An International Conference Dedicated to Writer Regīna Ezera

17/11/2021
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Photo: from the left – Regīna Ezera, Gunārs Priede, Imants Ziedonis. Collection of the Literature and Music Museum
Photo: from the left – Regīna Ezera, Gunārs Priede, Imants Ziedonis. Collection of the Literature and Music Museum
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On 3rd and 4th December, the Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art of the University of Latvia in collaboration with the National Library of Latvia will be holding an extensive virtual conference "Regīna Ezera and Eastern European Literature". The programme will include in-depth and wide-ranging lectures by foreign guests, panel discussions featuring renowned writers and theatre professionals as well as presentations of academic papers by local and guest researchers. The first day of the conference will mainly address the life and work of women writers, contemporaries of Regīna Ezera in the Baltics and Eastern Europe, while on the second day, the discourse will be focused on Ezera's literary legacy and interpretations of her works in film and theatre. The conference will be streamed live on lnb.lv and lulfmi.lv, DELFI news portal (Culture section), as well as on the Facebook pages of the biggest Latvian Culture publications.

"We wanted to organise this conference a year ago, to mark the 90th anniversary of the excellent author Regīna Ezera. However, due to the pandemic, our initial plan had to change. Even this year, gathering scholars from several countries into one space is a rather difficult task. Nevertheless, this year has also shown us that virtual events can be put together in a way that is ambitious and of high quality, thus allowing more people who follow cultural events to participate in this occasion," explains literary scholar and critic Jānis Ozoliņš. He is one of the initiators and organizers of the conference alongside his colleagues Anda Baklāne, Kārlis Vērdiņš, Artis Ostups and Ivars Šteinbergs.

Regīna Ezera is one of the most significant Latvian authors of prose, equally accomplished as a writer in the novel, short prose, journalism and diary genres. Her novel "Smoulder" (Zemdegas, 1977) is included in the Latvia's Cultural Canon for "being a striking documentation of her era while weaving together timeless themes and characters in a vivid and, at times, strangely surreal narrative." Ezera's prose challenges the usual limitations of genres and as a cultural phenomenon has had a significant impact on the further developments of Latvian prose. The writer has notably influenced authors who made their debuts in the 1980s, such as Gundega Repše, Andra Neiburga, Eva Rubene, Rudīte Kalpiņa, et al., and authors whose first works came out in the 90s, including Inga Ābele and Nora Ikstena.

Ezera's works have been extensively translated and published abroad, therefore it is important to look at her literary legacy in the context of not only local but also international literary processes. The first day of the conference will be held in English since researchers from abroad will be providing their insights and emphasizing the connections among the literary worlds of the Baltic and Eastern European countries. Among the guests will be the world-renowned literary theoretician and scholar Laura Doyle (University of Massachusetts-Amherst), researcher of Eastern European literature Sanja Bahun (University of Essex). Literary historian Sandra Meškova (Daugavpils University) will be discussing Ezera's significance in the context of Latvian literature.

The second day of the conference will be in Latvian, namely discussing Ezera's literary legacy and interpretations of her works in film and theatre, therefore the panel of literary experts will be joined by theatre historians and professionals – Edīte Tišheizere (LU LFMI), Dmitrijs Petrenko (Liepāja University), directors and actors Ināra Slucka, Jānis Znotiņš, and the playwright and prose writer Rasa Bugavičute-Pēce. Teachers of Latvian language and literature Lita Silova (Riga French Lycée) and Daiga Zirnīte (Riga State Gymnasium No. 1), conducting in-depth research into Ezera's work, will be reading their papers on related subjects. Educators working in humanities and social sciences in Latvia are especially welcome to attend the conference to broaden their knowledge of Ezera as one of the authors of required reading in schools. 

The conference is financially supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia, and the Minister of Culture Nauris Puntulis is expected to give a speech during the event.
 

More information about the conference as well as various engaging articles about Regīna Ezera in the upcoming weeks will be published on the Facebook page: https://fb.me/e/2N9L6i7kV. The conference will be streamed by Delfi.lv and made available live on the Facebook pages of the most notable cultural media platform: Satori.lv, Punctummagazine.lv, Žoklis, Domuzīme, Teātra Vēstnesis, Kino Raksti, as well as Latvianliterature.lv.

 

More information:
Dace Bargā
Public Relations
Phone: +371 27710081