AABS 2018 at Stanford

Program Overview

This page lists the main events of the conference program. For a full list of conference events, please visit the online program. For more info about the conference locistics and a map displaying the conference venues, visit the conference logistics page.

All registered attendees will also receive an email with more info and the full conference program prior to the conference.

Visit the online program

FRIDAY, JUNE 1

8:00 am-6:00 pm: Registration/Badge Pickup Desk is Open

Registration/Badge Pickup Desk is open every day of the conference from 8:00 am – 6:00 pm at the Alumni Center main lobby. Stop by the Registration/Badge Pickup Desk to pick up your badge and printed program, register for conference events (if there is still availability), or ask for general info.

8:15-9:45 am: Journal of Baltic Studies Breakfast Session: Interdisciplinary in Area Studies and the Changing Role of Journal of Baltic Studies (Registration Required)

At this morning event, Matthew Kott, the editor of the Journal of Baltic Studies, will discuss some of the recent trends within current academia. He will take up the role of interdisciplinary journals like JBS in reinforcing or challenging these trends, and what he hopes for the future of JBS and Baltic studies. Session participants are invited to share their own views and questions in a more informal setting, over breakfast.
The event is open to conference presenters and Stanford affiliates. Registration is required. Seating is limited. In order to register for this event, please visit the main registration system.

8:30-9:30 am: Tour of the Stanford University Campus, I

The tour of the Stanford University campus will include the Main Quad, Memorial Church, White Plaza, and many more attractions that may vary from tour to tour. In addition to describing the University's current academic programs and student life, your guide will also tell you about Stanford’s founding and history.
Hour-long tours are offered to the presenting participants of the 2018 AABS Conference on June 1 at 8:30 am, 2:00 pm, and 4:00 pm. All tours begin at Stanford Visitor Center (295 Galvez Street).
The tours are open to conference presenters only. Registration is not required.

9:00 am-9:00 pm: "The Baltic Way: History and Culture in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania 1918–2018" Exhibit is Open in Cecil H. Green Library

Stanford Libraries is pleased to present "The Baltic Way: History and Culture in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania 1918–2018" in partnership with the Hoover Institution Library and Archives. Using photographs, posters, correspondence, and other documents paired with narrative text, the exhibit attempts to explain the complicated history of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania in the twentieth century, and considers their prospects and challenges in the twenty-first. The exhibit’s title commemorates the 1989 Baltic Way protest, in which people in all three countries linked hands to demand independence from the USSR. The protest took place on the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, the agreement between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union that ended the first period of independence of the Baltic republics. "The Baltic Way" also celebrates the three countries’ uniquely Baltic cultural heritage.
The exhibit, which will run through August 18, 2018, was co-curated by Liisi Esse, Associate Curator for Estonian and Baltic Studies, and David Jacobs, longtime Hoover Institution Archives project archivist, and produced by Special Collections exhibits designer Becky Fischbach. Katrīna Kalniņa and Natasha Porfirenko assisted with research and item selection.
The exhibit is open every day of the conference from 9:00 am–9:00 pm in Cecil H. Green Library (557 Escondido Mall, Stanford). The exhibit is open to conference presenters, Stanford affiliates, and general audience. Registration is not required. More info.

10:00 am-9:00 pm: "Masters of Our Own Homes: Estonia at 100" Exhibit is Open at Stanford Shopping Center

Stanford Libraries is pleased to present "Masters of Our Own Homes: Estonia at 100" traveling exhibit in partnership with the Estonian Museum of Occupations.
"We have always harnessed a great inner power, even in the darkest and most difficult times," President of the Republic of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid has said of this serendipitous moment in her country's history. "To become masters of our own homes, our own country." The purpose of this traveling exhibit is to commemorate a century since the founding of the Republic of Estonia and to introduce its history, culture, innovation, and, most of all, its people, to the wider world. The exhibit was produced by the Estonian Museum of Occupations.
The exhibit is open from May 31–June 6, during Stanford Shopping Center hours. The official opening event of the exhibit will take place on June 2 at 4:00 pm.
The exhibit is open to conference presenters, Stanford affiliates, and general audience. Registration is not required. More info.

10:00-11:30 am: AABS Member Meeting (Registration Required)

The Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies Member Meeting will include a keynote address by incoming AABS President Andres Kasekamp.
The AABS Board will report on the Association’s activities in 2016–2018. Members may propose resolutions to be voted on at the meeting.
All AABS members are encouraged to attend. Students who received AABS travel grants must attend the Member Meeting.
The event is open to AABS members, conference presenters, and Stanford affiliates. Registration is required. In order to register for this event, please visit the main registration system.

12:00-1:30 pm: Keynote 1 (Norman Naimark) and Luncheon: Russian and East European Studies and Baltic Studies: A Historical Exploration (Ticketed Event)

The opening keynote talk of the conference, “Russian and East European Studies and Baltic Studies: A Historical Exploration,” will be delivered by Dr. Norman Naimark.
Interdisciplinary research in Russian and East European Studies began during World War II as teams of specialists joined the Office of Strategic Services to develop knowledge about and ideas how to deal with both allies and enemies. Many in the Soviet Union branch returned to universities around the country and recreated centers of interdisciplinary studies focused primarily on the Soviet Union. With the onset of the Cold War, government support provided crucial backing for the development of the field. Some of this funding, energy, and development of scholarly resources trickled down to East European Studies. Even less was focused on Baltic Studies.
Still, there were clearly spill-over effects to the benefit of Baltic Studies from the development of the Soviet and East European field and the general expansion of area studies at American universities in the late 1960s and 1970s. But without the energy and resourcefulness of the small group of scholars of Baltic origins, Baltic Studies would have remained a moribund and underappreciated field. This energy manifested itself in the founding of the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies in 1968, along with the Bulletin of Baltic Studies in 1970, which later became the Journal of Baltic Studies. Along with the growth of Soviet nationalities studies in the 1970s and 1980s and the concomitant interest of the American government – especially the State Department and Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe – in the Baltic region as a separate and distinct part of the Soviet Union, Baltic Studies went through a period of marked development.
By the time the Baltic countries became independent with the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Baltic studies were already poised to move into a new stage of development that saw their intersection with European Studies, Scandinavian studies and the study of the Baltic Sea region. Ideas, people, and scholarship now move easily between the Baltic countries themselves and the United States. New programs have been planned and developed, while old ones have grown in size and importance. This conference is a good example of the robust character of Baltic Studies today, with attendees from all over the world, including the Baltic region, and 130 panels exploring a wide range of interdisciplinary subjects.
Dr. Norman M. Naimark is the Robert and Florence McDonnell Professor of East European Studies at Stanford University, a Professor of History and (by courtesy) of German Studies, and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Freeman-Spogli Institute for International Studies. Naimark is interested in modern Eastern European and Russian history and his research focuses on Soviet policies and actions in Europe after World War II and on genocide and ethnic cleansing in the twentieth century.
The keynote talk will be followed by a Q&A session. Boxed lunches will be served at the event.
The event is open to conference presenters, Stanford affiliates, and general audience. Registration/ticket is required. Seating is limited. In order to register for this event, please visit the main registration system.

2:00-3:30 pm: Session 1

2:00-3:30 pm: Baltic Exceptionalism? A Roundtable featuring Baltic Foreign Ministers and Prof. Anna Grzymala-Busse (Registration Required)

This roundtable discussion features Baltic foreign ministers Sven Mikser (via conference call), Edgars Rinkēvičs, and Linas Linkevičius, and is chaired by noted political scientist Dr. Anna Grzymala-Busse, Professor in the Department of Political Science at Stanford. The roundtable is open to public and is co-sponsored by the European Security Initiative at Stanford’s Europe Center at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.
As a wave of populism and political divisiveness seem to be rising elsewhere in Europe, the Baltic republics appear to have escaped these worrisome trends. International interference in elections, anti-democratic sentiments, immigration, and a host of populist and protest parties dominate the political debates in the rest of Europe. Yet while Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are firmly ensconced in Europe, and have certainly experienced political pressure from their neighbors, they appear to have weathered the storm far more robustly. The roundtable thus asks, to what extent one can talk about “Baltic exceptionalism,” and how it could be explained.
The event is open to conference presenters, Stanford affiliates, and general public. Registration is required. Seating is limited. More info and registration.

2:00-3:00 pm: Tour of the Stanford University Campus, II

The tour of the Stanford University campus will include the Main Quad, Memorial Church, White Plaza, and many more attractions that may vary from tour to tour. In addition to describing the University's current academic programs and student life, your guide will also tell you about Stanford’s founding and history.
Hour-long tours are offered to the presenting participants of the 2018 AABS Conference on June 1 at 8:30 am, 2:00 pm, and 4:00 pm. All tours begin at Stanford Visitor Center (295 Galvez Street).
The tours are open to conference presenters only. Registration is not required.

4:00-5:30 pm: Session 2

4:00-5:00 pm: Tour of the Stanford University Campus, III

The tour of the Stanford University campus will include the Main Quad, Memorial Church, White Plaza, and many more attractions that may vary from tour to tour. In addition to describing the University's current academic programs and student life, your guide will also tell you about Stanford’s founding and history.
Hour-long tours are offered to the presenting participants of the 2018 AABS Conference on June 1 at 8:30 am, 2:00 pm, and 4:00 pm. All tours begin at Stanford Visitor Center (295 Galvez Street).
The tours are open to conference presenters only. Registration is not required.

5:00-5:45 pm: Baltic-American Freedom Foundation Reception (By Invitation Only)

Directors of the Baltic-American Freedom Foundation (BAFF) will congratulate Baltic guests on their countries’ Centennials and honor AABS Conference presenters who have received BAFF travel grants, with short remarks by BAFF Directors and staff.
The event is by invitation only.

6:00-8:30pm: Keynote 2 (Nils Muižnieks) and Opening Reception: The Baltic States and Human Rights in Europe: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (Ticketed Event)

The conference’s official opening ceremony will feature a keynote talk, “The Baltic States and Human Rights in Europe: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” by Dr. Nils Muižnieks.
Historically, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have stood out in the European human rights landscape not only for what was done to them but occasionally for what they did as well. In the early interwar years, when only certain elements of the European human rights system existed, Estonia was a frontrunner for minority rights. The non-recognition of the Soviet annexation of the Baltic states by many Western countries and the efforts of Baltic exiles to sustain this policy contributed to the development of international law and can serve as an example to contemporary Ukrainian efforts vis-à-vis Crimea. During the Soviet era, Lithuanian activists in defense of freedom of religion imprinted the Baltic brand vividly on the map of Soviet dissent. In the waning years of the Soviet Union, all three Baltic independence movements led the broader push to assert freedom of expression, assembly, and association, as well as the right to free elections.
After regaining independence, Estonia and especially Latvia became among the most common destinations for international minority rights monitoring missions. In more recent years, the Baltic states have diverged in a positive manner from some other Central and East European countries in their human rights trajectory. There have been no “pilot judgments” at the European Court of Human Rights from the Baltic states indicating systemic or structural problems. There has been none of the serious backsliding seen in contemporary Poland and Hungary that has evoked labels such as a “rule of law crisis.” As opposed to most countries in Central and Eastern Europe, the Baltic states have all exhibited European solidarity in refugee relocation and resettlement. Moreover, all three Baltic states have become safe havens for persecuted activists, journalists, and cultural figures from Russia and Belarus. As the Baltic states celebrate their centennial, they are well-poised to further develop a positive Baltic human rights “brand.”
This talk will examine how the Baltic states stood out in the incipient human rights system of the League of Nations. Then it will take a look at the Baltic contribution to human rights during the Soviet years. Finally, the talk will assess the place of the Baltic states in the contemporary European human rights system and the potential of developing a positive Baltic human rights “brand” in contrast to some of other serious human rights backsliders in Central and Eastern Europe.
Dr. Nils Muižnieks was elected to serve as the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights from April 2012 through March 2018. Prior to becoming Commissioner, he held a number of leadership positions, including chair of the Council of Europe’s independent racism-monitoring body, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (2010-2012); director of the University of Latvia’s Advanced Social and Political Research Institute (2005-2012); Minister of Social Integration in the Latvian government (2002-2004); and director of the NGO Latvian Center for Human Rights and Ethnic Studies (1994-2012). He has published widely on human rights, racism, and Baltic and international affairs.
The keynote talk will be followed by a Q&A session and a reception. A display of recent Baltic publications will also be showcased at the event.
The event is open to conference presenters, Stanford affiliates, and general audience. Registration/ticket is required. Seating is limited. In order to register for this event, please visit the main registration system.

The Baltic Way exhibit

SATURDAY, JUNE 2

8:00 am-6:00 pm: Registration/Badge Pickup Desk is Open

Registration/Badge Pickup Desk is open every day of the conference from 8:00 am – 6:00 pm at the Alumni Center main lobby. Stop by the Registration/Badge Pickup Desk to pick up your badge and printed program, register for conference events (if there is still availability), or ask for general info.

8:15-9:45 am: Session 3

9:00 am-9:00 pm: "The Baltic Way: History and Culture in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania 1918–2018" Exhibit is Open in Cecil H. Green Library

Stanford Libraries is pleased to present "The Baltic Way: History and Culture in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania 1918–2018" in partnership with the Hoover Institution Library and Archives. Using photographs, posters, correspondence, and other documents paired with narrative text, the exhibit attempts to explain the complicated history of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania in the twentieth century, and considers their prospects and challenges in the twenty-first. The exhibit’s title commemorates the 1989 Baltic Way protest, in which people in all three countries linked hands to demand independence from the USSR. The protest took place on the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, the agreement between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union that ended the first period of independence of the Baltic republics. "The Baltic Way" also celebrates the three countries’ uniquely Baltic cultural heritage.
The exhibit, which will run through August 18, 2018, was co-curated by Liisi Esse, Associate Curator for Estonian and Baltic Studies, and David Jacobs, longtime Hoover Institution Archives project archivist, and produced by Special Collections exhibits designer Becky Fischbach. Katrīna Kalniņa and Natasha Porfirenko assisted with research and item selection.
The exhibit is open every day of the conference from 9:00 am–9:00 pm in Cecil H. Green Library (557 Escondido Mall, Stanford). The exhibit is open to conference presenters, Stanford affiliates, and general audience. Registration is not required. More info.

10:00 am-7:00 pm: "Masters of Our Own Homes: Estonia at 100" Exhibit is Open at Stanford Shopping Center

Stanford Libraries is pleased to present "Masters of Our Own Homes: Estonia at 100" traveling exhibit in partnership with the Estonian Museum of Occupations.
"We have always harnessed a great inner power, even in the darkest and most difficult times," President of the Republic of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid has said of this serendipitous moment in her country's history. "To become masters of our own homes, our own country." The purpose of this traveling exhibit is to commemorate a century since the founding of the Republic of Estonia and to introduce its history, culture, innovation, and, most of all, its people, to the wider world. The exhibit was produced by the Estonian Museum of Occupations.
The exhibit is open from May 31–June 6, during Stanford Shopping Center hours. The official opening event of the exhibit will take place on June 2 at 4:00 pm.
The exhibit is open to conference presenters, Stanford affiliates, and general audience. Registration is not required. More info.

10:00-11:30 am: Session 4

12:00-1:30 pm: Keynote 3 (Agnia Grigas) and Luncheon: 50 Years of Transforming Geopolitics and Baltic Studies (Ticketed Event)

The conference’s third keynote talk, “50 Years of Transforming Geopolitics and Baltic Studies,” will be delivered by Dr. Agnia Grigas.
Since the first AABS conference was held in 1968 at the height of the Cold War, the international political context has faced a complete transformation and so have the Baltic states and Baltic studies. The Baltic states have escaped their status as annexed states of the Soviet Union and with their singing revolutions gained their independence and eventually earned their integration into European and Transatlantic organizations and alliances. Today as before, the Baltic states and their study offer important lessons for understanding the broader global and European processes. They served as case studies of captive nations, peaceful revolutions, the fall of the Soviet Union, EU enlargement and NATO expansion. Today they are case studies among other scenarios of Europe’s frontier nations facing Russia’s resurgence, of hybrid, cyber, and information warfare, as well as leaders of energy diversification or as small states shaping EU and NATO policies. Despite their small size and perhaps because of their direct confrontation with the tides of geopolitics, the Baltic states continue to capture the attention of international media, scholars, experts, and international governments and organizations.
This keynote talk will examine the questions of “To what extent the Baltic studies are not static and a reflection of changing geopolitics?” and “How should Baltic studies scholars leverage their expertise to draw out broader implications and conclusions in regional and global developments?”
Dr. Agnia Grigas is an energy and political risk expert based in Washington DC. She specializes in energy and foreign policy of the U.S. and Eurasia including Europe, Russia, China, the states of the former Soviet Union, and the Baltic States. She is the author of three critically acclaimed books: “The New Geopolitics of Natural Gas” (Harvard UP, 2017), "Beyond Crimea: The New Russian Empire" (Yale UP, 2016), and "The Politics of Energy and Memory between the Baltic States and Russia" (Ashgate 2013).
The keynote talk will be followed by a Q&A session. Boxed lunches will be served at the event.
The event is open to conference presenters, Stanford affiliates, and general audience. Registration/ticket is required. Seating is limited. In order to register for this event, please visit the main registration system.

12:00-1:30 pm: Grad Student Luncheon: How to Find One’s Place in Academia and Beyond post-Graduation? (Ticketed Event)

Baltic Studies is a relatively small but growing interdisciplinary academic field. However, in a job market that has become more competitive and challenging to navigate, tenure-track and permanent jobs in academia are more and more difficult to acquire. This luncheon event will explore the process of completing a PhD in topic connected to Baltic Studies and attaining postdocs and academic jobs, with alternatives to academia also considered and explored. Three recent graduates, Laura A. Dean (Millikin University), Indra Ekmanis (Kennan Institute, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars), and David Beecher (University of California, Berkeley), will join this roundtable to share their experiences as well as field questions from the audience. All graduate students and recent graduates are encouraged to attend.
The roundtable will be followed by a Q&A session. Boxed lunches will be served at the event.
The event is open to conference presenters, Stanford affiliates, and general audience. Registration/ticket is required. Seating is limited. In order to register for this event, please visit the main registration system.

2:00-3:30 pm: Session 5

4:00-5:30 pm: Session 6

4:00-5:30 pm: "Masters of Our Own Homes: Estonia at 100" Exhibit Opening and Roundtable on "No Boundaries: An Oral History Project about Estonia’s Transformation in the Digital Age"

"We have always harnessed a great inner power, even in the darkest and most difficult times," President of the Republic of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid has said of this serendipitous moment in her country's history. "To become masters of our own homes, our own country." The purpose of this traveling exhibit is to commemorate a century since the founding of the Republic of Estonia and to introduce its history, culture, innovation, and, most of all, its people, to the wider world. The exhibit is produced by the Estonian Museum of Occupation and Freedom.
The opening event of this exhibit will feature a roundtable on "No Boundaries: An Oral History Project about Estonia’s Transformation in the Digital Age." Dubbed the Singapore of the North, few countries in the world have undergone a more dramatic and fundamental transformation than Estonia has in the past 25 years. Literally starting with nothing, Estonia has become a world-leading inspiration and role model for the new, limitless possibilities of the digital age. This intense wave of positive transformation represents a unique time in Estonian history and is a fascinating, multifaceted story. This time of changes was initiated and led by a number of innovators, several of whom have gone on to become world leading entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, e.g. creating global companies like Skype.
The No Boundaries project, an initiative by Stanford Libraries, records, collects and publishes in-depth interviews carried out by Anders Hjemdahl and Camilla Andersson with the dual purpose of creating a research resource for the study of a unique time of dramatic changes in Estonia’s history, and telling the story of this period to the general public through the voices of people who were both affected by the changes of this time in history, and who took part in creating and shaping the changes.
The roundtable welcomes you to join a group of world-renowned Estonian entrepreneurs in a discussion about history, innovation, identity, and the future. The roundtable is chaired by Anders Hjemdahl and Camilla Andersson-Hjemdahl and its members include Rainer Sternfeld, Andrus Viirg, Ott Kaukver, and Toomas Hendrik Ilves.
Renowned filmmaker and the author of Estonia-themed films "The Singing Revolution" and "To Breathe as One" James Tusty will deliver opening remarks at the event.
The event is open to conference presenters, Stanford affiliates, and general public. Registration is not required. More info.

6:00-8:00 pm: An Open-Air Celebration of Baltic Culture (Ticketed Event)

This open-air evening program will feature musical and dance performances by several Baltic and American groups. The event will be emceed by James Tusty and Heather MacLaughlin-Garbes.
The Seattle-based Mägi Ensemble, a women’s chamber choir that performs and records compositions from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, will perform a program of both intricate Baltic choral compositions along with traditional folk songs and modern arrangements. Compositions by Ester Mägi, Vytautas Miškinis, Peteris Vasks, Laura Jēkabsone and others will be highlighted.
Tiltas, a San-Francisco-based folk dance group, will perform two Lithuanian folk dances: "Ak, norėtum grįžti" (Oh, would like to come back) and "Saulės vartai" (The gates of the Sun). The children's folk dance group of San Francisco Bay Area Lithuanian Saturday School Genys, led by Vanesa Kaselionis, will perform a folk dance "Viru viru košę" (Let's Make Some Porridge).
The Tallinn-based youth violin ensemble “Võlukeeled” (The Magic Strings) will perform classical, folk, and pop pieces. The ensemble consists of the best young violin players of Estonia and has previously performed in Estonia as well as in Switzerland, Canada, UK, Australia, Netherlands, and USA.
The event is open to conference presenters, Stanford affiliates, and general audience. Registration/ticket is required. Seating is limited. In order to register for this event, please visit the main registration system.

Masters of Our Own Homes exhibit

SUNDAY, JUNE 3

8:00 am-6:00 pm: Registration/Badge Pickup Desk is Open

Registration/Badge Pickup Desk is open every day of the conference from 8:00 am – 6:00 pm at the Alumni Center main lobby. Stop by the Registration/Badge Pickup Desk to pick up your badge and printed program, register for conference events (if there is still availability), or ask for general info.

8:15-9:45 am: Session 7

9:00 am-9:00 pm: "The Baltic Way: History and Culture in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania 1918–2018" Exhibit is Open in Cecil H. Green Library

Stanford Libraries is pleased to present "The Baltic Way: History and Culture in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania 1918–2018" in partnership with the Hoover Institution Library and Archives. Using photographs, posters, correspondence, and other documents paired with narrative text, the exhibit attempts to explain the complicated history of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania in the twentieth century, and considers their prospects and challenges in the twenty-first. The exhibit’s title commemorates the 1989 Baltic Way protest, in which people in all three countries linked hands to demand independence from the USSR. The protest took place on the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, the agreement between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union that ended the first period of independence of the Baltic republics. "The Baltic Way" also celebrates the three countries’ uniquely Baltic cultural heritage.
The exhibit, which will run through August 18, 2018, was co-curated by Liisi Esse, Associate Curator for Estonian and Baltic Studies, and David Jacobs, longtime Hoover Institution Archives project archivist, and produced by Special Collections exhibits designer Becky Fischbach. Katrīna Kalniņa and Natasha Porfirenko assisted with research and item selection.
The exhibit is open every day of the conference from 9:00 am–9:00 pm in Cecil H. Green Library (557 Escondido Mall, Stanford). The exhibit is open to conference presenters, Stanford affiliates, and general audience. Registration is not required. More info.

10:00-11:30 am: Session 8

11:00 am-6:00 pm: "Masters of Our Own Homes: Estonia at 100" Exhibit is Open at Stanford Shopping Center

Stanford Libraries is pleased to present "Masters of Our Own Homes: Estonia at 100" traveling exhibit in partnership with the Estonian Museum of Occupations.
"We have always harnessed a great inner power, even in the darkest and most difficult times," President of the Republic of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid has said of this serendipitous moment in her country's history. "To become masters of our own homes, our own country." The purpose of this traveling exhibit, "Masters of Our Own Homes: Estonia at 100" is to commemorate a century since the founding of the Republic of Estonia and to introduce its history, culture, innovation, and, most of all, its people, to the wider world. The exhibit was produced by the Estonian Museum of Occupations.
The exhibit is open from May 31–June 6, during Stanford Shopping Center hours. The official opening event of the exhibit will take place on June 2 at 4:00 pm.
The exhibit is open to conference presenters, Stanford affiliates, and general audience. Registration is not required. More info.

12:00-1:30 pm: Keynote 4 (Lauri Mälksoo) and Luncheon: The Baltic States at 100: The State Continuity Claim in International Law and in Relations with Russia (Ticketed Event)

The conference’s fourth keynote talk, “The Baltic States at 100: The State Continuity Claim in International Law and in Relations with Russia,” is delivered by Dr. Lauri Mälksoo.
When we look at the former Soviet space from the international legal perspective, we see that a major feature that has set Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania apart from the rest of the region is their state continuity claim that was successfully presented in 1988–1994. The claim that the Baltic states were illegally occupied by the USSR in 1940 is one of the main factors that has contributed to the full integration of the Baltic countries with the Western world. While a similar argument has occasionally been made in Georgia and Ukraine, it has not been consistent or found recognition elsewhere.
The Baltic continuity claim was culturally a Western, legalistic, and contractual claim based on the principle of Roman law and justice, ex injuria jus non oritur (“law does not arise from injustice”). Yet this claim has not been without its problems either, notably in Latvia and Estonia where since the 1990s citizenship and education laws – directly stemming from the logic of state continuity – have occasionally been criticized. Moreover, Russia has never recognized the Baltic continuity claim.
As the world faces more self-determination claims in the future, the Baltic continuity thesis is likely to be studied as precedent in Catalonia, Scotland, and even Hawaii. What kind of precedent have the Baltic states set? What have been the main obstacles the Baltic claim has met in the past and what obstacles will similar claims meet in the future? These questions will be investigated in my keynote talk that emphasizes the connections between the Baltic case and the international legal norms and standards of the 1940s.
Dr. Lauri Mälksoo is a Professor of International Law at the University of Tartu. He has published several books and numerous articles on the international legal status of the Baltic States, history and theory of international law, and Russia’s concept of international law. His monograph "Russian Approaches to International Law" (Oxford UP, 2015) won the honorable mention of the Marshall Shulman Book Prize in 2016. Most recently, he co-edited with Wolfgang Benedek a book entitled "Russia and the European Court of Human Rights: the Strasbourg Effect" (Cambridge UP, 2017).
The keynote talk will be followed by a Q&A session. Boxed lunches will be served at the event.
The event is open to conference presenters, Stanford affiliates, and general audience. Registration/ticket is required. Seating is limited. In order to register for this event, please visit the main registration system.

2:00-3:30 pm: Session 9

4:00-5:30 pm: Session 10

4:00-5:30 pm: Stories of Exile, Reckoning, and Hope: A Reading by Ruta Sepetys, Julija Sukys, and Inara Verzemnieks

This open-air celebration of literature will feature three prominent writers who have explored themes of Baltic exile, reckoning, and hope in their work. Ruta Sepetys is the author of the riveting novel Between Shades of Gray, which deals with one Lithuanian family’s harrowing journey to Siberia and their daily struggle for survival in a labor camp. Julija Šukys uses letters, documents, and oral histories to weave together a compelling portrait of her Lithuanian grandparents in Siberian Exile: Blood, War, and a Granddaughter’s Reckoning. In her poetic memoir, Among the Living and the Dead: A Tale of Exile and Homecoming on the War Roads of Europe, Inara Verzemnieks writes about her visit to the Latvian village of her predecessors, exploring the tragic consequences of war and exile.
The event is open to conference presenters, Stanford affiliates, and general audience. Registration is not required. More info.

6:00-9:30 pm Film Screening (Ashes in the Snow) and Closing Reception (Ticketed Event)

The conference will conclude with the screening of "Ashes in the Snow" (2018). The film is based on the New York Times best-selling novel "Between Shades of Gray" written by Carnegie Medal winning author Ruta Sepetys. The film is produced and directed by Marius Markevicius who previously directed the award-winning documentary "The Other Dream Team" (2012) chronicling Lithuania's Olympic basketball team and their journey to the Barcelona Olympics in 1992.
In 1941, a 16-year-old Lithuanian aspiring artist, Lina Vilkas, and her family are deported to Siberian labor camps amidst Stalin's brutal dismantling of the Baltic region. Forced to endure the harshest of circumstances, Lina relies on her love of art and unbreakable sense of hope as the only means of survival.
The screening of the film will be followed by a Q&A session with Marius Markevicius and Ruta Sepetys, and a closing reception.
The event is open to conference presenters, Stanford affiliates, and general audience. Registration/ticket is required. Seating is limited. In order to register for this event, please visit the main registration system.

The Dish in the Stanford foothills at dusk

Important Dates

Registration begins for presenters and Stanford affiliates

January 15, 2018

Registration begins for general public

April 1, 2018

Registration deadline for presenters and Stanford affiliates

May 1, 2018

Registration deadline for general public

May 15, 2018


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