Identity, Agency, and the Constraints of Political Conditionality

Event time: 
Thursday, December 17, 2020 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm
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Gintare Venzlauskaite, the Joseph P. Kazickas Visiting Fellow, Yale
Event description: 

The European Studies Council and the Baltic Studies Program at Yale present Dr. Gintare Venzlauskaite, the Joseph P. Kazickas Visiting Fellow, Yale, on “Identity, Agency, and the Constraints of Political Conditionality: Understanding Lithuanian Diasporas of Displacement Through Narratives of Return”

In her presentation Dr. Venzlauskaitė will discuss Lithuanian ethno-national domestic and diasporic communities characterized by mid-20th-century displacements and examine experiences, identity and memory through the lens of homecoming. Drawing from qualitative data collected in Lithuania, the Russian Federation, the United States, and Latvia, she highlights understudied aspects and manifestations of return, emphasizing the polyphony of perspectives, as well as the dynamics of forced migrants’ human agency and the structural-political domains that they were subjected to.
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Gintare Venzlauskaite is the Joseph P. Kazickas Visiting Fellow at Yale for the Fall 2020 semester. 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.

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