Lectures by Professor Ausma Cimdina at Stanford University
Ojars Lams, head of the Department of Lettonic and Baltic Studies
Traditional learning process at Stanford University includes also annual spring lecture series aimed at facilitating the study process, as well as promoting scientific and social dialogue. This year East European studies at SU focused on Latvia, thus Professor Ausma Cimdina from the Department of Lettonic and Baltic Studies, Faculty of Humanities, was invited as guest speaker to hold a presentation „In the Name of Freedom: Vaira-Vike Freiberga, Former President of Latvia”.
SU portal of literature, culture and language introduced A. Cimdina’s lecture as follows: „Professor Ausma Cimdina is a prominent Latvian literary scholar and critic specializing in Latvian, Baltic, and East European literary relationships as well as Feminist Studies and Theory of Literature. Her Talk will focus on Vaira Vike-Freiberga, the former president of Latvia and scholar of Psychology and Latvian Folklore. Professor Cimdina's talk will discuss Vike-Freiberga's political biography, her role in international relations, and her contributions to Baltic Studies”.
The lecture attracted a large audience particularly interested in Latvia’s language policy, as well as in women’s role in Latvian and East European politics. The issues were discussed in a broad East European political and cultural context.
During the visit Professor A.Cimdina had an opportunity to work in the Archive of Hoover Institution (SU) and study unique materials on Latvia’s political and cultural history in the 20th century, as well as consult the staff of the Archive.
The visit also featured discussions with American academic community and meetings with Latvian expatriates who managed to preserve their native language and culture in a unique way- literary clubs founded in 1950 and promoting knowledge of Latvian literature up till now. Professor A. Cimdina had presentations in two literary clubs- the Chicago club (Ugis Sprudzs) and the Kalamazoo club (Biruta Abula), where she spoke on Insights into the World of Latvian Poet Karlis Verdins and History of the 20th Century in the Latest Latvian Prose.
Professor A. Cimdina capped off her visit to the USA participating in the 23rd AABS (the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies) Conference „The Global Baltics” at the University of Illinois, Chicago.
Translated by students of the professional study programme Translator of the University of Latvia.