At the end of 2015, Vilnius Academy of Arts Publishing House published a monograph Lithuanian Music Culture in the United States, 1870-1990 by prof. Danutė Petrauskaitė. The book written in Lithuanian is impressive for its encyclopedic scope and rich content. “There were times, when I felt like I was drowning in this ocean of material”, admits the author of the book, which covers 120 years of American-Lithuanian music life. Prof. Petrauskaitė not only researched many different written sources, e.g. American-Lithuanian press, abundantly quoted in the monograph, but also visited museums, including Ellis Island. Continue reading “A Monograph about Lithuanian Music Culture in the US, 1870-1990”
On March 2, 2016, Dr Giedrė Milerytė-Japertienė, a senior researcher at the Lithuanian Studies Research Department of the National Library of Lithuania, participated in a discussion organised by the Lithuanian Embassy in Warsaw together with Vytautas Magnus University and Warsaw University Eastern Europe Studies Centre. The discussion, based on two newly published books, Lithuanian and Polish Relations in Exile, 1945-1990 (ed. Giedrė Milerytė-Japertienė) and The Dynamics of Relations Between Lithuania and Poland: From Historical Experience to Contemporary Situations (ed. Mindaugas Norkevičius, Gintarė Lukoševičiūtė, and Ieva Masiliūnaitė), was attended by the Warsaw academic community. The discussion also covered Jurgis Giedraitis’ (Jerzy Giedroyc) intellectual legacy and influence on the present day Lithuanian and Polish relations. The discussion was led by Jan Malicki, the director of Warsaw University Eastern Europe Studies Centre.
For many, the final list of the contestants (in the category Adult Literature) to win the best Lithuanian book of 2015 came as no surprise. Three out of five finalists were Lithuanian authors living abroad.
The novel Odilė, arba Oro uostų vienatvė (Odile or the Loneliness of Airports) is written by Valdas Papievis, who has been living between Paris and Vilnius for more than a decade. His newest book tells a story about the loneliness of an independent human being and the everyday life of a French aristocrat in Paris.
On 4 November, the National Library of Lithuania hosted a discussion about Lithuania in the pages of Western media in 1990s and today; Vilnius Santara-Sviesa Club and Lituanica Department organized it.
Valdonė Budreckaitė, senior researcher at Lituanica Department, began with a virtual exhibition “No, my friends, we won‘t go slow,” dedicated to the time in history when Lithuania was fighting for its independence and its depiction in Western press. The exhibition was prepared by the Lituanica Department in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania. Gintė Damušis, a Lithuanian diplomat, who in 1979-1991 led the Lithuanian Information Centre with its offices in New York and Washington, D.C., shared memories about the dissemination of information and an important role played by the LIC in promoting Lithuania’s independence in the US and other Western countries. Vykintas Pugačiauskas, foreign news editor at the Lithuanian National Radio and Television, discussed Lithuania’s image in contemporary media. Georgia Gwinnett College professor, Dr. Dovilė Budrytė, who also currently teaches at the Institute of International Relations and Political Science at Vilnius University, moderated the event.
On 3 November 2015 the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania hosted the annual international Baltic Heritage Network diaspora seminar. It was the 22nd event in the last six years and the second to be held in Vilnius. It brought together researchers, librarians and archivists from all three Baltic countries working in the field of diaspora studies. In this international forum, eight papers were presented. Topics for three paper sessions ranged from collecting, exploring and digitizing archival data to making field research of diaspora communities, and analysing exile literature.
Diaspora seminars, covering a wide range of interests and topics, are designed to help to exchange information and encourage sustained critical dialogue without dividing attendees into their disciplinary camps. New people and presenters join the BHN seminars every year. This time the event offered a good balance between three Baltic countries and a good distribution of participants from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The small-scale setting of the conference allowed for an intimate exchange of ideas. Opportunity to place one’s own research in a wider cultural context and learn about the skills and techniques used by other scholars was a significant advantage of this seminar.
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