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Visiting Scholars & Student Fellows

Current Visiting Scholars and Student Fellows 

Viktoras Bachmetjevas

2023-2024 Joseph P. Kazickas Associate Research Scholar in the Baltic Studies Program

Viktoras Bachmetjevas is a philosopher with an interest in ethics, with a focus on the post-Kantian tradition of moral philosophy.
Dr. Bachmetjevas received his M.Phil. in Philosophy from KU Leuven in Belgium before completing his Ph.D. on irony and ethics in Søren Kierkegaard’s thought in his native Lithuania. In 2018, he became the founding director of the Emmanuel Levinas Center in Kaunas, Lithuania, devoted to the thought and legacy of the French philosopher. Currently he is an associate professor at Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Lithuania, and a faculty member at Paris Institute for Critical Thinking. Outside academia, he has had a career in public communications and served as an advisor to the Lithuanian Minister of Culture and has contributed to various media outlets in Lithuania.
While at Yale, Dr. Bachmetjevas will work on his research project which investigates the early influences of Emmanuel Levinas, both historical and intellectual. 

Iveta Leitane

2023-2024  Juris Padegs Postdoctoral Associate in the Baltic Studies Program

Iveta Leitane had been Research Associate at the Department of Humanities, University of Latvia, in Riga, where she as a part of a research team just completed an intricate project on Gastropoetics in the Yiddish literature in Latvia. Previously Dr. Leitane taught in the capacity of Associate Professor at the Department of Theology, University of Latvia.  Iveta Leitane is permanently affiliated with the Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Latvia. In the intervening years she had been a Visiting Fellow and Research Associate at the Universities of Tubingen, Cologne, Bonn, Leipzig, Marburg, Princeton, Paris  (GHI, EPHE) and Ružomberok. Iveta Leitane completed her Ph.D. at the University of Tubingen, Germany. Her dissertation examined the role different components of religion(s) played in the construction of national identity in the 19th and 20th centuries in Latvia. Dr. Leitane’s work focuses on Marburg Neo-Kantianism and the Jewish thought and culture in Baltics and Circumbaltics. She has published widely in the field of Judaic Studies, Religious Studies, Philosophy of Religion and Comparative Literature. She also has a long-standing interest in intellectual resistance movements in East and West.  At Yale Dr. Leitane will complete her study, titled Latvia at the Crossroads of European Jewish Cultures: Mimesis, Difference, and Rapprochement.


Vita Raskevičiute

2023-2025  E&RS M.A. Student Fellow of Baltic Studies 

Vita Raskevičiute is currently pursuing an MA in European and Russian Studies at Yale University. Born and raised in Lithuania, her interests converge at the crossroads of democratization and the formation of national identity within the post-Soviet landscape. Vita obtained her B.A. in International Relations and Russian and East European Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.

Her Senior Thesis, titled “Hybrid Warfare of Coercive Migration: Political Calculus of Turkey and Belarus,” was awarded the Norman D. Palmer Prize for the Best Senior Thesis in International Relations. This research project delved into the conditions propelling illiberal regimes to utilize migration as a coercive tool, and how these regimes glean insights from each other’s hybrid warfare tactics.

As a Wolf Humanities Undergraduate Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, Vita also worked on a research project named “On the Brink of Independence: Public Opinion of What It Means to Be Lithuanian.” By drawing from a collection of more than a hundred letters addressed to the Lithuanian Reformation Movement in the late 1980s, this project reconstructed the prevailing national ethos that Lithuanians shared just before their country’s independence from the Soviet Union became a certainty.

During the past summer, Vita completed a traineeship at the European Parliament. Her involvement with the European Union’s Eastern Partnership countries—examining their political and civil society trajectories along with their prospects of European integration—has stoked her eagerness to delve deeper into the divergent outcomes of democratization within the region. She is keen to uncover the factors contributing to these discrepancies at Yale. Furthermore, her interest lies in investigating how societies in the post-Soviet sphere forge a consensus on their countries’ political trajectories, as well as understanding how national myths, symbols, and collective memory can serve as multidirectional tools to either drive or reverse democratic backsliding.


Former Visiting Scholars & Student Fellows

Leena Käosaar

Fall 2023 - Juris Padegs Postdoctoral Associate in the Baltic Studies Program

Leena Käosaar is an Associate Professor of Cultural Theory at the Institute of Cultural Research at the University of Tartu in Estonia. Her research interests include the tradition of Estonian life writing and post-Soviet life writings, Baltic women’s deportation and Gulag narratives, women’s diaries and family correspondences, self-representational writing of traumatic experience, relationality, memory and mobility/the mobility of memory as well as creative nonfiction (life story writing) that she teaches at the University of Tartu alongside courses on literary and cultural theory, gender studies and Estonian literature. Since the spring of 2022, she has focused, within the framework of the project “Taking Shelter in Estonia: the Stories of Ukrainians Fleeing from the War,” on collecting the life stories of Ukrainian refugees in Estonia to support Ukrainian memory in the context of radical, often traumatic changes and mass migration caused by the military aggression of Russia on Ukraine.
At Yale, she will work on a monograph on Baltic women’s deportation narratives that is partially based on her previous research that has focused on strategies of representation of deportation experience in retrospective narratives and written records from the deportation period, based on published and manuscript sources. Her research in the field has been published in The Journal of Baltic Studies, Prose Studies, Life Writing, and in several edited volumes and handbooks, most recently in The Routledge Companion to Literature and Trauma (2020) and The Diary: The Epic of Everyday Life (Indiana UP, 2020) During her fellowship period, she will focus on questions of the interrelationship of trauma theory and transnational and transcultural memory theories within the larger context of (Post)Soviet and (Post)communist memory and the co-existence of national and transnational frames of remembrance on the complex scale of alignment and contradiction.

Rūta Petkutė

2022-2023 Joseph P. Kazickas Associate Research Scholar in the Baltic Studies Program

Rūta Petkutė completed her Ph.D. in Social Sciences at Tallinn University in 2022. In her doctoral thesis, “The Instrumentalization of Academic Lifeworlds, Knowledge, and Education: Lithuanian Academics’ Responses to the European Higher Education Policy of Curriculum Restructuring,” she uses a sociological perspective to explore the implications of the European Bologna reforms of higher education in Lithuania.

Dr. Petkutė argues that the neoliberal reforms in Europe signify a problematic cultural shift from the continental idea of the university as a site for pursuing different kinds of knowledge toward a more instrumental Anglo-American notion of the university as a source of immediately applicable knowledge. She finds that academics tend not to internalize the change and implement it only formally. They resist the reform, seeing it not as an educational, but as a prescribed economically-driven project that steers academic life towards instrumental ends.

At Yale Dr. Petkutė will work on a book “Exchanging Tyrannies: The Human Implications of Neoliberal Policies in a Post-Soviet Country,” which presents the thesis of exchanging tyrannies as a way of exploring the social and human consequences of neoliberal politics in the context of post-Soviet Lithuania. In this book she is collaborating with British sociologist Ivor Goodson.


Maksimas Milta

2022-2023 E&RS M.A. Student Fellow of Baltic Studies 

Maksimas Milta is a master’s student in the European and Russian Studies program. Originally from Lithuania, he joined Yale with a professional career tracking at the intersection of higher education management, policy analysis, and media.

For eight years, Maksimas worked at the European Humanities University, Vilnius-based Belarusian University-in-Exile, leading communications and development. By ensuring $18M of international donors’ support, 1400 young Belarusians have received indoctrination-free rigorous higher education during his tenure. In a part-time capacity, Maksimas lectured early 20th-century Western European literature and the intellectual history of Vilnius to freshmen students.

Since the beginning of the protests in August 2020, he commented on developments in Belarus for leading Baltic, Nordic, Polish, German, Swiss, Dutch media, Le Figaro, Times Higher Education, BBC World News, the New York Times, and others. Later, in 10 episodes of ‘Talaka’, his first documentary show on the Lithuanian National TV, Maksimas explored the role of women in mobilizing the Belarusian society. Recognizing his on-the-ground reporting from Belarus, Maksimas received the annual Titan award by Delfi, Lithuania’s largest media portal.

At Eastern Europe Studies Center’s Belarus Research Program, Maksimas has analyzed Belarus’ societal, economic, and security policy and co-hosted Minsk Express, a bilingual monthly podcast. In 2021, Maksimas received ReThink.CEE Fellowship at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, analyzing Higher Education as a Source of the soft power of the European Union in Eastern Partnership Countries.

At Yale, Maksimas continues to study the role of higher and civic education in countering the despotic regimes and developing practical tools and policy frameworks to offset the democratic backlash.

Maksimas holds a bachelor’s degree in Cultural Heritage (cum laude) from the European Humanities University and a master’s degree in Political Sciences from Vilnius University. During that time, he served as Vice President at the Lithuanian National Union of Students and as an elected representative at the European Students’ Union.

Ingrid Ruudi

Fall 2022 - Juris Padegs Postdoctoral Associate in the Baltic Studies Program


Ingrid Ruudi is Researcher and Visiting Associate in the Estonian Academy of Arts, in Tallinn. She completed her Ph.D. in the Academy’s Institute of Art History and Visual Culture in 2020. Her dissertation, titled “Spaces of Interregnum: Transformations in Estonian Architecture and Art 1986-1994,” received special recognition from Estonia’s National Heritage Board.

Dr. Ruudi’s work is centered on the interrelationship of society and space – the way differing social formations generate their own spatial configurations and create differing subjectivities, thus contributing to the shaping of these environments and conditioning – or challenging – social norms and possibilities. She also has a long-standing interest in feminist approaches to architectural design and analysis of patterns of spatial use. In 2019 she curated a major research exhibition: A Room of One’s Own: A Feminist’s Questions to Architecture at the Estonian Museum of Architecture.

At Yale Dr. Ruudi will study spaces of care in late Soviet and post-Soviet Estonia: maternity hospitals, orphanages, mental health institutions, nursing homes for the elderly and the disabled, analyzing how the spatial arrangements contributed to the construction of marginalized subjectivities of the society.


Kristina Jõekalda

Spring 2022 - Juris Padegs Postdoctoral Associate in the Baltic Studies Program


Kristina Jõekalda is Associate Professor and Senior Research Fellow at the Estonian Academy of Arts. In 2018 she was a Visiting Fellow at Humboldt University of Berlin.

Her doctoral dissertation German Monuments in the Baltic Heimat? A Historiography of Heritage in the ‘Long Nineteenth Century’ (Tallinn 2020) examines architectural monuments in the Baltic region as eyewitnesses to historical processes and considers their representation in subsequent art historiography. She has published widely in the field and co-edited special issues of journals such as European Peripheries of Architectural Historiography (The Journal of Architecture 2020) and the book A Socialist Realist History? Writing Art History in the Post-War Decades (Vienna/Cologne/Weimar 2019).

At Yale Dr. Jõekalda will work on several articles that engage with the institutional history of heritage preservation, discussions over Germanness and colonialism, and the continuing influence of the Baltic Germans during the interwar era and beyond.


Jogilė Ulinskaitė

Spring 2022 Joseph P. Kazickas Associate Research Scholar in the Baltic Studies Program


Jogilė Ulinskaitė is an Assistant Professor of Political Science and Research Fellow at the Institute of International Relations and Political Science, Vilnius University.

Her research focuses on populism and its links to emotional narratives about the past. In her Ph.D. thesis, completed in 2018 at Vilnius University, she combined content and discourse analysis to investigate whether and how populist understandings of political representation are compatible with party democracy. She has also been part of a research team that carried out several projects on the collective memory of the communist and post-communist past in Lithuania.

Dr. Ulinskaitė’s work at Yale will center on reconstructing the emotional narratives of the post-communist transformation from oral history interviews about the Soviet and post-communist past in Lithuania.

Ksenija Iljina

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.


Kaarel Piirimäe

Spring 2021 Visiting Fulbright Fellow

Kaarel Priimae

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


Solvita Denisa-Liepniece

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.


Gintare Venzlauskaitė

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.


Mari-Liis Jakobson

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.


Vytautas Kuokštis

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.

Stanislovas Stasiulis

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.

Monika Kareniauskaitė

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.


Mindaugas Šapoka

2018-2019 Joseph P. Kazickas Postdoctoral Associate in European Studies

Ardi Priks

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.


Juhan Hellerma

Fall 2018 Juris Padegs Visiting Assistant in Research

Arvydas Grišinas

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.


Maija Spurina

Fall 2018 Juris Padegs Postdoctoral Associate in European Studies

Ardi Priks

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.


Arvydas Grišinas

2017-2018 Joseph P. Kazickas Postdoctoral Associate in European Studies

Arvydas Grišinas

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.


Ardi Priks

Spring 2018 Juris Padegs Visiting Assistant in Research

Ardi Priks

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.


Andris Saulītis

Fall 2017 Juris Padegs Visiting Assistant in Research

Andris Saulītis

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.


Andres Kurg

Spring 2017 Juris Padegs Visiting Senior Researcher in European Studies 

Andres Kurg 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.


Jolanta Mickute

Spring 2017 Joseph P. Kazickas Visiting Assistant Professor in European Studies

Jolanta Mickute 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.


Eva Piirimäe

Spring 2017 Juris Padegs Visiting Associate Professor in European Studies

Eva Piirimäe 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 JournalLink to full bio.


Vaidotas Vaičaitis

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.


Inta Mieriņa 

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.


Violeta Davoliūte

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.


Ieva Birka

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.


Eneken Laanes

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.

Irina Matijošaitienė

2013-2014 Joseph P. Kazickas Postdoctoral Associate in Baltic Studies