” … is an international network of folklorists, which promotes scientific contacts between researchers, publication work and research training. In striving to meet its objectives it invites outstanding and active researchers from across the globe to become members. Folklore Fellows operates under the auspices of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters. The membership forms an editorial advisory body on the Academy’s Folklore Fellows’ Communications series, and participates in organising the research courses of the Folklore Fellows’ Summer School. The activities of the Folklore Fellows are related in the Folklore Fellows’ Network bulletin. “

FFC 306 released

FFC 306

Art Leete, Guileless Indigenes and Hidden Passion: Descriptions of Ob-Ugrians and Samoyeds through the Centuries

This monograph is aimed for discussing the views of the character of the Khanty, Mansi and Nenets by authors of different periods­. Changes of general ideas about the inhabitants of the Arctic has had a remarkable, albeit often concealed, role in the development of the research on northern peoples. The author examines the image of northern peoples beginning from ancient Greek and Roman accounts of peoples, medieval sources, modern travel journals and ends up with the analyses of contemporary scholarly writings. The book is an attempt to explore the general background of ideas and the scientific methodology that frames changes in this knowledge about the peoples of the North. The theoretical framework of this monograph is related to the dialogue between modern theories of identity and the historical modes of description. Conceptualisation of northern peoples have been affected by period-specific dominant modes of thinking about culture and appropriate ways to present one’s viewpoints.

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Cfp: FFSS 2015: Doing Folkloristics in the Digital Age

The call for applications for the next Folklore Fellows’ Summer School to be held at Turku University’s research station on the island of Seili in the Turku archipelago, 11–18 June 2015 is now open. The theme of the international summer school, the ninth to be organised in Finland, is investigation of the Internet and digital culture from a folkloristics perspective. The keynote speakers include Anneli Baran, Trevor J. Blank, Lauri Harvilahti, Robert Glenn Howard, Timothy Lloyd, Lynne S. McNeill, and Jaakko Suominen.

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FF Network 44 available online

FF Network 44 (July 2014)

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FFC 305 released

FFC 305

Lotte Tarkka, Songs of the Border People: Genre, Reflexivity, and Performance in Karelian Oral Poetry

Rune-singing in the Kalevala meter is one of the few European oral poetries to survive the long nineteenth century. In her comprehensive study of the poems collected in the Archangel Karelian parish of Vuokki­niemi, Lotte Tarkka places this tradition within historical and ethnographic realities, contexts of local and elite ideologies, and the system of folklore genres. The songs of the border people emerge as praxis, the communicative creation of individual and collective identities grounded in a mythic-historical view of the world. The bond between the songs and their singers is articulated through an intertextual analysis of key cultural themes and the textual strategies used in their elaboration. In performance, singers and their audiences could evoke alternative realms of experience and make sense of the everyday in dialogue with each other, supranormal agents, and tradition. The poems, as powerful representations and performatives, endowed those who voiced them with godlike creative capacities, as coined in the proverb “The things I put into words, I make real.”

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FF Network 43 available online

FF Network 43 (December 2013)

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FFC 304 released

FFC 304

Theoretical Milestones: Selected Writings of Lauri Honko, edited by Pekka Hakamies and Anneli Honko

Lauri Honko (1932–2002) was among the leading folklorists of his time. In particular, he developed theories and concepts relating to folk belief, genre and epic. The present collection represents a selection of Honko’s key articles, which he considered worthy of republication himself. They relate to Honko’s own research, to the debates and discussions he took part in; some are introductions to article collections produced by groups of researchers.

Honko’s writings combine a typically strong empiricism with clear theoretical thought. His own theoretical framework was above all one of functionalism, within which he united other currents within folkloristics, such as ‘composition in performance’, ‘ecology of tradition’ and ‘textualisation’. He was occupied by the question of how the individual performer used folklore, be he a teller of proverbs or jokes, a singer of oral poetry or a producer of written epic.

Honko was at no stage a representative of the traditional ‘Finnish school’ of folklore research, and origins and developments were a research challenge to him particularly from the perspective of how folklore adapts in different ways to its setting and circumstances of performance by means of variation, and how regularity may be discerned within this.

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FFC 303 released

FFC 303

G. A. Megas, Anna Angelopoulos, Aigli Brouskou, Marianthi Kaplanoglou, Emmanouela Katrinaki: Catalogue of Greek Magic Folktales

The Catalogue of Greek Magic Folktales comprises an epitome in the English language of the ‘Greek Catalogue of Magic Tales’ published originally in five volumes in the Greek language. The collected texts cover a period of more than a century of recordings (from the second half of the nineteenth century up to the mid-1970s) and geographically cover not only the entire Greek territory and Cyprus but also other areas where Greek populations live(d) and Greek cultures thrive(d) (Asia Minor, Pontus­, Cappadocia, Southern Italy). It was Georgios A. Megas, the eminent folklorist, who drafted the first (unpublished) catalogue, gathering and indexing all published and unpublished Greek folktale versions, so that the number of texts finally exceeded 23 000. A group of specialists continued for nearly 30 years carrying this project, consulting, classifying, and commenting G. Megas’ handwritten card indexes, and finally edit­ing this rich material, scattered in public and private archives.

May this Catalogue of Greek Magic Folktales, in its English edition, serve as a useful tool for future comparative research.

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FF Network 42 available online

FF Network 42 (December 2012)

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FFC 302 released

FFC 302

Alexandra Bergholm: From Shaman to Saint: Interpretive strategies in the study of Buile Shuibhne

A shaman, a saint, a remorseful penitent, or a mad novice? Since the publication of J. G. O’Keeffe’s edition of the medieval Irish text Buile Shuibhne­ in 1913, the enigmatic presentation of its main protagonist Suibhne Geilt has become a subject of a plurality of scholarly analyses, which have sought to understand the true nature of his madness. This study charts the ways in which Buile Shuibhne has been interpreted in twentieth-century scholarship, by paying particular attention to the religious allegorical readings of the text. The examination of four prevalent interpretative frameworks – historical, pre-Christian, Christian, and anthropological – relates theoretical conceptions of literary theory, comparative religion and historiography to the study of medieval narrative material, by considering the nature of different methodological presuppositions that have guided the scholars’ understanding of the tale’s meaning. The integration of issues relating to text, context, and interpretation raises the issue of communally shared reading strategies in the explication of interpretive variety, thereby highlighting the importance of asking not only what a text means, but also how it means.

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FFC 301 released

FFC 301

Merrill Kaplan: Thou Fearful Guest: addressing the past in four tales in Flateyjarbók

A stranger appears at the court of a Norwegian king known best for bringing Christianity to the North. Variations of this scene appearfour times in the fourteenth-century manuscript Flateyjarbók. Thou Fearful Guest analyzes how these episodes create meaning by their connections to custom, law, myth, discourses of historical and spiritual truth, typological understandings of time, and the historical context of the manuscript in which they appear. Thou Fearful Guest explores how and to what end medieval Icelanders thought about tales of heathen gods and heroes.

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