INTERNATIONAL SCIENTIFIC CONFERENCE

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“THE TIME OF THE DUCHY OF COURLAND AND SEMIGALLIA –UNIQUE PERIOD IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD”

Kuldīga District Museum invite scientists to participate in an international scientific conference "The time of the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia – unique period in the history of the world" which will take place in Kuldīga April 2–3, 2020. 

At the conference scientists are invited to present their studies and discuss previously unstudied aspects of the history and culture of the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia and  Kuldīga in the 16th – 18th century in the context of Europe and the world, and to look at the previously analysed issues from other perspectives. Researchers are invited to prepare a report (25 minutes) in Latvian or English, in accordance with the thematic directions and topic description of the conference, and to participate in discussions during the conference. Following the conference, the rapporteurs will be invited to submit their studies for publication in the stock of scientific articles, which will be prepared in Latvian and English.

The conference will take place for two days in the most charming town of Kurzeme – Kuldīga. On the first day, papers will be presented and discussions will take place, which can be continued in the evening during the banquet. On the second day, the presentation and discussion of reports will continue, followed by a tour of the historic centre of the town, Kuldīga District Museum or Kuldīga Restoration Centre, offered by the organisers of the conference.

Please send your conference participation request (participation form: Conference in Kuldīga 2020) and your thesis by October 31, 2019 by e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Applications for participation in the conference will be examined by November 15, 2019. Response regarding participation in the conference will be provided by November 20, 2019.

Accommodation and catering will be provided to the rapporteurs by the organisers of the conference. Transport (airplane tickets, transport from Riga to Kuldīga and back) will be provided by the organisers of the conference. Individual arrival times and reimbursement of travel expenses should be agreed in advance with the organisers of the conference.

Themes of the conference:

  • The Duchy of Courland and Semigallia in the 16th – 18th century Europe;
  • Kuldīga (Goldingen) – an important centre of the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia;
  • Heritage of the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia in Kuldīga and the surrounding area.

Description of the topic:

The unique situation that had formed in the Baltic Sea region in the 16th century contributed to the creation of a new member of international relations – Duchy of Courland and Semigallia. From 1561 to 1795, this small country (national arrangement) occupied the area from the coast of the Baltic Sea to Daugava and bordered with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Polish Livonia, the Kingdom of Sweden and later the Russian Empire. Thanks to well-considered administration, diplomacy and trade, the Duchy was not only able to exist and to maintain its independence for more than two hundred years between mutually hostile powers, but also left its legacy in a wider geopolitical area.

One of the most important administrative centres of the Duchy was Kuldīga (Goldingen) that had been at trade crossroads for centuries. Kuldīga provides unique testimony about the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia and the prosperity of this era, international trade relations and cultural exchange, since it was not only the first capital of the Duchy and the hometown of Duke Jacob, but it is also the best-preserved urban testimony of this phase of history.

At the international scientific conference in Kuldīga, researchers are invited to present reports on the previously unstudied aspects of history of the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia and Kuldīga, as well as to take a look from other perspectives on the topics that have been addressed so far.

The first part of the conference is dedicated to the place of the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia in the 16th – 18th century Europe and to the history of the Duchy as a particular projection of relations between European countries. What internal and external factors determined the formation, development and decline of the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia? How the specific geopolitical situation in the Baltic Sea region is reflected in the history of the Duchy? What was the international role, presence and engagement of the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia in the major geopolitical developments of the era? What is the importance of involvement in international trade and the growth of the production for development of the Dutchy? How did the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia influence further development of the region?

In the second part of the conference it is intended to analyse the role of Kuldīga in the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia from the 16th to 18th century. How much do we know about Kuldīga in the 16th, 17th and 18th century? What opportunities and challenges are there in researching the sources of information in both Latvian and foreign archives and libraries regarding history of Kuldīga in the 16th – 18th century? What are the similarities and what are the differences of Kuldīga compared with other towns of the Duchy? Can it really be considered the first capital of the Duchy? What role did Kuldīga play in the trade and economic development of the Duchy? How was the business activity organised in Kuldīga?

The final part of the conference is dedicated to the research of the intellectual heritage of the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia that can be captured in the urban environment of Kuldīga, important personalities, events or interaction between events and personalities of the time of the Duchy in and around Kuldīga. What studies have been carried out on the material and intangible cultural heritage of the Duchy in Kuldīga? What testimony about the Duchy is hidden by the cultural layer of Kuldīga? What in the architecture of Kuldīga presents evidence about international trade and cultural exchange in the 16th – 18th centuries? What has changed, and what has remained unchanged in Kuldīga and its surroundings since the time of the Duchy? What intangible cultural values have been inherited from generation to generation in this region in recent centuries?

The researchers are invited to express their views on these and many other issues of the history and culture of the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia and Kuldīga, as well as to participate in the discussion during the conference in Kurzeme's most charming town – Kuldīga.

  • Length of the report: 25 minutes
  • Working languages: Latvian, English
  • Deadline for participation applications: October 31, 2019 (participation form: Conference in Kuldīga 2020)
  • Applications should be e-mailed to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Contact information regarding applications and questions that may arise:
INNA ROZENTĀLE - Kuldīga District Museum, Head of the Collection and Research Department
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,
mobile phone: +371 27020564.

Participation form: Conference in Kuldīga 2020_Participation form

Conference invitation: Conference in Kuldīga 2020 Invitation A4

        

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