AABS 2018 at Stanford

Program Overview

This page lists the main events of the conference program. More info about the program, including its location, will be provided in the spring of 2018.

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

In addition to the events listed below, tours of Stanford University campus, Stanford Libraries, and exhibits will be offered during the conference. The registration for these events will open shortly prior to the conference.

Hoover tower at Stanford University


8:00-9:45am: Journal of Baltic Studies Breakfast Session

At this morning event, Interdisciplinary in Area Studies and the Changing Role of Journal of Baltic Studies (JBS), Matthew Kott, the editor of JBS, 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.

10:00-11:30am: AABS Member Meeting

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.

12:00-1:15pm: Keynote 1 (Norman Naimark) and Luncheon

The opening keynote talk of the conference, “Looking at Baltic Studies in the Larger Context of European and Russian/East European fields,” will be delivered by Dr. Norman Naimark.
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.

1:45-3:15pm: Session 1

3:30-5:00pm: Session 2

5:15-6:30pm: Session 3

7:00-9:00pm: Keynote 2 (Nils Muižnieks) and Opening Reception

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.
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).
Dr. Muižnieks 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.


8:15-9:45am: Session 4

10:00-11:30am: Session 5

12:00-1:30pm: Keynote 3 (Agnia Grigas) and Luncheon

The conference’s third keynote talk, “50 Years of Transforming Geopolitics and Baltic Studies,” will be delivered by Dr. Agnia Grigas.
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.

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

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.

2:00-3:30pm: Session 6

3:45-5:15pm: Session 7

6:00pm-8:00pm: An Open-Air Celebration of Baltic Culture

This open-air evening program will feature musical and dance performances by several Baltic and American groups.
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 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.


8:15-9:45am: Session 8

10:00-11:30am: Session 9

12:00-1:30pm: Keynote 4 (Lauri Mälksoo) and Luncheon

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.
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.

1:45pm-3:15pm: Session 10

3:30-5:00pm: Session 11

5:30-8:00pm Film Screening (Ashes in the Snow) and Closing Reception

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 Dish in the Stanford foothills at dusk

Important Dates

Registration begins for presenters and Stanford affiliates

January 15, 2018

Registration begins for the general public

April 1, 2018

Registration deadline for presenters and Stanford affiliates

May 1, 2018

Registration deadline for the general public

May 15, 2018

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