Kickstarting Baltic Studies at UCL
23 April 2018
The project Kickstarting Baltic Studies at UCL is led by Dr Mart Kuldkepp (UCL Scandinavian Studies) and Dr Allan Sikk (UCL SSEES) with the aim of strengthening course provision in Baltic Studies at UCL, and building the foundation for a future MA programme in Baltic Sea Area Studies. The project has received initial funding from Dean’s Strategic Fund (Dean of Arts and Humanities at UCL) and the programme of Academic Studies of Estonian Language and Culture Abroad (Archimedes Foundation, Estonia). Further funding will be sought in future.
Our immediate goal is to rebuild the module Baltic Politics and Society which has experienced a surge in student interest over the last few years, growing from around ten students per year to 30 and more. We are keen to harness the academic enthusiasm of students drawn to this module – the only one of its kind taught in the UK – by providing them with opportunities to conduct independent research. We are particularly interested in taking advantage of the impressive but underutilised primary source resources in the National Archives, the British Library and other similar institutions in London as well as online resources available freely or through the UCL library to improve the teaching Baltic politics, history and culture. For this purpose, we will conduct an inventory of suitable resources, develop teaching strategies, and launch a website dedicated to teaching and learning in Baltic Studies.
The project activities revolve around staff-student collaboration in line with both the broader Connected Curriculum initiative at UCL and the Faculty of Arts and Humanities’ strategic aims: supporting research and teaching excellence and promoting interdisciplinarity and collaborative thinking. We feel that in terms of academic potential, international outlook and access to already existing resources, UCL is uniquely positioned to become a leading centre for Baltic Studies in the UK.