After finishing work in the KGB archives and before starting to read newspapers in the National Library, I am trying to get through a number of tasks on my to-do list that are more concrete and not such extended projects.  Here are a few of the items I am working on during these first few weeks in May.

  • Go through my notes and photographs of documents and make a list of the various criminal codes under which people were charged.  This information will help me understand how the Soviet authorities interpreted different types of acts and events in which Lithuanian youth engaged.
  • Hire neighbor as research assistant to figure out where to find Soviet criminal codes and make photocopies of the relevant articles.  This is a task that I can actually delegate and use my time for other things.
  • Visit Museum of Genocide Victims (aka KGB Museum) in Vilnius to look at exhibit on popular resistance to Soviet occupation.  This section of the exhibit wasn’t completed when I visited the museum in 2007 and I haven’t been to the museum yet this year.
  • Check winter and spring issues of academic journals, such as East European Politics and Society and Journal of Baltic Studies, and read articles relevant to my areas of research.  Staying informed about scholarship in my field helps me know when others’ work overlaps with mine and gives me ideas about ways to approach and structure my own research.
  • Find potential materials about Lithuania during the Soviet years for an anthology edited being by my dissertation adviser.  It’s important to maintain a good relationship with my adviser, plus I think that the Lithuanian experience will provide a good case study for her book.
  • Meet with the professor who is my liaison at Lithuanian Institute of History, my host institution, to update him on my work.
  • Take photos of sites in Kaunas where the May 1972 events occurred.
  • Visit Ninth Fort Museum in Kaunas to see exhibit on Kalanta.
  • Meet with “Kaunas 1972” who has been posting comments on my blog.  I want to make contacts with people who participated in the protests, as well as people who didn’t participate, to see what these events meant to them and how they affected their lives.
  • Find funding sources and write research plan to apply for grants to come back to Lithuania next year and do a full interview project.  I won’t have time during this trip to do a full interview project but I think this is an important component of my research project.
  • Write 20-minute presentation for Baltic Studies Conference in Kaunas in June.  The presentation will be about ways in which Kalanta’s death has been commemorated since independence.  I wrote the full paper last year and it will serve as the last chapter of my dissertation.
  • Most importantly, and happening today, attend commemorations of Kalanta’s self-immolation and the protests in Kaunas.  This year is the 37th anniversary of the events I am studying.  As I just mentioned, part of my dissertation will be about the ways in which his death and the demonstrations are commemorated.

    So, as you can see, I may not be working in the archives right now but I still have plenty to keep my busy.