University of Latvia took over the chair of the BAAS

2016 Tartu konferenc 02From 7 to 9 April 2016, the 2nd Baltic Alliance for Asian Studies (BAAS) Conference took place at the University of Tartu (UT) followed by the BAAS Board meeting on the 9 April.

Three keynote speeches, 90 papers in 11 panels and 7 sections and 13 poster presentations were held during the three-day-conference. Beside three Baltic countries, Asian Studies’ scholars from 16 other countries (Austria, Azerbaijan, China, Croatia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Iran, Israel, Italy, Poland, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, UK, USA) were among participants.

The conference was organised by the UT Centre for Oriental Studies, which was the 2014–2016 chair of the BAAS, together with the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.

Read more: University of Latvia took over the chair of the BAAS

Dr Rajsekhar Basu‘s public lecture on Suniti Kumar Chatterjee and the Baltics


Associate professor at the Centre for the Study of Discrimination and Exclusion, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Dr Rajsekhar Basu will hold the public lecture on 13th of April at 15:00 “Suniti Kumar Chatterjee and the Baltic: An attempt to rediscover the connectivities between peoples and culture“.The lecture will be held in English in the J.Kovalevskis auditorium (Universiteto 5, entrance from the S. Daukantas Courtyard).

Dr. Rajsekhar Basu is associate professor at the Centre for the Study of Discrimination and Exclusion, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, former associate professor of the Department of History, University of Calcutta, and on lien as Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) visiting professor in Contemporary Indian Studies to the Mykolas Romeris University, Vilnius, Lithuania, and also a Visiting Professor at the Centre of Oriental Studies, Vilnius University.

His main area of research is social history of marginal communities in nineteenth and twentieth century India, revolving around issues of agrestic servitude, lower caste religious experiences, migrations and identity politics. He has been visiting scholar to the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, Osmania University, Hyderabad, Uppsala University, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada, and a visiting Professor to the Charles University, Prague.



Representative conference of Asian studies in Tartu

20160407 baasvaike1 copyFrom 7 to 9 April 2016, the 2nd Baltic Alliance for Asian Studies Conference will take place at UT, being the largest forum of scholars of Asian studies that has taken place in Estonia so far. There will be presentations by 106 researchers from 19 countries. 38 presentations are by Estonians, 16 of them from the University of Tartu.

Presentations at the three-day conference are in 11 thematic panels and seven sections and poster presentation sections. The themes of panels and presentations are quite wide, ranging from Ancient Middle Eastern research to analysis of modern social crises.

The conference begins on Thursday, 7 April at 10am with a keynote speech at the Philosophicum lecture theatre (Jakobi 2–226). The keynote speech is by professor and long-time director of Vilnius University Centre of Oriental Studies, one of the founders of BAAS, indologist Audrius Beinorius.

On Friday, 8 April there are keynote speeches by renowned scholars of Middle Eastern studies from Austria – Gebhard J. Selz from the University of Vienna and Robert Rollinger from the University of Innsbruck.
All panels and sections take place in the lecture halls of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Jakobi 2, Ülikooli 16 and Lossi 3 and in the main building. The programme is available at the conference website at

The conference is organised by UT Centre for Oriental Studies, which is the 2014–2016 chair of the Baltic Alliance for Asian Studies, together with the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.

BAAS was founded in 2013 and its aim is to improve cooperation of Baltic scholars of Asian studies and increase international visibility. Members of BAAS are the Asian studies institutions of the University of Latvia, Tallinn University, Tallinn University of Technology, University of Tartu, Vilnius University and Vytautas Magnus University.

The first BAAS conference took place in April 2014 at Vilnius University. The conferences take place every two years at the universities on a rotational basis. The next institution that organises the conference also holds the chairmanship during the time between two conferences. The BAAS board meeting takes place during the conference in Tartu to elect the organiser of the next conference and chair of the alliance for the following two years.

Join the event on Facebook.

Additional information
Märt Läänemets
Senior Research Fellow, Head of Centre for Oriental Studies
Chairman of the Board of the BAAS conference
tel. +372 737 5589, mobile +372 551 8847

Astrology and Divination in India: On the Philosophical, Social and Religious Foundations

tartu patan durbar 3aOrientalistika seminaris Audrius Beinorius astroloogiast ja ennustamisest Indias

Kolmapäev, 6 Aprill, 2016 - 18:15 to 19:45
Kolmapäeval, 6. aprillil 2016, kell 18:15
Ülikooli 16-109 (sissekäik hoovi poolt)

In India, from their inception, astronomy and astrology have operated concurrently and in complementary fashion providing a grammar and syntax for a single semantic universe. This cosmos was above all relevant to the terrestrial world, especially to the proper functioning of Indian society. The structures and movements of celestial phenomena provide an arena in which philosophical insights and religious traditions, mythological vision, and social reality are expressed, mediated, and objectified. Yet, many questions arise: how can astrology’s persistent continuation and large-scale survival in India be explained? What was its role in traditional society and within ancient bodies of knowledge? How it is related to traditional cosmology and on which philosophical foundations is it grounded? Why did astrology appealed to the educated Indians? Opposing the common assumption that astrology is merely an expression of archaic and degrading superstition, the conclusion can be made that the Indian divinational system – as cultural system – is based on a particular cosmic vision and lends human experience value and meaning. And astrological practices in India cannot be differentiated from other social practices on the basis of their symbolic exchange or their rhetorical powers.



Public lecture „Tracing the Destiny: On Astrology and Divination in India“

20160217 Beinoriaus paskaita Islandijos universiteteInstitute of Philosophy at University of Island presents:

Lecture: „Tracing the Destiny: On Astrology and Divination in India“

Logberg 10, Wednesdey 17 February 2015, 15:00

By Prof. Audrius Beinorius, Center of Oriental Studies, Vilnius Unviersity, Lithuania




Public lecture at the University of Iceland

V.Silius paskaita IslandijaThe Northern Lights Confucius Institute and the Institute of Philosophy present a lecture by Dr. Vytis Silius

“Jamming with Confucius: ethics and music in early Confucianism”

University of Iceland, Wednesday February 10th from 11:45-13:00, Lögberg, room 102.

Speaker: Dr. Vytis Silius, Centre of Oriental Studies, Vilnius University


3rd International Scientific Conference of the Lithuanian Society for the Study of Religions

Meeting with Death inter3rd International Scientific Conference of the Lithuanian Society for the Study of Religions


October 23-24, 2015, Vilnius, Lithuania

with Vilnius University and Vytautas Magnus University

Conference website: the Final Conference Program pdf

Abstracts   Download Conference Poster pdf .

Organisers: dr. Eglė Aleknaitė (Vytautas Magnus University), assoc. prof. Milda Ališauskienė (Vytautas Magnus University), prof. Audrius Beinorius (Vilnius University), assoc. prof. Aušra Pažėraitė (Vilnius University), dr. Rasa Pranskevičiūtė (Vytautas Magnus University), prof. Egdūnas Račius (Vytautas Magnus University), assoc. prof. Annika Hvithamar (Copenhagen University).

Any conference related queries are to be sent to the conference email address

Seminar on contemporary Taiwanese literature and cinema

Hsien Hao Sebastian inter copyOctober 26-28, 2015, Vilnius University

We would like to invite you to the seminar on modern literature and cinema in Taiwan by professor Hsien-hao Sebastian Liao (National Taiwan University), which will be held in October 26-28, 2015, at the Centre of Oriental Studies, Vilnius University.

Dr. Hsien-hao Sebastian Liao is a professor of English and comparative literature at the Department of Foreign languages and literatures at National Taiwan University, and Executive Director of the Language Training and Testing Center (in Taiwan). He received his Ph.Dr from Stanford University and was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University, and was a visiting fellow at Princeton University, Chicago University, University of Western Sydney, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Nanjing University, University of Melbourne. His main research fields include comparative poetics, literary and cultural theories (Lacanian psychoanalytical theories, Deleuze, complexity theory, postcolonial and transnational theories), Anglo-American fiction, modern Taiwanese literature and culture, “red-ology” (Hongloumeng studies), and cultural policy formation.

The schedule and the topics of the lectures:

October 26, 15-16.30: The Soul Wanderers: Modernist Literature in Taiwan

October 27, the time will be detailed later: Visions beyond the Strait: Contemporary Literary landscape in Taiwan

October 28, 15-16.30: Au Revoir, Taipei: New Cinema and Post-New cinema in Taiwan

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