The time has come to welcome participants and the faculty to the first FF Summer School. We say “first”, because we are optimistic enough to believe that the experience will be so positive that another course will be arranged in a couple of years’ time. At least the interest shown by the 207 applicants to the course speaks for the need to bring folklorists together from different parts of the world to discuss the status and future of folklore and the discipline responsible for their scholarly assessment.
The scope of our general topic, “The Folklore Process”, is so wide that it may not be realistic to try to exhaust it with just one course. The theme can easily be divided into 20-30 sub-topics, most of which could easily occupy us for several days. The program on the next pages shows the present break-down of the theme. Preparations still under way have already shown that the activities of folklorists and the discipline itself are spread very unevenly among the sub-topics. Some slots are loaded with references whereas some are almost empty or require the engagement of persons other than professional folklorists. Coming to grips with the entire process, however, seems a necessity, if we wish to analyse and direct the spectrum of our present and future interests in relation to the role played by folklore (not necessarily folklorists) in society and various cultural institutions.
The participants come from 24 countries or autonomous areas. They represent a truly global selection on the basis of merit only. The Organising Committee did not want to let the economic factor make the selection. We worked hard to find financial support also for the travelling expenses of most participants. We managed to do this in spite of the economic recession at hand, but only at the cost of cutting the length of the course by five days and abandoning the longer field trips at the end.
The faculty comes mainly from the Nordic countries with important additions from Germany, India, and the U.S.A. The difference between teachers and participants should not be emphasised because the professional level of the latter is so high. The setting should be good for truly informative and analytic discussions where everybody can learn something. The participants have been asked to supply the course with reports based on experience in their own working milieu.
This leaflet will reach the growing FF network, including the persons who applied for the course but who will have to wait for a later occasion. It is our intention to keep in touch with them and to provide information concerning the results of the course as well as future plans.
(FFN 2, June 1991: 1)