The 10th Baltic Heritage Network Seminar for Young Diaspora Researchers

March 1, 2012

We have reached a milestone – the seminar on Valentine’s Day (the 14th of February 2012) was our tenth. The seminar, which featured two travel reports, two speeches and two presentations,took place on the third floor at the Academic Library of Tallinn University and was attended by 17 people.

Travel reports is a new ’section’ of our seminars, where those who have done research at memory institutions or in different communities abroad can discuss their experiences and share practical knowledge with others. The aim is for participants to learn from each other’s experiences and use this knowledge to move towards meeting their aims. This time, Sander Jürisson, master’s student at Tallinn University, gave us a researcher’s inside view of the British National Archives in London, and Maarja Merivoo-Parro, doctoral student at Tallinn University, spoke about the Lithuanian Emigration Institute in Kaunas.

Kristina Lupp and Lea Kreinin then followed with speeches. Kristina Lupp gave the seminar participants an overview of her research on food culture in Estonia between 1918 and 1991. She recently finished her master’s thesis (covering the same topic) at the University of Adelaide. Lea Kreinin, doctoral student and lecturer at the University of Glasgow, spoke about an aspect of her thesis about Estonians in Scotland, and focused on related articles published in Eesti Hääl.

The seminars don’t just function as a hotbed for young diaspora researchers, but are also a good platform for others interested in diaspora research and cultural heritage – a place to meet and exchange experiences and ideas. This time we were helped along by several professional diaspora researchers. Particularly active presenters were Anu Korb, senior researcher at the Estonian Literary Museum’s Estonian Folklore Archives, and Aivar Jürgenson, head of and senior research fellow at the Department of Ethnology at Tallinn University’s Institute of History. The very productive Anu Korb presented her latest work, a joint project with Andreas Kalkun– the collection ‘Songs of Siberian Setos’. The collection consists of a book, two CDs and a DVD. Aivar Jürgenson introduced his interesting new monograph ’Ladina rahva seas: Argentina ja sealsed eestlased’.

Each presentation was followed by a discussion. The event closed with lunch at the library’s café Strix, where the discussions continued.

Maarja Merivoo-Parro