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The 2017 Annual Conference of Baltic and Nordic Studies

The objectives of the annual conferences

The conferences of Baltic and Nordic Studies continue and develop a project that the Romanian Association for Baltic and Nordic Studies (ARSBN) initiated in 2010, aiming at investigating, comparing and describing the relations, encounters, intersections, confluences, mutual influences and/or parallels between the Nordic and Baltic Sea areas, on the one hand, and the Black Sea Region, on the other hand. The project was structured in annual international conferences. Thus, the first conference, entitled “Romania and Lithuania in the interwar international relations: bonds, intersections and encounters” was held on 19-21 May 2010 in Târgoviște and concentrated, as the title suggests, on the present and historical relations between the two countries belonging to these two areas. The following editions of the annual ARSBN conference enlarged their scope, being entitled “The Black Sea and the Baltic Sea regions: confluences, influences and crosscurrents in the modern and contemporary ages” (Târgoviște, 20-22 May 2011), “European networks: the Balkans, Scandinavia and the Baltic World in a time of economic and ideological crisis” (Târgoviște, 25-27 May 2012), “Empire-building and region-building in the Baltic, North and Black Sea areas” (Constanța, 24-26 May 2013), “A piece of culture, a culture of peace, re-imaging European communities in the North Sea, Baltic Sea and Black Sea regions” (Târgoviște, 17-19 August 2014), “Historical memory, the politics of memory and cultural identity: Romania, Scandinavia and Baltic Sea Region in comparison” (Constanța, 22-23 May 2015), “Good governance in Romania and the Nordic and Baltic countries” (Bucharest, 24 November 2016), “Finland, Romania, Roma integration – Learning from each other” (Bucharest, 9 October 2017).
During its previous eight editions, the ARSBN conference addressed fundamental problems within the current agenda of the Nordic, Baltic and Black sea states and contributed with fresh ideas and innovative research results to the general knowledge in the scientific field. Moreover, the conference advanced draft proposals useful to the European decision-makers of different fields.
While the participants to the first two editions of the conference concentrated rather on the historical dimension of the relations, the following editions brought together specialists from various fields (political science, economics, international relations, minority studies, cultural studies, mnemonic studies, etc.) and addressed, besides the historical aspect of relations, other aspects relevant to the present time, i.e. the global economic crisis, the Balkan organized crime in Nordic Europe, region-building processes, the minorities in the Baltic Sea area and in the Balkans, the Roma minority integration, etc.

Aims of the 2018 Conference
The 2018 conference focuses on the historical, cultural, social, economic processes which led in the Baltic Sea Region to the independence of Finland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia and Poland, to the unification of Romania and the independence of Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary and Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (Yugoslavia) in East-Central Europe and the consequences of the reshaping of the entire region from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea and Adriatic. Several other political entities created at the end of the World War I such as Ukraine, Georgia or Litbel succumbed after barely living for a few months or years of existence. How did the changes of borders and belonging affect the human communities living in the area and what impact it had beyond the region on the short, medium and long-run? How war and peace-making were experienced in this region and how did they influence the changes of political geography? How the processes of independence and unification reverberated throughout the region and how state and non-state actors reflected, echoed and reacted to this structural transformation of the area? How is this metamorphosis resonating in historical memory, the politics of memory and cultural identity, in historical narratives, including competing narratives, and in the use of history in identity politics a century after the guns were silenced? How is literature permeated by the changes occurring at the end of the war to end all wars in the region? How are art, architecture, patrimony, in general, capturing the message of those tremendous transformations? Places of commemoration, autobiographies, biographies and memoirs, empiric or theoretical research relevant to the conference’s topic may also be the focal point of the submitted papers.
The 2018 conference invites applications from consecrated and young specialists, theorists and practitioners in the most various fields: history, memory studies, cultural studies, anthropology, political sciences, international relations, economics, geography, etc.

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