13th Conference on Baltic Studies in Europe 2019: Baltic Solidarity

Where: University of Gdańsk / European Solidarity Centre, Gdańsk, Poland

When: 26-29 June 2019

Call for Proposals

Solidarność is the Polish word for solidarity and evokes the movement that decisively contributed to the collapse of the socialist regimes and to the unification of Europe in the peaceful revolutions of 1989-1991. Solidarność stands for the empowerment of the powerless, a peaceful struggle for freedom and democracy, and for a civil society connected by the principles of solidarity and truth. The objectives of Solidarity, however, are not past perfect. The challenges of social and political cohesion, democratic values and regional security, but also of collective memory and identity shape political and scholarly discourses today in the Baltic Sea region and beyond.

In 2019 the Conference on Baltic Studies in Europe (CBSE) will be held for the first time in Poland, on 26-29 June. It will be hosted by the University of Gdańsk, which celebrates its fiftieth anniversary, and the European Solidarity Centre situated on the site of the Lenin shipyard in Gdańsk, where the Solidarność movement began. CBSE 2019 will promote the achievements of Baltic studies thirty years after the fall of the Iron Curtain and fifteen years after the EU enlargement to East Central Europe. The CBSE is organized in cooperation with the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies (AABS) and takes place every second year, alternating with the AABS conferences in Northern America.

CBSE will bring together scholars from all over the world who share an interest in exploring the Baltic region from multiple perspectives and fields of research. Baltic region studies focus on a particular historical, political, linguistic, social, cultural and ideological contact zone where the meanings of identities, languages and relationships are (re-)negotiated and possible futures envisaged.

The city of Gdańsk provides an excellent place for discussing the dimensions, prospects and challenges of Baltic studies. Gdańsk is not only a site of memory for the Solidarity movement, but also for the beginning of the Second World War. For centuries, however, Gdańsk was also an economic hub on the Baltic and a major intersection of cultural exchange with Northern and Western Europe. The traditions and traces of its multicultural social fabric are present until nowadays.

The program of CBSE will feature streams, panels, roundtable discussions and workshops on a wide spectrum of topics listed below. The conference will also include keynote speeches, evening receptions and additional events, such as film screenings, exhibitions, and tours.

We invite scholars from all disciplines and stages in their careers to send in proposals connected to the following fields of interest:

  • Anthropology and Sociology
  • Civic Education & Regional Identity
  • Communication & Media
  • Cultures Studies & Arts
  • Digital Humanities
  • Environment, Resources & Sustainability
  • Higher Education, Science Policy & Knowledge Management
  • History & Memory
  • Law & Economics
  • Literature & Language Studies
  • Migration, Social Development & Urban Planning
  • Museums, Archives and Libraries
  • Political Studies, International Relations and Regional Security
  • Religion

First, the CBSE organizers invite to plan a stream to take place at CBSE 2019. Streams are linked panels of conference papers, forums, discussion panels, or other presentations scheduled to occur within the sessions of the overall conference. Stream organizers should propose a stream topic, advertise it through the conference website and through other networking, and then appraise and select together with the conference organizers presentation proposals that are submitted as part of the stream. Streams enhance the quality and cohesiveness of the conference and may lead to edited volumes, special issues of journals, or other scholarly products.

If you are interested in proposing a stream, please write a brief description and proposed announcement and submit these with your 1 page CV to the CBSE organizers at cbse2019@ug.edu.pl .

Due date for Stream proposals: 21 December 2018.

The selected streams will be announced on 15 January 2019, afterwards we will accept panel, workshop and roundtable abstracts until 15 February 2019. Results of the selection process will be announced on 1 March.

Panel and paper proposals of maximum 300 words and a 1 page CV should be sent to: cbse2019@ug.edu.pl

Organizing committee:
Jörg Hackmann (University of Szczecin), Kazimierz Musiał (University of Gdańsk), Arnold Kłonczyński (University of Gdańsk), Grzegorz Piotrowski (European Solidarity Centre)

Advisory board  (with affiliations):
Daunis Auers (Riga), Alexander Drost (Greifswald), Joakim Ekman (Södertörn),
Aleksandr Filiushkin (St. Petersburg), Marta Grzechnik (Gdańsk/Harvard),
Andres Kasekamp (Toronto), Viacheslav Morozov (Tartu), Nicole Nau (Poznań),
Anne Sommerlat (Amiens),

Important Dates:
Deadline for Stream Proposal submissions: 21 December 2018
Notification of accepted streams: 15 January 2019
Deadline for Panel and Paper submissions: 15 February 2019
Notification of accepted Panels, Roundtables and Papers: 1 March 2019

Conference Registration will proceed through the conference website in February 2019

Stream proposals selected

The following stream proposals have been selected for the conference:

Baltic National Song and Dance Traditions 150

Organizer: Guntis Šmidchens, University of Washington, Seattle – guntiss@uw.edu

Baltic (Sea) regional Security Cooperation

Organizer: Otto Tabuns, University of Latvia – ottotabuns@gmail.com

The Baltic Region in 1918-1921: Aftermath of World War I

Organizer: Mart Kuldkepp, UCL – m.kuldkepp@ucl.ac.uk
call for proposals: http://martk.net/stream2019

The end of World War I in November 1918 was far from the harbinger of peace that the peoples of the Baltic region might have hoped for. Two successive revolutions in 1917 had destroyed the very foundations of the old Russian Empire, leaving behind chaos and infighting. At the same time, German occupation had wreaked havoc in conquered lands on the Eastern Front with military dictatorship, ruthless resource extraction and the promotion of fanciful political schemes, all of which ended when Germany was defeated by the Entente and associated powers in November 1918.

As fragile geopolitical certainties were being swept away, the former minority nationalities of the Baltic borderlands of Russia – Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians – found themselves caught under the rubble of the collapsing great powers, scarcely able to guess the ultimate outcome of their disintegration. But for all the suffering and uncertainties caused by the defeat of Germany and the destruction of Russian empire, these events also opened a unique window of opportunity for post-imperial politics. For the first time ever, the Baltic national movements were able to step in and attempt to influence the course of history according to their own political ambitions, navigating the turbulent waters between the Entente interests, the continuing German ambitions in the region, and the tide of the World Revolution.

Paper and panel proposals are invited on topics relating to the history of the Baltic states in the immediate post-World War I period, lasting from November 1918 until the general international recognition of Baltic independence in 1921. In addition to period-focused overviews and case studies, proposals that look at the subsequent commemoration of relevant events, as well as their long-term cultural meaning and influence, are very welcome. Deadline: 20 February 2019

This stream is convened as a part of the project PHVAJ16908 War after War: The War Experience of Estonian Servicemen in the Twentieth Century (funded by University of Tartu, Estonia). 

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