Two books about Latvia win AABS prize

Two books about Latvia have won this year’s book prize from the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies, which concluded its 21st biennial conference May 31 at Indiana University in Bloomington.

The winnng titles are Nature and National Identity After Communism: Globalizing the Ethnoscape by Katrina Z. S. Schwartz and From Sites of Occupation to Symbols of Multiculturalism: Re-Conceptualizing Minority Education in Post-Soviet Latvia by Iveta Silova.

Schwartz is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Florida. Her book was published in 2006 by the University of Pittsburgh Press. The work “examines the intersection of environmental politics, globalization, and national identity in a small East European country: modern-day Latvia,” according to the publisher.

Schwartz previously was a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University’s Harriman Institute and taught at Penn State University.

Silova’s book was published in 2006 by Information Age Publishing Inc. The book “investigates a puzzle: how is it that one and the same system, the system of separate schooling for Latvian and Russian speakers, is seen as a site of occupation during one period (1987-1990) and as a symbol of multiculturalism in the next (1991-1999),” according to the publisher.

At the time she wrote the book, Silova was a visiting professor at Baku State University in Azerbaidjan. She now is an assistant professor of international and comparative education at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania.

Honorable mention was awarded to Jeff Johnson for his The New Theatre of the Baltics: From Soviet to Western Influence in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, published in 2007 by McFarland & Company. Johnson teaches at Brevard Community College in Florida.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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