Young Scholars Working Group



After a successful and inspiring workshop held during SIEF’s Congress in Zagreb 2015, the Young Scholars Working Group held its own conference. A report will follow shortly.

Call for Papers
: The First International Conference of the SIEF Young Scholars Working Group in cooperation with the Institute of Cultural Anthropology/ European Ethnology at Göttingen University:

Coming of Age: Young Scholars in the Field of Folkloristics, Ethnology, and Anthropology.
Göttingen, March 26th, 2017

The aim of the YSWG Conference is to reflect upon the academic, intellectual, and existential conditions of being young scholars in the fields of Folkloristics, Ethnology, and Anthropology. The Conference will bring together scholars in early stages of their careers: Master and Doctoral students, Postdoctoral researchers, and other interested researchers. The Conference is envisioned as a platform for exchanging experiences and promoting dialogue across national and disciplinary borders, as well as collaborations on both individual and institutional levels.

The Conference will take place in the morning and early afternoon of 26 March 2017, right before the official opening of SIEF’s biennial Congress. An informal get-together will take place at one of Göttingen’s bars the night before. The Conference will be divided into two sessions and a final roundtable discussion. To enable as much communication and exchange among the participants as possible we favour dialogic and workshop oriented formats instead of traditional panel presentations. That means we invite people to give short impact presentations (up to ten minutes) or poster presentations to leave space for questions and discussions.

Please send us a short abstract of fewer than 200 words and three keywords by December 18, 2016. Participants without an own contribution are of course also welcome. Please register by January 15, 2017. In both cases please send us an email to YSWG(AT)

There is no conference fee but you need to be a member of SIEF.

A brief overview of the sessions

First session: panel “How to Learn Our Trade”

We invite participants to take an ethnographic look at their own institutions and reflect upon the way they have been socialized into our disciplines. This could mean taking a closer look at the impacts of national or regional histories that have influenced the development of our disciplines, their research emphases and schools of thought (especially given our disciplinary roots in nation-building processes or other close ties with national politics and/or political regimes).

The aim of this panel is to combine diverse knowledge and experience to create an overview of the broad and diverse landscapes of institutions where our disciplines are taught across Europe and beyond.

First session: panel “Paradigm Shifts and Crossings of Disciplinary Borders”

In the past, paradigm shifts have changed our research subjects, theoretical frameworks, and methodologies, thus redefining the profile of Ethnology/Folkloristics/Anthropology in relation to other scholarly disciplines. In this panel we want to look at the academic currents that shape our research questions and influence disciplinary interests. What kind of impact does the growing relevance of inter- and trans-disciplinary research contexts have on our disciplinary self-understanding?

Second session: “Workshop on Writing a Research Paper or a Research Proposal”

This session will be divided into several smaller working groups in which participants can discuss their own work-in-progress (e.g. a research grant proposal, parts of their master or doctoral thesis, monograph, or an article) and receive feedback from other participants. Participants who would like to discuss some of their work are asked to circulate their drafts, questions, etc. in advance to enable practical work on the actual piece of writing/questions.

Third session (Roundtable Discussion): “M.A., Ph.D., Postdoc –What Comes Next”

What will our professional life look like after a M.A., a PhD or a PostDoc? Here we will discuss career opportunities within or outside academia (e.g. UNESCO, public services, private companies, NGOs, freelancing) and upcoming questions such as: Which challenges might arise when doing applied research? In competition with academics from other fields in social sciences we are often obliged to emphasize our folkloristic/anthropological/ethnological profile – how can we stress our knowledge and methods? We will invite people from our field who have followed different professional paths and are willing to share their experiences and talk about chances and challenges.