This year too, I will participate to the SIEF Congress, the biennal conference of the International Society for Ethnology and Folklore. This time, it takes place in Zagreb, Croatia, June 21-25.
Together with my colleague Robert Glenn Howard, from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, we organize the panel Inheritance of the digital: ethnographic approaches to everyday realities in, of, and through digital technologies.
I will also present a paper, Traditional knowledge: new experts:
The dualism of the Internet, inherited from on one hand an ideology of individual freedom, and on the other hand from efforts for the consolidation of institutional power, is reiterated in contemporary digital practices and discourses. The Internet is seen as a source of hopes and expectations for an increased democratization and empowerment that could benefit not least minority and marginalized groups. But it is also an arena where power structures, institutional and non-institutional, meet and develop. In this context, indigenous initiatives multiply, for instance for the revitalization of endangered languages, in activism and for knowledge production. Consequently, the recent increased use of digital practices implies that new experts and authorities emerge, challenging and bypassing institutional structures. As an effect of the re-shaping of the settings for knowledge production in (and by) digital practices, academic research is also to be re-defined and problematized. Scholarly expertise, academic authority and the role of the traditional producer of knowledge are challenged by the emergence of new experts and new forms of authority online. Based on knowledge and experience acquired from indigenous methodologies, this paper discusses the role, position and responsibility of the researcher in a context where the digital is becoming a natural part of everyday life.