Tag Archives: research

Digital demokrati, egenmakt och språkrevitalisering

På onsdag 9 november kommer jag att hålla en öppen föreläsning på temat Digital demokrati, egenmakt och språkrevitalisering. Jag kommer att presentera en del av min forskning där jag har studerat användningen av digital teknik och digitala medier för att stärka de samiska språken.

Föreläsningen är en del av docentdagen och alla är välkomna att delta!

Tid: 14.20 – 14.45
Plats: Rum för lärande, Humanisthuset, Umeå Universitet.


Sámi Uses of Participatory Media – Language, Identity and Communication

I have initiated a new research project about Sámi use of participatory media, that investigates and analyzes how digital media is used within the Sámi community for strengthening identities and for communicating cultural knowledge.

This project will examine to what extent digital media uses build on established modes of expression and communication within the community, i.e., to what extent Sámi groups are working with traditional modes of communication within the frame of media, and to what extent media imposes new modes upon the cultural communication.

This project is planned to run for a year, starting from now, and is partly financed by Vaartoe/CeSam, Center for Sámi research at Umeå University. Information and updates about the project will be posted on this blog.


Från folktro till gruvmotstånd: samiska berättelser om naturen

Från folktro till gruvmotstånd: samiska berättelser om naturen

I kvällens föreläsning handlar det om samiska berättelser om naturen. Berättelserna är hämtade dels från äldre källor och dels från nutid, som t.ex. debatten om gruvexploateringar. Samarrangemang med Johan Nordlander-sällskapet

Forskningsarkivet, Umeå universitetsbibliotek

Onsdag 30/10 19.00-20.00


DSC_0576 Ábeskoeatnu (1)

Cultural circulation, Hybridity, Polymedia and so much more

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!

Sámi Storytelling as a Survival Strategy

New Publication:




My article “Sámi Storytelling as a Survival Strategy” is now published in Rethinking Cultural Transfer and Transmission. Reflections and New Perspectives. Edited by Petra Broomans and Sandra van Voorst. (Groningen, 2012).

The study presented in the article examines the role of narratives and narratives practices for endangered languages, in the process of place-making and as a source of knowledge, based on the study of Sámi inreach and outreach initiatives. Storytelling has become one important tool in revitalisation efforts. It is not only a rich tool for language teaching and acquisition, but also for identity management for members of the indigenous community. Furthermore, storytelling constitutes an important and often unexploited source of knowledge. Thus, it represents a place for negotiation and empowerment.

The implications of a name change

The International Society for Folklore and Ethnology (SIEF) is currently discussing a change of name.

In the latest newsletter May 2012 vol 10 Nr 1, we can read how “The Board felt that the name was problematic for a society of modern culture research”. The new name suggested is “Society of European Ethnology”. This raises at least two questions. First, what is wrong with the term “Folklore”? Second, what does “European Ethnology” signal, who identifies with it?

Folkloristics is not a separate university subject in all countries – but still, in many – and is nevertheless a field of research with its scientific organizations and journals, and with an international presence in education and research.

Connotations to the term folklore – remains from a political context in a very specific time in history – have weakened as the international field of folkloristics has developed. Even in France where the word “folklore” was strongly stigmatized, scholars engage with a critical debate about the ideological connotations in relation to the reality they work with (Christophe et.al, 2009).

In the newly published A companion of Folklore (Bendix and Hasam-Roekm, 2012), Schmidt-Lauber writes:

“It has become a tradition that scholars of European ethnology try to explain their discipline and reflect critically on its cognitive identity. What is this discipline that calls itself “European Ethnology”? The discipline, from the perspective of which I write, is a so-called “small-discipline” in German-speaking countries. It came to questionable prominence in the 1930s, when it was called “Volkskunde”, but can also look back on an eventful history with many breaks and changes […]. It is a discipline of the German speaking countries – a “German special discipline” as the historian Thomas Nipperdey (1983:522) once described it.” (2012:559)

Based on this definition, the name European Ethnology does not support the wish of the society, i.e. “Our society needs a name that is all embracing” (SIEF Board’s mission statement from 2001)

Another aspect of concern would be the turn from an “international” society to one that deals with “European” ethnology – with the risk to exclude non-European scholars.

The issue of the name of the Society will be determined by a vote, “probably before the next International Congress in 2013” (see newsletter).

The choice of a name is a way to take a stand in relation to the disciplines. I suggest we look forward when voting for the name of the society. The question to be asked is whom the society wants to include and to engage in scholarly dialog with.

References cited

A Companion to Folklore . (2012). Wiley-Blackwell.

Christophe, J., Boëll, D.-M., & Meyran, R. (2009). Du folklore à l’ethnologie. EMSH.