There are at least three levels of interest in the training of scholars, namely, the national, the regional and the international one. A few years ago, the Ministry of Education suggested the founding of several coordinating groups of experts for the planning of more systematic post-graduate and doctoral training in Finland. This brought about a group for the training of researchers of traditional culture consisting of university professors in folkloristics and ethnology as well as representatives of most relevant archives and museums. Earlier each discipline had organised national seminars for doctoral students, but the establishment of a coordinative group improved the flow of information and led to further planning of seminars as well as an inventory of all interested parties.
The idea of the FFSS was presented to and accepted by this coordinative body in the planning stages of the first course. It was clear that it could not replace the scholarly training given mostly in Finnish or Swedish. But it was deemed a welcome opening toward a truly international training framework. In the coming years, as the need for teaching in English at Finnish universities increases, the FFSS will perhaps be better integrated with other training at the national level. Presently the university representatives involved are pondering how to make the national aspect present at the FFSS. One thing is clear: sooner or later all candidates for the Ph.D. degree will have to include components of an international character in their training.
For the moment, the administrative and budgetary responsibility for the FFSS lies with a special national Organising Committee which has folklorists from seven universities in Finland and the central folklore archive in Helsinki. It is this body that makes all practical decisions concerning the Summer School 1993, creates an economic base for it and directs the work of the Course Secretariat. It may be appropriate to announce here its composition, which was agreed upon at its constitutive meeting on January 31, 1992. Turku University and especially its Department of Cultural Studies take a special interest in the FFSS and provide important facilities as the host of the FF Summer School.
The regional level of interest for the moment seems to lack a clear referent. The Nordic scene is important, not least because of the recruitment of teachers, and a Nordic section is tentatively planned for the course. Finland, being a bilingual country, makes the use of Swedish materials quite natural. On the other hand, we are experiencing a “Europeanisation” of regional interests which could in the foreseeable future mean the creation of a network of universities both in the Nordic countries and elsewhere in Europe which could find suitable forms of joint activity in the field of scholarly training, be it individual study or intensive group work as at the FFSS.
The focus of the FFSS is, however, undoubtedly directed toward the widest possible audience. Only a global orientation will make, for example, the spiritual resources and needs of the developing countries visible. To ensure proper global horizons in the planning of the FFSS the Folklore Fellows Advisory Committee assists the Organising Committee and the Secretariat by suggesting teachers and distributing information. We will publish the list of members of the FFAC in the next issue of our bulletin.
The Organising Committee of the FF Summer School 1993
Ms. Anna-Leena Siikala, Professor of Tradition Research at Joensuu University (Chair)
Mr. Lauri Honko, Research Professor at the Academy of Finland, Turku University (Vice-Chair)
Ms. Ulrika Wolf-Knuts, Lecturer in Folkloristics at Åbo Akademi University, Turku (Secretary)
Mr. Pekka Laaksonen, Head of the Folklore Archive of the Finnish Literature Society, Helsinki
Mr. Timo Leisiö, Professor of Tradition Research at Tampere University
Ms. Aili Nenola, Reader in Folkloristics at Oulu University
Ms. Päivikki Suojanen, Associate Professor of Ethnology at Jyväskylä University (presently acting Professor of Folkloristics and Comparative Religion at Turku University)
Ms. Leea Virtanen, Professor of Finnish and Comparative Folkloristics at Helsinki University
The secretariat of the FFSS93
(address P.O.Box 14, 20501 TURKU, Finland)
Mr. Lauri Harvilahti, Ph.D., Secretary General
Ms. Lotte Tarkka, Ph.Lic., Course Secretary
(FFN 4, May 1992: 4)