festivals and making them local tourist brands can be seen in many geographical areas.


A guest lecture by Norwegian researcher Knut Djupedal is expected at the Archives of Latvian Folklore on August 14, 2019. Mr. Djupedal’s lecture is entitled “World View, Culture, and Folklore.” The lecture will discuss the relationship between these three concepts. At the end of the lecture, Mr. Djupedal will discuss some of the practical uses that an education in folklore – in his experience - can provide when studies are finished, a degree is achieved, and a living must be made.

Knut Djupedal (b. 1948) has recently retired from a 27-year career as director of the Norwegian Emigrant Museum, near Hamar, Norway. Previously, Djupedal, who has an M.A. in History from the University of Oregon, USA, and a Magister Artium in Folkloristics from the University of Bergen, Norway, worked as Research Associate with the Norwe­gian Re­search Council for the Humanities (NAV­F), on pro­jects con­cerning Norwegian emigra­tion and return migra­tion. He also served as Temporary County Cultural Conserva­tor in Sogn og Fjordane County, Norway, and lectured at the Universities of Bergen, Oslo and Stavanger, and The Hamar University College of Education.


Tuesday, 23 July, 2019 (All day) to Friday, 26 July, 2019 (All day)

BSSDH programme offers must-have introductory courses for digital humanists and digital social scientists who wish to come to grips with programming and text encoding. The course is co-taught by an international team of researchers and practitioners of digital humanities and digital social sciences coming from Germany, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia. As always, this will be a great opportunity to meet colleagues and mentors from other countries and explore different perspectives! Read more...

Our leading researcher Sanita Reinsone is one of the authors of the newly published report How to Facilitate Cooperation between Humanities Researchers and Cultural Heritage Institutions. Guidelines, edited by Maciej Maryl and Klaudia Grabowska from the Digital Humanities Centre at the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences. This report is the outcome of a hands-on workshop awarded funding by the DARIAH Theme Grant 2017 and organised in the project ‘Facilitating Cooperation Between Humanities Researchers and Cultural Heritage Institutions’ which is implemented by the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Trinity College Dublin and Creative Commons Polska.

We are very proud and happy, that the book 'Visions and Traditions – Knowledge Productions and Tradition Archives' is the winner of the 2018 Brenda McCallum Prize, for works of excellence and innovation that further the cause of preservation, organization, curation, or enhanced public access and use related to folklife archival collections:

"We congratulate the authors and editors on a work the Committee agreed was forward-looking, cutting edge, and tightly focused on centralmatters of folklore and folklife archiving, history, theory, and practice. Committee members also saw the work as propelling folklore archives into the modern era of disciplinary shifts by claiming a firm foothold in academic conversations accessible to archivists, folklorists, and folklore-archivists. It also offered numerous interesting case study examples for contemplation."
– American Folklore Society / Archives & Libraries Section Prize Committee

Among the editors and authors are our leading researchers Rita Treija and Sanita Reinsone.

The Latvian Academy of Sciences informs that in March this year English version of the Yearbook of the Latvian Academy of Sciences 2019 was released. The English version of the Yearbook contains basic information on the Academy, and is supplemented also with a chapter on research novelties in the humanities and natural sciences in Latvia.

The article "Popular Enlightenment in the 18th and 19th Centuries and Its Legacy Today" by Pauls Daija, Corresponding Member of the Latvian Academy of Sciences, and Leading Researcher at the Institute of Folklore, Literature and Art, has been published in the Yearbook.

The English version of the Yearbook is a follow-up edition published since 1991. Beginning with 1998, the annual reports cover the period from March of the preceding year until March of the current year i.e. the year of publication. Since 2006 the annual reports are available both in printed and online versions.

Dziedi ar arhīvu

On 15th of February the Archives of Latvian Folklore launches a creative crowdsourcing campaign "Sing with the Archives". Its aim is to popularize the archival sound recordings and explore contemporary interpretations of traditional music. The digital platform invites to listen to the archival songs, to add their cover versions to the old recordings and to vote for the new versions.

How did traditional music sound long ago and how does it sound today? The project invites you to learn some new songs from the Digital Archives of Latvian Folklore and sing, record, arrange, compose, and upload your own 'cover versions' to the Archive's audio collection. The selection of recordings complied for this campaign includes a rich variety of songs in terms of content, style, origin, and language – everyday songs and mythological songs, joyful songs and sorrowful songs, folk songs and popular songs in Latvian, Livonian, Belarussian, Russian, and Romani. All regions of Latvia, as well as Latvian villages in Siberia and Bashkiria are represented in the selection. The oldest recordings were made in the 1920s and 30s, and the newest are from the beginning of the 21st century. Read more...

Tour de CLARIN highlights prominent User Involvement (UI) activities of a particular CLARIN national consortium. This time the focus is on Latvia and Sanita Reinsone, a leading researcher at the Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art at the University of Latvia. The interview was conducted via Skype by Jakob Lenardič.

CLARIN (Common Language Resources and Technology Infrastructure) is a research infrastructure that was initiated from the vision that all digital language resources and tools from all over Europe and beyond are accessible through a single sign-on online environment for the support of researchers in the humanities and social sciences.

You can read the interview here.

Pēckara tekstu lasīšana

Latvian folkloristics (1945-1985) research group launches Post-war Archive – a series of reading seminars dedicated to theoretical landscape of the discipline after the World War II. Seminars are intended as micro-studies of history of knowledge production, investigating reflexive links between academic statements, cultural trends, and political agendas.

Disciplinary histories are dominated by post-factual approach to theories of past and their uses. We are intended to reverse this approach by reconstructing the initial field of possibilities and taking it as a starting point towards the understanding of today.Acknowledging the success of New Historicism, each seminar will feature two texts. One directly related to theoretical side of disciplinary history and the other one representing milieu of its creation.

The first seminar on February 14 will be on late Stalinism. Texts discussed will be ‘Aims of ethnographers and folklorists in the light of decision of 7th September 1953 of Soviet Union Communist Party Central Committee general meeting’ by Arturs Ozols (in Latvian) and “On new man” by Maxim Gorky (in Russian). Read more...

Interdisciplinary and International Conference of the University of Latvia Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art with the support of the National Library of Latvia, Institut français de Lettonie and Goethe-Institut Lettland

Geography and Migration of Knowledge

April 26-27, 2019 in Riga, Latvia

(House of Europe, 28 Aspazijas Boulevard, Riga)

Working languages: Latvian, French and German with simultaneous interpretation

The knowledge structures, organizes and allows to grasp the visible and invisible reality. As a specific type of world management relationship, it has common characteristics with power. Thus, it is not without reason that the intensive accumulation of knowledge initiated in the mid-nineteenth century by the Latvian intellectual elite has resulted in a power structure – a nation-state – whose founding act dates back to 1918. As the relations were mutually reinforcing, soon important knowledge institutions were founded in the Republic of Latvia: the National Library and the University, which develop and strengthen the foundations of culture while continuing to accumulate knowledge. The development of education and the definition of its content facilitates search for new models of knowledge and their implementation, including adaptation of already existing models. Read more...

Joyful Christmas and a successful New Year 2019!

Photo by Sandis Laime, Siberia 2004.

11.00 on Tuesday 18 December will see the launch of Latvia’s National Encyclopaedia’s electronic site – a high-quality general-knowledge and information online resource in the Latvian language, accessible free of charge – at Bebrene Manor in Bebrene Parish. The authors of the volume of the National Encyclopaedia and the electronic site are also ILFA researchers – Dace Bula, Pauls Daija, Eva Eglāja-Kristsone, Benedikts Kalnačs and Rita Treija.

Thanks to the support of Latvijas Televīzija (Latvian Television), the event will be streamed live on the and portals. Read more...

Ilze Šarkovska-Liepiņa, ILFA researcher at the Department of Theater, Music and Cinema delivered a presentation at the International Musicology Conference "National Identities – European Universality. Music and Music Life in Central and Eastern Europe (1918–2018)”. The conference was held in Warsaw from 30 November to 1 December, organized by the Polish National Centre for Culture, Polish Composers’ Union, Institute of Musicology of the University of Warsaw, and “Waves Bratislava” (Music Festival & Conference).

World War I, and in particular the disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the revolution in Russia, led to the emergence (or re-emergence) on the map of Europe of nine new countries. Poland regained its independence. The other new sovereign states were: Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Yugoslavia. What was the significance of the new political situation for the development of music and musical life in those countries? Did the freshly regained independence have impact on the music of composers from this region of Europe? Do national differences still exist in music a hundred years later, or have they all dissolved in the melting pot of European universalism? The jubilee year of 2018 provides an excellent opportunity for a debate on these questions. Ilze Šarkovska-Liepiņa held a lecture "Searching for National Identity: Choir Movement and Song Festivals in Latvia", devoted to issues of genesis and development of the Latvian professional music culture through the prism of the choral music and song celebrations. Read more...

Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art of the University of Latvia has released a Dr. art. Arnolds Klotiņ'š scholarly monograph "Music in Latvia during The Stalinist Post-War Decade" ("Mūzika pēckara staļinismā: Latvijas mūzikas dzīve un jaunrade 1944. līdz 1953. gadā" LU LFMI, 2018).

This work consists of a broad introduction followed by two parts that match the chronology events – Part I looks at the closing stages of the Second World War and the first two years that followed (1944–1946), while Part II deals with musical life and creative work at the height of the Stalinist totalitarian regime (1947–1953).