international conferences

Cultural Heterologies and Democracy II. Transitions and Transformations in Post-Socialist Cultures in the 1980s and 1990s

Cultural Heterologies and Democracy II. Transitions and Transformations in Post-Socialist Cultures in the 1980s and 1990s



The conference “Cultural heterologies and democracy II” will take place at the Estonian Academy of Arts (Põhja puiestee 7, Tallinn, Estonia).

Confirmed keynote speakers:
Marju Lauristin (professor emeritus, University of Tartu, Estonia)
Dorota Kołodziejczyk (University of Wrocław, Poland)
Gulnaz Sharafutdinova (King’s College London, UK)

The conference will be held in English.

To register, please fill out this form. Registration deadline June 10, 2024.

Conference fee is 100 € for waged academics and 50€ for students and the unwaged. Participation is free for Ukrainians. 

For further information, please contact us at (Regina-Nino Mion).


The 1980s and 1990s were marked by events around the world that radically changed the political order, people’s beliefs and attitudes, and the entire cultural and intellectual orientation of much of the globe. The fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the end of the Cold War stand out as the most important changes, in the shadow of which the events in Yugoslavia and important changes elsewhere are often overlooked by European commentators. These events, taken as a whole, have been seen as part of broader processes of democratization, even as, at the same time, this period was also marked by outbreaks of extreme nationalism and radical religious ferment.

The planned conference invites participants to reflect on the following questions:
– In what ways does democracy manifest itself in the culture of the transitional period of the 1990s?
– What are the common features and differences of the transition period in different post-socialist countries?
– What different theoretical frameworks can be used to analyze the culture of this period?
– What are the new forms of cultural negotiation between different cultural traditions and elements?
– How might we describe the way cultural imaginaries and experiences of temporality have changed?
– Which transgressive tendencies arose to challenge the narrative of imaginary unity between different cultural spheres?
– How is one to describe the dynamic of the forces at play in the transition between the mentality of social collectivism and the new liberal individualism?
– How, if at all, has the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022 altered understandings of the transition period and its narratives?

Organizing Committee
Virve Sarapik, Estonian Academy of Arts
Epp Annus, Tallinn University
Luule Epner, Tallinn University
Regina-Nino Mion, Estonian Academy of Arts
Jaak Tomberg, University of Tartu
Piret Viires, Tallinn University

The conference is being organized by the Research Group of Contemporary Estonian Culture, which unites scholars from the Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn University and the University of Tartu. The research is funded by the project PRG636 “Patterns of Development in Estonian Culture of the Transition Period (1986–1998).”

Cultural heterologies and democracy. Culture in the Baltic countries in the 1990s
View from Viinistu during our research group's seminar in summer 2020. Photo: Mari Laaniste

Cultural heterologies and democracy. Culture in the Baltic countries in the 1990s

The 1990s in the post-Soviet countries were characterised by a particular sense of density and polyarchy. This was emphasised by the emergence and adoption of new ways of thinking, the concentration of time and the intensification of cultural activity, the testing of limits and radical possibilities, and the enmeshing of political and cultural practices. Although at first sight similar, these processes unfolded with significant local differences. The events setting off or determining the course of these processes did not occur entirely simultaneously and had different outlets; they were brought about by various historical developments, and cultural conditions and interests. Several processes started in the second half of the 1980s or even earlier. Among the cultural spheres – theatre, visual arts, literature, music and the humanities – these processes intensified and established social connections differently. On closer inspection, the imaginary unity of time and space in the 1990s was fractured by singularities and differences. A set of politically significant turning points, institutional configurations and art events, artworks and texts that resonated outside the cultural sphere all played a role. The intensity of such events is precisely what erodes a coherent view of the 1990s.

The planned seminar invites participants to reflect on:
– what linked and what distinguished the cultural politics in the 1990s in the Baltic countries; – what methods could be used to examine the post-Soviet culture of the 1990s;
– what the transgressive tendencies were that undercut the fabric of the imaginary unity between different cultural spheres.

As one of the starting points, we propose the concept of the democratisation of the aesthetic field. The democracy of the aesthetic field conditions what is possible (visible, expressible and doable) within a new cultural situation and shapes who determines the meanings in cultural communication. This allows us to consider various aesthetic discrepancies – discordances, interferences and conflicts between different elements – as parts of the broader politics of aesthetics within the same dynamic cultural situation. The process of democratisation also involved a new organisation of the relations between the private and public spheres. Concurrently, the seminar focuses on individual events and works which resonated beyond the cultural sphere, exposing tensions and rifts in society, and prompting public discussions or even animosity towards culture. The capacity of such cultural acts and events to transfigure social reality may have been unintentional but could have also been motivated by a certain utopian intention, inevitably raising the question of the democratic position of culture in contemporary society.

The seminar “Cultural heterologies and democracy” will take place in Viinistu, in northern Estonia, on 17–19 August 2021. The presentations will last 20 minutes. Please notify us of your desire to participate and submit your abstract by 20 April at the latest by contacting or

Abstracts should be no longer than 300 words in length. Participation is free and the organisers will provide accommodation and meals in Viinistu (at the Viinistu hotel and conference centre, Participation will be confirmed in early May 2021.

The seminar is being organised by the Research Group of Contemporary Estonian Culture, which unites scholars from the Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn University and the University of Tartu. The research is funded by the project PRG636 “Patterns of Development in Estonian Culture of the Transition Period (1986–1998).”



August 17

Arrivals and registration
1 pm to 2 pm – Lunch

First panel
Chair: Jaak Tomberg
2 pm to 2.45 pm – Epp Annus, Scaling Change.
2.45 pm to 3.15 pm – Juhan Saharov, The Birth of Alternative Politics in Soviet Estonia (1986-88)
3.15 pm to 3.45 pm – Eglė Juocevičiūtė, Same Problems, Different Solutions: Cinema, Music, Art and Theatre in Lithuania 1985-1995
3.45 pm to 4.15 pm – Coffee break

Second panel
Chair: Mari Laaniste
4.15 pm to 4.45 pm – Viktorija Jonkute, The Discourse of the Revival in the Lithuanian and Latvian Cultural Press During 1988–1992
4.45 pm to 5.15 pm – Ieva Astahovska, Mapping the Transformations in Latvian and Baltic Art in the 1990s and Later Decades
5.15 pm to 5.45 pm – Virve Sarapik and Alo Paistik, Ethnofuturism among Futurisms
5.45 pm to 7 pm – Free time
7 pm – Dinner

August 18

First panel
Chair: Viktorija Jonkute
9 am to 9.30 am – Kārlis Vērdiņš and Jānis Ozoliņš, Tolerance, National Culture, and Queerness in Post-Soviet Latvia
9.30 to 10 am – Piret Viires, The First Manifestations of Queer Literature in Post-Soviet Estonia: Paradoxes and Ambiguity
10 am to 10.30 am – Maija Burima, Perestroika and Power Constellations in Arno Jundze’s Prose
10.30 am to 11 am – Coffee break

Second panel
Chair: Piret Viires
11 am to 11.30 am – Dalia Satkauskytė, Before Explosion: Projections of Lithuanian Literary field in 1988 (on the material on literary review Pergalė)
11.30 am to 12 pm – Joosep Susi, The Transformation of Subjectivity in Estonian Poetry of the 1990s
12 pm to 2 pm – Tour in the Viinistu Art Museum and free time
2 pm to 3 pm – Lunch

Third panel
Chair: Eva-Liisa Linder
3 pm to 3.30 pm – Lauma Mellēna-Bartkeviča, A Decade That Shook the World – Latvian National Opera and the 1990s and 2000s from today’s perspective
3.30 pm to 4 pm – Luule Epner, Between Past and Future: Aesthetic Innovation in Estonian Independent Theatre Field in 1987–1992
4 pm to 4.30 pm – Zane Kreicberga, Baltic Theatre Festivals in the 1990s as Agents of Change. The Case of Homo Novus
4.30 pm to 5 pm – Coffee break

Fourth panel
Chair: Neeme Lopp
5 pm to 5.30 pm – Loreta Mačianskaitė, Aesthetic Identities of the Younger Generation of Lithuanians in the 1990s
5.30 pm to 6 pm – Anneli Saro, Diffusion as the Process of Democratisation in Estonian Theatre at the Turn of the 1990s
6 pm to 6.30 pm – Tõnis Kahu, Art Ideology in Soviet Estonian Popular Music and its Demystification in the 1990s
7.30 pm – Dinner

August 19

First panel
Chair: Ieva Astahovska
9 am to 9.30 am – Krista Kodres, Democratising Estonian Art History in the 1990s: Critical Art Historiography in the Making
9.30 am to 10 am – Karolina Łabowicz-Dymanus, The Fine Art of Financing Arts in the Early 1990s
10 am to 10.30 am – Līna Birzaka-Priekule, Curating 90s. The Case of the Exhibition “Gone Crazy / Roof Gone” in kim? Contemporary Art Center in Riga
10.30 am to 10.45 am – Break

Second panel
Chair: Alo Paistik
10.45 am to 11.15 am – Ingrid Ruudi, Heterogeneous Publics and Public Spheres at the Freedom square
11.15 am to 11.45 am – Teet Teinemaa, “You have not heard this story before”: Nostalgia, Different Temporalities, and Meeting the Western Gaze in the TV series “Bank” (2018)
11.45 am to 12.30 pm – Coffee break
12.30 pm to 1.30 pm – Roundtable discussion: Revisiting Postmodernism in the Baltics
Chair: Jaak Tomberg
Andres Kurg
Eglė Juocevičiūtė
Epp Annus
Ieva Astahovska
Piret Viires
1.30 pm to 1.45 pm – Closing words
1.45 pm to 2.45 pm – Lunch
3.30 pm – A walk on Pärispea peninsula


IAPL/36: Archaeologies of the Future

IAPL/36: Archaeologies of the Future

International Association of Philosophy and Literature (IAPL) is dedicated to the exchange of ideas and scholarly research within the humanities. Founded to provide a context for the interplay of Philosophy, Literary Theory, and Cultural / Aesthetic / Textual Studies, the IAPL brings together scholars from the full range of disciplines concerned with philosophical, historical, critical, and theoretical issues.

The association’s annual meetings provide a unique opportunity for dialogue and the exchange of ideas, the articulation of contemporary themes and topics, the exploration of various expressive arts, and the production of new theoretical discourses.

The 2012 conference was a key event for humanities in Estonia. The organizers aimed to bring together 250 participants who created an intellectual atmosphere in a conference that was packed full of academic discussions and thought-provoking sessions. Among key speakers were a French philosopher Jacques Rancière and an Estonian composer Erkki-Sven Tüür. The theme, “Archaeologies of the Future: Tracing Memories, Imagining Spaces”, united time and space and contemplated the human experience of space through contact with the past and the future.

The Estonian Literary Museum, the Tallinn University Institute of Estonian Language and Literature and the Tallinn University Estonian Institute of Humanities organized the conference.

Program (pdf)

Poster (pdf)

Conference book (pdf)

ASAP/8: Alternatives to the Present

ASAP/8: Alternatives to the Present

How and to what ends do the contemporary arts conceptualize, represent, and model new spaces and temporalities?

In recent years, much has been said about the difficulty of representing new spaces and times at “the end of history.” Several prominent critics have famously pronounced that it is nowadays easier to imagine apocalypse on Earth than it is to conceive of an alternative to the timespace of capitalism. And yet surely there are still possibilities for introducing temporal and spatial otherness to the imagination in the forms of (for example) heterochrony, alternate futures and histories, and alternate conceptions of temporality and spatiality based in nonwestern cultures, affective perception, digital media, and barter or gift economies (not to mention altered states both geopolitical and cognitive).

The manifold practices of today’s literary, visual, media, and performing arts are in fact often devoted precisely to conceiving of such (and other) alternatives. Indeed, a minimal impulse towards some kind of “alterity” could be said to penetrate all art, irrespective of its medium, genre, place of origin, or ideological orientation. Therefore, this year’s program consists of papers that examine the present status of imagining alternative spaces and times in many forms of contemporary art and artistic practice.

ASAP/8: “Artistic Alternatives to the Present” is hosted by University of Tartu in collaboration with the Program Committee of A.S.A.P. The symposium’s host organizers are Marina Grishakova and Jaak Tomberg, University of Tartu.

See Program.

Homepage of the conference

Homepage of ASAP

Via Transversa: Lost Cinema of the Former Eastern Bloc

Via Transversa: Lost Cinema of the Former Eastern Bloc

The conference, fifth from the series Place and Location, concentrates on the cinema of the former Eastern Bloc in the era between the end of the World War II and the collapse of the Soviet Union. In film studies, a great part of Eastern European cinematic heritage has been somehow lost. Although the Communist ideology as one of the major grand narratives of the 20th century has inevitably influenced the film industry and therefore the creation of concrete cinematic pieces in Eastern European countries, the collapse of the Communist system has caused a certain ‘vacuum of reception’ in current academic research on film – because who really cares about the lost (film) history of the spatiotemporal order sculpted by the political ideology of Communism at a time when the ideology has become a loser on the world map?

By ‘lost’ cinema we mean everything that has been often excluded from the writings on the cinema of Eastern Bloc and Soviet Union: e.g., mainstream films (as opposed to the works of so-called great masters), the productions of small republican studios, especially those in the Baltic States. Whilst reading the surveys on film history, it seems to us that often the most valued part of the post-World War II Soviet and Eastern European cinema is the oeuvre of particular key directors and a body of works that was denied circulation, the so-called shelved films. At the same time the background against which to evaluate these ‘masterpieces’ is fragmentary and scarce. Among other things, the seminar aims to problematise the existing habitual scale of evaluations.

Where else did the filmmakers in the Eastern Block look for guidance and inspiration, receiving by and large the technical base as well as ideological instructions from Moscow? Were Paris, Rome and/or Hollywood just a distant mirage behind the Iron Curtain? Or did the cinema in Eastern Bloc inevitably take the same paths of exploration? Here stems an important (sub)topic – the question of dissidence, namely the possibility of dissidence in the films at a time when the cinematic endeavours were normally under strict control of state agencies. Closely connected to this is the aspect of reception, the politicisation of certain artistic and not always political choices. Shelving films was only one, and perhaps even one of the softest manifestations of this. Another side of this problem is the (politically defined) reception of Eastern European and Soviet cinema in the West.

Abstracts [pdf]


Friday, October 5

9.30 Registration

9.45 Conference welcome

10.00 Dina Iordanova (University of St. Andrews, UK)
Paternalist omnipresence: state ownership of cinema and its ironies

10.45 Katarzyna Marciniak (Ohio University, USA)
How does cinema become lost? The spectral power of socialism

11.30–11.45 Coffee break

11.45 Katie Trumpener (Yale University, USA)
“When do we get our cinema?” Stalinist populism and East German media critique

12.30 Bjørn Sørenssen (Norges teknisk-naturvitskaplege universitet, Norway)
Real men of marble: the disappearing image of the working class in East European film

13.15–14.15 Lunch

14.15 Ewa Mazierska (University of Central Lancashire, UK)
Politics of space in Polish communist cinema

15.00 Elisabetta Girelli (University of St. Andrews, UK)
Negotiating space: private, public, and the subversion of place in The L-Shaped Room (Bryan Forbes, 1962) and Closely Observed Trains (Jiri Menzel, 1966)

15.30–15.45 Coffee break

15.45 Eva Näripea (Estonian Academy of Arts / Estonian Literary Museum)
Spatial discourse of the Soviet Estonian feature film, 1947–1959

16.15 Natalia Zlydneva (Institute for Slavic Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences / Institute for World Culture, Moscow State University)
The avant-garde trace in educational cinema of the 1950s

Saturday, October 6

9.30 Anikó Imre (University of Southern California, USA)
Creatures of nostalgia: children’s entertainment during socialism

10.15 Petra Hanáková (Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic)
Stylistic and generic hybridity in Czech cinema (popular cinema from the 1960s to the 1980s)

11.00–11.15 coffee break

11.15 Irina Novikova (University of Latvia)
Baltic cinemas – flashbacks in/out of the house

12.00 Peeter Torop (University of Tartu, Estonia)
Poetics of resistance: The Last Relic and/as Estonian film after 1968

12.30 Tiina Lokk (Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, Estonia)
Lost generation

13.00 Mari Laaniste (Estonian Academy of Arts, Institute of Art History)
Pushing the limits: Priit Pärn’s animated cartoons from 1977 to 1987 and Soviet cinema censorship

13.30–14.30 Lunch

14.30–15.50 Screening: Insanity (dir. Kaljo Kiisk, Tallinnfilm (Estonia), 1968)

15.50–16.00 Coffee break

16.00–17.00 Panel discussion 


Art Museum of Estonia
Institute of Art History, Estonian Academy of Arts
The Research Group of Cultural and Literary Theory, Estonian Literary Museum

Coordinators of the Conference:

Eva Näripea (The Research Group of Cultural and Literary Theory)
Maria-Kristiina Soomre (KUMU)
Andreas Trossek (Estonian Academy of Arts, Institute of Art History)

VIA TRANSVERSA was supported by:

Cultural Endowment of Estonia
Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Estonia
Estonian Film Foundation
Embassy of the United States in Estonia
Embassy of the Czech Republic in Estonia

Press coverage (in Estonian):

Sirje Helme, Eva Näripea, Konverentside buum. – Sirp 14.09.2007
Kumus tulekul konverentsid kunstist ja filmist. – Eesti Ekspress 20.09.2007
Sirje Helme, Vaielgem selgeks sõjajärgne kunstilugu. – Postimees 24.09.2007
Kumus räägitakse endise idabloki filmikunstist. – Eesti Päevaleht Online 04.10.2007
Andreas Trossek, Filmikaadrid, enamasti mälust. – Sirp 12.10.2007
Anu Allas, Mõtteline Ida-Euroopa [näitusesarjast „Arhiivid tõlkes” ja Kumu sügiskonverentsidest „Erinevad modernismid, erinevad avangardid” ning „Via Transversa”] – Agent. Eesti Kunstimuuseumi ajaleht, nr. 12, oktoober 2007, lk. 5

Culture, Nature Semiotics: Locations IV

Culture, Nature Semiotics: Locations IV

This conference will focus on the changing relations between the environment and human experience and activities, the transformation of places and the practices of their signification over time, and the analysis of changing processes in the environment. Spaces in transition provide grounds for complex semiotic processes, which are also one possible focus of interest. The aim of the conference is to assemble the representatives of different fields of research to discuss the following topics:

PLACE and LOCATION. Environmental aesthetics has mainly treated the environment with respect to its spatial, synchronous aspect, regardless of time. The categories of landscape, milieu, view and panorama, as well as place and space have, therefore, been observed only as fixed conditions. One of the aims of this section, centred upon environmental aesthetics, is to challenge such points of view and to examine places in terms of the changing elements of the dynamic environment, as narrative nodes. Such forms of representation as literature and film can offer productive parallels here.

PLACES and PROCESSES. This section focuses upon the semiotic processes active in the creation and transformation of cultural environments, the semiosis of the location, and the temporal and spatial conditionality of the cultural environment. The concept of environment is not limited to its concrete forms of manifestation. On the one hand, attention is focused upon the notions of place, location and environment as the means of the semiotic analysis of human perception; on the other hand, semi-natural/semi-artificial types of environment are taken into consideration.

Signs of place and signs at a place cause us to review critically the relations between the meaning and the sign vehicle, the ways in which different interpretation practices and locations interconnect, and the relations between the signs and the context. Set in a temporal context, this approach facilitates the study of the accumulation or gradual erosion of meanings in a particular place, as well as the recognition of signs in the environment during different times.

The work of the sections “PLACE and LOCATION” and “PLACES and PROCESSES” will take place in Tallinn on September 23, and in Tartu on September 25-26. September 24 is a ‘day of transition’, with an excursion and on-site presentations on the bus trip from Tallinn to Tartu organised for the conference participants. There will be an additional, closed sections titled “MONUMENTS in CHANGE” and “VISUAL CULTURE of SOCIALISM, Authentic and Reinterpreted”.

The working language of the conference is English. Each presentation will be given 20 minutes, plus 10 minutes for discussion. All lecture halls will be equipped with the multimedia projector, portable computer, overhead, and dia. To continue in the tradition of the earlier conferences entitled “Place and Location”, the proceedings of the conference will be published.

Program [pdf]
Abstracts [pdf]
Press release [pdf; in Estonian]


Research group of Cultural and Literary Theory
Department of Semiotics, University of Tartu
Estonian Semiotics Association


Estonian Academy of Arts
Department of Semiotics, University of Tartu
British Council Estonia
Cultural Endowment of Estonia
The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Estonia

PLACE and LOCATION III: The City: _topias and Reflections

PLACE and LOCATION III: The City: _topias and Reflections

In the recent years, the city in its manifold manifestations and diverse forms of appearance has become the object of interest and research for various disciplines. When a hundred years ago the dramatically changed space of the cities allowed the sociologists of the time to speak about the effect that a physically tangible environment can have on the human psyche, then now, at the beginning of the 21st century, we can talk about the city as a universal phenomenon, which is present even without immediate physical nearness.

The international seminar “Place and Location III” will focus on the city and the built environment, aiming to study the dynamic and culturally effective landscape, which in addition to visible static objects, contains things invisible or beyond our reach via traditional methods of analysis. To address the city in its complexity, the seminar wishes to create a plateau for interdisciplinary work, involving, on the one hand, urban practitioners (architects, planners) supported by research methods based on modern technology; and on the other hand, theorists from different fields of the humanities and social studies, who examine the city in a wider context of economic activities, conflicting interests and ideologies, and different practices of signification.


Three special panels are held within the seminar:

  • Edgy urban perspectives
    The panel wishes to rethink urban practices and to draw attention to the real uses of the urban space, its limits and openness, areas of prohibition and enjoyment, etc. Unearthing the reflections of social processes in space, and tracing different constructions of the city that reciprocally determine our uses of it should also open up a space for alternatives and interventions into the politics of the city.
  • Drawing maps
    Focusing on the dynamic environment of the city, this panel addresses various ways of analysing and speaking about temporally changing and virtual urban processes. It wishes to explore the geographies of the user, the subjective and experimential landscape that escapes official records and tells a different stories about the city. Further on, it tries to find out how these personal “maps” have been appropriated into contemporary professional practice of urbanism.
  • Signs in urban space: a semiotic perspective
    In the presentations of this section, objects in the urban space, man-made as well as natural, are semiotically analysed. How meaning is created in the urban space, what are the semiotic mechanisms of human–environment interaction in it, are some of the questions discussed within the framework of this part of the seminar.

Thursday, September 19

9.30 Opening 

SESSION I-A: Signs and Representations

10.00 Prof. Arto Haapala (University of Helsinki)
The Urban Identity: The City as a Place to Dwell
10.30 Prof. Peeter Torop (University of Tartu)
Spaces and Places
11.00 Discussion

11.30 Coffee

12.00 Prof. Rein Raud (University of Helsinki, The Estonian Institute of Humanities)
The Trajectories of Urban Social Space
12.30 Prof. Ewa Rewers (The Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan)
Bridging: From Urban Perversion to Urban Immersion
13.00 Discussion

13.30–14.30 Lunch

SESSION I-B: Signs and Representations

14.30 Dr. Susanna Vihma (University of Art and Design, Helsinki)
Things as Companions: A Peircean Approach to Urban Place
15.00 Dr. Ossi Naukkarinen (University of Art and Design, Helsinki)
Mobile City
15.30 Dr. Natalia Zlydneva (Institute for Slavic Studies, Moscow)
Urban Fun
16.00 Discussion

16.15 Coffee

16.45 Prof. Pauli Tapani Karjalainen (University of Oulu, Finland)
Geo-Biography in an Urban Context
17.15 Dr. Kaia Lehari (Estonian Academy of Arts)
On Island
17.45 Dr. Virve Sarapik (UTKK/Estonian Academy of Arts)
City_topias and Islands
18.15–18.30 Discussion

19.00–20.30 Film Program

Friday, September 20
SESSION I-C: Signs and Representations

9.30 Dr. Dorothée Bauerle-Willert (Germany/Belgrade, Yugoslavia)
Culture, Place and Location
10.00 Prof. Nancy Burke (University of Warsaw)
The City: Urban Landscapes as Portrayed in Canadian Literature
10.30 Discussion

11.00 Coffee

SESSION II-A: Edgy Urban Perspectives

11.30 Dr. Jane Rendell (University College London)
A Place Between
12.00 Joanne Richardson (Fundatia Idea, Romania)
Sovereign Territory and Urban Nomadism
12.30 Sampo Ruoppila (University of Helsinki)
The Impacts of Private Commercial Projects
on Urban Spatial Structure of Post-socialist Tallinn
13.00 Discussion

13.30–14.30 Lunch

SESSION II-B: Edgy Urban Perspectives

14.30 Nicola Kirkham (University of Plymouth)
Nature as Protest
14.50 Hanno Soans (The Art Museum of Estonia)
The Place of Metabor
15.10 Anders Härm (Tallinn, Estonia)
Be Drunk, Be Very, Very Drunk
15.30 Discussion

16.00 Coffee

16.30 Chris Evans
Friends of The Divided Mind
16.50 Denis Romanovski (Minsk, Belarus)
Non-Image of the City
17.10–17.30 Discussion

SESSION III-A: Signs in Urban Space: A Semiotic Perspective

14.30 Kaie Kotov (University of Tartu)
Semiotic Condensators in Cityscape
14.50 Riste Keskpaik (University of Tartu)
Embodying the Past – Ruins, Monuments and Garbage
15.10 Inga Dorofejeva, Kerttu-Kaisa Kiviselg (University of Tartu)
The Signs of the City Space: Tourism as City's Image-Maker
15.30 Discussion

16.00 Coffee

16.30 Kadri Tüür (Under and Tuglas Literature Centre)
Semi-Natural Cities: Urban Landscape in Tõnu Õnnepalu’s Novels
16.50 Õnne Kepp (Tallinn Pedagogical University)
Possibility of Estonian City Poetry
17.10–17.30 Discussion

19.00 Film Program

Saturday, September 21
SESSION IV-A: Drawing Maps

9.30 Prof. Mark Gottdiener (University at Buffalo)
The Space of Signs; The Signs of Space
10.00 Dr. Altti Kuusamo (University of Helsinki)
Monumental Changes. The Expansion of the Functions and
Meaning of the Public Monument in Urban and Suburban Areas
10.30 Anti Randviir (University of Tartu)
Placing the City
11.00 Discussion

11.30 Coffee

12.00 Prof. Jussi S. Jauhiainen (University of Helsinki, University of Tartu)
On 21st Century Urban Revolutions
12.30 Office for Cognitive Urbanism (Vienna, Austria)
13.00 Discussion

13.30–14.30 Lunch

SESSION IV-B: Drawing Maps

14.30 Klaske Maria Havik (The Netherlands)
Revealing Layers in the Urban Landscape
14.50 Toomas Tammis (Tallinn, Estonia)
Mapping Practices
15.10 Discussion

15.30 Coffee

16.00 Francesca Ferguson (Germany)
Urban Drift
Ieva Auzina (Latvia)
RIXC Media Space
16.40–17.00 Discussion

SESSION III-B: Signs in Urban Space: A Semiotic Perspective

14.30 Timo Maran (University of Tartu)
The City of Birds
14.50 Anneli Saro (University of Tartu)
Theatre as an Agent of Semiotisation of City Space
15.10 Discussion

15.30 Coffee

16.00 Vaidas Petrulis (Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas)
1945–1965 Space and Ideology in Soviet Lithuania
16.20 Piret Viires (University of Tartu)
Metamorphosis of Mustamäe
16.40–17.00 Discussion

17.40 The Presentation of "The Users’s Guide to Tallinn" 

Institute of Art History,
Estonian Academy of Arts
Under and Tuglas Literature Centre
Estonian Semiotic Society

Coordinators of the Conference:
Dr. Virve Sarapik,
Andres Kurg,
Dr. Kaia Lehari,
Kadri Tüür,
Mari Laanemets,
Eva Näripea,

“Place and Location III” is supported by:
Cultural Endowment of Estonia
Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Estonia
Estonian Academy of Arts
The City of Tallinn
Goethe Institut




  • 12.00 Prof. Yrjö Sepänmaa (University of Joensuu, Finland)
    The Face of the Landscape
  • 12.30 Kaia Lehari (Estonian Academy of Arts)
    Tee viib ja viitab
  • 13.00 Inga Raukas (Estonian Academy of Arts)
    Keset metsikut urbanistikat
  • 13.30 Prof. Pauli Tapani Karjalainen (University of Oulu, Finland)
    Earth Writing as Humane Art
  • 14.00 Tiiu Speek (The Estonian Institute of Humanities)
    Mis on kirjandusökoloogia?
  • 14.30 Kadri Tüür (University of Tartu)
    Kirjandusökoloogia kohasusest
  • 15.00 Coffee
  • 15.30 Rein Undusk (Under and Tuglas Literature Centre)
    Kohaga mõtte ja kunsti lähte otsingul
  • 16.00 Marja Kallasmaa (Institute of the Estonian Language)
    Koht, nimi ja kohanimi
  • 16.30 Vilja Oja (Institute of the Estonian Language)
    Mõiste, sõna ja koht
  • 17.00 Mari Laanemets (Estonian Academy of Arts)
    Koha võimalus
  • 17.30 Virve Sarapik (Estonian Academy of Arts)
    Verbaalne ruum – lõikumisi nähtavaga

    Institute of Art History,
    Estonian Academy of Arts
    (Kaia Lehari, Virve Sarapik)
Place and Location II

Place and Location II

International seminar “Place and Location II: Culture and Landscape” focuses on the relations between human experience and activities on the one hand and on landscape as a way of experiencing, describing and depicting the environment on the other hand. The goal is to bring together people from different fields for a discussion on the following themes:

  • notions of landscape, space and environment in different fields of research;
  • landscapes significant and influenced by culture;
  • possibilities of integrating culture with its natural sources;
  • ways of introducing, presenting and experiencing environment.



Friday, October 13

10.00 Opening
10.15 Pauli Tapani Karjalainen (University of Oulu, Finland)
Three Ways of a Landscape
11.00 Sven Arntzen (Telemark College, Norway)
Landscape and Meaning: The Immaterial Dimension of Environmental Preservation
11.45 Hannes Palang, Piret Paal (University of Tartu, Estonian Literary Museum)
Places Gained and Lost
12.30 Lunch 


13.30 Ruta Caupova (University of Latvia)
Concepts and Motifs of Landscape in Contemporary Latvian Sculpture
14.00 Kristiāna Ābele (University of Latvia)
Revealing a Hidden Life - Landscape as a Visual Metaphor in Latvian Art of the Early 20th Century
14.30 Maria Zadencka (Stockholm)
Transformations of the National Landscape: Steppe and Sea in the Polish Literature and Art
15.00 Janis Kalnacs (Vidzeme University College)
Landscape as an Indicator of Art Life in Latvia During Period of Nazi Occupation
15.30 Coffee
16.00 Natalja Zlõdneva (Moscow, Institute for Slavic Studies)
'Waste Slot' as a Text of Culture
16.30 Stella Pelse (University of Latvia)
Essence vs Appearance - Picture Space in Modernist Theoretical Writings
17.00 Anti Randviir (University of Tartu)
Place as a/the substrate of culture
17.30 Pasi T. Korhonen (Helsinki University of Technology)
Gazes Behind Restored Landscape - The Case of Suomenlinna Sea Fortress 


13.30 Marja Kallasmaa (Institute of the Estonian Language)
Kohanimed kui keskkond nimekasutajale ja objekt nimeuurijale
[Toponyms – An Environment for Their Users and an Object for Their Researchers]
14.00 Timo Maran (University of Tartu)
Maastik kui mälu kandja
[Landscape as the Vehicle of Memory]
14.30 Peet Lepik (Tallinn Pedagogical University)
Sümmeetria semioosises
[The Semiosis of Symmetry]
15.00 Toomas-Vahur Lihtmaa (Tallinn Pedagogical University)
Mõningaid seisukohti interpreteerimaks visuaalseid objekte
[Some Viewpoints in the Interpretation of Visual Objects]
15.30 Coffee
16.00 Katrin Koov (Coo Architects, Tallinn)
Muunduvad maastikud
16.30 Liina Unt (Estonian Academy of Arts)
Kohtade lavastamine
[Making up Places]
17.00 Monika Läänesaar (University of Tartu)
Kus on seinad? Lavalise keskkonna esitamise viisid teatriajaloos
[Where are the Walls?The Ways of Presenting the Stage Environment in the History of Theatre]
17.30 Anneli Saro (University of Tartu)
Lava kehtestamine
[The Establishment of the Stage]

Saturday, October 14

Excursion, guided by
Kalevi Kull (University of Tartu)
The Estonian Landscape Tradition
Valter Lang (University of Tartu)
15.00 Lunch 


16.00 Kadri Tüür (University of Tartu)
Those Who Love (in) The Woods
16.30 Ene-Reet Soovik (University of Tartu)
To Be a Landscape': Some Aspects of Landscape Representation in Contemporary Estonian Poetry
17.00 Anneli Mihkelev (Under and Tuglas Literature Centre, University of Tartu)
Linnasemiootika eesti luules
17.30 Arne Merilai (University of Tartu)
"Minu luule kohakus ehk kus on kullalla koduke..."
[My poetry's bump of locality or where's a deary's home...] 


16.00 Kaia Lehari (Estonian Academy of Arts)
Talvine maastik sillaga
[A Wintry Landscape with a Bridge]
16.30 Mari Laanemets (Estonian Academy of Arts)
Heterotoopia kaardistamisest: välja meelitatud kokkupõrked Tallinnas
[On the Mapping of Heterotopia: Elicited Encounters in Tallinn]
17.00 Vappu Vabar (Estonian Academy of Arts)
Kohtumine kehas ja keeles
[Meeting in Body and Language]
17.30 Karin Paulus (Estonian Academy of Arts)
Kodu kõverpeeglis
[Home in a Distorting Mirror]
18.00 Virve Sarapik (Estonian Academy of Arts)
Maastik: kujutamine ja esitamine
[Landscape: Representation and Presentation] 


Institute of Art History,
Estonian Academy of Arts
Under and Tuglas Literature Centre

Coordinators of the Conference:
Dr. Virve Sarapik,
Dr. Kaia Lehari,
Mari Laanemets,

The seminar “Place and Location” is supported by:
Cultural Endowment of Estonia
Estonian Academy of Arts