The Intellectual Mission During Times of Oppression and Today. Vytautas Kavolis Workshop


On December 8, 2023, the Lithuanian Emigration Institute and the Valdas Adamkus Presidential Library-Museum invited researchers, students, journalists, and public figures to the already traditional 4th “Vytautas Kavolis Workshop.” The idea of this interdisciplinary seminar, where researchers and followers of Kavolian thought from various scientific fields could meet and discuss current societal issues, was conceived four years ago in 2020, commemorating Vytautas Kavolis’ 90th birthday.

This time, the theme proposed for the Kavolis Workshop was “The Intellectual Mission During Times of Oppression and Today.” The initiator of the workshop, Vytautas Magnus University professor and academician Egidijus Aleksandravičius, moderated discussions that lasted more than four hours, addressing the mission, roles, and responsibilities of intellectuals in the public sphere, as well as communication with different audiences. The participants’ attention focused not only on contemporary issues but also on the past. Darius Kuolys discussed the role of intellectuals, their thoughts, and activities in society, including public spaces, relationships with the “court,” and the media. Ramūnas Čičelis defined the concept of an intellectual biography in his presentation, metaphorically connecting the intellectual’s path of education and highlighting the rarity of such genre books in Lithuania. Daiva Dapkutė analyzed the experiences of Santara-Šviesa in America, exploring the connections that brought together intellectuals of different backgrounds and professions in the activities of this organization. Other participants in the workshop and discussions included Giedrius Alkauskas, Arūnas Sverdiolas, Egidijus Balandis, Birutė Garbaravičienė, Žilvinė Petrauskaitė, Kastytis Antanaitis, and others.