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Posted on Oct 3, 2012

16th Australasian Conference Presents Perspectives on Baltic Diversity

Australasian Perspectives on the Baltic States, Multiculturalism and Diversity | 16th Conference

The AABS Australasian section’s 16th conference was held at the University of Melbourne on September 29. The conference featured 13 presenters on topics ranging from language policy in Estonia to diaspora identities in Australia to the Teutonic order in an age of transition.

Australasian section president, Delaney Skerrett addressed the question of whether an association that advances Baltic Studies is still relevant. “Yes, we are still relevant. Although we are no longer struggling to free ourselves from the Soviet Union and the post-communist transition is for all intents and purposes over, the transformation is not….The transition, Prof Marju Lauristin said, was a boat ride down the river. You get in and you know where you are going. And you know when you have reached the end. The transformation is a little more involved, however. You take the boat out into the ocean, and no one is really sure where the end is or when we might reach it. And that is why we are still relevant. Years on, although we are members of NATO and the EU, in Estonia’s case the Eurozone, and hosts of the European Capital of Culture, we are still grappling with issues of great importance and great relevance.”

Abstracts from the Australasian conference are available in the conference program AABS 16th Australasian Conference program.pdf

Read Delaney Skerrett’s conference address All quiet on the Baltic front.pdf

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Lively discussion at the Australasian Conference; photo by Gunars Nagels.