at Turku University and Åbo Akademi University, Turku, August 8-23, 1999

The fifth international Folklore Fellows’ Summer School will aim to provide researchers, university teachers and archivists with an insight into current theoretical and practical issues in folklore research.

The general topic of the training course, Variation and textuality in oral tradition, will focus on a reassessment of the folkloristic theories about variation and meaning. The question is: where do we stand now that performance, context, intertextualism, ethnopoetics and many other new concepts have shattered the basics of the comparative method? Scholars have become interested in creating “thick” materials able to reveal the organic variation of folklore in a tradition system, be it in the mind of one storyteller or singer, or in an interactive social group or region. This approach often requires fieldwork, because the materials to be culled from publications and archive collections may be scattered, contextless and thin. Another keyword will be “textuality”. From where does a performance, a narrative or a song, draw its cohesion and meaning? From the performer, from the oral “text”, from the context of performance, from the audience or from a combination of sources? The methodological consequences of new theoretical stances will affect our fieldwork techniques and principles of archiving. Another concern is the ethical aspect of our research, the rules regulating the relations between scholars and informants, academic institutions and traditional communities in the modern world.

The recruitment for the course will be global. There will be 30 participants from all parts of the world, 12-14 lecturers and 6-7 group leaders. For group work the participants will be divided into four workshops: 1. Variation and textuality in oral literature, 2. Variation and textuality in oral epics, 3. Principles of fieldwork and archiving, 4. Folkloristic research ethics.

The course is open to both established and younger scholars, including persons who are writing their doctoral dissertations. The participation fee is USD 400, including board and lodging in Turku. Participants may in limited cases apply for travel grants if unable to secure support in their home country.

The teaching language will be English. The deadline for applications is September 30, 1998.

(FFN 15, April 1998: 13)

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