Spring 2021 Visiting Fulbright Fellow
|Ksenija Iljina is a Ph.D. researcher at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES), University College London (UCL). At Yale she is continuing work on her doctoral thesis, which examines the uses of Soviet mythologies and ritual practices, especially in contemporary Latvia. She considers how Russia as a post-imperial state exerts its soft-power influence in post-Soviet states through nostalgia for the Soviet past and how these states are responding. Her research centers on heritage, memory, and identity construction in the Baltic region.
In 2017 Ms. Iljina received an M.A. in Arts and Cultural Management from King’s College London (Department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries). Before this she completed a B.A. degree in Russian Philology at the University of Latvia. Her broader research interests include Russian and Slavonic Studies, Baltic Studies, and Cultural Memory and Social Anthropology.
Spring 2021 Visiting Fulbright Fellow
Kaarel Piirimäe is Associate Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Tartu and Research Fellow at the University of Helsinki. He received his Ph.D. in 2009 from the University of Cambridge with a thesis on the Big Three Allies and the Baltic Question in World War II (published 2014). Professor Piirimäe has edited several volumes and special journal issues on the history of the Baltic states in the twentieth century, with an emphasis on international history. His article “Liberals and Nationalism: E. H. Carr, Walter Lippmann and the Baltic States from 1918 to 1944” won the Vilis Vītols prize for the best article in the Journal of Baltic Studies in 2017. As a Fulbright Scholar at Yale, Professor Piirimäe is working on the early post-Cold War era in the Baltic region, a book project on US-Baltic relations from 1922 to 2022, and George F. Kennan’s engagements with and views on the Baltic region during the “American century.”
Photo Credit: Minerva Juolahti
These Spring 2021 Baltic Studies Fellows have both elected to complete their fellowships in the Spring 2022 semester. They are:
Joseph P. Kazickas Visiting Fellow
Juris Padegs Visiting Fellow
Fall 2020 Juris Padegs Visiting Fellow
Solvita Denisa-Liepniece is Assistant Professor at Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences in Valmiera, Latvia. Her research interests are strategic political communication, intercultural communication, and information resilience. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of Antwerp in 2013 with a thesis on political communication in post-Soviet Belarus. Dr. Denisa-Liepniece serves as the country expert for several international organizations focused on media literacy and information resilience in the Baltic countries. At Yale she is studying the (re)construction of memory of Latvia and the Baltic states in Russia’s state-sponsored education discourse. She is co-author of several books on communication and media and published in 2019 a fairy tale for children on media literacy (also translated in Russian and Romanian). In addition to academic activities, Dr. Denisa-Liepniece has also had a career as a professional journalist and worked for Public Broadcasting of Latvia in the fields of both television and radio for more than fifteen years.
Fall 2020 Joseph P. Kazickas Visiting Fellow
Gintare Venzlauskaitė is an instructor at the University of Stirling (Scotland, UK), a Research Affiliate at the University of Glasgow, and a Junior Researcher at Kaunas University of Technology (Lithuania). Her research centers on Lithuanian twentieth-century diasporas and the complexities attendant to return and repatriation. She received her Ph.D. degree in Central and East European Studies from the University of Glasgow in 2019. Her doctoral dissertation, “From Post-War West to Post-Soviet East: Manifestations of Displacement, Collective Memory, and Lithuanian Diasporic Experience Revisited,” draws on qualitative data collected in five countries in which live Lithuanians affected by World War II-era migrations westward and Soviet deportations to the east. At Yale she will be working to turn her dissertation into a monograph. The book will discuss displaced persons and the resulting diasporas as both implicated and implicating Lithuanian grand narratives and national identity, while also eliciting the importance of plurality of memory and the multivocality of diasporic experience.
2019-2020 Juris Padegs Visiting Fellow
Dr Mari-Liis Jakobson is Associate Professor of Political Sociology at Tallinn University. In 2019/20, she is the Juris Padegs Research Fellow at Yale MacMillan Center. Her research interests relate to transnational citizenship and migration, in particular how the policies and politics of migration and citizenship shape citizenship as identity and practice. In 2014, she defended her PhD “Citizenship in Transformation: Political Agency in the Context of Migrant Transnationalism” and served as a visiting fellow at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES) at University College London, focusing on the role of Baltic civil society in London and dual citizenship policy in the Baltic States. In 2016-19, she worked as a researcher for the Estonian contact point of the European Migration Network and since 2018, she serves as a country expert for the Global Citizenship Observatory GLOBALCIT and has served as a member of various national working groups on migration and transnationalism policy.
Spring 2020 Joseph P. Kazickas Visiting Fellow
Vytautas Kuokštis is Associate Professor at Vilnius University. He is primarily interested comparative and international political economy, with particular emphasis on financial crises, exchange rates, and Baltic countries. Vytautas obtained his PhD and MA from Vilnius University, and his BSc from the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga. Vytautas was a Fulbright scholar at Harvard University in 2016-17. In addition, he has had research stays at University of Zurich, University College London, Central European University, European University Institute, Bristol University, and Tallinn Technical University.
Spring 2020 Joseph P. Kazickas Visiting Fellow
Stanislovas Stasiulis is Head of Paneriai Memorial at Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum, where he works as project coordinator of the reconstruction and renewal of this Memorial site. His research focuses on the historiography of the Holocaust in Lithuania, and historical memory and the culture of remembrance. He received his Ph.D. in History from Vilnius University in 2018, where he also completed M.A. degree in History. Dr. Stasiulis is currently working on several projects, including a collective monograph about the History of Paneriai – the biggest site of the mass extermination organized and perpetrated by the Nazi regime in Lithuania and his ongoing research about the Memory of the Holocaust in Lithuania.
Spring 2019 Joseph P. Kazickas Postdoctoral Associate in European Studies
Monika Kareniauskaitė is Senior Historian-Researcher at the Genocide and Resistance Research Center of Lithuania. Her work is on criminal law and criminal justice in Lithuania and in the Soviet Union after 1917. She also focuses on anti-Soviet resistance, Soviet political trials and deportations, the dissident movement, and historical memory and the culture of remembrance in the former Eastern Bloc and the USSR. In 2017 she received a Ph.D. in History from Vilnius University, where she also completed B.A. and M.A. degrees in History. She has been a Research Fellow at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland (2013-2014), and a project coordinator and research assistant at the Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial (2015-2016). Link to full bio.
2018-2019 Joseph P. Kazickas Postdoctoral Associate in European Studies
Mindaugas Šapoka is Researcher at the Lithuanian Institute of History. He is a historian of early modern Eastern and Central Europe, especially Poland and Lithuania. His book Warfare, Loyalty and Rebellion: The Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Great Northern War was published by Routledge in 2018. He received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Aberdeen in 2015 after having completed master’s and bachelor’s degrees in History at Vilnius University in 2009 and 2007. From 2015 to 2016 he held a Jacobite Trust Studies Fellowship at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London. Link to full bio.
Fall 2018 Juris Padegs Visiting Assistant in Research
Juhan Hellerma is a Ph.D. candidate in Philosophy at the University of Tartu (Estonia). He has been a visiting researcher at Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT) and the University of Würzburg (Germany). He holds an M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Tartu, where he wrote his M.A. thesis on phenomenology. Parts of his master’s studies he spent at the University of Konstanz and the University of Freiburg (both Germany). He has a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Tartu, where he minored in Estonian Literature. Link to full bio.
Fall 2018 Juris Padegs Postdoctoral Associate in European Studies
Maija Spurina, a sociologist with specialties in cultural sociology and memory studies, received her Ph.D. from the New School for Social Research in New York City in 2017. In her dissertation, “Cracks in a National Narrative of the Past: Three case studies of collective memory in post-Soviet Latvia,” she shows post-Soviet Latvian national memory to be a mosaic of interrelated political, cultural, and communicative memories and points to how the disparities between these modes of memory can shift the political discourse of the past. Link to full bio.
Fall 2017 Joseph P. Kazickas Postdoctoral Associate in European Studies
Arvydas Grišinas is a Researcher at Kaunas University of Technology and a Lecturer in Political Anthropology at the Vilnius Academy of Arts in Lithuania. His work centers on post-Soviet political identity formation in Central and Eastern Europe. He received his Ph.D. in Politics and Government from the University of Kent (Great Britain) in 2015, having finished his undergraduate education in History and Anthropology at Vilnius University. Link to full bio.
Spring 2018 Juris Padegs Visiting Assistant in Research
Ardi Priks is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at the Central European University (Budapest). His work is on the political economy of the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy reform. He holds a master’s degrees in International Relations and European Studies from the Central European University and in Political Science from the University of Amsterdam. He finished his undergraduate education in Government and Politics at the University of Tartu (Estonia). Link to full bio.
Fall 2017 Juris Padegs Visiting Assistant in Research
Andris Saulītis is a Ph.D. candidate in Social and Political Sciences at the European University Institute in Florence, and his completing his doctoral thesis on how individuals in current-day Latvia are coping with overindebtedness. He holds master’s degrees from Rīga Stradiņš University and the New School for Social Research (New York City), and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Latvia. Link to full bio.
Spring 2017 Juris Padegs Visiting Senior Researcher in European Studies
|Andres Kurg is Senior Researcher at the Institute of Art History, Estonian Academy of Arts in Tallinn. His research explores the architecture and design of the Soviet Union in the late 1960s and 1970s in relation to technological transformations and changes in everyday life as well as its intersections with alternative art practices. He studied art history at the Estonian Academy of Arts and architectural history at University College London. He has published articles in AA Files, ArtMargins, Journal of Architecture, Home Cultures and contributed to many collected volumes and exhibition catalogues. Link to full bio.|
Spring 2017 Joseph P. Kazickas Visiting Assistant Professor in European Studies
|Jolanta Mickute is Assistant Professor of History at Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Lithuania. Her research examines political and cultural issues in the interwar period in Central and Eastern Europe. Her current work focuses on the experience of Jewish women in interwar Poland, including Vilnius and the surrounding region. She received her Ph.D. from Indiana University, and holds master’s degrees from Oxford University and Vilnius University. She has held research fellowships in a number of countries, including Poland, Israel, Germany, and the United States. Her work has appeared in East European Politics and Society, Jewish Social Studies, Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, and other publications. Link to full bio.|
Spring 2017 Juris Padegs Visiting Associate Professor in European Studies
|Eva Piirimäe is Associate Professor of Political Theory at the Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies, University of Tartu. Professor Piirimäe received her Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in 2006. Her Ph.D. thesis was titled “Thomas Abbt (1738-1766) and the Philosophical Genesis of German Nationalism.” She has recently co-edited (with Alexander Schmidt) a special issue of the journal History of European Ideas on sociability in Enlightenment thought and has published a number of articles in journals such as History of European Ideas, History of Political Thought, Eighteenth-Century Studies, Intellectual History Review, Acta Philosophica Fennica, and Ajalooline ajakiri: The Estonian Historical Journal. Link to full bio.|
Spring 2017 Joseph P. Kazickas Visiting Associate Professor in European Studies
|Vaidotas Vaičaitis is Associate Professor of Law at Vilnius University. He received a master’s degree in Legal Theory from the European Academy of Legal Theory (Brussels) in 2000 and a Ph.D. in Law from Vilnius University in 2001. He also holds graduate degrees in Religious Studies and History from Vilnius University. His particular interests are in Lithuanian and comparative constitutional law. He is the editor of Lietuvos konstitucionalizmo istorija [History of Lithuanian constitutionalism] (Vilnius: Vilnius University Press, 2016). Link to full bio.|
Spring 2016 Juris Padegs Research Fellow in Baltic Studies
|Inta Mieriņa, the Juris Padegs Research Fellow in Baltic Studies at Yale University for the Spring 2016 semester, is a Senior Researcher at the University of Latvia’s Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, where she is the scientific director of the EEA/Norway grant “Rural Depopulation and the Governance of Education. Comparative Study of Latvia and Norway.” She was director of the ESF research grant “The Emigrant Communities of Latvia: National Identity, Transnational Relations, and Diaspora Politics,” in which 14,068 Latvian emigrants were surveyed in 118 countries. The project received the 2014 University of Latvia Annual prize in science. Link to full bio.|
2015-2016 Joseph P. Kazickas Associate Research Scholar
|Violeta Davoliūtė, the 2015-2016 Joseph P. Kazickas Associate Research Scholar at Yale University, is a Senior Researcher in the Faculty of History at Vilnius University and Lithuanian Cultural Research Institute. She has also been a Senior Researcher at the Lithuanian Institute of Literature and Ethnography, where she worked on mass population displacements and deportations from Lithuania to the Soviet gulag. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of Toronto in 2004 in the field of Comparative Literature. Her doctoral thesis was titled “Testimony: From the Poetics of Place to the Politics of Memory.” Link to full bio.|
Fall 2015 Juris Padegs Research Fellow in Baltic Studies
|Ieva Birka, the Juris Padegs Research Fellow in the Baltic Studies Program at Yale University for the Fall 2015 semester, is the author and co-author of several publications in English and Latvian focusing on issues of social integration, feelings of belonging, dual citizenship, and the Latvian diaspora. At Yale she developed and implemented a survey focused on the ethnic Latvian population born in the United States and Canada. The aim of the survey was to establish the feasibility of the Latvian Return Migration Plan, to understand how those born in the United States and Canada but now living in Latvia are faring, how informed about life in Latvia are those planning return, and the factors hindering the return to Latvia of others. Link to full bio.|
2013-2014 Juris Padegs Postdoctoral Associate in Baltic Studies
Eneken Laanes is the Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and Culture Analysis at Tallinn University and Senior Researcher at the Under and Tuglas Literature Centre of the Estonian Academy of Sciences. Her research deals with transnational memory and transcultural memorial forms in post-Soviet memory cultures of Eastern Europe. Laanes studied comparative literature at the University of Tartu, University of Bologna (Spring 2001), and the Free University of Berlin (2003–2004). She was a Juris Padegs Research Fellow at Yale University in 2013–2014. Link to full bio.