Program of the 4th BAAS conference in Kaunas (March 5-7, 2020)

Although this preliminary program is overall correct, please refer to the final program published as a PDF file for the most detailed version.

March 5 (Thursday)

Location: all conference activities take place VMU building on V. Putvinskio str. 23, except the opening reception (see below)

8:15 – 9:00          Registration (at the entrance on the 1st floor)

9:00 – 9:15          Opening of the conference (Room 103)

9:15 – 10:10        Keynote presentation (Room 103): Ajay Dubey (Jawaharlal Nehru University, India). India’s Africa Engagement: From Historical Goodwill to Multidimensional Relations

10:10 – 10:30     Coffee break (on the 1st floor)

10:30 – 12:00     1st group of parallel sessions

1.1          Identities in the Middle East (Room 103)

  • Ingrida Kleinhofa (University of Latvia, Latvia). Identities, Values and Affiliations of the Francophone Lebanese-Born Writer Amin Maalouf: A Unique Case or the New Normality?
  • Barbora Gediminaitė (Vilnius Academy of Arts / Vilnius University, Lithuania). Recentered branding of nationalism in the XXIc. Islamic city-museum. Cairo case.
  • Šarūnas Rinkevičius (Vilnius University, Lithuania). The use of Phoenician motives in identity construction in Lebanon in the 20th century.
  • Dalia Sabaliauskienė (Vilnius University, Lithuania). Ritual politeness among young Tehranis.

1.2          Soka Gakkai: A Japanese Buddhist Movement in Global Perspective (Room 310)

Convened by Massimo Introvigne (Center for Studies on New Religions, Italy)

  • Ryo Chounabayashi (Soka University, Japan). History of the Globalization of Soka Gakkai: Cases in the USA and Brazil.
  • Michele Lamb (University of Roehampton, United Kingdom). The Acceptance of Soka Gakkai in the UK and Its Current Situation.
  • Massimo Introvigne (Center for Studies on New Religions, Italy). Soka Gakkai in Italy: Success and Controversies.
  • Rosita Šorytė (International Observatory of Religious Liberty of Refugees, Lithuania). Soka Gakkai’s Global Campaigns for Nuclear Disarmament.

1.3          Exploring the lost historical routes, roots, memories and experiences: India and South East Asia encounters through the Ages (Room 311)

Convened by Rajsekhar Basu (University of Calcutta, India)

  • Dr. Lipi Ghosh (University of Calcutta, India). Understanding India-South East Asia Relations: Perspectives of Overland Physical Connectivities.
  • Dr. Suchandra Ghosh (University of Calcutta, India). Connecting Eastern sea board of India to Regions of Southeast Asia: Religion, Trade and Artistic Exchange.
  • Dr. Rajsekhar Basu (University of Calcutta, India). Looking back at the networks of trade and commerce between India and Burma in the colonial period: Story of expectations and missed opportunities, c. 1860-1948.

12:00 – 13:30     Lunch break

13:30 – 15:30     2nd group of parallel sessions

2.1          Claiming space: Identity, materiality and alterity in Asian societies (Room 103)

Convened by Kristina Jonutytė (Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania)

  • Kristina Jonutytė (Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania). Place-making and Belonging in Post-Soviet Ulan-Ude.
  • Kristina Garalytė (Vilnius University, Lithuania). Beef Politics and Dalit-Bahujan Emancipation in India
  • Bayaskhalan Chimitdorzhiev (Buryat State University, Russia). The Balagat state as a Modern Buddhist Theocracy in Inner Asia.
  • Germanovich Anastasia Andreevna (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russia). Confucian modern schools: a new trend or uninterrupted tradition?
  • Leons Taivāns (University of Latvia, Latvia). Indonesian Islam Between Secularism and Islamization.

2.2          Linguistics and translation (Room 310)

  • Kim Hye Ran (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russia). Difficulties of translation of the Korean literary text (extralinguistic and linguistan aspect).
  • Milda Čepaitytė (Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania). The comparative analysis of Lithuanian and Korean vowel systems.
  • Lora Tamošiūnienė (Mykolas Romeris University, Lithuania). Translation of nature scenes in fiction from Korean into Lithuanian.
  • Mariia Rukodelnikova (Russian State University for the Humanities, Russia). The language of the Central Asian Huizu: the typology changes and the influence of new social conditions.

2.3          Special session: CrossAsia (Room 311)

  • Matthias Kaun (East Asia Department of Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Germany). The Idea of a European Asia Licensing Initiative
  • Georgijs Dunajevs (The National Library of Latvia, Latvia). CrossAsia from a User’s Point of View

15:30 – 15:50     Coffee break (on the 1st floor)

15:50 – 17:50     3rd group of parallel sessions

3.1          Cultural Crossroads in the Middle East. The Historical, Cultural and Political Legacy of Intercultural Dialogue and Conflict from the Ancient Near East to the Present Day (roundtable) (Room 310)

Convened by Holger Mölder (Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia)

  • Vladimir Sazonov (University of Tartu/ Estonian Military Academy, Estonia.) The Failure of Intercultural Dialogue in the Middle East – the Impact of War Theology to Contemporary Ideological-Religious Conflicts.
  • Peeter Espak (University of Tartu, Estonia). On the Time of Composition of the Hitherto Undated Sumerian Myths.
  • Holger Mölder (Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia). The Islamic State, Clash of Civilizations and Their Impact on the Development of Contemporary International Relations.
  • Dovilė Valaitė (Vilnius University, Lithuania). The conception of mental disorders in contemporary Islamic world: between tradition and modernity.
  • Ernestas Jančenkas (Vilnius University, Lithuania). The Concept of Nature in Ibn Ḫaldūn‘s theory of civilisation.

3.2          Japan: history and perceptions (Room 103)

  • Simona Vasilevskytė (Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania). Early Japanese visits to Kaunas: Yasumasa Fukushima.
  • Ene Selart (University of Tartu, Estonia). Taking sides in the distant military conflict: The media perspective of Estonia about the Sino-Japanese war in 1937.
  • Andrea Revelant (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy). Shidehara Diplomacy and Public Discourse in Japan: The Case of Gaikō Jihō in 1929.

18:15~                   Opening reception (second floor gallery of S. Daukanto str. 28)


March 6 (Friday)

Location: all conference activities take place VMU building on V. Putvinskio str. 23

9:00 – 10:00       Keynote presentation (Room 103): Märt Läänemets (University of Tartu, Estonia). Concept of the Humanistic Base Texts. An Approach to Understand and Evaluate the Axial Age’s Spiritual Heritage

10:00 – 10:20     Coffee break (on the 1st floor)

10:20 – 12:00     4th group of parallel sessions

4.1          Superpowers political direction and behavior in the current situation of the Middle East (Room 103)

Convened by Javad Keypour (Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia)

  • Javad Keypour (Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia). The role of energy factor in EU-Iran political relations: an aftermath of the US withdrawal from JCPOA
  • Holger Mölder (Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia). Playing the Cold War in the Middle East – what would be US strategic ambitions in the region?
  • Sandra Peets (Tallinn University, Estonia). The War of Rhetorics: the strategic narratives adopted by Sayyīd Rūḥollah Mūsavī Ḫomeynī and Ṣaddām Ḥusayn in the Iran-Iraq war.

4.2          China related politics (Room 310)

  • Konstantinas Andrijauskas (Vilnius University, Lithuania). Physical Infrastructure and Chinese “Creation” and “Expansion” of Inner Mongolia.
  • Ying-kit Chan (Leiden University, Netherlands). Heeding the Warnings: Deng Huaxi and Zheng Guanying’s Shengshi Weiyan.
  • Jing Guo (University of Tartu, Estonia). Political Differences between China and the West in the Context of Glocalization

4.3          Shincheonji, a South Korean New Religious Movement: Expansion, Social Activism, and Coronavirus Controversies (Room 311)

  • Massimo Introvigne (Centre for Studies on New Religions, Italy). Shincheonji: An Introduction.
  • Willy Fautré (Human Rights Without Frontiers, Belgium). Coercive Change of religion and Deprogramming in South Korea: A Case Study of Shincheonji.
  • Rosita Šorytė (International Observatory of Religious Liberty of Refugees, Lithuania). “Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light”: Shincheonji as a Global Social Actor.

12:00 – 13:30     Lunch break

13:30 – 15:00     5th group of parallel sessions

5.1          Political economy: China and Korea (Room 103)

  • Jusif Seiranov (Mykolas Romeris University, Lithuania). The impact of large business groups on outward/inward openness of the Korean economy.
  • Eunhee Park (Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania). Discourses of Stability and Risk: The Cultural History of the Insurance Industry in South Korea from the 1960s to the 1980s. [via Skype]
  • Vida Mačikėnaitė (International University of Japan, Japan). The links between Chinese companies and the party-state: a survey of economic elite mobility in China.

5.2          Chinese literature (Room 310)

  • Agita Baltgalve (University of Latvia, Latvia). Anthology of Chinese Classical Literature in Latvian Language.
  • Tadas Snuviškis (Vilnius University, Lithuania). Indian Philosophy in China: Was “Daśapadārthī” 勝宗十句義論authored by a Vaiśeṣika?
  • Martina Renata Prosperi (Roma Tre University, Italy). Deviance in and of Contemporary Sinophone Literature: A Selection of Case Studies.
  • Balys Astrauskas (Vilnius University, Lithuania). Social Significance of Rural Migrant Workers (Dagong) Poetry of the Pearl River Delta Region, China

5.3          Gender in Asia (Room 311)

  • Chang Liu (Heidelberg University, Germany). What’s Madonna Got to Do with Post-Mao Chinese Femininity? [via Skype]
  • Dr. Sofia M. Rebrey (Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Russia). Gender Inequality in Advanced Asia: A Cross-Country Socio-Economic Analysis of Axis Institutions.
  • Kayako Takagi (Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania). Women’s language in education of Japanese language: Focusing on the analysis of textbooks

15:00 – 15:20     Coffee break (on the 1st floor)

15:20 – 17:20     6th group of parallel sessions

6.1          Migration, memory and identity: uncertainty and challenges of belonging of transnational migrants and disadvantaged locals (Room 106)

Convened by Vytis Čiubrinskas (Vilnius University, Lithuania)

  • Ilona Kazlauskaitė (Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas). Uncertainty of belonging of international students from Asia in the Western Universities: case of academic migration.
  • Kuldip Singh (Guru Nanak Dev University, India).The Illegal Migration from Indian State of Punjab: A View from the Below.
  • Irma Kondrataitė (Vilnius University, Lithuania). The role of NGOs in dealing with prostitution in India: case of counter-hegemonic strategies.
  • Alina Nidagundi (Riga Technical University / University of Latvia, Latvia). The Concept of Identity in Indian Diasporic Literature.

6.2          Literary heritage of Buddhism: old tenets and new interpretations (Room 310)

Convened by Märt Läänemets (University of Tartu, Estonia)

  • Bhikshuni Lozang Trinlae (University of Tartu, Estonia). Critically Establishing the Rational Dynamics of Vajrayāna Contemplative Ritual Processes: An Exploratory Qualitative Phenomenological Study with the Drukpa Tradition of Vajrayāna Buddhism.
  • Andres Herkel (University of Tartu, Estonia). Psychological Meaning of Nāgārjuna’s Mūlamadhyamakakārikā, X.
  • Teet Toome (University of Tartu, Estonia). Karma is the Lotus Sutra.
  • Märt Läänemets (University of Tartu, Estonia). Description of levels of spiritual emancipation in the Gaṇḑavyūhasūtra.

6.3          Japan’s foreign policy: State and non-state actors in rethinking the past and looking towards the future of relations in North East Asia (Room 312)

Convened by Kamila Szczepanska (University of Turku, Finland)

  • Dr. Olga Barbasiewicz (Jagiellonian University, Poland). Heading the new era – remembering the past. Japanese-Korean relations at the turn of two historical periods.
  • Dr. Maciej Pletnia (Jagiellonian University, Poland). Internal pressure – Japan War-Bereaved Families Association and their influence on Japanese politics of memory in the international context.
  • Diana Schnelle (Ruhr University Bochum, Germany). Shaping Japan’s foreign policy in a time of energy transition: the role of non-state actors.
  • Dr. Kamila Szczepanska (University of Turku, Finland). Beyond the trappings of state animosities? Development cooperation between North East Asian NGOs in the 21st century.
  • Polkhova Ekaterina (St Petersburg State University, Russia). Russia – Japan cooperation in the Arctic Region.


March 7 (Saturday)

Location: all conference activities take place VMU building on V. Putvinskio str. 23

9:30 – 11:00        7th group of parallel sessions

7.1          Alternative Religiosities in the European (Post-)Communist and East Asian Countries: Emerging Diversities within (Trans)Formations, Disruptions, Continuation [Part I] (Room 103)

Convened by Rasa Pranskevičiūtė-Amoson (Vilnius University, Lithuania) and Justina Razumaitė (Vilnius University, Lithuania)

  • Michael Strmiska (Orange County Community College (SUNY-Orange), USA). Eastern Religions in Eastern Europe: Three Cases from Latvia.
  • Rasa Pranskevičiūtė-Amoson (Vilnius University, Institute of Asian and Transcultural Studies, Lithuania). The Hare Krishna Community in the Light of KGB Persecutions: the Case of the Soviet Republic of Lithuania.
  • Justina Razumaitė (Vilnius University, Institute of Asian and Transcultural Studies, Lithuania). Conversion to Christianity in China as a Response to Global and Socio-political Challenges.

7.2          Japanese art (Room 106)

  • Līga Sakse (Latvian Academy of Culture, Latvia). Temporality of Japanese Floral Art: Case of AMKK (Azuma Makoto Kaju Kenkyusho).
  • Agnese Haijima (University of Latvia, Latvia). Contemporary Japanese Gardens and Parks.
  • Maret Nukke (Tallinn University, Estonia). The Enlightenment of Danish Prince: Adapting Shakespeare’s Hamlet as a Japanese

7.3          Politics of India [I] (Room 310)

  • Jacek Skup (Jagiellonian University, Poland). Whose heroes are they anyway? Leaders of the independence struggle in Narendra Modi’s historical politics.
  • Kuber Nag (University of Tartu, Estonia). Dalit Literary Activism and Identity Politics in India.
  • Manish Patel (Aarhus University, Denmark). The Implication of Two Poems in Mass-protest.

7.4          Environmental issues in East Asia (Room 311)

  • Katsuhiko Mori (International Christian University, Japan). Competition and Cooperation on Environmental Issues in Asia and the Pacific
  • Hiroshi Ohta (Waseda University, Japan). “Why is Japan faltering in climate diplomacy: The account from the politics of vested interest and path dependence
  • Margarita Putniņa (Buddhist Community Riga Drikung Ngaden Choling, Latvia). Global Society’s Environmental and Psychological Interconnectedness: Problems and Solutions.

11:00 – 11:15     Coffee break (on the 1st floor)

11:15 – 12:30     8th group of parallel sessions

8.1          Alternative Religiosities in the European (Post-)Communist and East Asian Countries: Emerging Diversities within (Trans)Formations, Disruptions, Continuation [Part II] (Room 103)

  • Darima Amogolonova (Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia). Constructing new religiosity, contesting secular authorities: Buddhist Traditional Sangha of Russia in Desecularization process.
  • David W. Kim (Australian National University, Australia). Cao Đài and Gucheon Sangje: Ethnical Grassroots New Religious Movements in Modern Vietnam and Korea.
  • Marika Laudere (Daugavpils University, Latvia). Minority Religions in Latvia: Buddhism.

8.2          Japanese and Chinese art (Room 106)

  • Nataša Visočnik (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia). Collections of Japanese Art in Slovene Museums: Alma Karlin’s Hand Fans.
  • Kristine Milere (Latvian National Museum of Art / Art Museum RIGA BOURSE / Latvian Academy of Culture, Latvia). Chinese graphic art collection of the Latvian National Museum of Art [via Zoom]

8.3          Politics of India [II] (Room 310)

  • Ranjan Kumar Sahoo (University of Delhi, India). A study of the concept of ‘Citizenship’ and ‘Democracy’ among the Students and Teachers of the state of Jammu & Kashmir.
  • Vivek Kumar Shukla (Aarhus University, Denmark). Changing Language of North Indian Electoral Politics.
  • Deepika Kashyap (University of Tartu, Estonia). Politics of Space and Identity in Northeast India: Understanding Nyishi and their Lost Glory. [via Skype]

8.4          Japanese politics and society (Room 311)

  • Arvydas Kumpis (Vytautas Magnus University / Klaipėda University, Lithuania). Personal blogs and the spread of Far-right ideas in Japan: the case of Makoto Sakurai’s “Doronpa no hitorigoto”.
  • Aya Kimura (Ochanomizu University, Japan). Museums Acts in Japan and Lithuania: Comparison of National Attitude toward Cultural Institutions.
  • Uģis Nastevičs (University of Latvia / Latvian Academy of Culture, Latvia). The Perception of Latvians by Japanese on Twitter.

12:30 – 14:00     Lunch break

14:00 ~                 Cultural activity