Performance "The Night Before" to mark the second anniversary of the beginning of the war in Ukraine

The night before the second anniversary of the beginning of the full-scale war in Ukraine, Yelyzaveta Drach, VU Ukrainian language lecturer, under her artistic name of ummsbiaus will present an audio-visual electro-noise-folk performance which will immerse spectators into kind of a deep sleep. The event is planned for 23 February, 7 p.m at Filologijos fakultetas, Repšys's Hall (Aisčių menė). 

The places are limited, so if you are planning to come, we kindly ask you to be registered via Google Forms > 
Free entrance by registration only.

Location: Vilnius university, the Repšys's Hall (Aisčių menė).
Date: February 23 2024, 19.00. 
Duration: 1 hour. 

We asked Yelyzaveta a few questions about the performance's idea, her creative process and choice of the technique.

What is your performance „The Night Before“ about?

For many years I’ve been experiencing some kind of a foreboding, a premonition that could give a certain hint about my future choices. Many people believe that in dreams our brain processes not only impressions of what was seen over the day, but also suggests the scenarios for the future. 

„The Night Before“ will be held on the evening before the beginning of the full-scale invasion to recreate the ambience of the last peaceful evening in Kyïv, two years ago, on February 23 2022. Using audio and visual channels I will try to transfer the equivocal sensations that could be felt on that night: fear mixed with hope, anxiety mixed with calm, and daze mixed with rage. This ambiguity is the best way to shortly describe my upcoming electro-noise-folk performance, on which I was working for quite a long time, as it grew from all the musical works I released within these two turbulent years.

During this time I’ve created a lot of things to fight my own anxiety and tell stories about the ongoing war in Ukraine and share them here, in Europe, while I am so far away from home. This performance won’t be an exception. Even though it is more metaphorical and symbolic, it will contain all the emotions I’ve been experiencing since that time. Besides the remixed pieces taken from my debut album Enerhomor, a work totally based on the sounds of electricity (like electricity meters, sounds of power stations and electricity transformers), my latest work Snovyda (Sleepwalker) Suite, where I experiment with sound perception during four stages of the sleep cycle, I also plan to perform some tracks from my upcoming collaborative work created together with Ukrainian experimental musician Difference Machine

In your performances you combine audio-visual techniques. Could you tell us more about the creative process behind it? 

The night before the beginning of the full-scale invasion was one of the most anxious nights in my life. The nightmares pictured in my head were totally indescribable to the extent that I cannot even call them “visions”'. It was this thin line between a vision and a sensation. Long after that night, when I moved to Vilnius due to the full-scale war in Ukraine, I restarted sketching in my black&white style, after an almost three-year pause. Those visuals I created were my own way to transform the sensations of the ongoing war into a kind of emotional liberation, put on paper. And, not less important, I always was drawing while listening to my own music, so the visuals were totally inspired by the sounds.

For me, audio and visual components of an artwork always come together. They form a unique time-space continuum and are truly able to generate a totally new world. In this performance called „The Night Before“ I play a lot with kaleidoscopic visuals changing their form, texture and colour according to the mood of the track they accompany, as if they are some kind of cells going through the stages of meiosis to reproduce themselves but in a different way. This is how, as for me, music evolves from any existent sound taken from the real world.

In the description of the performance, you say that it will “… immerse spectators into kind of a deep sleep“. Why did you choose this almost meditative approach?

This approach is directly connected to my latest work released on all musical platforms, Snovyda (Sleepwalker) Suite No. 1, Op. 4, a very personal story that came from my long-term sleep issues. I chose the suite as a format because it usually consists of four movements which perfectly matches the sleep cycle. I've been experimenting with the perception of sounds while falling asleep for a long time. In fact, many of us have experienced falling asleep to music. But if you want to feel this specific distortion of sounds and remember it, you need to fully tune in. In this state, the sound floats, like on an old film, and the tonality can change. It's as if the brain is doing its own mixing of the track: the vocal parts are loud and soft, the sounds flow from one ear to the other.

In addition to the sounds, as I already mentioned above, an important component will be my drawings, which will accompany the whole performance. All of those are to some extent related to the state of hypnagogia which is a transitional state from wakefulness to sleep. This is also a certain transition between two feelings: anxiety and tranquility. The main visual attribute is the prism effect, which can be heard in the kaleidoscopic glass sounds.

I always choose a meditative approach because creating and performing music for me is some kind of my own therapy. When I am overwhelmed with anger and pain I need to process those feelings into sounds which would be able to make people feel what the war can bring in the minds of ordinary people who experienced it. We all know that people are able to believe something only once they have felt, seen and heard that. So my purpose is to immerse the spectators in this specific state of mind. 



Literature Seminar: „Anthropological Projects of the Enlightenment – Searching for the Ways of Emergence of the Polish Modern Subjectivity“

We cordially invite you to the second Literature Seminar, which will be held in English, and will take place on Tuesday, 20th of February, at 5 pm in Kazimieras Būga auditorium.

This time the guest speaker will be Dr Patrycja Bąkowska from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. The topic of her presentation: Anthropological Projects of the Enlightenment – Searching for the Ways of Emergence of the Polish Modern Subjectivity.

Annotation. In the "long" 18th century, the fall of the Republic and the attempt to regain independence with Napoleon are the events of the greatest importance for the formation of modern subjectivity in the Polish variant. The members of the community, who found themselves without their country, must have had experienced uprooting which was painful for those who preserved the memory of the former splendour of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The devaluation of the strategies of "self-rooting" (a citizen as a free person maintaining control over his own life) created in the Old Polish period and interpreted in the Enlightenment) forced the community to apply compensatory mechanisms. One of them was the attempt to create substitute communities: Legion soldiers fighting for freedom and brotherhood, "feeling" friends (implementing the ideas of sentimentalism), and enlightened people becoming citizens of the world. Due to the abundance of literature dealing with these issues, the presentation will focus on the works of three authors: Cyprian Godebski, Józef Wybicki, and Kazimierz Brodziński. The works of the above-mentioned actors of political and cultural life, especially autobiographical ones, are interesting traces of the emerging paths of Polish modernity.

About the speaker. Patrycja Bąkowska – graduate of Interdisciplinary Ph.D. studies in the field of translatology and comparative Slavic literature and language at Adam Mickiewicz University (2019), assistant professor in the Department of Old Polish and Enlightenment Literature (2020 – present). Her area of interest is the literature and culture of the Enlightenment, with particular emphasis on transformations of anthropology, identity, and aesthetics. Her Ph.D. thesis was awarded by the Polish Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. She is also a laureate of the Foundation for Polish Science Monographs Programme: Formy ekspresji podmiotowości nowoczesnej. Tożsamość indywidualna i zbiorowa w poezji polskiej schyłku XVIII i początku XIX wieku (Toruń 2021) [The Modes of Modern Self-expression. The Individual and Collective Identity in Polish Poetry From the Late 18th to the Beginning of the 19th Century]. In 2022, she took part in the International Seminar for Early Career Eighteenth-Century Scholars organized by ISECS. She has published a number of papers in journals and chapters in books.


Welcome to the Vilnius University Stylistics Reading Group!

The Vilnius University Stylistics Reading Group was founded in October 2023. Its members, both VU academic staff and students, meet monthly in hybrid mode to discuss published papers in stylistics and related disciplines (for example, discourse analysis, rhetoric, narratology, media linguistics) and to apply their frameworks and methods to poems, short stories, and other pieces of creative writing. The group is run on a Teams page where files are uploaded, and internal communication managed.

The overall aim of the group is to promote language- and text-based (intrinsic) approaches to literature and discourse, as well as to enhance critical thinking by evaluating published research. A related but more specific aim is that of putting to test the replicability and retrievability of stylistics, that is, to see if its methods are rigorous enough as it is usually claimed to enable different researchers to reach similar analytical and interpretive conclusions. It is hoped that new collaborations will ensue from the reading group, including the co-authoring of papers and the organisation of conferences and symposia.

If you are interested in joining the group, or in getting additional information, please contact Davide Castiglione at . Do not worry if you are a newcomer in the field of stylistics: some working knowledge in linguistics/grammar and a passion for literary works is all is required!

Guest lectures by Prof. Emeritus Björn Meidal

Björn_Meidal_-_asm._foto_copy_copy_copy_copy.jpgBjörn Meidal, professor of Literature (emeritus, Uppsala university), prominent researcher of August Strindberg life and work will be visiting Center of Scandinavian studies on 12-13th February. The visit is organized with the support of the Swedish Ambassy in Vilnius. Prof. Björn Meidal will deliver two lectures:

12 February, Monday 11.00, Room 314 AB, in Swedish

August Strindberg och Carl Larsson: Bästa vänner och dödsfiender. On the relationship between two key figures in Swedish culture of the late 19th and early 20th century.

13 February, Tuesday 11.00, Room 92, in English

Strindberg and 20th Century Avant-garde Drama and Theatre. The focus is on August Strindberg´s importance in and for 20th Century drama and theatre (playwrights and directors), with some bearings also on prose, poetry and film. 

2023/2024 Autumn Semester Exam Retakes

2023/2024 Autumn semester exam retakes will be held from the 5th until the 15th of February.

Retake dates for BA students >

Retake dates for MA students > 

The dates are constantly updated as soon as the professors announce them.

If you cannot find the date for the needed subject, please contact the professor and follow the information on Faculty's website.

If you have any questions, please contact us at 

Invitation to participate in Undergraduate and Postgraduate Symposium on Literary and Cultural Studies

The Centre for Comparative Literary Studies at Vilnius University aims to create a friendly space for undergraduate and graduate (in the last three years) students to share their ideas on various topics related to literary and cultural studies.

More information >

Deadline for abstract submission: 12/02/2024. Send the abstracts to:


Guest lecture by Dr Johanna Laakso: "Demystifying the Finno-Ugric Languages"

On March 1st (Friday), at 13.00, in 314AB room we kindly invite you to a guest lecture by Finnish scholar Dr Johanna Laakso, professor of Finno-Ugric studies at the University of Vienna: Demystifying the Finno-Ugric Languages.

The Finno-Ugric (Uralic) language family is mostly known to outsiders only through its three nation-state languages (Finnish, Estonian, Hungarian). Of these languages, often only anecdotal references to their allegedly exotic qualities (such as the huge number of cases or other inflectional forms) will cross the attention threshold of the general public, contributing to the general mystification of these languages. Often these myths are also spread and reproduced by speakers of these languages themselves.

In this talk, we will take a closer look at the purported "exotic" characters of the Finno-Ugric languages and then discuss the origins and impact of language myths in general.

Thinking Through Motherhood: Images, Experiences and Narratives Across Time

VU Filologijos fakultetas - Prasidėjo trečioji projekto „MotherNet“ vasaros  stovyklaThe organisers invite you to participate in the final conference of the MotherNet "Thinking Through Motherhood: Images, Experiences and Narratives Across Time”. The project is interdisciplinary, implemented in collaboration with the University of Maynooth in Ireland and Uppsala University in Sweden, and is carried out by the Vilnius University Faculties of Philology, Philosophy and Medicine. The international, interdisciplinary conference will bring together more than a hundred participants from 20 countries, including scholars from European countries, the USA, Canada and India. The main objective of the project is to develop maternity studies by bringing together researchers from different fields.

Date of the event: 23-25 January 2024.

Venue: the main conference venue is the Faculty of Philology of Vilnius University. The opening ceremony will take place at the VU Aula Parva, Universiteto Street 3, Vilnius. The conference will be live.

Conference language: English.

Participation in the conference is fee-based: registration is open until 19 January. Registration is available here >

Plenary presentations will be given by Professor Pragya Agarwal (Loughborough University, UK), Professor Valerie Heffernan (Maynooth University, Ireland), Lucy Jones (journalist and author, UK) and Associate Professor Eglė Kačkutė (Vilnius University, Lithuania).

Young researchers and PhD students are invited to the MotherNet PhD Symposium Workshop, which will take place on the first day of the conference, 23 January, 10 am-1 pm, at the Faculty of Philology, Vilnius University, Room 92:

  • 10.00-11.00 Academic Writing
    Atėnė Medelytė, Vilnius University, Lithuania
  • 11.00-12.00 Interdisciplinary Publishing and Collaboration
    Margaretha Fahlgren, Sara  Sylven, Anna Williams, Uppsala University, Sweden
  • 12.00-12.15 Coffee break
  • 12.15-13.00  MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships funding scheme and application process with Vilnius University
    Ana Raišienė, Vilnius University, Lithuania

Important! Young researchers who have not registered for the conference are welcome to attend the workshop. Participation in the workshop is free of charge. The workshop, like the conference, will be held in English. You are welcome to register >

The conference programme is available here >

The official conference webpage is here >

More information about the project can be found here >

The project is funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation under the "Twinning" Facility (No 952366).

Cookies make it easier for us to provide you with our services. With the usage of our services you permit us to use cookies. More information