2014 annual conference

“Sotsiaalteadused rahvusülikoolis” (Social sciences in the national university), conference in the University of Tartu Museum, December 5, 2014

As the 100th anniversary of the Estonian-instruction University of Tartu approaches, the Museum takes up the topic of social sciences in the national university on this years annual conference (December 5, 2014). Currently, the fields of study belonging to the University of Tartu Socialia are economics, law, sociology, journalism, communication and information sciences. These are sciences which study the society and have a clear practical output in structuring the face of society. These specialties trained the specialists who have designed the juridical and economic environment and information field of Estonia. These fields of study have also been the most deeply affected by great social changes.

A hundred years ago at the collapse of a great empire, Estonia was a newly independent small agrarian country where the erection of even one university was highly doubtful. During the timespan of one generation, we built up our own country and developed our own educated elite. Today we stand face-to-face with an information society and globalisation. Drastic changes in the ruling ideology and the way society is organised in the 20th century have forced each following generation to tear down what came before and build something completely different. This has resulted in many concrete social sciences having disappeared from the University, the change in topics of research papers and the things society orders from the University. Nevertheless, our progress has been incessant.

During the conference we will analyse the changes in social sciences that have taken place in the last hundred years and also take a peak into the future.

  • How have the goals and connection with real life changed?

  • How has the University’s scientific and educational progress corresponded to the challenges of society?

  • How have the developments in the field of social science elsewhere in the world affected the instruction in Tartu?

  • Who has taught and where have the students come from?

  • Where can we speak of schools of thought?

  • How have research and education changed as a result of the change in the political climate?

  • What role have the alumni played in society?

  • What has brought about the appearance of new research directions and fields of study (e.g. sociology journalism, semiotics)?

  • What role do the social scientists of a small nation play in a globalised information society?

We welcome both analytical and general presentations as well as memoir-style speeches. Please send short summaries of the presentations (up to 2500 characters) by September 30, 2014 to