Current Projects ETIS Project Team Duration

Between the Times: Embattled Temporalities and Political Imagination in Interwar Europe

The project offers a new intellectual history of the political imagination in interwar Europe by reconstructing the topology of its emerging anti-teleological visions of time and their intersections with changing understandings of the human world and methods for its study. It argues that only a distinctively cross-disciplinary and pan-European narrative can capture the full ramifications and legacies of this fundamental rupture in thought. Another aim is to explore junctions between different scholarly fields (e.g. theology, jurisprudence, classical studies, literary theory, linguistics, sociology, philosophy), and their interchanges with other creative fields in remaking frameworks of temporality. Furthermore, this will be done by exploring the dynamics of political thought through intellectual groupings who stood at the forefront of the scholarly and political debates of the period. Instead of accepting the standard focus in interwar intellectual history on one or two, at most three (usually “Western” European) national contexts, the project team will follow out the interactions of these groupings in France, Britain, Germany, Russia, Czechoslovakia, and Romania – groupings whose members frequently moved across and between these national contexts.

What were the political languages encoded in the reinventions of time, and vice versa – how were political aims translated into and advanced through theoretical innovation? How did these differ in different national contexts, and why? What are the fragmented legacies of this rupture, disbursed in and through the philosophical, methodological and political dicta and dogmas that rooted themselves in post-1945 thought? “Between the Times” project seeks to offer a newly comprehensive answer to these fundamental questions about the intellectual identity of contemporary Europe and the origins of its historicities.

TAU17149

Liisi Keedus
Tommaso Giordani
Henry Mead
Piret Peiker
Johannes Bent
Ksenia Shmydkaya
Jorge Varela
Roberta Albertini

2018-2023

Translating Memories: The Eastern European Past in the Global Arena

Since the disintegration of the Soviet Union at the end of the 1980s, Eastern Europe has been a hotspot of comparative, and at times competitive, discourses about the past that try to negotiate Eastern European memories in the global framework. The project ask what is at stake in these comparisons in cultural terms. It explores post-Soviet Central and Eastern European attempts to make their local histories of the Second World War and the Socialist regime known globally through aesthetic media of memory – literature, film and art – that circulate globally and bring local experiences to global audiences. It also studies the heated public debates that these works of art have provoked in different national and transnational contexts.
What memorial forms have been used to make Eastern European memories intelligible in the global arena? What is gained and what is lost in this translation? What can the different ways that aesthetic acts of memory are received nationally and transnationally tell us about the frictions between these scales of memory and within the nation itself? How has the globalisation of memory practices reinforced national memory in Eastern Europe?
The project argues that the recently reinforced comparative and competitive political discourses about twentieth-century totalitarianism in Eastern Europe can only be understood by exploring the arts that have developed more productive comparative and translational approaches and can, therefore, help to untangle the most recalcitrant nodes of confrontational political discourses and addressing the ethical and political complexity of remembering war and state terror.
The aesthetic media of memory (literature, film, art, museums) are studied in the contexts of wider memory cultures, including their relationship to the politics of memory of different (trans)national memory cultures in the region. The project aims to offer a comparative and transnational view of Central and Eastern European attempts to negotiate their entangled histories of twentieth-century totalitarianisms within the global framework.

TAU19181

Eneken Laanes

2020-2024

Land-sea interactions advancing BlueGrowth in Baltic Sea coastal areas 

EU and Baltic Sea Regional (BSR) policies highlight the importance of Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP), BlueGrowth (BG) and sustainable management of coastal areas. BGcan help to tackle development challenges in coastal areas like reduced fishing, depopulation and human impacts on environment.Coastal municipalities and regions in BSR seek for economic diversification and more efficient use of available marine natural and cultural resources. MSPis established as an effective tool to foster integrated planning in marine areas, while coherence with land-based development planning is still recognised as a key challenge and at the same time – precondition for BG. This COHERENCE problem is especially relevant when a new development activity depends on or influences other uses and interests in the sea or on land, thus creating a conflict or limiting growth. Another challenge for authorities is to define characteristics of SPATIAL (local, regional, etc.) scales and TEMPORAL (short, middle, long term) perspectives of the land-sea interactions (LSI) and to propose solutions. While MSP mainly focuses on a large scale and long-term perspectives, LSI are often addressed locallyand on ad hoc basis.
INTEGRATION versus THEMATIC and SECTORAL approaches in planning needs to be enhanced to achieve the objectives of BG. Relationships and interdependencies between marine ecosystems, landscapes, social and cultural values and economic sectors are recognised, however not fully taken into account in the context of LSI.
This project will guide national public bodies (ministries, agencies), coastal regional authorities and local municipalities and multi-sectoral stakeholders to:
*improve transnational cooperation and foster BG and facilitate knowledge exchange to empower less developed regions;
*raise capacity (awareness, knowledge and skills) to enhance BlueGrowth initiatives and integrated development in coastal areas;
*balance development of newsea uses with coastal community interests by improving inter-scalar and cross-sectoral coastal governance in all BSR.
Through demonstration cases on the identified LSI challenges the project partners and involved stakeholders will closely collaborate to explore and recommend newflexible coastal governance practices with main scope on proposing spatial and entrepreneurship tailored solutions to be applicable on each governance level in all BSR countries. We will apply a range of methods with strong focus on participatory and transdisciplinary approaches to tackle the described challenges of local, regional and transnational relevance. Therefore, the coastal planning authorities and developers of BG initiatives in the BSR region will have gained additional knowledge and skills to solve common LSI challenges. The projectwork will culminate with an outcome of new Multi-level Governance Agenda on BlueGrowth and Spatial Planning in BSR beyond 2020. 

TRU19008 Hannes Palang 2019-2021

Public transport as public space in European cities: Narrating, experiencing, contesting

This humanities-focused project conceptualises public transport (PT) as public space: one which confronts citizens with social diversity, speaks of different types of ownership, disciplining and surveillance, subversion, interaction and remaking of social norms. This conceptualisation is articulated through four objectives: (1) to critically conceptualise and analyse what kind of public space PT is; (2) to understand urban transformations—the increasing social diversity and polarisation, liberalisation, privatisation and securitisation—of public space in European cities by attending to PT as one of the most intense and contentious public spaces; (3) to offer a located and historicised perspective on the transformation of public space by examining narratives, experiences and contestations over PT in different European cities; and (4) to contribute to PT-related research, as well as interventions in civic mobilising, planning and policy by a humanities-led analysis and conceptualisation of PT. The project brings researchers from across Europe together with practitioners and enthusiasts, and profits from a strong involvement of Associated Partners. Through this approach the project aims to produce an academic and societal impact: to humanise public transport research and practice.

TRU19017 Tauri Tuvikene 2019-2022

Visionary, Participatory Planning and Integrated Management for Resilient Cities 

Augmented Urbans (AU) refers to strengthening the integration of three aspects in urban planning: timeframe, participation and technology. It improves stakeholder participation and linkage between the long-term visions and short-term actions in the cities for enhancing urban resilience. For this, new extended reality technologies (XR; including AR, VR & MR) are explored and utilised as tools as they hold great potential for supporting urban planning processes in guiding discussions, and providing immersive scenarios. The CB region obtains high level expertise in these. Cities have identified need for better integrated participatory urban management and bridging their long term visions and objectives into practical urban development actions. In response, the AU provides a cross-border collaboration platform for CB cities addressing integrated urban planning for resilience-building in multiple local contexts, and gathering experience-based knowledge needed to make the region a frontrunner in novel urban development strategies. In AU, planners from different cities are co-developing for better integrated urban management process while working on local plans (engagement of planners and experts visible in the budget). A shared Matrix of indicators for urban resilience is co-developed and new technologies aid in creating a space for interaction between city officials and local actors. On practical level, Local Actions to create urban plans are run in each city with two iterations and supported by a multidisciplinary Advisory Board. The context, objectives and findings of each round are co-defined and shared in inter-regional Planners Forum events. Cities have an opportunity to adopt methods from their peers planning and implementation cases to streamline the response to emerging common challenges. Five integrated urban management plans are developed, aiding the CB to move towards more resilient and sustainable. Gained insights are shared via existing networks.

TRU18030 Helen Sooväli-Sepping

Tauri Tuvikene
Anni Müüripeal

2017-2021

Landscape approach to rurbanity 

This project seeks to assess enacted and experienced rural-urban differences and coexistences by elaborating landscape approach. This is studied through mobility practices, bordering dynamics and encounters with the past. Practices of mobilities constitute an understanding of the relationship with the world where instead of stasis and stability, mobility and the potential mobility are central. Encounters with the past deals with how third generation urbanites manage the rural heritage, both material and mental, in towns and in the countriside. Finally, landscape approach contributes in analysing interdependences and tensions between rurality and urbanity. The three sub-themes of the project include landscapes of dispersed communities, walking in landscape / landscapes as playground, spatiality of institutional bordering.

PRG398 Hannes Palang 2019-2023

Metal-detected past: a study of long-term developments in settlement patterns, technology and visual culture on the example of metal-detector finds from Estonia

MetDect examines long-term developments in the settlement patterns, local production of ornaments and visual culture by using metal-detector finds from Estonia. Despite the inherent limitation of the data (uneven level of contextual and empirical information), MetDect will demonstrate that the vast amount of metal-detector finds will significantly advance our current knowledge about the past. Unlike many other studies, this project focuses on the full variability of detected-artefacts in a long temporal scale (1800BCE–1800CE). MetDect will use a combination of methods drawn from humanities and natural sciences for investigating each topic. Settlement patterns and workshop areas will be examined by using GIS mapping and spatial analysis (e.g., point-pattern analysis), but production series of ornaments will be distinguished stylistically. Local production of ornaments is further examined by determining chemical composition (bulk alloy and trace elements) of selected production series. Lastly, new types and form variations of artefacts that are discovered by private detectorists will be compared with other visual sources (architectural and artefactual) in order to discuss circulation of ideas related to cross symbolism. MetDect will launch the first open-access database on metal-detector finds in the Eastern Baltic. Further, the results of this project will provide an important contribution to a wider debate regarding the usage of metal detectors by private persons. As such, MetDect offers a novel and ambitious research programme for studying metal-detector finds in the Baltic Sea area and beyond.

TAU20031 Tuuli Kurisoo 2020-2022

Social and innovative Platform On Cultural Tourism and its potential towards deepening Europeanisation

Cultural tourism is changing. The traditional forms still exist – museums, art galleries, landscapes, historical sites, festivals – but both cultural destinations and the tourists are under transformation. Many ‘cultural tourists’ see themselves neither as seeking culture nor as tourists; there is increasing evidence of people seeking to experience culture rather than merely observing it. That is: agri-tourism where visitors want to experience rural life; people wanting to visit the actual venues of TV crime thrillers; culture being explored by those using themed routes in winery regions or via pilgrimage. These trends provide opportunities to both revitalise poorer and rural areas through economic and social development while protecting local cultures and landscapes. The project brings an extension of existing policies and the promotion of new approaches. The project’s aim is to develop a new approach to understanding and addressing cultural tourism and to promote development of disadvantaged areas. Based on an Innovation Tool and digital technology the project identifies layers of data and capitalise on existing practice, explores emerging forms of cultural tourism, identifies opportunities and develop strategies allowing local people to gain local benefit from their precious cultural assets. The project uses case studies across 15 European regions, consolidates definitions of ‘cultural tourism’, engages academics and stakeholders in developing policy proposals in practice and posits means of generalising the lessons via an Innovation Tool to assist policy-makers at all levels as well as practitioners. Positive and negative aspects of cultural tourism exist; a balanced development path needs to be sought. The project will help to identify themes and areas where intervention at local, regional, national and European levels may assist in achieving successful developments, it will help in managing that balance and offering solutio
 

TRU19123 Hannes Palang
Jaanika ViderSaara Hanna Mildeberg
2020-2022

EUROREPAIR: Europeanisation through repair 

Can one become European by fixing things? And can we repair the EU by upgrading the material conditions of neglected locations? This research project studies the politics of materiality in the EU today by examining the repair of damaged locations as a form of transnational political action, capable of embedding new normative ideas in the realm of everyday life and also of reinvigorating the EU as a political project. The project seeks to reconfigure academic understandings of the dynamics of European integration as a material process, manifested in concrete fixing practices and local implementations. The approach is innovative, as it refocuses attention to the connection between materiality and politics, analysing how the EU operates through standardising processes. The plan is to study the conjunction of repair and Europeanisation, investigating how funding regulations and environmental standards are transforming the postsocialist cultural, economic and infrastructural landscape.

TAU20133 Fransisco Martinez 2020-2022

Estonian Environmentalism in the 20th century: ideology, discourses, practices

Environmental activism and environmental concerns are a part of different political and ideological beliefs, social practices and discourses. The currently ongoing environmental discussions leave the impression that environmental concerns in Estonia have national, not global implications. What is the ideological background of Estonian environmentalism? What is its history? How to compare it with other regions? We are going to analyse the basic premises of Estonian Environmentalism during the 20th century. Bringing together scholars from history and art, religion and social studies we strive to emphasise the analytical voice of transdisciplinary environmental humanities in the often emotionalised debates about Estonian environment and put them into ideological, historical and international context. We offer 1) analyses of a local phenomenon in international context, 2) transdisciplinary discussion on a vibrant matter, 3) science driven arguments for decision making in the public sector.
 

PRG908 Ulrike Plath  2020-2024

Patterns of Development in Estonian Culture of the Transition Period (1986–1998)

This research project sets out to investigate the cultural processes at work in Estonia between 1986 and 1998, a time-frame known as the transition period, corresponding to the disintegration of socialist systems in Eastern Europe and subsequent meticulous political, economic, institutional and technological changes. The culture of this period has been studied sporadically in different cultural fields, but a comprehensive account of the competing developments of the eraʼs culture as a whole and its relation to social and political processes has been missing. This collaborative research project unites scholars from three institutions: the Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn University and the University of Tartu, capitalising on their expertise in literature, visual culture, theatre and cinema. Our result aims for a synthesis of wide range of cultural phenomena from the transition period, set against their wider cultural and social background.
 

PRG636 Piret Viires
Luule Epner
2020-2024

Around the World and Back Again: A Global Typology of the Reception of Estonian Semiotics
 

The schools of semiotics that emerged from Tartu over the last 60 years have had an outsized global impact, fundamentally affecting humanistic inquiry the world over. Yet, the question of why and how Estonian semiotics is understood and applied in other cultural-linguistic contexts, especially non-Western ones, remains largely unanswered. What aspects of it are particularly appealing (or unappealing) to what cultures and why? We propose to investigate these questions by constructing an empirically based typology of responses to Estonian semiotics that will look beyond Europe and North America to Latin America and East Asia. This typology will be informed by comparative analysis of cultural and literary theory in the countries where Estonian semiotics has had an impact, as well as scientometric and network analyses. This will help us to understand how Estonian scholarship impacts the humanities worldwide and eventually enable us to map Estonia’s place in global intellectual history.

PRG319 Igor Pilshchikov 2019-2023

Translation in History, Estonia 1850-2010: Texts, Agents, Institutions and Practices

The project investigates the performative role of translation in the development of Estonian culture. It focuses on the institutional and social settings of translation, translation norms and practices, translators, translated literature and the place and function of translation in culture at different periods of Estonian history. Drawing on an innovative methodological framework, translation will be considered not only as a historical object of its own, but as a source for readdressing contentious aspects of Estonian cultural identity. The project offers the first comprehensive co-authored and multi-layered narrative history of translation in Estonia with focus on literature and the humanities, developing international dialogue with scholars working on cultural history from a transnational and interdisciplinary perspective. Outcomes include collective volumes, a series of papers on specific case studies, databases of translations and translators, scientific events and exhibitions.
 

PRG1206 Daniele Monticelli
Alari Allik
Anne Lange
Aile Möldre
Maris Saagpakk
Anna Verschik
2021-2025

Digital Livonia: For a Digitally Enhanced Study of Medieval Livonia (c. 1200–1550)

This research project will create the field of digital medieval studies in Estonia. The project aims to build a new analytical approach that integrates traditional methods of studying medieval history with research methods and tools in digital humanities in order to build major prosopographic and other databases, prepare new online collections of sources, and produce innovative scholarship on the intellectual, spatial, social and economic history of medieval Livonia (c. 1200–1550). With this general aim in mind, an open web platform, Digital Livonia, will be built as one of the outcomes of the project.

PRG1276 Marek Tamm
Inna Jürjo
Villu Kadakas
Tiina Kala
Juhan Kreem
Ivar Leimus
Mati Mõttus
Anu Mänd
2021-2025

The political economy of industrial health and safety: a social anthropology perspective

The project asks why industrial accidents and injuries happen and how they are socially produced. It proposes a social anthropology approach to the study of links between Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) and industrial injury in mining. The project draws on political economy perspective assuming that OHS is never neutral but socially and historically constructed in the struggle between capital and labour. It takes a step further by suggesting that the focus should not be only on the labour process but the wider relations and world views of communities and corporations and the political-economy frame should be complemented by the study of everyday practices. New methodologies drawing on medical anthropology and study of trauma will be developed in order to study the sensitive topic. The research will use participant observation, survey and interviewing in a comparative study of two mines in Estonia and Kazakhstan to explore the social production of OHS and injuries.

PUT1263 Eeva Kesküla 2016-2021
Archaelogical studies and research in Saaremaa
 
TAU20196 Marika Mägi 2021-2025

Strongmen in Southeast Asia: Opium, Coercion and Local State Formation

Burma’s Shan State became one of the most politically fragmented areas in the post-World War II period. Dozens of autonomous strongmen exercised social control independently of the central state. What accounts for the emergence of autonomous strongmen in areas of some developing states, but not others? My argument contests the views that the presence of profitable resources, such as opium or diamonds, or state weakness accounts for the emergence of autonomous strongmen. Instead, I argue that where access to resources coincides with societal dislocations, strongmen can exercise rulemaking authority by offering people new strategies of survival. My study employs comparative analysis of 20 strongmen in northern Laos, northern Thailand and Burma's Shan and Kachin states. My focus on the importance of the psychological elements of such strategies shows the inability of materialist explanations in themselves to account for the ability of autonomous strongmen to exercise social control.

TAU20126  John Allen Buchanan 2020-2022

Ideology in Translation. Political Discourse on Migration in the Media

Due to their impact on society, narratives on migration in the news have been widely studied, mainly from a monolingual approach. But information circulating in the media is very often collected from foreign sources and mediated through translation, which acts as a filter for the target reader. This fact, traditionally neglected in communication studies, has received increasing attention from translation scholars in recent years. This project will study the ideological shifts taking place during the translation process in translated news about migration, particularly the discourse on migration coming from political domains. By applying critical discourse analysis from a translation studies perspective to a corpus of translated news published in Mexico and Spain, and to the readers’ discussion (comments in online newspapers and social media), we will understand how the translators intervene by using different translation strategies, and the effect of this mediation on their audience.

MOBJD674 Tanya Elena Fernandez Escudero 2020-2022

Teaching English as a content subject at the tertiary level - a modular approach

Top-quality language provision (knowledge and skills) for university students is a sine qua non for the implementation of social ideals, espoused by the European Union and indispensable in the global village. Student mobility, competitive job markets, development of pan-European economy and geopolitical cohesion all require that university graduates be offered every possible chance to master a shared communication tool, a contemporary lingua franca. To ensure that English successfully continues to perform the role of a communicative and informative system, able to meet the increasingly complex everyday discourse demands, the teaching goals, techniques and didactic resources all need to undergo a methodological overhaul. Our model addresses these issues, by proposing content-based packages for EHE (English for Higher Education) instruction, conducive to the development of “education for citizenship”. To respond to the most pressing communicative needs of united Europe, this project looks at English language tuition. Should the model prove successful, however, it is applicable to other natural languages and competence levels. This is so because a foreign language is taught through a carefully selected sequence of content units, each reflecting a different academic domain and an appropriately adjusted lexico-grammatical inventory. The manual for teachers, one of the project’s outputs, will contain essential background reading, familiarizing instructors with the potentially new subject areas in an accessible, user-friendly way. The TE-Con3 materials, both for teachers and students, will be available as an open-access resource on a multimedia platform (MUL-TECON), designed for the purposes of the project.

TÕA20152 Merilyn Meristo
Helis Rõuk
2020-2023

Critical History: Adapting history education to the challenges of today's digitized, globalized, and diverse societies in Europe 

The project aims to prepare future history teachers for a critical history education more attuned to the realities of 21st century societies. In order to respond to the societal changes and to incorporate these new insights in history didactics, history teachers need to have access to information that is based on the latest research, that is easy to digest and that can make immediate impact in hectic work environments. The project will provide future teachers with a ready to use study guide with learning activities and teaching methods and tools on the following topics: Heritage in history education,
global dimensions of national history and post-colonial history, public history and history education, and the role and influence of the internet in history education.

MÕA20147 Mare Oja 2020-2023

Data and corpora of Estonian children and youth multilingual communication

The aims of the project are 1) to create Estonian children and youth multilingual communication data set (with several sub-corpora), which would create basis for multilingualism research in Estonia and 2) research on the collected data. The sub-corpora are: early bilingual communication sub-corpus (recording of every day spontaneous speech), data from Estonian as L2 usage among pre-school and primary school children (spontaneous speech and experimental data), data from young bilinguals' blogs, Facebook and other social media multilingual communication, multilingual vlogs. Unlike monolingual corpora (standard language, oral communication) or learner language corpora, data and corpora of multilingual communication are rather divers, and a lot depends on a particular contact linguistic situation. For that reason, such corpora are not numerous and there is no unified set of principles of their creation.

TR5719 Anna Verschik
Reili Argus
Andra Kütt
Helin Kask
2020-2021

Visual Livonia: Social Hierarchies and Practices of Representation in Medieval and Early Modern Baltic Sea Region

In today’s world where the visuality plays an increasing role in the forms of communication and self-representation, it is crucial to understand the forms and functions of the visuality in the past societies. In the medieval and the early modern periods in particular, when the majority of the people where illiterate, all kinds of images, signs, coats of arms and performative practices played a fundamental communicative and representative role, in both religious and profane sphere. The aim of the project is to study how the power relations and social hierarchies were reflected in various buildings, works of art and rituals, and how the different layers of the society represented themselves. The research team will primarily focus on sacred space in medieval and early modern Livonia, but the processes there will be studied in the comparative framework of the Baltic Sea region, especially because the political, economic and social elites at that time were relatively mobile and connected to various international networks (e.g., the Hanse, religious and military orders. The project is transdisciplinary, combining political and social history, art history and building archaeology.
 

TF2119 Anu Mänd
Villu Kadakas
Kersti Markus 
2020-2021

Cold War Coasts

This Agreement is set up regarding Cold War Coasts, funded by FORMAS, to regulate the part-financing for research by the Center for Environmental History (KAJAK) (hereinafter The Center).KTH commits to transfer funds to TU to cover part of the costs for The Center during the Project as stipulated below and according to terms agreed upon between KTH and FORMAS. The funding shall be used to cover salary, including social fees, indirect costs as well as travel and conference costs. 

TAU19171 Kaarel Vanamölder 2019-2021

Establishing interdisciplinary research group “Cities, Work and Digital Platforms” at Tallinn University: insights on the coronavirus pandemic effects on digital labour platforms in Tallinn

The last decade has brought the rise of digital labour platforms for transportation, hospitality, microtasks or household services. Companies such as Uber, Wolt, Bolt, Lyft, Instacart, Deliveroo and many others have emerged in cities around the world, providing consumers with a range of services at the push of a button, while giving others short-term work opportunities. Building on the previous research projects about mobilities and digital platforms across the institutes at Tallinn University, this project proposal aims to establish an interdisciplinary research group “Cities, Work and Digital Platforms” bringing together researchers from three institutes at TLU and initiating cooperation with TalTech as well as other institutions. This project is stocktaking of research on platforms at Tallinn University and elsewhere in Estonia. However, in order to give the research group substance from the very beginning, the project starts with an investigation of the multitude of impacts the coronavirus pandemic has caused on the platform economies sector, asking: What short and long-term impact does the state of emergency caused by covid-19 have on supply and demand on platform based services, understandings of work, mobility practices and cities? While starting from the concrete research, the 2-year project is broader in scope and seeks via research seminars, academic papers and potential grant proposals establish longer-lasting effect.

TF4820 Tauri Tuvikene
Triin Roosalu
2020-2021

Educated Estonian (and Latvian) peasants in the late 17th and early 18th centuries 

Discourse of Estonian history has from the very beginning been defined by „eras“, e.g. the Swedish era and the Russian era. This kind of treatment has emphasised interruptions, but longer entangled processes and interdisciplinary approach have deserved less attention. Studying the Swedish era has long traditions in Estonia, but focus on the 18th century is only quite recent. In Tallinn University, research of the early modern period is underdeveloped, although interdisciplinary methods and transnational treatment implemented in earlier projects have proved successful. How the institutions and cultural developments promoted during the Swedish era continued in the 18th century would need new and innovative research. In the field of the Estonian-language education, one of the major achievements was developing widespread reading skills as well as producing the first generation of the Estonian intellectuals – the first schoolmasters and sextons – in the 18th century. In this research, Latvian materials should be included and Latvian colleagues involved.

TF6520 Aivar Põldvee 2021

Cultural and political activity and ideological attitudes of diaspora toward the home country in the 20th century. Estonian case

Developments in international migration during the last decade have led to an increased awareness of migration and diaspora issues also in Estonia.  Emotional discussions take place on immigration as well as emigration topics.  How a state should support ties with its diaspora community have become agenda items. 
Scholarship on diasporas has shown how to build stable cultural, economic, and political ties between the diaspora and the country of origin, but little attention has been paid to relations between the homeland and diaspora in situations where a number of disruptions have taken place in the development of the homeland.  In the present project the participating historians and ethnologists plan to demonstrate on the basis of different diaspora communities and in the context of the 20th century the effect of disruptions in the home country, to political, economic, and cultural ties between the home country and the diaspora.

TF6720 Aivar Jürgenson
Magnus Ilmjärv
2021

History teaching and images: applying new approaches to visual culture in the field of educational innovation

Imagery is an integral part of today's world, and so has the study of visual culture become an important area of research in the Humanities. In learning processes, images are clearly present in the concreate form of pictorial aids, such as textbook illustrations, photos, educational films, slides, videos etc, playing thus a supportive role. Examples of mainstream education practices in which images are vital are scarce. At the same time, a new generation is emerging for whom the visual media is the primary source to gain knowledge about the world, including its past history. Thus, the aim of the pilot project is to develop new teachings methods in the area of history teaching through images. 

TF4720

Kersti Markus
Heie Treier
Lola Annabel Kass
Mare Oja
Katrin Aava

2020-2021

The School of Creativity

The desired product of this collaboration project is building a digital educational platform for schoolchildren and teachers. The tasks dedicated to TLÜ consist of (but are not limited to due to the creative and changing type of the project) are:

  • Contributing to content creation for building the educational platform in the English language;
  • Translating the latter content to the Estonian language;
  • Presenting the created material to teachers participating in TLÜ teachers’ programs, consulting them.
     
TÕA19212 Merilyn Meristo
Francisco Javier Lopez Arias
Helis Rõuk
2019-2021

Visual Livonia: Social Hierarchies and Practices of Representation in Medieval and Early Modern Baltic Sea Region

In today’s world where the visuality plays an increasing role in the forms of communication and self-representation, it is crucial to understand the forms and functions of the visuality in the past societies. In the medieval and the early modern periods in particular, when the majority of the people where illiterate, all kinds of images, signs, coats of arms and performative practices played a fundamental communicative and representative role, in both religious and profane sphere. The aim of the project is to study how the power relations and social hierarchies were reflected in various buildings, works of art and rituals, and how the different layers of the society represented themselves. The research team will primarily focus on sacred space in medieval and early modern Livonia, but the processes there will be studied in the comparative framework of the Baltic Sea region, especially because the political, economic and social elites at that time were relatively mobile and connected to various international networks (e.g., the Hanse, religious and military orders. The project is transdisciplinary, combining political and social history, art history and building archaeology.

 

TF2119 Anu Mänd 2020-2021

 

 

Finished Projects ETIS Project Team Duration

Estonia between East and West: The Paradigm of the Images of "Own", "Other", "Strange", "Enemy" in Estonian Cultures in the 20th Century

This research is centered on the relations and interactions within the triangle Estonia—Russia—Russians in Estonia (with some examples related to Latvians, Germans, etc). The general goal of the project is to explain—on the basis of changes within a paradigm’s framework—the importance of the perseption of other cultures and peoples as a means to preserve the identity and to raise the cultural level of the titular nation. This will be done in historical perspective and on the basis of the biggest national groups. One of the most significant results of the project may become the proof that the system OTHER/STRANGER/ENEMY does not necessarily imply negative content. Different parts of this complex contribute to constructing different forms of national self-identity. Demonstrating this system in action (and from the viewpoints of both sides), makes it possible to realize the situation of a certain historical period. As a result, we see the removal of understanding barriers in the society.

IUT18-4

Irina Belobrovtseva
Galina Ponomarjova
Anneli Mihkelev
Aurika Meimre

2014-2019

The Making of Livonia: Actors, Institutions and Networks in the Medieval and Early Modern Baltic Sea Region

The main objective of the project is to analyse the establishment of new social, political, religious, cultural and economic institutions in Livonia from the 12th to 17th centuries, their local adaptation and widespread integration into different international networks, as well as the emergence of new actors inside of these institutions. But on a deeper level the goal is more ambitious: to study the foundation of an increasingly complex and heterogeneous society on the medieval Baltic frontier – ‘the making of Livonia’. Methodologically, the project consolidates a new research agenda that combines three rather independently developed fields: historical studies, visual culture studies and material culture studies. Our intent is also to carry out this research on two levels: historical level and mnemohistorical level, on the level of our actual knowledge of the past (medieval and early modern Livonia), and on the level of reception history of the previous representations of this past.

IUT18-8

Anu Mänd
Juhan Kreem
Marika Mägi
Erki Russow
Marek Tamm

2014-2019

Moving on? Reconnecting three core intuitions in cultural theory

Many currently popular views within cultural theory and the theory of history postulate a broad shift in disciplinary concerns, suggesting that the challenges facing today’s theorists and practitioners are no longer those of the various "turns" since the 1960s. The proposed project aims to assess whether prominent dismissals of "postmodernism" and "narrativism," for instance, are substantially justified or whether the shift in focus might instead more prosaically reflect practical concerns such as changing fashions or professional demands for innovativeness. The guiding thesis is that much of the current confidence that cultural theory can “move on” from these debates is misplaced and often philosophically uninformed: fundamental questions posed in previous theory debates remain unanswered and it seems premature to dismiss them as irrelevant. The project will (re)present these problems in terms employed by the promoters of "new" agendas in order to draw out more considered answers.

PUT1150

Kalle Pihlainen
Tõnu Viik
Oliver Laas

2016-2019

Queer life-world in late Soviet Estonia (1960-80s)

This postdoctoral project aims at filling a large research gap by studying LGBT history of Soviet Union after Stalin (1953-1991) in the Estonian example. The study aims to analyse communicative networks and identification patterns among queer people through extensive oral history research. Queer history of post-Stalinist Soviet Union is generally understudied; contemporary Estonia offers good empirical materials and moderately tolerant academic environment for completing such a task. The project will promote democratization of civic society and offer important and interesting results to wider public. Academically, the study will contribute to better understanding of late soviet individualisation processes and personal identification patterns with large social categories (such as Soviet state, ethnicity, and profession); it will also help to explore methodological issues with applying Western queer theory in the Eastern European context.

MOBJD7 Uku Lember 2017-2019

The Making of Livonia: Actors, Institutions and Networks in the Medieval and Early Modern Baltic Sea Region

The main objective of the project is to analyse the establishment of new social, political, religious, cultural and economic institutions in Livonia from the 12th to 17th centuries, their local adaptation and widespread integration into different international networks, as well as the emergence of new actors inside of these institutions. But on a deeper level the goal is more ambitious: to study the foundation of an increasingly complex and heterogeneous society on the medieval Baltic frontier – ‘the making of Livonia’. Methodologically, the project consolidates a new research agenda that combines three rather independently developed fields: historical studies, visual culture studies and material culture studies. Our intent is also to carry out this research on two levels: historical level and mnemohistorical level, on the level of our actual knowledge of the past (medieval and early modern Livonia), and on the level of reception history of the previous representations of this past.

 

 

IUT18-8 Anu Mänd
Juhan Kreem
Marika Mägi
Erki Russow
Marek Tamm
2014-2019

Moving on? Reconnecting three core intuitions in cultural theory

Many currently popular views within cultural theory and the theory of history postulate a broad shift in disciplinary concerns, suggesting that the challenges facing today’s theorists and practitioners are no longer those of the various "turns" since the 1960s. The proposed project aims to assess whether prominent dismissals of "postmodernism" and "narrativism," for instance, are substantially justified or whether the shift in focus might instead more prosaically reflect practical concerns such as changing fashions or professional demands for innovativeness. The guiding thesis is that much of the current confidence that cultural theory can “move on” from these debates is misplaced and often philosophically uninformed: fundamental questions posed in previous theory debates remain unanswered and it seems premature to dismiss them as irrelevant. The project will (re)present these problems in terms employed by the promoters of "new" agendas in order to draw out more considered answers.

PUT1150 Kalle Pihlainen
Tõnu Viik
Oliver Laas
2016-2019

ICZM Plans for Sustaining Coastal and Marine Human-ecological Networks in the Baltic Region

SustainBaltic is targeting to: Four ICZM case plans from Estonia (2) and Finland (2), which are produced based on the current spatial data on ecological, land use and human activities. The novelty approach of SustainBaltic is on the close co-working in order to define the most crucial ICZM planning criteria to be utilised and implemented further in Central Baltic Programme area.

TAU16154 Tarmo Pikner 2016-2019

Storms - Climate Extremes in estonia and their Impact on Society

The project focuses on tempestuous weather and storms that have often been associated with other environmental utterances. Scientists have put forward an opinion that the weather turbulence of the last 150 years has significantly increased (Jaagus et al. 2015). Do written sources provide us with the same information? If so, what strategies have societies implemented in order to prevent potentially negative consequences? The idea of the project is to bind together data provided both by hard and soft science (history and culture) on weather extremes making the results available for use as a supplement for EuroClimHist database kept and updated on a regular basis at the University of Bern.

F/5516 Ulrike Plath 2017-2019

Virtual Education Experience in an Extended Nordic Context 

Viedex is a project for higher education running for three years, funded by the European Union. The group of project partners consists of teachers and researchers from five universities in Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Iceland.
The main aim with the project is to develop an e-learning module in Business Swedish for higher education in Nordic and Baltic countries which fills a gap in existing language course offerings in these countries. The virtual e-learning module package will be available online for open access and will be adaptable to different forms of education and staff training in companies where Swedish is used as one of the working languages.
Another outcome of the project is a research review on the use and practices of Swedish as business lingua franca in Nordic and Baltic countries. For that an questionnaire will be distributed to the companies in Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Island where Swedish is used as one of the working languages.

TÕA17103 Kristiina Tedremaa-Levorato 2016-2019

Mobilitas Pluss Postdoctoral Researcher Grant / Economy of symbolic exchange. Gift-giving as a social, cultural and political practice in the late medieval Livonia

Gift-giving is a universal practice that can be found in every culture and in every time period. Yet usages and meanings of gifts given do depend on historical and cultural contexts. Gifts in every society help to create new bonds and to maintain existing relationships that are essential for their functioning. Medieval societies were not an exception; as recent studies have shown, gift-giving was crucial for sustaining of political, social and religious bonds. This project offers an insight in what role gift-giving played in one particular European region – Livonia between 1400 and 1550, showing how the gifts were used to create and sustain political and social relationships, revealing role of gifts in religiosity and charity, and will question whether practices of gift-giving in Livonia differed from other European regions. I will use as sources documents of bishops and Teutonic Order, financial records of city governments, last wills of townspeople, and account books of urban guilds.

MOBJD231 Gustavs Strenga 2018-2020

A Transnational Setting for Estonian History: Transcultural Entanglements, International Organisations and Transborder Migrations (16th – 21st Centuries)

The main objective of this project is to introduce a transnational setting for Estonian history. We propose an alternative perspective to detach Estonian historiography from its conventional frame, the history of a national project. In using transnational historical phenomena from the 16th-21st centuries as case studies we propose an innovative analytical frame to explore the historical roots of Estonian European identity. We presume that non-national actors, such as religious communities, imperial networks, global organisations and transborder migrants played a crucial role in this context. Methodologically we build on the hypothesis that multi-ethnic empires, especially on their peripheries, are characterised by contact zones characterised by transnational currents and transcultural transfers. We want thus to keep up with international discourses in the field of historiography and to integrate Estonian history writing into the growing international network of transnational history.

IUT31-6

Karsten Brüggemann
Magnus Ilmjärv
Aivar Jürgenson
Inna Jürjo
Aivar Põldvee

2015-2020

After the Explosion: Autobiography, Subjectivity and Utterance in Juri Lotman’s Late Works

This project is dedicated to Juri Lotman’s works from 1990-1993, written mostly after his monograph "Culture and Explosion". Lotman’s late works, including his unpublished collection "Scattered pages: A Diary of a Mad Semiotician", are a fusion of autobiography, scholarly study, and theoretical inquiry – a sophisticated interplay between intended subjectivity and the theoretical framework capable of supporting it. This practically unstudied part Lotman’s legacy will be viewed as a form of "auto-ethnography", and will be approached as a part of "autobiographical turn" in cultural studies, with a focus on "questioning the questioning subject", analyzing situated and embodied knowledge, an autobiographical authority, and the determinants of critical theory. The project aims at making Lotman’s late works available to the specialists and general public, and studying in depth the scholar’s late turn to intended subjectivity in the context of resent developments in the humanities.

PUT1366

Tatjana Kuzovkina
Igor Karlovski
Piret Peiker

2017-2020

Cultural change and conflict: a theoretical model

The goal of this project is to develop a model of cultural changes and conflicts, based on the methodology introduced in my book "Meaning in Action: Outline of an Integral Theory of Culture". As a result of globalization, many essentially positive processes such as democratization, decolonization, infotechnological progress etc. have jointly brought about an overflow of information. The institutions meant to handle it, however, are unable to cope with the situation. On the other hand, the growing inequality and insecurity that has been caused by current economic and political developments as well as ecological problems have set in motion large flows of migration and simultaneously inspired an upsurge of xenophobia and nationalism in many parts of the “first world”. These issues cannot be adequately analyzed only in terms of social processes, which is why I intend to develop a model that examines them in the context of the internal dynamics of the cultural field.

PUT1365

Rein Raud

2017-2020

Migration dependency and integration challenges for Estonia, employers, communities and educational system

The general aim of the Project is to develop innovative intervention approaches for migration and integration in Estonia that would contribute to a more cohesive society. More specifically, the Project will: 
a) propose the conceptual foundations for multiculturalism, multiple identities and multiperspective history teaching in Estonia; 
b) design a model of multicultural schools, together with tools and intervention mechanisms for preventing and solving integration related challenges in schools and communities. 

TG4317 (RITA1/01-03-04) Marek Tamm
Allan Puur
Rein Raud
Luule Sakkeus
2018-2020