Dr. Bradley Woodworth

"Music Associations, National Identity and Civil Society in Eastern Europe: the Case of Tallinn"
Thursday, April 7, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. in the Marvin K. Peterson Library


In the late 1980s, the peoples of the Baltic region in Eastern Europe (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) used every means at their disposal to assert, peacefully, the desire to run their own affairs, independent of Soviet imperial control. Perhaps the most impressive example of the solidarity of the Baltic nations in their drive for autonomy was participation in huge song festivals, where national cultures were celebrated by tens of thousands of people.

The Baltic song-festival tradition began in the nineteenth century, a time when all inhabitants of the region began using expressions of national identity to remake the map of social relations inherited from the past. This presentation will describe these forms of self-expression and community building in one particular city: Tallinn, today the capital of independent Estonia. I will show that music associations and song festivals were not only articulations of national identity, but also forums where new civic energies were developed.

Biographical Information

Bradley D. Woodworth has been a University of New Haven faculty member in History and Global Studies at the University of New Haven since 2006. He also currently is the director of the university's Honors Program. He received his Ph.D. in History in 2003 from Indiana University and holds a Master's Degree in Russian and Soviet Studies from Harvard University.

He is editor and co-author of several volumes on topics of Russian Imperial and Baltic history, including The Most Treasured Possession of the Empire: Russian Perspectives on the Baltic Region from the Sixteenth to the Twentieth Century (Böhlau, 2011). He is currently working on a book on nationality and civil society in late tsarist Tallinn.


Dr. Bradley Woodworth's web page.