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Krista Anna Zalāne

Krista Anna Zalāne (born in 1993) is a Latvian writer, researcher and project curator. She has studied literature and anthropology and worked as a teacher, researcher and policy maker for higher education. Since June 2021 she is a part of the “Baltic Peripeties” team at the University of Greifswald, in the meantime curating literary performances in Riga, working on her first novel and exploring Germany via her weekend travels.

She also publishes poetry and prose under the pen name ‘Krista Anna Belševica’, including a poetry collection “Hunting life” and a short story collection “Grey dog dreams about goldfishes”. 

University of Greifswald

IRTG Baltic Peripeties
Anklamer Str. 20
17489 Greifswald

Room: 0.12
+49 3834 420 3201 (department secretariat)

Department of Baltic Studies

Designing Peripeties: Storytelling about Revolutions and Revolutions in Storytelling

Probably like all the others, Latvia is a nation and a society built on stories; the ideas about one’s self, one’s historical identity and one’s place in the world are encoded in them. A very popular and ubiquitous perspective in research on Latvian literature is the paradigm of national identity. However, much less has been said about the narratives themselves: how they are chosen, constructed, and presented to the readers and – being read. When thinking about history, more or less every historian in the world thinks about the same fatal points. However, the question is – do we build the same narratives upon them?

The historical novel may be a productive context to expand the understanding of the representation and textualisation of historical reality in various ways, starting from the choosing (how is a particular narrative selected, what is the personal relationship between the narrative and the author) to the making of a particular narrative (sculpting the narrative to the needs, understanding of a particular society, and taking into consideration the aesthetic tendencies and tradition).

Proposing the problem of narrative design, I will provide an analysis of two prominent works of Latvian literature: Māra Zālīte’s “Pilna Māras istabiņa” (1987) and Inga Gaile’s “Stikli” (2016). Through the subtle process of breaking down the two narratives I believe to be able to provide new insights into the ways Latvian authors and humans in general produce meanings.

  • “Cilvēki ir suga, kas stāsta stāstus [Humans Are a Species that Tell Stories],” [interview] #esiLV, June 27, 2023,  https://esilv.org/petniece-krista-anna-zalane-cilveki-ir-suga-kas-stasta-stastus/.
  • “A Poem about War, Peace, and Growing Up,” [blog] Baltic Peripeties Blog, May 3, 2022, https://peripeties.uni-greifswald.de/i-grew-up-with-war/.
  • “The World is Open, Your Land is Closed: Latvian Literature in Exile,” [forthcoming in an anthology of Latvian literature in English].
  • “Literary Text as a Performance of National Identity: Fiction of Ernests Aistars,” Topical Problems in the Research of Literature and Culture 24 (2019). (in Latvian)
  • “A Romantic with an Attitude,” in Post scriptum, ed. Dzintars Sodums, Riga: Dienas grāmata, 2019, 265-323. (in Latvian)
  • “Emotional History. The Interpretation of History in Contemporary Latvian Literature: In Search for the Author, the Reader and the Reality,” Topical Problems in the Research of Literature and Culture 23 (2018): 91-104. (in Latvian)
  • “‘Pearl Fisher’ in the Light of Early Philosophical Views of Jānis Poruks,” Topical Problems in the Research of Literature and Culture 22 (2017): 10-26. (in Latvian)
  • “Turning Points in Historical Narration: An Aristotelian Story about Latvians and Emotion,” 15th Conference on Baltic Studies in Europe (CBSE) Turning Points: Values and Conflicting Futures in the Baltics, Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, June 15-17, 2023.
  • “Narratives Between Past and Future: Peripety as a Tool to Analyze Change in Life and Literature” (with Martina Zagni), international conference Negotiating Peripeties: Change and Its Narratives, organised by the IRTG Baltic Peripeties. Narratives of Reformations, Revolutions and Catastrophes, University of Greifswald, in cooperation with the Alfried Krupp Institute for Advanced Study Greifswald, May 25-27, 2023.
  • “Pagātnes poetizācijas mehānismi: no Aristoteļa līdz mūsdienām” [Mechanisms of Poeticizing the Past: From Aristotle till Today], 29th international academic conference Current Issues in Research of Literature and Culture, Liepāja University, Liepāja/Latvia, March 23-24, 2023.
  • “Valoda: starp radošumu un kontroli” [Language: Between Creativity and Control], spring conference Zīmols: latviešu valoda [Latvian Language: The Brand], organised by Korporācija Spīdola, Riga, March 18, 2023.
  • “Fluchtpunkte – Ostseeraumnarrative,” panel discussion and readings at the Tage baltischer Literatur, Literaturhaus Zürich, in cooperation with the IRTG Baltic Peripeties, Zurich, February 25, 2023.

University studies and degrees

  • Since June 2021
  • Doctoral Researcher at the International Research Training Group “Baltic Peripeties. Narratives of Reformations, Revolutions and Catastrophes” at the University of Greifswald.
  • 2019
  • M.S. Sc. in Social Anthropology, Rīga Stradiņš University.
  • 2019
  • Exchange semester at University of Hamburg (Erasmus).
  • 2017
  • Exchange semester at University of Oslo (Norway Grants).
  • 2016
  • B. A. in Baltic Philology and Literary Studies, University of Latvia.

Professional background

Works as a freelance writer, translator and editor under the pen name ‘Krista Anna Belševica’, author of the poetry collection “Hunting Life” (Medījot dzīvi) and short story collection “Grey Dog Dreams about Goldfishes” (Pelēks suns sapņo par zelta zivtiņām). Former policy maker at Ministry of Education and Science of Latvia and former researcher at Literature and Music museum in Riga, Latvia.