Research

Selected refereed articles, theses, working papers, conference presentations, talks

Journal article | Diversity in Daugavpils: Unpacking identity and cultural engagement among minority school youth in Eastern Latvia

(post-print proof, may include minor errors)

Europe-Asia Studies, University of Glasgow (2019)

Using the Daugavpils region as a case study, this article explores student participation in events distinctly linked with Latvian cultural identity. By adopting multifaceted perspectives on identities, ethnicity and belonging, new perspectives on integration and minority engagement within national culture emerge. Individuals engage with each other and with culture in complex ways. Young ‘Russian speakers’ are often more integrated than extant literature suggest, both civically, and in the Latvian cultural sphere.

The above links to an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Europe-Asia Studies on 18 January 2019, available online: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09668136.2018.1550574

Conference, invited discussant [video] | „Latvieši pasaulē – piederīgi Latvijai. Dziesmu un deju svētku tradīcijas saglabāšana un attīstība” (Latvian) (July 2, 2018)

(Latvians in the world - Belonging to Latvia. Preservation and development of Song and Dance Celebration traditions)

Conference organized by the Latvian Ministry of Culture and the National Culture Center of Latvia.

Invited discussant commenting on themes of the conference, including questions of continuing the Song and Dance Celebration tradition outside of Latvia, diversity within the Celebrations, and future development.

Talk | Signal Strength: Lessons from RFE/RL’s Latvian Service (audio)

Event hosted by Kennan Institute & History & Public Policy Program at The Wilson Center (December 14, 2017)

Straining through Soviet frequency jammers, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Latvian service broadcasters waged an ethereal Cold War battle, breaking through information barriers to connect with Baltic dissidents and feed popular independence revolutions across the USSR. In retrospect, these broadcasts would turn out to be some of the most impactful within the Soviet Union, though their existence was hard-fought, and far from guaranteed. Why did it take 25 years for the Latvian service to come into being? How did it affect democratic transition, and what insights does its history provide for resisting Russian disinformation in the Baltics today?

Dissertation | Host land or homeland? Civic-cultural identity and banal integration in Latvia

University of Washington (2017)

This dissertation challenges conventional approaches in the study of minority integration by looking at the spaces in which integration occurs, rather than at instances of conflict. It develops a framework that considers banal manifestations of social integration in quotidian and national life. Concentrating on the case study of Russian-speakers and ethnic titulars in Latvia, it compares top-down, elite-led discourse on integration with lived interethnic interactions.

  • Nominee, Distinguished Dissertation Award, University of Washington

Journal article | Steps of the nation: Latvian dance and identity in the diaspora

Culture Crossroads, Latvian Academy of Culture, 9(1), pp. 72-88 (2016)

This article investigates the impact of folk culture and folk dance groups on civic and cultural identity building in the Latvian diaspora. The author argues that participation in folk culture provides access to the Latvian nation and an element of Latvian identity, regardless of ethno-linguistic background or home country. The ritual of rehearsal, performance and party provide individuals the opportunity to engage together in community building that not only strengthens the relationships of individuals, but also builds the social capital of the community.

Conference | Refugees, migrants or just foreigners? Student perceptions of Europe's migrant crisis in Latvia (co-authored with Margarita Safranova)

Association for the Study of Nationalities World Convention, Columbia University (2016)

Visegrad and Baltic countries have resisted increases in quotas for taking in refugees, citing concerns of their external border integrity and financial strain. However, concerns that an influx of non-European migrants could have significant social impacts on these states also carry weight. These states have dealt with significant regime, economic and social challenges over the past 25 years, which impacts their approaches to the issue. This study homes in on Latvia’s approach to the refugee and migrant crisis, focusing on the attitudes and perceptions students: the first “post-Soviet cohort.” There is a considerable fear that the financial and social commitments called for by the European Union will exacerbate existing domestic challenges.

Thesis | Judging the Book by its Cover? Latvian Integration Beyond the Headlines

University of Washington (2013)

This thesis looks at integration in two issue areas that have been repeatedly criticized in public discourse, (1) citizenship legislation, and (2) education reforms. It argues that while not perfect, Latvia has made significant progress towards facilitating the incorporation of the post-Soviet Russian-speaking population into modern-day Latvian society.

  • 2013 Waugh Thesis Prize, Ellison Center, University of Washington.
  • 2013 Nominee, Graduate Student Paper Prize, Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies.

Paper | Cynical or Apathetic? Latvia as a Case Study of Eurosekpticism (2012)

In the aftermath of a devastating recession, there has been an uptick in negative attitudes toward the EU across Europe. Latvia has been pegged as a hub of growing Euroskepticism. The country fills paradoxical roles in the EU, having simultaneously fallen behind its European counterparts while acting as a viable role model for southern Europe's debt crisis. Latvia’s position in the EU, coupled with a tumultuous history, makes for a captivating case in the study of Euroskepticism.

Thesis | The Sound of Protest: How Latvian Culture Impacted Nonviolent Resistance During Soviet Occupation

Arizona State University (2011)

During the nonviolent resistance movement, commonly known as the “Singing Revolution”, Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians relied on culture as a unifying instrument for democratic change.

  • Impact Award, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, 2011.
  • Outstanding Research Project, Barrett, The Honors College, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, 2011.
  • Moeur Award, Alumni Association, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 2011.