BaFSA’s goal is to promote Baltic and Finnish culture to the IU and Bloomington community through social activities and academic events. BaFSA aims to support and promote scholarly inquiry into Finnish, Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian society, history, culture, and languages.
On October 1, 1999, twelve students founded the Baltic and Finnish Studies Association (BaFSA). The organization was duly registered with Indiana University on October 4 and since that date its membership has grown quickly. IU has been a longtime supporter of Baltic and Finnish studies. Eminent scholars such as Felix Oinas, Janis Penikis, Toivo Raun, and Inta Carpenter have served or continue to serve as IU faculty members. Recently, IU hosted both the 16th conference of the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies and the Baltic Studies Summer Institute. IU also regularly offers three levels of both Finnish and Estonian. BaFSA is an outgrowth of this commitment and corresponding student interest. BaFSA aims to support and promote a multidisciplinary community of scholarly inquiry into Finnish, Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian society, history, culture, and language. In pursuit of this goal, BaFSA sponsors academic and cultural events. The association also acts as a link to other organizations and institutions engaged in like-minded activities. Special emphasis is put on encouraging interest among those still unacquainted with Baltic and Finnish studies. Membership is open to all interested persons wishing to participate in the association and the general public and undergraduates are strongly encouraged to attend its activities. BaFSA is affiliated with both the department of Central Eurasian Studies (CEUS) and the Russian and East European Institute (REEI). BaFSA’s faculty advisors are CEUS professor Toivo Raun and lecturer Piibi-Kai Kivik.