Conference: Biographical Research: Inequality and Innovation

Duration of the project

01.09.2016. - 15.10.2016.

Countries and institutions involved in the project

University of Latvia
University of Goettingen
University of Łódź, Poland

Aim of the project

The joint conference of the Advanced Social and Political Research Institute ASPRI at the University of Latvia (Baiba Bela) and the ESA RN03 “Biographical Perspectives on European Societies” (Chair: Kaja Kaźmierska and Ina Alber) was organized to discuss important social issues in contemporary Europe. Furthermore, the event focuses on the contribution of biographical research to sociological debates on recent developments.

The conference objectives were also (1) to facilitate the scientific exchange bringing together perspectives on biographical research from East and West; (2) to facilitate contribution of established researchers in sociology and biographical research to these discussions; (3) to provide a unique space for exchange for junior and senior biographical scholars from different countries and backgrounds and thus to contribute to the development of science in Latvia. The conference objectives were also to (4) bring together European researchers using biographical methodology, and (5) to strengthen and facilitate cooperation between scientists from Latvia and Germany in particular.

Main activities of the project

Venue: Isaiah Berlin auditorium, Faculty of Social Sciences & Advanced Social and Political Research Institute (ASPRI), University of Latvia, Lomonosova street 1a, Riga


22.09. with key note Vieda Skultans (Latvia, United Kingdom), 3 sessions with 3-4 presentations in each.

23.09. with key note Ursula Apitzsch (Germany). 3 sessions with 3-4 presentations in each.

Public event:

Cultural event in evening 22.09. with filmmaker and media artist Bettina Henkel (Vienna/Austria) on trauma, migration and biographical work, on Baltic postcolonialism and transgenerational transmissions of trauma in the European context.


Target group and number of persons involved

European senior and junior researchers using biographical methodology, number of persons involved – 28 registered participants and 5-15 audience (researchers, students from University of Latvia)