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Call for Abstracts. International conference “Memory Institutions and the State”

The Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania is celebrating its 105th anniversary and is hosting an international conference MEMORY INSTITUTIONS AND THE STATE: Connecting History, Understanding the Present, and Building a Future on November 7-8th, 2024. Hosted by the library’s Statehood Centre, this event aims to explore the dynamic relationship between memory institutions, the nation and its government through various historical and contemporary perspectives.

Call for Abstracts

Memory institutions, such as libraries, archives, museums, and public galleries are pivotal in documenting and preserving cultural heritage and shaping collective memory. As the custodians of society’s historical and cultural narratives, these institutions often find themselves at the intersection of state policies, societal needs, and technological advancements. The relationship between memory institutions and the state raises fundamental questions about governance, access, representation, and preservation. 

We invite scholars, practitioners, and policymakers to submit an abstract for presentation. Specific questions addressed in the presentations may include, but are not limited to: 

  • What is/was/has been the connection between memory institutions and the state (regional, historical perspective)?
  • What role do memory institutions play in shaping national identity and collective memory?
  • What is the direction of cultural policy in shaping the preservation of memory?
  • What is the relationship between memory institutions and politics of memory? How do memory institutions contribute (or can contribute) to the making of state memory policy? Should they try to contribute to the making of this policy?
  • What impact does the presence or absence of interconnections between institutional and community initiatives have on the preservation of memory?
  • What is the convergence between non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and memory institutions in preserving and promoting cultural heritage? How do NGOs influence memory institutions, and what are the implications of these collaborations?
  • What is the future of memory institutions in the face of technological and societal changes? How can memory institutions innovate to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing world? Stories of success and challenges.
  • How are memory institutions contributing to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? What specific activities are being undertaken to support these goals?
  • What are the best practices for implementing educational and dissemination activities within memory institutions to ensure effectiveness and broad accessibility?
  • What is the role of memory institutions in strengthening democracy, in the current geopolitical context?
  • What are the key research directions in the field of memory institutions?
  • How do memory institutions navigate the influence of political agendas? What is the role of memory institution managers/staff in navigating among different political agendas?
  • How does state funding shape the priorities of cultural heritage projects? What are the implications of funding cuts and budget constraints on the sustainability and autonomy of memory institutions within the state?

The conference will be held on-site in Vilnius, Lithuania. The working language of the conference is English. There is no participation or registration fee!

All submitted abstracts will be reviewed by the Conference Scientific Committee to determine the final list of speakers. All accepted abstracts will be published on the conference’s website.

Please submit your abstracts consisting of no more than 200 words here. The deadline for abstract submission is July 22nd, 2024. Successful candidates will be notified by August 15th, 2024.

Should you have any questions, please e-mail the Statehood Centre at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Scientific committee 

Dr. Ingrida Veliute (chair, Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania)  

Dr. Małgorzata Maria Grąbczewska (Royal Lazienki Museum in Warsaw)  

Dr. Laura Juchnevič (Klaipėda County Ieva Simonaitytė Public Library)  

Prof. Dr. Ruth Leiserowitz (German Historical Institute Warsaw, East European History at the Humboldt University of Berlin)  

Dr. Mārtiņš Mintaurs (National Library of Latvia) 

Dr. Eva Naripea (Film Archive of the National Archives of Estonia)  

Dr. Monika Rogers (Memory and Justice Research Center at Mykolas Romeris University, NGO “Platform of European Memory and Conscience”) 

Dr. Ramunė Šmigelskytė-Stukienė (National Museum – Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania)  

Dr. Robertas Vitas (Lithuanian Research Center, USA) 

Dr. Inga Zakšauskienė (The Office of the Chief Archivist of Lithuania)  

Organizing committee 

 Dr. Sigita Černevičiūtė (chair Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania)  

Dr. Ilona Strumickienė (Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania) 

Gretė Binkauskaitė (Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania) 

Dovydas Matrosovas (Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania) 

Ignė Rasickaitė (Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania) 

Julija Skerniškytė (Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania) 

Dr. Mindaugas Tamošaitis (Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania) 

Sigutė Urbonavičienė (Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania