After the New Folkloristics? The Eighth Folklore Fellows’ Summer School at Lammi, Finland

The eighth Folklore Fellows’ Summer School will be held at the biological station of Helsinki University at Lammi on 2–8 August 2010. The title, ‘After the New Folkloristics?’, focuses on questions of present-day theories and methods in folkloristics. The course will, however, also continue to discuss the place of folklore studies within the humanities and within interdisciplinary studies.

After the New Folkloristics?

Like other humanities subjects, folkloristics has in the past century undergone many paradigmatic changes: the various text-based historical-developmental, diffusionist, functionalist and structuralist research topics­ have left deep vestiges in the history of learning within folkloristics internationally.

From the 1960s folklorists began to speak and write of new research perspectives and questions in folkloristics. An attempt was made to separate the subject fundamentally from the old-fashioned notion of the people, from fossilised categories of tradition-types and from essentialising dogmas of collective tradition. At this time, among other things new perspectives on the significance of contexts were presented, as well as research into the production of performances and text and questions of interpretation of patterns of ethnic thought and worldview.

The FF Summer School of 2010 will investigate the question of how things have fared for ‘new folkloristics’ over the decades, of which perspectives, new in their time, have persisted and which have changed. The intention is to focus particularly on methodologic­al questions affecting the substance of modern folkloristics, or how modern folkloristics manufactures itself. What is the relationship of folkloristics nowadays to closely related fields—and what are they? What form does multi-, inter- and transdisciplinarity take from a folkloristics perspective? How have research objectives and materials changed over recent decades, and what do old texts such as myths, folktales and fairy stories look like in the light of the new questions? Is cultural constructionism a controlling dogma in modern folkloristics? What sort of constructionism are we talking about, and does it have challengers?

Setting and practices

The Lammi biological station proved to be a pleasant FFSS venue in 1997 and 2002. It is near a village surrounded by typical Finnish landscape with fields, forests and lakes and is furnished with all the modern equipment needed for fieldwork and small seminars. There are both indoor and lakeside saunas, boats for those wishing to spend their free time on the lake, and plenty of forest paths to explore.
The organising committee of the eighth Folklore Fellows’ Summer School includes members from Finn­ish folklore departments, the Graduate School of Cultural Interpretations, the Folklore Archives of the Finnish Literary Society, the Kalevala Institute and the Kalevala Society.

Participants are to find their own means of funding the travel costs. The participation fee is 400 euros­. The organising committee will, however, aim to cover the costs of board and lodging in Finland for a limited number of participants who are unable to do so themselves.

The language of lectures and seminars is English, hence a good knowledge of English is a precondition for participation.

Twenty applicants may be accepted on the course. When choosing the participants, the FFSS will pay special attention to the thematic field of research interest and the motivation shown. The organisers will select the participants at the beginning of 2010.

For the application form, see the Folk­­lore Fellows’ website at

Prof. Seppo Knuuttila, Chair of the FFSS, University of Joensuu
Prof. Pekka Hakamies, Vice-Chair of the FFSS, University of Turku
Dr Lauri Harvilahti, Vice-Chair of the FFSS, Director of the Folklore Archives of the Finnish Literature Society
Dr Pauliina Latvala, Secretary General of the FFSS, University of Helsinki
Maria Vasenkari, MA, Course Secretary of the FFSS, Kalevala Institute, University of Turku

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