Baltic Studies Conference in Pisa Strengthens Cooperation Between Universities

In May, an international Baltic studies conference “PRA17 / IV Incontro di Baltistica” took place at the Philology, Literature, and Linguistic Department of the University of Pisa. Scholars from Lithuania, Germany, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, and the Universities of Bergamo, Florence, Naples, Milan, Trento, and Pisa in Italy participated in the conference.

The conference was also attended by Algirdas Monkevičius, the Minister of Education, Science and Sport of the Republic of Lithuania, Eugenijus Jovaiša, the Chairman of the Education and Science Committee of the Lithuanian Parliament, and Laura Gabrielaitytė-Kazulėnienė, the Cultural Attaché of the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania to the Italian Republic. 

Members of the Faculty of Philology, including Dean Professor Inesa Šeškauskienė, Professor Bonifacas Stundžia, Professor Vytautas Kardelis, Associate Professor Gintarė Judžentytė-Šinkūnienė, Associate Professor Diego Ardoino, Doctor Gina Kavaliūnaitė-Holvoet, and doctoral student Julija Šabasevičiūtė delivered presentations at the conference.

“We are few, but we are hardworking and cooperative. Your scientific support and friendship are very important to us”, said Pietro Umberto Dini, Professor at Pisa University and the founder and Head of the Department of Baltic Studies. 

Professor Dini, who organised the conference, claimed that this conference is especially significant for strengthening Baltic studies and research in Italy and for ensuring their continuity in Pisa. The Minister of Education, Science, and Sport met with Paolo Mancarella, the Rector of the University of Pisa, to discuss these matters.

The conference is also an important contribution to strengthening the cooperation between the Universities of Pisa and Vilnius. The University of Pisa promotes Baltic studies in Italy and cooperates in strengthening Italian studies at Vilnius University, which is the main centre of Baltic and Lithuanian research and studies in Lithuania.

Currently, Pisa University is the main centre for Baltic studies in Italy. The University offers a Masters course in Baltic Philology and a Bachelors course in Lithuanian Language and Culture. Baltic studies have been taught at the University of Pisa since 1998.

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Vilnius University Disabled Persons Association celebrates its second anniversary

Vilnius University Disabled Persons Association invites the university community to celebrate its second anniversary.

The anniversary celebration will take place on 17 May, 3 p.m., V. Krėvė Room (Room 118), Faculty of Philology. The Lithuanian Greek Community band Patrida and Ugnė Žilytė, a 4th year student of German Philology at the Faculty, will perform at the event.

The main idea behind the Disabled Persons Association's activities is to provide disabled VU community members with a platform for sharing their success stories and challenges, and for having a good time. The Association aims to unite disabled members of the university community.

The Association started in 2017 at the Faculty of Philology as an informal group of 12 members of the faculty community. Later, students from other faculties, including the Faculties of History, Philosophy, and Physics, joined the Association as well. Currently, people with vision, mobility, hearing, and other impairments are active in the Association.

The Association welcomes all members of VU community. Those interested should contact Ugnė Žilytė.

I Hispanic studies forum

This lecture cycle welcomes scholars and academics in the fields of Hispanic linguistics, literature, and culture, as well as translators, students, and all who are interested in the Spanish language and the culture of Spanish-speaking countries. The languages of the conference are Spanish and Lithuanian. Admittance is free.


  • 9.00 - 9.15 Opening event

Bernardo López López-Ríos (Cultural Attaché, the Spanish Embassy in Lithuania), Inesa Šeškauskienė (Dean, the Faculty of Philology) and Marta Plaza Velasco (the coordinator of the forum) will open the forum.

  • 9.15 - 10.00 1st SESSION. Literary criticism: in memoriam Birutė Ciplijauskaitė (V. Krėvės Room (118), Faculty of Philology) 

Akvilė Šimėnienė (ISM University of Management and Economics, Mykolas Riomeris University): “The literary criticism of Birutė Ciplijauskaitė“ (in Spanish)

  • 10.00 - 10.30 Coffee Break
  • 10.30 - 12.30 2nd SESSION. Translation (V. Krėvės Room (118), Faculty of Philology)

Jordana González (Vilnius University, Institute of Foreign Languages): “Julio Cortázar: stories about cronopios and the famous“ (in Spanish)
Jurga Katkuvienė (Vilnius University, Institute for Literary, Cultural and Translation Studies): “Invisible translation: Octavio Paz’s Sunstone” 
Nomeda Lukoševičienė (Vilnius University, Institute for Literary, Cultural and Translation Studies): “Oral and written translation: two sides of the same coin or distant cousins?” (in Spanish)

  • 13.00 - 14.30 1st LECTURE. Culture (V. Krėvės Room (118), Faculty of Philology)

Gustaw Juzala (Vilnius University, Institute for the Languages and Cultures of the Baltic): “The musical folklore of South America” (in Lithuanian)

  • 15.00 - 16.30 2nd LECTURE. Literature (V. Krėvės Room (118), Faculty of Philology)

Gintaras Varnas (Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre) “The theatre of Federico García Lorca: between old Andalusian multiculturalism and surrealism” (in Lithuanian)

  • 17.00 - 18.30 1st DISCUSSION. The poetic connections between Spain and Lithuania: Lithuania in Spanish poetry / Lithuanian poetry in Spanish (Room 92, Faculty of Philology)

Moderator: Marta Plaza Velasco

Participants: Cristóbal Polo (poet), Joaquín Carmona (poet), Carmen Caro (translator), María Sebastiá (translator), and Dovilė Kuzminskaitė (translator).(in Spanish with simultaneous translation to Lithuanian.)


  • 9.00 - 10.30 3rd SESSION. Workshop (V. Krėvės Room (118), Faculty of Philology)

Carlos García Fernández (Vilnius University, Institute for the Languages and Cultures of the Baltic) “Deciphering a text written in an unknown language” (in Spanish)
María José de Urraza and Vigilija Žiūraitė (Vytautas Magnus University): “Recognising and teaching sociocultural aspects in Spanish lectures” (in Spanish)

  • 10.30 - 11.00 Coffee break
  • 11.00 - 12.30 3rd LECTURE. Art (V. Krėvės Room (118), Faculty of Philology)

Regimanta Stankevičienė (Lithuanian Culture Research Institute): “Hispanic influences in the Lithuanian depictions of Jesus of Nazareth”(in Lithuanian)

  • 13.00 - 14.30 4th SESSION. Lexicography and teaching Spanish as a foreign language (V. Krėvės Room (118), Faculty of Philology)

Aleksas Kulvietis (Klaipėda University): “Native language semantics in teaching the Spanish language” (in Spanish)
Ricardo Enguix Barber (MAEC-AECID lecturer, Kaunas University of Technology): “Indirect feedback about errors in written Spanish assignments” (in Spanish)
Alfonso Rascón (Vilnius University, Institute of Foreign Languages): „Bilingual Spanish, Lithuanian and English dictionaries: microstructural aspects” (in Spanish)

  • 15.00 - 16.30 2nd DISCUSSION: ES-LT and LT-ES translation tendencies (V. Krėvės Room (118), Faculty of Philology)

Participants: Jūratė Derukaitė (Klaipėda University), Aistė Kučinskienė (Vilnius University, Institute for Literary, Cultural and Translation Studies), Nomeda Lukoševičienė (Vilnius University, Institute for Literary, Cultural and Translation Studies) and Alexandra Bondarev (translator) (in Spanish)
Moderator: Carmen Caro Dugo 

  • 17.00 - 18.30 3rd DISCUSSION: Teaching Spanish as a foreign language in Lithuania: achievements and challenges (V. Krėvės Room (118), Faculty of Philology)

Moderator: Aistė Kučinskienė

Participants: Jūratė Derukaitė (Klaipėda universitety), Rima Sabaliauskienė (Vytautas Magnus University), Carlos García Fernández (Vilnius University, Institute for the Languages and Cultures of the Baltic), Indrė Pranaitė (Vilnius Waldorf Open School), Ricardo Enguix Barber (MAEC-AECID lecturer, Kaunas University of Technology) and Germán Degollado Brito (Ispanų kalbos namai).


The conference is organised by the Spanish Philology Study Programme Committee (Faculty of Philology, Vilnius University)
Conference coordinator: Marta Plaza Velasco

International conference “Trans(n)azioni: the roads, encounters, and stories of the Italian language, literature and culture”

The conference “Trans(n)azioni: the roads, encounters , and stories of the Italian language, literature and culture” was jointly organised by the Faculty of Applied Linguistics, University of Warsaw, and the Department of Italian Linguistics and Literature, Institute of English, Romance, and Classical Studies, Faculty of Philology. The purpose of the conference was to discuss the local and international role of Italian language, literature, and culture throughout the centuries and today. The conference was held on April 24 to 26 and welcomed scholars from numerous European and other universities, who delivered a rich variety of lectures. Using a comparative approach, a dialogue between Italy and the otherswas explored through stories about travelling, migration, and exile. Moreover, Italy’s attitude to the others and the others’ perception of Italy was discussed through the comparison of linguistic, literary, historical, and political systems. This exploration included discussions about the Italian language as a means of linguistic and cultural mediation in the form of volgarizzamenti, translation, propaganda, as well as conversations about the Italian language as a field of studies and docufiction. The works presented at the conference will be published as conference proceedings. 

Charles Forceville Lectures at Faculty

On 29–30 April, the Faculty of Philology welcomed Charles Forceville, a renowned linguist and visual communication expert, Professorat the Department of Media Studies, University of Amsterdam. Professor Forceville gave two lectures at the Faculty, and will give eight more at the Kaunas Faculty. The primary topic of the lectures is multimodal discourse, i.e. discourse where communication happens through several modes: language, sound, and images. Visuality and multimodality are especially relevant nowadays, when communication through electronic means takes up an ever-increasing part of interpersonal interaction.

In his first lecture, Professor Forceville presented the main ideas of the theories of systemic functional linguistics and relevance and ways to analyse multimodality through these theories. His second lecture focused on Max Black’s interaction theory of metaphor, which was used to analyse visual and multimodal metaphors in printed and outdoor advertising, as well as in some well know films, such as Shrek. These lectures were an excellent introduction to interdisciplinary and very dynamic research in the fields of visual and multimodal discourse. The problems in these fields are still novel and frequently impossible to solve within the limits of a single subject, while the methodologies are still being created.

Professor Charles Forceville is a member of the Department of Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam. His research primarily focuses on multimodality in various genres and media, including documentaries, animated films, advertisements, comics, caricatures, pictograms, and road signs. He has published articles in Metaphor and Symbol, the Journal of Visual Communication, Metaphor and the Social World, the Public Journal of Semiotics and other prominent journals. Among his best known publications are Pictorial Metaphor in Advertising (Routhledge, 1996) and Multimodal Metaphor (co-authored with Eduardo Urios-Aparisi, De Gruyter Mouton, 2009). Currently Professor Forceville is writing a work on a theoretical model of visual and multimodal communication based on the relevance theory (Oxford University Press).


Happy International Children’s Book Day!

Philology would be a lot poorer without children’s literature. To remind us about its significance, the International Children’s Book Day has been celebrated around the globe since 1967. This event was conceived and is still organised by the International Board on Books for Young People. For 26 years, Kęstutis Urba, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Philology, was the head of the Board’s Lithuanian chapter. Late last year, Inga Mitunevičiūtė, a graduate of the Faculty’s Russian studies, assumed this position.

The International Children’s Book Day is celebrated on the birthday of Hans Christian Andersen, 2 April. Traditionally, a poster and an address to both adolescent and adult readers is published to commemorate this occasion. In 2019, this honour was bestowed on the Lithuanian chapter of IBBY. Kęstutis Kasparavičius, a renowned children’s literature author and Deimantė Rybakovienė designed the poster.

The poster and booklets with the address were translated into official IBBY languages—English, German, French, and Spanish—and distributed in more than 80 countries. The booklet also contains concise information about Lithuania, which will help millions of children and adults worldwide to learn about our country for the first time.

Most IBBY chapters issue the address in English, and the Secretariat of IBBY organises its translation into other languages. Associate Professor Kęstutis Urba organised the translation of the address from Lithuanian into the four official IBBY languages in Lithuania. The translators Daina Valentinavičienė, Carmen Caro Dugo, Liucija Černiuvienė and Lina Plaušainytė are members of the Faculty, and they provided high quality translations of this brief, but very significant address. The Lithuanian chapter of IBBY and the Faculty are grateful to the translators and to everybody who contributed to the poster and the address.

The poster and the address were published in IBBY’s international journal Bookbird. Click here to view the booklet.


Aurelija Kaškelevičienė awarded the Lithuanian Diplomacy Star

Aurelija Kaškelevičienė, a member of the Department of Lithuanian Studies of the Faculty of Philology and a long-time lecturer of Lithuanian at the University of Helsinki, was awarded the Lithuanian Diplomacy Star by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic Of Lithuania. This decoration of honour is awarded for merits in promoting the Lithuanian language, culture, and history.

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Project “You Live, You Learn” Presented at Leipzig Book Fair

On 21–24 March Lithuania returned to the Leipzig Book Fair. Among the books presented at the fair were novels by Ieva Simonaitytė and Undinė Radzevičiūtė and the memoir of the theatrologist Markas Petuchauskas. Lithuania was also represented by a four-part series of bilingual proverb dictionaries titled “You Live, You Learn”, whose author is Rasa Bačiulienė, a member of the Faculty of Philology. The Lithuanian-German proverb dictionary was included into the archives of the German National Library, and the series was nominated for the London Book Fair International Excellence Awards 2019.

The books of the series were illustrated by children from Lithuanian, British, and German schools, special needs education centres, and children’s shelters. They are the result of the international project “You Live, You Learn”. Pupils and children of various nationalities and ageshave participated in the project.

Lithuania was invited to participate in the Leipzig Book Fair in 2017, and the cooperation with Austrian, Swiss, and German publishers has since become closer. The motto “The story continues” has become a consistent and accurate reflection of the growing visibility of Lithuanian literature in the German cultural sphere. 

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