This week I am in Faenza, Italy participating in a conference at the University of Bologna’s Istituto per l’Europa Centro-Orientale e Balcanica (Institute on East-Central Europe and the Balkans). Today I am presenting a paper entitled “Freedom for Lithuania” or “Freedom for Hippies”? Nationalism, Youth Counterculture and De-Stalinization in Soviet Lithuania. The conference is part of an EU-funded project “Memories of Stalinism.” My host university in Lithuania, Vytautas Magnus University, is one of the organizing partners. I have to say, academic conferences are basically the same everywhere – but here you get to walk out of the meeting room and into Italy, with good food, good wine, and beautiful architecture.
A Lithuanian grad student friend and I came to Italy the weekend before the conference so that we could travel around for a couple of days. I’ll post photos and stories from our adventures in Italy after I return from the conference.