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.
In June, Visby will host the international conference Why folkloristics?
The aim of the conference is “to gather folklorists, ethnologists and other cultural researchers to a discussion about folkloristics current contributions to today’s development of knowledge in the cultural sciences. “Why Folkloristics! has two questions as its starting point: “To what do we need folkloristics?” and “What kinds of knowledge do folklorists claim to produce?””
Abstracts are already available on the website, showing a variety of interesting contributions to this timely topic.
Together with my colleague Fredrik Skott, I will present a paper about Digital vernacular practices and folkloristics.
Last week, I participated to the SIEF Congress in Tartu, the Annual Meeting of the international society of Ethnology and folklore (see previous post).
With over 400 participants and 10-15 parallel sessions along the 3 days of the congress, I can only write here about a fragment of the event. Based on the keynotes and the sessions I attended, I found the congress fantastic by its quality and by the open climate for scholarly discussions.
The keynotes are available online. I particularly enjoyed Kristin Kuutma’s critical talk on cultural heritage and Rob Howard’s lecture about his research on the vernacular web.
Despite some technological difficulties at the start, our panel went well and we had not only inspiring papers, but also interesting discussions about online/offline hybridity.
The theme for this year’s congress, circulation, turned out to be very productive. The circulation of culture and the role of media (mass media, ‘new’ media etc) in this process was a central topic in several sessions. Among the panels I attended, I found one about polymedia particularly interesting. The sessions about food styles were also – as always – inspiring and appetizing… in many ways 😉
Already looking forward to the next congress in Zagreb!