Round Tables and Discussions

Updated: 2 days ago

10th International Congress of Belarusian Studies

Program of round tables and presentations

Saturday, October 1, 2022



PTV (Putvinskio str. 23)


Round table "The policy of the European Union in relation to Belarus after February 24. What options for the future?"

(in English; Chatham House Rules)

Moderator: Olga Dryndova, European Network for Belarus, DRA, Germany


Dorota Dlouchy-Suliga, European External Action Service, Belgium (tbc)

Pavel Slunkin, European Council on Foreign Relations; former MFA Belarus

Katerina Shmatsina, independent analyst, Belarus

Celia Challet, College of Europe, Belgium

Michał Kace­wicz, Jour­na­list, Poland

Stephan Hoffmann, Hoffmann Consulting, Belarus


Round table "How should we talk about our neighbors? Historical didactics and narrative practices.“

A strategic question arises when trying to create a story about the history of close neighbors - how to build a narrative: from the search for commonality or from the definition of differences? The problem is further complicated by the fact that historical knowledge, or rather, its arbitrary interpretations, become a very effective weapon of politicians. It seems that on the example of the former Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which has so much in common in history and such a different political status now, this problem can be discussed quite fruitfully.

Moderator: Tomasz Błaszczak (Lithuania)

Participants: Aleg Dziarnovich (Belarus), Rūstis Kamuntavičius (Lithuania), Leonid Timoshenko (Ukraine).


Round table "Philosophy and political reality in post-Soviet Belarus.“

How was Belarusian political philosophy created, and how did it react to the establishment of an authoritarian regime in Belarus, which world philosophers did it focus on, and what is its current fate? What are the main directions of political philosophy? What is the relationship between political philosophy, sociology, and political science? What are the parallels between Lithuanian and Belarusian philosophical and political thought?

Moderator: Gintautas Mažeikis (Vytautas Magnus University).

Participants: Paweł Barkowski (Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland), Andrei Gornykh (European Humanitarian University, Lithuania), Almira Usmanova (European Humanitarian University, Lithuania), Tatsiana Shchytsova.


Round table "Belarusian anthropology in the time of disasters and radical changes.“

The last two years in Belarus and neighboring countries were marked by many dramatic events and irreversible changes: the political crisis of 2020, an unprecedented increase in political repression in the country, the appearance of mass political refugees, the migrant crisis of 2021 on the border with Poland, and Russian aggression in Ukraine. In addition to various social and political consequences, these developments are accompanied by a radical restructuring of the landscape of extremely strong personal and collective emotions affecting anthropological researchers and the people they study. Hope, disappointment, anger, fear, elation, despair, solidarity, loneliness, hatred, love, silence, apathy, humiliation, pride, apathy, determination, shame, and guilt - such a palette of visceral feelings overflows the social fabric of the country, inevitably changing including and conditions of existence and work of anthropologists and ethnologists.

The purpose of this round table, therefore, is the following: an exchange of professional and personal experiences of the last two years, as well as a discussion of methodological and ethical aspects of anthropological research practice and academic expertise in catastrophic conditions.

Moderator: Roman Urbanovich (University of Helsinki, Finland).

Participants: Andrei Vazyanov (European Humanities University, Lithuania), Alena Gapova (Western Michigan University, USA), Stepan Zakharkevich (European Humanities University, Lithuania), Yana Sanko (Lund University, Sweden), Alexander Shrubok (Uppsala University, Sweden).


Discussion of the draft of the new constitution of Belarus


BLOCK I. History


17.00-17.20 – Valentina Sobal (University of Warsaw, Poland)

Filip Orlik (1672–1742) and his "Diariusz". Wstęp i opracowanie Walentyna Sobol. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego, 2022.

2020 marks the 350th anniversary of the birth of Philip Orlyk, the first political emigrant and the first hetman of Ukraine in exile. Rod Orlikov had Czech and Belarusian roots, the future Ukrainian hetman was born in the village of Kasuta in the Ashmyan region. This edition presents a scientifically processed edition of the diary of Philip Orlik, edited by Valentina Sobal.

17.20-17.40 – Słavomir Łotysh (Institute of History of Science, Poland)

Sławomir Łotysz. Pińskie błota. Nature, knowledge and politics in Polish Polesiu until 1945. University, 2022.

The first history of Polesia under Polish rule, written from an ecological point of view. This book analyzes how environmental factors determined the economic, political and social life of local society and how they shaped the Polish state's policy towards the eastern territories in the interwar period. In this book, the author also reflects on the environmental consequences of human activity.

17.40-18.00 – Grzegorz Berendt (World War II Museum, Poland)

Grzegorz Berendt. Bronna Góra 1942 roku. Miejsce zagłady natychmiastowej na Polesiu. Gdańsk: Muzeum II Wojny Światowej w Gdańsk, 2021.

This monograph describes in detail the still almost unknown history of the extermination of thousands of Jews in 1942 in Bronnaya Gara. Due to the gaps in research available today, the huge tragedy, and the need to preserve the memory of the victims, this topic should be carefully studied. Three chapters describe in detail the perpetrators, the activities of the repressive apparatus, the victims of crimes, and the place of execution itself in Bronnaya Gara. All research is supplemented with applications to sources and photographic materials. "The presented study is a pioneering scientific work, which will primarily serve to preserve the memory of tens of thousands of people killed in Bronna Hora" - from the review by Professor Yevhen Mironovich.

18.00-18.30 – Tatsiana Astrouskaya (Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe, Institute of the Leibniz Association, Marburg, Germany)

Tatsiana Astrouskaya, Kul’tura i supratsiŭ. Intelihentsyia, inshadumstva i samvydat u savetskai Belarusi (1968-1988). Belastok: Viasna, 2022.

The author will introduce the Belarusian translation of her PhD dissertationCultural Dissent in Soviet Belarus. Intelligentsia, Samizdat and Nonconformist Discourses (1968-1988)”, published in 2019 with Harrassowitz.

Intellectual opposition, cultural dissent and uncensored publishing occupy a major place in the history of Central and Eastern Europe. This book is the first attempt to write such a history for Belarus. It delves into the landscape of the late socialist Soviet Belarusian republic, looking for individuals and texts that, in one way or another, undermined the socialist canon. The author is concerned with the question of how dissent was possible in “the most socialist soviet republic”? Where laid the divide between resistance and collaboration? And how movable were the borders between allowed and prohibited, official and uncensored?

BLOCK II. Literature


17.00-17.30 – Maria Martysevich (Belarus)

The Lithuanian story "Grazhina" in Belarusian: presentation of the new Belarusian edition by the translator Mariya Martysevich.

As a participant of the Gaude Polonia scholarship program organized by the National Center of Culture under the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland, the writer, and translator Mariya Martysevich is making a new translation into Belarusian of the verse story "Grazyna" by Adam Mickiewicz (1823). The book project will include a complete translation of the text of the famous epic work, as well as a literary commentary. The text and context of "Grazhyna", as well as the significance of this work for the canon of Belarusian literature, will be the main topic of the meeting.

17.30-18.00 – Vanda Martins (Lithuania)

Presentation of the translation into Belarusian of the book "Lithuanians by the Sea of ​​the Laptevs.“

The author - Dalia Grinkevičiūtė - as a 14-year-old girl, on September 14, 1941, along with her family and thousands of other Lithuanians, was taken first to the Altai Territory and then to an uninhabited island at the mouth of the Lena River. In the first polar winter, half of the exiles died of hunger, cold, scurvy, and typhus. Dalia survived, returned to Lithuania in 1956, and wrote memoirs towards the end of her life. The first part of her memoirs was published in 1988. In Lithuania, which was already reeling and living with the hope of a revival of independence, this book had the effect of an exploding bomb.

18.00-18.30 – Anna Yankuta (Belarus)

Presentation of the poetry collection "Constitution": poems on the margins of the basic law

The collection of poems "Constitution" - poetic reflections on the margins of the basic law, the "chronicle of catastrophes" of Belarusian everyday life. The work on the book began with the idea of ​​rewriting some document in poetic language and as a result resulted in a reflection on the questions facing us today. What is the law? What does the world do to man, and man to the world? Another source of the book is the IPCC report on the climate crisis. The stories covered in the collection begin with the Big Bang, span all geological eras, and converge in the here and now to capture the moment we are forced to inhabit.

18.30-19.00 – Igor Krebs (Belarus)

Presentation of the books "Jewish Melodies" by G. Heine and "Old New Earth" by T. Herzl in Belarusian translations

Two new editions from the "Hebraistics of Belarus" series (published by R. Tsimberau) will be presented. "Jewish Melodies" (1851) is a poetic cycle by Heinrich Heine, which includes three works: "Princess Shabbat" is a sensitive and ironic story about one of the main holidays of the Jewish people, Shabbat; "Yehuda ben Halevi" is a sublime and humorous poem about the greatest Jewish poet of the Middle Ages; "Dispute" is a witty critique of narrow-mindedness and focus on dogmas, using the example of a dispute between a rabbi and a monk. "Old New Earth" (1902) is a utopian novel that proposes an approach to the rational and prudent construction of the state and all state institutions. The novel, as well as the pamphlet "The Jewish State" (which is also printed in the book) at one time inspired people to a common cause, which was embodied in the creation of Israel. Both books were translated into Belarusian by Igor Krebs.

BLOCK III. Philology


17.00-18.00 – Yadviga Kozlovska-Doda

The presentation of the book "Tożsamość, losy i język najstarszych sząbniki Dociszek na Białorusi (na podstavje badasan terenowych z przelomu XX i XXI w)". Lublin: Wydawnictwo Werset

The book describes the ideas and experiences of people living today or those who have died. The memory of the distant times of their childhood and youth, as well as the family stories of their parents and grandparents build the identity of border residents, and its absence affects changes in self-identification. Border people, despite their national differences, are a local community with common knowledge, experience and values. The book also presents the morphology of Polish speech in two variants (peasant and noble). Many linguistic features described by the author are also present in other territories of the Polish-Eastern Slavic border. During the research, rare features were also noted, which had not been witnessed in such a quantity before.