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International cross-disciplinary scientific conference dedicated to the 150th anniversary of  Aspazija

Riga, 15-17 April 2015

The conference is organized by the University of Latvia in collaboration with the Latvian Academy of Sciences and other institutions. The Ex-President of the Republic of Latvia, Her Excellency Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga expressed her consent to become the patroness of this international conference. The conference is one of the key events dedicated to the UNESCO year of the 150th anniversary of Rainis and Aspazija. The conference will be of special importance in the light of the upcoming Latvia's presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2015.

The conference is planned to take place in the shape of four workshops. One of the four sections will concentrate on the various genres of texts created by Aspazija herself whereas the other three will focus at analyzing various contexts – literary, cultural, political and public discourses. Workshops/thematic framework of the conference:

  1. Feminist and gender theories and the contemporary political culture, human values and life strategies, including European discourses on the modern social democracy linked to the latest ideas on gender politics.
  2. Gender equality in research and inovation, including work/life balance issues, gender dimension in research contents and programmes.
  3. Aspazija as a woman who challenges you. Constructing feminine texts and women in texts; imagination, fiction and social reality; gender identities and gender differences, writing and politics.
  4. Aspazija as a Latvian woman. Literary legacy of Aspazija in the context of the Latvian social democratic movement “New Current” (“Jaunā strāva”), the national state building and today.

The outlined workshops are of a thematic character, and they do not aim at segregating one academic discipline from another. We are looking forward to welcome representatives of the political science, philology, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, arts, pedagogy and law studies who wish to reflect on Aspazija's heritage and her personality in various ways. We also welcome contributions from the colleagues who analyze gender issues, philosophy of literature and culture, religion and social performances as we see this as a great advantage and added value to the conference. 

Participation can take place in various forms: apart from the traditional forms (sections, workshops, meetings) we also plan to host roundtable discussions, panel discussions etc. The major venue of the conference will be Riga (various premises of the University of Latvia and the Riga Latvian Society), however various other venues linked to Aspazija's life, such as  Jūrmala, Jelgava and Daugavpils, are also considered to be important locations for debates. Participants will be able to enjoy a versatile cultural programme. Participants will be regularly updated on the change of venues and addresses later on this year and in the beginning of 2015.

We kindly ask those colleagues who consider applying for the duties of chairpersons of sessions or another genres of the debates to let us know their decisions to do so until 20 December 2014.We kindly ask other participants who prefer to contribute with their papers or presentations to submit their applications until 28 February 2015 (fill in the application form or send the application to anastasija.vedela@gmail.com). Please submit also a brief abstract of your presentation (1000–1500 characters with space) in English.

Length of oral presentations during sessions: 20 –25 minutes. Length of reports during meetings and other genres of the debates: 10 – 15 minutes. The conference working languages are Latvian and English (other languages, such as Russian, German or French, Italian may be added as working languages upon the request). Presentations will serve as the basis for the preparation of an international peer-reviewed volume of articles.