Russian and East European Studies and Baltic Studies: A Historical Exploration

Friday, June 1, 2018

12:00 pm

McCaw Hall, Frances C. Arrillaga Alumni Center Map

Sponsored by:
Stanford University Libraries

Join us for a luncheon session of the 2018 AABS Conference at Stanford University: The 100th Anniversary of Baltic Independence, featuring a keynote talk by Dr. Norman Naimark:

Russian and East European Studies and Baltic Studies: A Historical Exploration

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.

Friday, June 1, 2018
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
McCaw Hall, Frances C. Arrillaga Alumni Center Map

Free for SU affiliates, open to the public. To register for this or other events of the 2018 AABS Conference program, please visit this website. 


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