International interdisciplinary congress “The Living Life. Aspazija – Rainis – 150” 4 – 5 November 2015

International interdisciplinary congress


Aspazija – Rainis – 150

4 – 5 November 2015


12458-13755-nThe year of 2015 is marked in Latvia and Europe by the 150th anniversary of the distinguished writers – Aspazija and Rainis. The couple has affected the philosophical and Aspazija and Rainis have been called the prophets of their age, the corner stones of Latvian literature, geniuses, inspirers, and rejuvenators. Their names and works have been perpetuated in monuments, street names, memorial tablets, museums, paintings, music pieces that are respected but are not recalled very often, do not attract genuine attention, interest, and willingness for absorption. aesthetical views, understanding of the relations of an individual and society, the attitude towards the socio-political processes, education, environment, and art both in their own time and for the following generations.

The anniversary of both writers is an appropriate occasion for the reconsideration of the intellectual legacy of Aspazija and Rainis in the context of the 21st century processes. Daugavpils University, by organizing the conference dedicated to Rainis and Aspazija, invites the representatives of the humanities as well as researchers and professionals in other spheres to participate in the discussion of the ideas, creative work, and personalities of Aspazija and Rainis in perspectives of various branches of scholarship.

The following topics are set forth for the discussion at the conference

The aesthetic dimension of the personalities and writing of Aspazija and Rainis

Aspazija and Rainis as the symbols of Latvian culture. World culture phenomena in the works by Aspazija and Rainis. Typology of the ideas and oeuvre of Aspazija and Rainis in the literature of other nations. Rainis’ writing in the context of various cultures: Rainis and Switzerland, Rainis and Russia, Rainis and the Jewish text, etc. The global context of Aspazija’s personality and writing in the perspective of feminist theories. Periphery and diaspora in Aspazija and Rainis’ phenomenology. The comparative discourse in the characteristics of the literary legacy of the writers. Aspazija and Rainis in the framework of the world literary processes. Museum collections (diaries, correspondence, notes, etc.) as a tool for understanding the specific features of the writers. The artistry of Aspazija’s and Rainis’ poetry and drama: motifs, symbols, poetic devices, interaction of the content and form, intertextuality, compositional unity and polyphony. Features of philosophical drama/drama of ideas. Resonance of topical philosophical ideas of the epoch in Aspazija’s and Rainis’ writing. The poetic specificity of Rainis’ translations. The impact of Aspazija and Rainis on the 20th-21st century literature processes.

Aspazija and Rainis – phenomenology of childhood

Childhood as a segment of Aspazija’s and Rainis’ writing: childhood semiotic, child’s image, and the space-time of childhood. Aspazija’s and Rainis’ lineage and family background. The childhood memories of the writers, their personality formation experience.

Children’s book editions by Aspazija and Rainis for children at different stages of history – principles of text selection, illustrations, resonance in culture and society. Comparison of Aspazija’s and Rainis’ childhood events in biographical sources and works (memoirs, childhood sketches, diaries, letters, museum collections), interpretation of this issue in various editions about Aspazija and Rainis.

Aspazija and Rainis: historical, environmental, and regional aspects

The impact of Aspazija’s and Rainis’ public action and political views on their writing. The role and significance of the writers in history processes in Latvia. Rainis as an inspirer of the Jaunā strāva (New current) movement, his activities in journalism and law. Rainis as a minister of education (19.12.1926-23.01.1928), his contribution to the sphere of culture education in Latvia, support for culture activities. Rainis as a member of Satversme and I, II, III Saeima, his contribution to the development of Latvia and Latgale. Involvement of Rainis and Aspazija in activities in Latgale: cooperation with Latgalian press periodicals, theatre, etc. Perpetuation of Rainis’ contribution in Latgale (Latgalian section of Rainis Club, street names, etc.). Places connected with Aspazija and Rainis’ life in Latvia and abroad, memorial places in the landscape of Latvia. Eco-critical approach in the analysis of Aspazija’s and Rainis’ works.

Social and psychological contexts in the life course of Aspazija and Rainis

Aspazija as the promoter of women’s rights issues in Latvia. Representation of social issues in Aspazija’s and Rainis’ journalism, their investigation in the aspect of feminist and gender studies. The everyday life of the writers. The marital relation model of the couple, their communication with the surrounding people and community, interest in psychology. Psychoanalytical approach in the study of the creative process of the writers’ work.

Sustainability in Rainis’ tradition: wisdom drawn from the tradition and wisdom for the development of the tradition

Rainis’ philosophy of development in the perspective of modern science philosophy and sustainable development. Rainis’ call for reaching higher goals and its compatibility with the strategic application of social relays and action theory for the fulfilment of sustainable development goals. What can we learn from Rainis’ tradition, striving to implement the idea of sustainable development?

Linguistic aspects in Aspazija’s and Rainis’ writing

The linguistic, semantic, and stylistic diversity in texts by Aspazija and Rainis. The linguistic innovations made by the writers and their contribution to the development of translation studies. The language of translations made by Rainis. Strategies of person name formation. Rainis’ tradition of linguistic findings in the contemporary Latvian language.

Aspazija and Rainis in music

Interaction of music and lyrics in vocal compositions with texts by Aspazija and Rainis, integration of verbal text as a constant artefact in a musical piece. Priority of lyrics or music in vocal compositions with texts by Aspazija and Rainis. Specificity of interpretation of verbal text related to the interrelations of three major components of word – phonetics, structure, and semantics – in a musical piece. Peculiarities of the interaction of verbal text by Aspazija and Rainis and music in Latvian vocal music. Musical priorities of the writers, the role of their literary legacy in Latvian choral music and Song and Dance Festival tradition.

Aspazija and Rainis in theatre and cinema

Staging of plays by Aspazija and Rainis in professional and amateur theatre, their influence on theatre life in Latvia, peculiarities of stage design, costumes at different time periods, symbiosis of the masterful play of actors and staging director’s interpretation, use of symbols, etc. Staging popularity periods and reasons for that in Latvia and abroad, chronicles of stagings. Peculiarities of ballet and dance stagings. The continuity of Aspazija’s and Rainis’ ideas in the theatre of today and the impact of present-day theatre stylistics on the drama interpretations of both playwrights. The significance of theatre in the lives of both writers, the impact of stagings on their personality and creative work. Phenomena of Aspazija and Rainis in Latvian cinema.

Aspazija and Rainis in art

The artistic specificity of portraits of Aspazija and Rainis, depictions of both writers in fine arts, sculpture; the semiotic and ideological synergy of art works. Photographic evidence of Aspazija and Rainis. Rainis as the director of the Art Department of the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Latvia (1919).

Illustrations to book editions of Aspazija’s and Rainis’ works, the semantics of their imagery and colours, interaction with poetry and drama texts. The writers and fashion.

See you in Daugavpils!

Important dates of the congress organization

2 February – 7 September 2015 – paper proposals to be sent by the participants to the congress organization committee.

7 September 2015 – deadline for paper proposals; the proposals will be considered as to their compliance with the suggested topics of the work groups of the congress by the congress research committee on the basis of the paper abstracts.

15 September 2015 – notification as to the paper acceptanceof thecongress participants by e-mail.

30 November 2015 – deadline for submitting papers based on the presentations at the congress to the congress organizers (for publications included in EBSCO data base). The editors hold the right to reject papers not complying with the requirements set for the paper design. Papers will be reviewed by anonymous reviewers.

The congress research committee announces an opportunity of exempting some congress participants from participation fees. These participants will be agreed on by the congress research committee on the basis of submitted paper abstracts according to the criteria of innovativeness and conceptuality of the suggested topic. The authors of these proposals will be invited to present their research in the plenary session and exempted from participation fee.

Congress working languages: Latvian, English, Russian.

Participation fee (including the publication of the paper) – 40 EUR, to be paid upon registration or to the congress account by 4 November 2015. The transfer specifications:

Daugavpils Universitāte
VAT reg. No.: LV90000065985
Adress: Vienības iela 13, Daugavpils, LV-5400
Bank: Valsts Kase
Code: TRELLV22
Account No.: LV15TREL9150210000000Requested indication to be added: structure: 01038 Participation fee for the congress “Aspazija – Rainis – 150″.

More information about the congress and submitting proposals here – ENG

Congress participation proposal – ENG

Congress contact information:
Daugavpils Universitāte
Vienības iela 13, Daugavpils, LV-5401
Phone: +371 65424238; fax: +371 65422611

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