Team Latvia

The University of Latvia’s research team is focused on living together with difficult memories and diverse identities in the long run and without conflicts related to migration.

Due to Latvia’s history of settlement and re-settlement, memories in Latvia are typically split, unclear, unstable and often concealed. Such diverse memories establish several memory communities. From the perspective of the traumatic experiences that occurred during the 20th century in relation to human identity, it is possible to speak of a “Latvian memory community,” “Russian speaking memory community” and “Jewish memory community.”

Based on the work on the idea from Halbwachs (1980) that the ideas that many people hold jointly about the past represent a part of that group’s consciousness, the team’s aim is to determine how the mechanism of the co-existence of such memory communities works. Another goal is to understand how the cultural trauma affected “memory communities” in Latvia and relations among them.

The Latvian team will collect data in order to analyse the topics and causes of silence, with a special emphasis paid at experience in the treatment of cultural trauma. The team will produce a comprehensive questionnaire of public attitudes about past events and memorial locations and will involve people to participate in commemorative events. Wodak’s discourse-historical approach will be used to analyse media texts from various periods in time (Reisigl & Wodak 2009).

Research team:

Vita ZelčeProf. Dr. hist. Vita Zelce (Team leader)

Professor at the Department of Communication Studies

Leading researcher at the Advanced Social and Political Research Institute

Research interests: cultural memory, commemoration, identity, media history, media representations, Russian and Baltic historiography, and history of women

Project: Cultural memory of Latvian memory community, memory of WWII, commemoration

 

 

Laura ArdavaDr. sc. comm. Laura Ardava

Lecturer at the Department of Communication Studies

Researcher at the Advanced Social and Political Research Institute

Doctoral thesis: «Media Discourse on the Social Memory and Commemoration of the Third Latvian Awakening (1988–2014)»

Main research interests: media events, ritual communication, commemoration, social memory, national identity

Project: memory of the «Baltic Way», «January barricades», media text analysis, discourse-historical analysis

 

Didzis BērziņšDr. sc. comm. Didzis Berzinš

Assistant Professor at the Department of Communication Studies

Researcher at the Advanced Social and Political Research Institute

Doctoral thesis: «Communication and Ethics of Social Memory: Discourses of the Holocaust in Latvia (1945-2014)»

Main research interests: social memory of the Holocaust, Nazi propaganda, media ethics, media accountability and media collaborationism

Project: social memory of the Holocaust, Jewish history in Latvia, discourse-historical analysis

 

Sanita BurķīteMg. art. Sanita Burkite

Lecturer at the Department of Communication Studies

Researcher Assistant at the Advanced Social and Political Research Institute and Ph.D. Student in communication science

Main research interests: intercultural communication, identity, library collection management, cultural memory

Project: identity creation by interaction of different cultures and memories

 

 

Jurijs ŅikišinsDr. sc. soc.  Jurijs Nikišins

Lecturer at the Department of Sociology

Researcher at the Advanced Social and Political Research Institute

Doctoral thesis: «Political Participation in Europe: A Comparative Analysis»

Main research interests: Political participation, political values and attitudes, national identity, relations between ethnic communities, quantitative research and methods in the social sciences

Project: Comparative research of Latvian and Russian-speaking communities’ perceptions and interpretations of historical controversies

Zane Radzobe

Dr. art. Zane Radzobe

Assistant Professor at the Department of Communication Studies

Researcher at the Advanced Social and Political Research Institute

Academic interests: contemporary performative practices and performance theory, contemporary European theatre, popular culture and cultural theory

Project: representation of social memory of the 20th century in Latvian theatre and performance

 

Aija RozenšteineMg. sc. soc. Aija Rozensteine

Researcher Assistant at the Advanced Social and Political Research Institute, Ph.D. Candidate in Communication Science

Main research interests: film studies, representations, media entertainment, Latvian cinema in the Soviet period, cultural memory and identity

Project: memory representations in Latvian films, commemorative events