FF Communications, which celebrates its centenary in 2010, has offered a scholarly forum for international folkloristics. The series’ founder, Kaarle Krohn, believed that internationality made possible both comparative research and the development of purposeful theory arising from discussions between scholars. In the early twentieth century the roots, history and interchanges of cultures and traditions were sought out. The research published in FFC was historical-genetic or aimed at an understanding and depiction of the phenomena and varieties of tradition. The direction of the series has, however, changed in accordance with the theoretical development of folkloristics. The firmly text-based perspective adopted by Krohn and Aarne was overturned already by Krohn’s successor as editor, Uno Harva (Holmberg), who was an ethnographically oriented field-researcher and specialist in comparative religion. From the 1960s on the so-called new folkloristics inaugurated a behavioural-scientific perspective in addition to the older text-centred folkloristics. Researchers based their arguments ever more on materials gathered during fieldwork.
Uno Harva’s editorial successors, Martti Haavio, Lauri Honko and Anna-Leena Siikala, have been both folklorists and religious anthropologists. FFC’s position within the academic fields is quite clear. It has emphasised, in addition to text- and performance-centred folkloristics, research into anthropology, especially religious anthropology. A strong emphasis on field research has also meant that the series has also been ethnographically oriented. Since the 1960s the field covered by FFC publications increasingly broadened to include Asia, Africa and the Pacific. The globalising developments of the 1990s are visible in both the objects of research and the pool of authors being situated increasingly outside the West.
Although the series’ basic objects of research have remained surprisingly coherent, the process of change in the paradigm which began in the 1960s has broadened its theoretical field. After the functional and structural analytical research of the 1960s, in the 1980s and 1990s a cognitive and performance-centred method of research became apparent, as well as an observation of the processes of tradition and of research ethics. Epic and mythic research has also brought linguistic analyses into the circle of publications. Regardless of the changes in the theoretical emphases of FFC publications, type indexes have belonged continuously among readers’ favourite works. They are practical tools for folklorists, which private researchers also need in addition to archives.
The Finnish Academy of Sciences selects the editor-in-chief of FFC. The members of the series’ editorial board, who represent not only Finland but also other nations, support the editor-in-chief in the selection of works. The publications in the series are traditionally refereed, a process undertaken by two independently chosen referees for each work. The publication selection committee of the Finnish Academy of Sciences finally approves the works promoted for publication by the editor-in-chief.
FFC has a publications secretary, in addition to the editor-in-chief. The publications secretary maintains a correpondence with the authors, and takes care of the series’ practical affairs. FFC publishes primarily monographs, which may contain ethnographic or folklore material. FFC publications are not produced for merely short-term current use. The Finnish Academy of Sciences bookstore, which still proves adequate, makes possible a continuing long-term sale of the publications; many classic works have also been reprinted.
FFC is a refereed monograph series in the following fields of research: folkloristics, comparative religion, cultural anthropology and ethnology. It focuses on the non-material aspects of traditional culture, especially oral literature, belief systems, myth and ritual, methodology and the history of research.
ISSN 0014-5815 has been published for the Folklore Fellows since 1910 by the Academia Scientiarum Fennica (Finnish Academy of Science and Letters).
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