13th Conference on Baltic Studies in Europe 2019: Baltic Solidarity

University of Gdańsk / European Solidarity Centre, Gdańsk, Poland
26-29 June 2019

Conference website: https://cbse2019.wordpress.com/

Call for proposals

Contributions are sought to the following stream bringing together papers and panels relating to the immediate post-World War I period in Baltic history (from November 1918 until the general recognition of Baltic independence in 1921). In addition to period-focused overviews and case studies, proposals that look at the subsequent commemoration of relevant events, as well as their long-term cultural meaning and influence, are very welcome.

Please contact Mart Kuldkepp with your panel and paper proposals, as well as other inquiries related to the stream by February 20, 2019: m.kuldkepp@ucl.ac.uk

The Baltic Region in 1918-1921: The Aftermath of World War I

The end of World War I in November 1918 was far from the harbinger of peace that the peoples of the Baltic region might have hoped for. Two successive revolutions in 1917 had destroyed the very foundations of the old Russian Empire, leaving behind chaos and infighting. At the same time, German occupation had wreaked havoc in conquered lands on the Eastern Front with military dictatorship, ruthless resource extraction and the promotion of fanciful political schemes, all of which ended when Germany was defeated by the Entente and associated powers in November 1918.

As fragile geopolitical certainties were being swept away, the former minority nationalities of the Baltic borderlands of Russia – Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians – found themselves caught under the rubble of the collapsing great powers, scarcely able to guess the ultimate outcome of their disintegration. But for all the suffering and uncertainties caused by the defeat of Germany and the destruction of Russian empire, these events also opened a unique window of opportunity for post-imperial politics. For the first time ever, the Baltic national movements were able to step in and attempt to influence the course of history according to their own political ambitions, navigating the turbulent waters between the Entente interests, the continuing German ambitions in the region, and the tide of the World Revolution.

This stream is convened as a part of the project PHVAJ16908 War after War: The War Experience of Estonian Servicemen in the Twentieth Century (funded by University of Tartu, Estonia).