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The Lithuania Program

The Lithuania Program was founded in 2018, under the leadership of Dr. Neringa Klumbytė, the Director of the Lithuania Program at the Havighurst Center, and Dr. Stephen Norris, the Director of the Havighurst Center.

As part of the Lithuania Program, the Havighurst Center sponsors an annual lecture on Lithuania. The Center also sponsors Miami University’s Lithuania Club, made up of students with Lithuanian heritage and students interested in Lithuania, which has been active since 2008. Additionally, students have spent summers studying in Vilnius and have also participated in internships in Lithuania, with assistance from the Havighurst Center through the awarding of travel grants.

Lithuania-related activities in the past have included the Vilnius Democracy Forum, hosted at the Presidential Palace in Vilnius (2015);  collaboration with Vilnius University, the VU Institute of International Relations and Political Science, and the Lithuanian Institute of History (2015); and a joint conference between Miami University and Lithuanian institutions (2016). 

For more information, contact Dr. Klumbytė, or the Center’s Director, Dr. Stephen Norris.

About Lithuania

Brief History of Lithuania

Lithuania was reestablished as an independent democratic republic in 1990. Once the largest state in the medieval Europe, it was under the Russian Empire control from 1795 to WWI, independent from 1918 to 1940, and again occupied by the Soviet Union until 1990. Lithuania was the first Soviet Republic to secede from the Soviet Union. It is sometimes credited with contributing to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Lithuania joined the European Union and NATO in 2004.  Currently the country of 3 million is committed to protecting its own statehood and democracy and extending support to Ukraine as the conflict in the region is unfolding.

Arts and Culture in Lithuania


Lithuanian National Museum of Art

Folk Art
Lithuanian folk art is a beautiful aspect of Lithuanian culture that connects the Lithuania of today with past generations. Some Lithuanian folk art has its roots in pagan belief systems, others stem from practical usage, and others are decorative elements made with materials found locally.

  • Straw gardens, known as sodai or šiaudinukai in Lithuanian, are decorative hanging elements made of geometric shapes
  • Lithuanian decorated eggs are known as margučiai
  • Black ceramics are a tradition that dates back to the times of ancient civilizations and is produced in the same way today
  • The distaff was used in Lithuania to spin yarn prior to the introduction of the spinning wheel
  • Papercutting, called karpiniai, has been practiced in Lithuania since the 16th century.

Lithuanian Folk Art Institute

Contemporary Art

MO Modern Art Museum
A personal initiative of Lithuanian philanthropists Danguolė and Viktoras Butkus, MO functioned as an art museum without walls for close to ten years. The collection of 5000 modern and contemporary pieces contains major Lithuanian artworks from the 1960s to this day


The Lithuanian Culture Institute
Established by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, the Institute purposefully presents Lithuanian culture and professional art abroad and enhances the opportunities on the international scene for cultural professionals and artists, as well as for specialists and organizations working in these fields.

Lithuania Lecture

As part of the Lithuania Program, the Annual Lithuania Lecture brings a speaker with expertise in the region to Miami University's Oxford campus.

This year's speaker is also serves as the speaker for the Havighurst Center's Annual Lecture.

Lithuania Club and Student Opportunities

Lithuania Club

The Miami University Lithuania Club is a student club that focuses on the celebration of the Lithuanian culture, language, and people.

Study Abroad Opportunities

Miami University Study Abroad:

Postauthoritarian Borderlands: State and Society in the Baltics
The workshop focuses on (post)authoritarian state and society in three Russia/Europe borderland states, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Through the lens of these three Baltic states students learn about global processes, including state violence and genocide, authoritarianism and democratic transitions, politics of history and memory, contemporary  geopolitics, and more. Students will meet with political and business leaders, scholars and artists, local communities and students. 

Students can apply for travel funding through the Havighurst Center.

Lithuania News and Media

News about Lithuania and the Baltic states (in English)

Baltic News Network

The Baltic Times
The Baltic Times is an independent monthly newspaper that covers latest political, economic, business, and cultural events in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Lithuania Radio and Television
LRT is a public service broadcaster offering high-quality, meaningful content on television, radio and news portals

The Lithuania Tribune
The Lithuania Tribune is a privately owned, non-profit on-line portal, which has been covering Lithuanian politics, economics, international relations, defence and security in English since 2009.