Stanford University to Host a Major Baltic Conference in 2018

May 23, 2017

The Stanford University Libraries will be hosting the 2018 AABS (the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies) Conference at Stanford University. The conference will celebrate two important milestones – the 50th anniversary of the founding of the AABS and the 100th anniversary of independence for the Baltic republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

The 2018 AABS Conference at Stanford University: The 100th Anniversary of Baltic Independence will bring together scholars interested in Baltic studies from all over the world and foster collaboration between Baltic and Stanford researchers. The three-day program, to be held on Stanford University campus on June 1–3, 2018, will feature panels, roundtable discussions and workshops on 16 broad topics. The conference will also include numerous additional events, such as keynote talks by leading Baltic scholars, evening receptions, film screenings, exhibits, and tours of Stanford’s Baltic collections.

The conference will highlight the achievements of Baltic studies a century after the three nations gained their independence and 27 years after the fall of the Soviet Union. Questions to be considered include: Why are Baltic studies important today? How does the region fit into larger global and transnational trends, including the growth of populism and increasing instability catalyzed by the region’s eastern neighbor? What is the intersection between Baltic and East European studies? The conference will showcase the latest cutting-edge Baltic research as well as highlight and discuss the roles of memory institutions and the digital humanities in Baltic studies.

The conference keynote speakers are Dr. Vaira Vike-Freiberga, Dr. Agnia Grigas, Dr. Lauri Mälksoo, and Dr. Norman Naimark. The conference program is organized by the program committee, which consists of 50 renowned scholars and specialists representing institutions and organizations in the Baltic states, the United States, and Canada.

The conference now welcomes paper, poster, panel, roundtable, and workshop proposals from established and emerging scholars, including graduate students. Submissions of full panel and roundtable proposals on interdisciplinary and comparative topics are particularly encouraged. The deadline for submissions is October 15, 2017.

The conference organizers also invite all those who would like to be an active part of celebrating the 100th anniversary of independence for the Baltic republics and the 50th anniversary of the founding of the AABS to help turn this conference into an extraordinary success by making a tax-deductible gift that will go toward developing and carrying out the conference program.

With more than 200 scholars and graduate students participating, AABS conferences are the largest international Baltic conferences in the world. They take place every two years and have previously been hosted by prestigious academic institutions such as the University of Pennsylvania (2016), Yale University (2014) and the University of Illinois-Chicago (2012).

AABS is the world’s premier scholarly society for research on Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Its global membership includes scholars and supporters from North America, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Australia, Great Britain, Russia, Israel, Japan, and elsewhere. The Stanford University Libraries is considered one of the top academic libraries in the United States in terms of the size and strength of its Baltic collections. The library not only holds one of the best Baltic collections in the country, but also actively engages in supporting Baltic projects and activities, and enhancing Baltic studies at Stanford and beyond.

The current sponsors of the conference include Stanford University Libraries, Lithuanian Honorary Consul in San Francisco, Hoover Institution Library & Archives, the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies, Consulate General of the Republic of Lithuania in Los Angeles, Stanford University’s Department of History, Estonian Embassy in Washington, D.C., and Lithuanian Embassy in Washington, D.C.

More info about the conference can be found at:

Liisi Esse
Assistant Curator for Estonian and Baltic Studies, Stanford University Libraries; Vice President for Conferences, AABS