Baltic States centennial conference starts Friday at US Stanford University

Flags of the Baltic States (left to right) Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia
Flags of the Baltic States (left to right) Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia Source: Estonian Ministry of Education and Research

A conference dedicated to the centennial of the three Baltic States, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, aimed at fostering contacts between Baltic and US researchers and students and emphasizing the importance of Baltic studies for international research, is due to commence at Stanford University in California on Friday.

The conference is being organized by the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies (AABS), which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, Estonian participants the Archimedes Foundation said in a press release.

The three-day program, to be held at the University campus on 1-3 June, 2018, is to feature approximately 50 panels, roundtable discussions and workshops, and more than 400 experts, academics and entrepreneurs from all three Baltic States.

US historian Norman Naimark, Robert and Florence McDonnel Professor of Eastern European Studies at Stanford, will deliver the opening keynote speech entitled "Russian and East European Studies and Baltic Studies: A Historical Exploration.''

The conference's official opening ceremony will feature a keynote speech by Latvian-American human rights activist and political scientist Nils Muižnieks, "The Baltic States and Human Rights in Europe: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,"and Lithuanian American political scientist Agnia Grigas will deliver a keynote speech "50 Years of Transforming Geopolitics and Baltic Studies."

Estonian contributors to the event are to be former president Toomas Hendrik Ilves, academic Marju Lauristin and tech guru Sten Tamkivi. Other contributors are listed as being Lauri Malksoo, Raul Eamets, Partel Piirimae, Birute Klaas, Linnar Viik and others from the University of Tartu, the Archimedes Foundation, the Estonian National Museum, Tallinn University, and more.

A roundtable discussion featuring the three Baltic foreign ministers Sven Mikser, who will take part via conference call, Edgars Rinkēvičs, and Linas Linkevičius, chaired by noted political scientist Anna Grzymala-Busse, professor at the Department of Political Science at Stanford, will take place on Friday.  

The conference will also include numerous additional events, including evening receptions, film screenings, exhibits, and tours of Stanford's Baltic collections.

Held once every two years the AABS conference is the biggest such event concerning Baltic studies worldwide. The conference was held at the University of Pennsylvania in 2016, at Yale in 2014 and at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2012.

The Archimedes Foundation is an independent body established by the Estonian government with the aim of coordinating and implementing different international and national programmes and projects in the fields of training, education and research.

The AABS promotes research and education in Baltic Studies by sponsoring meetings and conferences, supporting publications, sustaining a program of scholarships, grants, and prizes, and disseminating news of current interest in Baltic Studies. It was founded at the University of Maryland nearly 50 years ago, on 1 December, 1968.

Editor: Andrew Whyte

Source: BNS

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