Invitation to participate in an international interdisciplinary conference “Nurturing Critical Minds: Interdisciplinary Perspectives in Education and the Workforce”


We invite you to participate in an international interdisciplinary conference “Nurturing Critical Minds: Interdisciplinary Perspectives in Education and the Workforce”. The conference will take place at Vilnius University, Faculty of Philology, Lithuania, on 27–28 June 2024.  The conference will also be held remotely.

The main theme of the conference is the development of students' critical thinking in multidisciplinary studies at university. The conference will also discuss how labour market institutions assess university graduates in terms of critical thinking and how students' critical thinking skills could be fostered during professional internships.

Key Conference Highlights: 

  • Interdisciplinary Approach
  • Educational Innovation
  • Best Practice Sharing
  • Research Presentations

We  welcome presentations in the following Panel Sessions:

  • Panel session: Critical thinking development in Teacher training programmes
  • Panel session: Critical thinking development in Foreign language teaching
  • Panel session: Critical thinking development in Literary and Intercultural studies
  • Panel session: Critical thinking development in Mathematics and IT studies
  • Panel session: Critical thinking development in the studies of Economics
  • Panel session: Critical thinking development in the studies of Medicine

The abstracts should be submitted at the conference website >>  by 25 April 2024.

For more information, please visit the conference website >> 

Plenary speakers:

  • Inga Jončienė (Head of Business Development at Alliance for Recruitment)
  • Sandra Kairė (Vilnius University, Lithuania)
  • Adam Mastandrea (Vilnius University, Lithuania)
  • Daiva Penkauskienė (Modern Didactics Center, Mykolas Romeris University, Lithuania)
  • Dimitris Pnevmatikos (University of Western Macedonia, Greece)
  • Luis Sebastião (University of Evora, Portugal)
  • Alistair Starling (Co-Founder and Managing Director, European Diplomats, Germany)
  • Erika Vaiginienė (Vilnius University, Lithuania)

Conference organisers: Institute of Foreign Languages, Faculty of Philology, Vilnius University and Department of Primary Education and Department of Psychology, School of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Western Macedonia.

The conference is organized in cooperation with the Faculties of Vilnius University:

  • Faculty of Philosophy
  • Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics
  • Faculty of Medicine
  • Faculty of Economics and Business Administration

We look forward to your participation at the conference! 

Literature seminar: “This beautiful Crimea, this tragic Crimea”: the peninsula on the mental map of “sites of memory” in contemporary Ukrainian literature for children and young adults

We cordially invite you to the Faculty’s Literature Seminar, which will be held in English, and will take place on Tuesday, 19 March, at 5 p.m. in Kazimieras Būga Auditorium.  This time our speaker will be the post-doctoral fellow of the Institute for Literary, Cultural and Translation Studies Dr Daria Semenova.

“This beautiful Crimea, this tragic Crimea”: the peninsula on the mental map of “sites of memory” in contemporary Ukrainian literature for children and young adults

Abstract: In the early 2000s, Ukrainian authors turned to entertaining and attention-grabbing potential of children’s detective stories and adventure fiction to familiarize their young readers with topics from Ukrainian history. This presentation will characterize the peculiar genre conglomerate in which detective plots gravitated around historic artefacts and places where notable historic events took place – thus promoting a mental map of the national space and a narrative of collective memory. The Crimean Peninsula was given a very peripheral place on this mental map, if any, before the occupation in 2014. The second part of the presentation shows how, paradoxically, Crimea and its indigenous inhabitants, Crimean Tatars, get centered in stories for children and young adults about national memory more often since the late 2010s. The final part will analyze how contemporary historic fiction for children inscribes events from the history of Crimean Tatars into the kaleidoscope of multi-cultural stories that took place on the territory of present-day Ukraine.

Daria Semenova is primarily interested in the potential of genre fiction to shape the readers’ understanding of the world and themselves. She obtained her PhD in Slavic Languages and Literatures from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2023, with a dissertation entitled “At Home and Away: Community Belonging in Polish, Russian, and Ukrainian Adventure Fiction, 1918-1960.” The current presentation is part of her new research project dedicated to space and memory in Ukrainian fiction for children and young adults since independence, on which she is working as a post-doctoral fellow at Vilnius University.


8th Edition of the Arqus Cafés: Registration open

Students and staff from the Arqus universities can now register for the eigth edition of the Arqus Café, which will run from 11th March to 21st June 2024

The Arqus Café is an online space where members of the Arqus universities can meet in small groups to practice and improve their language skills in a relaxed atmosphere. It’s a great opportunity for students and staff to expand their language and cultural knowledge informally together with other learners. All levels are welcome, but it works best when participants have a minimum of an A2 level. Please note that the cafés are not language courses.

The cafés take place once a week for one hour online via ZOOM. The tutors guiding the Arqus Café sessions are native-level speakers who have received training in leading language cafés.

arqus-cafe-8-3x2-600_copy_copy.jpgThis time we are offering cafés in:

  • German
  • English
  • French
  • Italian
  • Khmer
  • Lithuanian
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish
  • Turkish
  • Ukrainian

In addition, we are now offering cafés at two different levels for some languages: beginner/intermediate (A2-B1) and intermediate/advanced (B2-C1).

Registration is now open and closes two weeks before the end of each language café.

Go here >> to find out more about the Arqus Café, the languages offered and the online registration process.

International Graduate Student Conference "English Studies 2024: Discourse and Society"

We are thrilled to announce the upcoming international conference for graduate students “English Studies 2024: Discourse and Society” that is due on May 6-7, 2024!

Organised by the ARKSI Institute  in partnership with Blaze Koneski Faculty of Philology (Skopje University, North Macedonia), we invite graduate students to contribute to the diverse dialogue in English Studies. The intersections between language, literature, culture, and society will be explored across a spectrum of thematic areas. More information about the speakers, call for papers, and submission guidelines at our conference website:

The registration is open until March 18th.


Open lecture "Motinystė, mobilumas, migracija" by Assoc. Prof. Dr Eglė Kačkutė

We invite you to a public lecture by Assoc. Prof. Dr Eglė Kačkutė who is a candidate for the academic position of Professor at the Faculty of Philology. The title of the lecture: Motinystė, mobilumas, migracija.

The lecture will be delivered in Lithuanian on March 19, 2024, 15:00-16:30, in K. Donelaičio room at the Faculty of Philology.

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Open lecture by Leena Ahtola-Moorhouse: The fascinating painter Helene Schjerfbeck

Finnish art historian, MA Leena Ahtola-Moorhouse is giving an open lecture on the fascinating painter Helene Schjerfbeck on Friday, March 8th at 15.00 o’clock in the Scandinavian Centre (314AB). You are most welcome to join the event!

An artist who made two “careers” successfully

Helene Schjerfbeck.jpg copyHelene Schjerfbeck (1862 –1946) is one of the luminaries in Finnish art. Today, she is the best-known female artist from Scandinavia from the turn of the 19th and 20th century.  She was one of the few artists of her generation who both created masterpieces in her Naturalistic and Impressionistic style and was also able to shift to an entirely Modernist mode in the 20th century. In both periods she was successful.

Her intense ascetic moods create an echo for Japanese woodcut prints, and at the end of her life terrifying self-portraits reflect the passionate style of Picasso. The underlying thread in her paintings was an emotionally charged relationship to her models, whether they were human beings, still-lives, landscapes, or reinterpretations of her earlier works or works by other artists. Her art is universal, its kernel is a relationship to a human being’s enigma. Her paintings captivate and make one return to them wondering who is painted – the model, you, or the painter! What is happening in the mind of a neighbour? There is silence which shouts.

Leena Ahtola MoorhouseLeena Ahtola-Moorhouse MA is an art historian and was chief curator at the Ateneum Art Museum, Helsinki until 2013. She has written widely on Finnish art from the 19th and 20th centuries. She was invited as a scholar to the Weisman Art Museum, University of Minnesota, U.S.A. in 2000. She has curated many exhibitions especially on Finnish women artists. She is known as a specialist on Helene Schjerfbeck’s art. The Helene Schjerfbeck retrospectives in 1992 and 2012 were curated by her.

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.


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