Department of Lithuanian Literature
Together with The Department of Lithuanian Language, The Department of Lithuanian Literature are the oldest departments of the Faculty of Philology established in Vilnius University in 1940, having regained the university and Vilius that had been occupied by Poland since 1919. Since its establishment in 1940, important personalities both at university and state level have worked at the Department of Lithuanian Literature of Vilnius University. The first Rector of the University after Lithuania regained the Vilnius region from Poland (1939) was the professor of this department Mykolas Biržiška, famous scholars and culture workers such as professors Vincas Mykolaitis-Putinas, Kostas Korsakas, Meilė Lukšienė, Vanda Zaborskaitė, Donatas Sauka, Juozas Girdzijauskas, Viktorija Daujotytė-Pakerienė, Marcelijus Martinaitis and others have also worked here. This department educated the great majority of post-war Lithuanian literary scholars and many present-day writers. It has also made an essential contribution to the development of the Lithuanian system of education.
During the years of Lithuania’s independence, since 1991 the head of the Department was Prof. Viktorija Daujotytė-Pakerienė, from 1996 to 2006 – Assoc. Prof. Giedrius Viliūnas, and since 2007 to this day – Prof. Dainora Pociūtė-Abukevičienė.
The majority of the lecturers that work here today are graduates of the Departmment. Research fields of the Department focus on the studies of the history of literature and religion of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (Prof. Pociūtė-Abukevičienė), Lithuanian literature of the 19th century (Lect. Brigita Speičytė, Assoc. Prof. Dalia Čiočytė), history of 20th century Lithuanian literature (Assoc. Prof. Regimantas Tamošaitis, Assoc. Prof. Rita Tutlytė, research worker Mindaugas Kvietkauskas, Lect. Rimantas Kmita), children literature (Assoc. Prof. Kęstutis Urba), fenomenology of literature (Prof. Daujotytė-Pakerienė), contemporary trends in Lithuanian literature (Assoc. Prof. Audinga Peluritytė Tikuišienė), Lithuanian theatre and dramaturgy (Lect. Neringa Klišienė).
Though the Department is not large in the number of staff, it is a leader of Lithuanian literature and culture studies in Lithuania. With respect to the scope of publications the Department has had the lead in the Faculty of Philology for a couple of years in a row. Some scholars of the Department have been awarded Rector’s Prize for outstanding results in academic activity (V.Daujotytė-Pakerienė, R. Tutlytė, D. Pociūtė-Abukevičienė), they have also received a number of other scientific awards. In latest years the Department’s scholars have published such significant books as Kalba ir jos menas (The Language and the Art of It by V. Daujotytė), Senieji mitai, naujieji pasakojimai. Apie naujausią lietuvių literatūrą (Old Myths, New Tales. Study on Contemporary Lithuanian Literature by A. Peluritytė ), Maištininkų katedros. Ankstyvoji reformacija ir lietuvių-italų evangelikų ryšiai (Rebellious Cathedrals. Early Reformation and the contacts between Lithuanian and Italian Evangelicals by D. Pociūtė) and others. The staff of the Department cooperate with a number of foreign universities and regularly go on academic tours abroad: Italy (D. Pociūtė-Abukevičienė), Poland (A. Peluritytė-Tikuišienė), Germany (R. Tutlytė) and other countries.
The Department has had traditions in PhD research, PhD students are an integral part of the Department and they are actively involved in daily research and teaching activity. At the moment the Department has four PhD students: Jurgita Raškevičiūtė, Tomas Andriukonis, Dovilė Švilpienė, and Jurgita Gedminienė.The teaching activity of the Department is closely connected with the BA and MA programmes offered. The Department offers a BA programme in Lithuanian Philology and administers two study MA programmes (Anthropology and Culture of Literature, supervised by Prof. D. Pociūtė Abukevičienė) and Intermedial Literary Studies, supervised by A. Peluritytė Tikuišienė). A number of lecturers also work in Vilnius University Faculty of Communication and deliver a variety of optional courses.