A Monograph about Lithuanian Music Culture in the US, 1870-1990

Prof. Danutė Petrauskaitė at the Lituanica Reading Room
Prof. Danutė Petrauskaitė at the Lituanica Reading Room

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”

An Event in Warsaw Dedicated to Lithuanian and Polish Relations

 Dr Giedrė Milerytė-Japertienė at the Lithuanian Embassy in Warsaw
Dr Giedrė Milerytė-Japertienė at the Lithuanian Embassy in Warsaw

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.

Among the Finalists – Three Lithuanian Émigré Authors

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.


Odile-2299The 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.


Pirkiniai-issimoketinai-2304The second finalist, Buying on Time, by Canadian-Lithuanian author, Antanas Šileika, consists of thirteen interrelated short stories about Lithuanian emigrant family life in Canada told with plenty of humour and gentle irony. Although it seems that the author tells his own story, in fact, this book is not autobiographical. Šileika’s book has received considerable attention in Canada and has won several awards.

Is-dvieju-renkuosi-trecia-2301The author of the third contestant and the winner of the Best Lithuanian Book-2015, Iš dviejų renkuosi trečią: mano mažoji odisėja (Out of the Two I Prefer the Third: My Little Odyssey), Dalia Staponkutė, is a Lithuanian writer, philosopher and translator currently living in Cyprus. In her second book, Staponkutė continues to tell the story about her journey as a Lithuanian, a woman and a mother abroad, only this time, from cultural and philosophical reflections she turns toward intimacy. The book also won the prize for the most creative book of the year in Lithuania.

Lithuanian Diaspora Exhibition Back in Lithuania

lietuviskoji leidybaAfter the successful presentations in Norway, Switzerland, and Italy, the travelling exhibition “Lithuanian Publishing in Post-WWII Europe” is back in Lithuania. On 27 January 2016 it was opened at Pasvalys Marius Katiliškis Public Library as part of a day-long event “The Library and the 21st Century Society”. Opening remarks were delivered by Jolanta Budriūnienė, head of the Lithuanian Studies Research Department (former Lituanica Department) of the National Library of Lithuania, who noted that the collection of Lithuanian DP publishing, 1945-1952, housed at the National Library of Lithuania, is of particular value for its unique content, produced under extremely difficult conditions. In 2011, it was recognized by UNESCO — the collection was included in UNESCO’s “World Memory” programme for the Lithuanian National Register. Pasvalys M. Katiliškis Public Library is only the first stop for this exhibition. Its organizer, the National Library of Lithuania, is planning to take it to all major public libraries in the country.

Lithuania’s Image in Western Media

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.

From the left to right: Vykintas Pugačiauskas, dr. Dovilė Budrytė, Valdonė Budreckaitė, Gintė Damušis
From the left to right: Vykintas Pugačiauskas, dr. Dovilė Budrytė, Valdonė Budreckaitė, Gintė Damušis

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.

Baltic Heritage Network XXII diaspora seminar: connecting research fragments

SeminarOn 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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