The tradition of the Baltic Summer School of Anthropology (BSSA) started in 2013, and its organizers are graduates of Riga Stradins University and representatives of the Latvian Anthropological Society. The aim of BAVS is to create an open environment for the exchange of knowledge and experience on anthropological considerations in solving various problems and to promote interdisciplinary discussions on the application of anthropological theories and methods in academic and applied research and practice.
BAVS is an international event every two years, which at the end of August in Latvia brings together about 40 to 70 participants and highly qualified lecturers from the Baltic States and other countries of the world. Each time, BAVS is dedicated to another sub-branch of anthropology or a topic relevant to society, looking at it from an anthropological perspective, while trying to develop an interdisciplinary discussion.
Where to study in Latvia?
The anthropology program at the University of Latvia has been operating since 2009, but since 2014 the studies have been conducted mainly in English. The studies are characterized by a seminar environment and inverted teaching methods, creating a core for students' active participation in e-studies for active participation in person. The department is staffed by researchers educated in the UK, Denmark and Norway, as well as recent program graduates.
The bachelor's program offers courses in classical and contemporary theories, political, economic and developmental anthropology, sensory, body and medical, kinship, gender and sexuality, as well as case, urban, environmental and zooanthropology studies. Thematic courses are complemented by courses in qualitative and quantitative methods, research ethics and individual and applied research.
The master's program offers a more critical and in-depth look at cultural and social processes. Students' theoretical knowledge is complemented by perspectives on postmodernism, experience, self and capacity, as well as Bourdieu's theory. Some courses also analyze post-socialism, transnationalism, biotechnology, international business and consumer practices.
The research takes place both when students choose the topics they think are relevant, and when the program and the students themselves cooperate with various organizations (for example, the Association of Latvian Commercial Banks, Free Riga, Fern Flower). Researchers of the department are currently working on a project funded by the Latvian Council of Science on the prevention of violence against women and children in Latvia.
RSU master's study program "Social Anthropology" as the first anthropology program in Latvia for ten years already provides an opportunity to acquire in-depth knowledge and skills in social anthropology. The core of the teaching staff of the program consists of lecturers who have been educated in Great Britain, the USA, the Netherlands, as well as conducted research both in Latvia and abroad.
The program brings together active, curious and purposeful students with a wide range of education and professional experience - from architects, lawyers, economists, designers, to sociologists, marketing and advertising specialists. During the studies, students' existing knowledge is challenged with information about aspects of human life in different cultures of the world, at the same time strengthening both critical thinking and understanding of the social foundations of human action.
Within the framework of the program, there is active cooperation with other universities, and every semester at least one foreign guest lecturer is attracted to teach various courses. Thus, students come into contact with a multifaceted intellectual and pedagogical approach, which they are invited to use in their master's thesis research. The RSU program is also characterized by an informal attitude between students and lecturers, recognizing that the best exchange of ideas takes place in a friendly and mutually respectful atmosphere. The learning environment is created by maximizing students' cooperation and sense of community.
The teaching staff and students of the program are also actively involved in various large-scale research projects, including the Horizon 2020 project INFORM , as well as a multi-year expedition in the regions of Latvia .