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Authoritarian Persistence

Historical research is the way for us to grasp how things change, what factors have led our states and societies to the changes going on, what elements of our pasts persist despite social, economic and political changes and why they do remain. The current conditions of states, nations and societies can only be comprehended through delving into the huge laboratory of human experience accumulated by historical studies, into the storehouse of information about how people and societies behave, how the world works. That comprehension is essential in order to take stand on the issues we are facing in our current conditions and to grasp insights into the future. This makes history one of the cornerstones for analysis in many other research areas of social sciences and humanities. The place Lithuania has taken in the history of Europe is of value for understanding differing political and social processes that have taken place through millennia of the continent. Situated on the crossroads of Byzantine and Western cultures it is the country with the largest European territory up to the 15th century and one of the smallest member states of the European Union today, the country that was the last to join the Christian Europe (being baptized in the end of the 14th century only) and the first to leave the USSR thus starting the collapse of the empire. Lithuania for long had played an important role in the international relations of the region and together with Poland had been the rival of Moscow till the end of the 17th century; it still is actively engaged in dealing with conflicts taking place in the East. However the past can be studied only in the light of the present. Thus the knowledge of shared sociopolitical and economic practices and meanings that make up cultures we are living in is indispensable for investigations into the historical roots our cultures are coming from. Vilnius is among the best places for thoughtful engagement into Central European memory of intertwined fates and faiths of many cultures. For centuries Vilnius has been called "The Jerusalem of the North" for its tolerance and multiculturalism. The same streets host Catholic and Orthodox churches, the biggest Eastern European synagogue was standing in Vilnius until the end of the WWII, and one can still spot pagan symbols on church crosses. Vilnius has been the place of the first literary steps of the most famous Polish poets, the birth of Belarusian literature. At the same time it is the city that has witnessed the tragic fate of the Lithuanian Jewish (Litvak) culture under the Nazis as well as the tragedies created by the soviet totalitarianism. The troubled pasts still haunt thoughts and feelings of people, leading to xenophobia and related intolerance – something that can be comprehended and overcome only through thorough and unbiased investigation of the historical and cultural heritage of the country.





Identity Politics

Cultural Heritage

Anthropological ArchaeologyEthnic HistoryEconomic Challenges of the Early Modern Ages

History of Europe's Borderlands


Historical Sociology 

Rural Communities in the XXth Century

Historical Cartography and Genealogy

Medieval Eastern Europe

Late Modern History

History of Christianity

Comparative History 

Historical Regionalism

Transnational and Global History