SIEF Board 2008
At SIEF's general assembly (Derry, June 18, 2008) the following members were elected to the Executive Board:
Chair, Ethnology and Folk Life, Academy for Irish Cultural Heritages, University of Ulster, Derry
After an earlier career in business, I was awarded a PhD in Social and Environmental Studies from the University of Liverpool for an ethnographic study of informal economy in the West of Ireland. Over the past twenty years I have worked at several universities in England, Scotland and Ireland. In 2000 I was appointed to a Chair in European Studies at the University of the West of England, Bristol, where I led the European Ethnological Research Unit. Since 2005 I hold the Chair in Ethnology and Folk Life at the University of Ulster’s Academy for Irish Cultural Heritages. I am editor of two monograph series, Progress in European Ethnology (Ashgate) and, with Prof. Máiréad Nic Craith, European Studies in Culture and Policy (LIT); I am editor of the AJEC - Anthropological Journal of European Cultures (Berghahn, 2007-11) and a member of the editorial board of Folk Life (2008-12). In 2003 I was elected an Academician of the United Kingdom’s Academy of Social Sciences.
Ethnology and Folklore are facing significant challenges in terms of disciplinary identity and their location within academia. One major challenge is to maintain the traditional strengths of our field while being proactive in developing contemporary and future-oriented fields of inquiry. As a SIEF Board Member, 2004-8, I have worked to build up and consolidated links with related disciplines, especially with Europeanist anthropology. My appointment to the editorship of AJEC is evidence of the success of this endeavour as well as opening up potential for further connections. In the United Kingdom, my efforts ensured that, for the first time, our subjects are represented – under an ‘area studies’ panel – in the Research Assessment Exercise.
If elected president, I will, in conjunction with the Secretariat in Amsterdam, my fellow Board Members, and the SIEF Working Groups, support the Society’s activities in areas of research that are of continued relevance while promoting areas of growing importance for our academic field, and try to facilitate communication between different national and regional concerns. This may entail the strategic creation of new Working Groups. I propose to introduce an open-ended series of SIEF symposia to develop a research agenda linked to an international postgraduate training network, and to do this in collaboration with congenial interests in cognate fields.
Peter Jan Margry (1956) holds a Ph.D from the University of Tilburg and works at the Department of Ethnology of the Meertens Institute in Amsterdam, one of the research centers of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Apart from SIEF he is a member of the AAA, AFS and EASA.
Margry started his education in 1975 with the study of photography at the Gerrit Rietveld Art Academy in Amsterdam. In 1977 he made a change to the University of Amsterdam where he received in 1983 his MA in History and a post-doctoral degree in Archival Science in 1986. He held a post as archivist at the National Archives in The Hague (1984-1986). Then he received a cultural staff position at the National Audit Office (1986-1989), during the years 1987-1993 he was, partly during the same time, an appointed Inspector of Archives. As a freelance consultant 'Cultural Heritage' he had assignments for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and private organizations in South America and Asia.
In 1993 Margry entered academia and became director of a long term project on Dutch pilgrimage culture at the Meertens Institute and published the four volume set Bedevaartplaatsen in Nederland (1996-2004). Meanwhile, in 2000, he defended his historical-ethnological dissertation on the conflicts between Catholics and Protestants in 19th century Holland over religious rituals in public. In 2000-2001 he was based in Rome and did research on modern network relations regarding apparitional cults in Italy and Europe. During the period 2001- 2004 he was Director of the Department of Ethnology and member of the Management Team of the Meertens Institute. At the moment he is senior researcher Religious Culture. His research focuses on modern and contemporanean religious culture in the Netherlands and Europe, with a specific intrest in pilgrimage and sanctity; new forms of religiosity; healing; rituals. Next to that he works on memorialisation; heritage; material culture; 19th/20th century Culture Wars.
Some recent publications: Peter Jan Margry & Herman Roodenburg (eds), Reframing Dutch Culture. Between Otherness and Authenticity (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007); Peter Jan Margry & Cristina Sánchez-Carretero, 'Memorializing Traumatic Death', in: Anthropology Today 23,3 (June 2007); Peter Jan Margry (ed.), Shrines and Pilgrimage in the Modern World: New Itineraries into the Sacred (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2008)
The major task for SIEF will be to develop itself in the next years into a more effective and representative body of ethnologists and folklorists inside but also outside Europe. It has to be a professional organisation for all working in ethnology and folklore studies. SIEF must reinforce connections with central EC institutions in order to get support for European projects and publications but must at the same time also enhance its ties with other professional organisations working in the field of ethnology and adjoining fields. Such a policy should strengthen the position of SIEF and its members and of European ethnology in general. The SIEF secretariat and website are momentarily based in the Meertens Institute and with the support of this institute SIEF will work on the improvement its website, newsletters and administrative affairs.
Professor of European Ethnology, Stockholm University, Sweden Born in 1948, I finished my M.A in the social sciences in 1972 with a major in human geography. After having worked for fifteen years as an administrator of cultural environment planning, I returned in 1988 to Lund University and the Department of European Ethnology where I was trained as an ethnologist. I took my doctoral degree in 1993 with a dissertation about the tinkers' encounter with justice, where I tried to show how the cultural construction of outsiderhood works under different societal regimes over three hundred years. Between the years 1993 and 2001 I was senior Lecturer and as of 1997 associate professor in Lund doing research on relations between nature and culture as well as on identity formation among intellectuals and criminals.
Since 2001 I hold the Hallwyl professorship and chair of European ethnology in Stockholm. My profile as a teacher and researcher emphasizes identity issues related to people, cultural products and norms and their variation across and relations to spaces and places. I have written extensively on city-life, landscaping, gender, minority-issues as well as questions of cultural heritage, different forms of bodily expressive culture and methodological and theoretical questions in the history of ethnology. Some of my current publications in English are articles like: ‘The cultural boundaries of citizenship’, ‘L’ethnologie et les musées. Quelques changements historico-culturels’, ‘Inmates in motion - metamorphosis as governmentality’, ‘Facts and artefacts in cultural history museums. The material turn in research’, ‘The end of biography: Plotless individualism’, ‘Customizing’ and the book Landscape values of rural inhabitants in the Sound region. Two case studies; reflections and theoretical considerations on culture/nature relations and social space, together with two other researchers. I am on the editorial board of the journal Ethnologia Europaea and editor of Ethnologia Scandinavica. A Journal for Nordic ethnology.
I want to contribute to the development of SIEF in a time when the field of ethnology is threatened and I believe that we have to find new cooperative solutions for the discipline in Europe. Many of our research questions should be much better off if we addressed them to different countries and regions. I consider SIEF an important professional organisation that ought to be strengthened by both common projects and a journal where we could make manifest ethnology in a broad sense. The most important work in SIEF, however, is to bring together ethnologists in the conferences which we will continue to improve.
Arne Bugge Amundsen received his BA in Folklore studies in 1978, and continued with an MA in theology and church history, earned in 1979. He completed his doctorate in Folklore Studies in 1987. From 1987-1994 he was Senior Curator at Borgarsyssel Museum, Sarpsborg; from 1995-1996 he was teaching Folklore studies, as of 1996 he was Professor of Folklore studies, and as of 2003 Professor of Cultural history at the University of Oslo.
Among his major assignments held are the position of Deputy Head (2005-2006) and as of 2007 Head of the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages, University of Oslo. Since 2007, he is Deputy Head of The Institute for Comparative Research in Human Culture as well as a Board Member of the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo. In 2002, he became a Member of the Royal Gustavus Adolphus Academy, in Uppsala/Sweden. He is also a Member of the Societas Scientarum Fennica/Finska Vetenskaps-Societeten, Helsinki/Helsingfors (since 2004) and since 2002 he is Editor-in chief of ARV. Nordic Yearbook of Folklore.
His main research fields are cultural history, especially of Northern Europe in the period 1500-1900 with particular emphasis on popular culture, religious history, museum studies and regional history.
Election Statement: I have been an active member of two of SIEF’s working groups – The Ritual Year and the Ethnology of Religion. I have published and edited works on both historical and contemporary topics. Representing the traditions of Norwegian folklore studies and cultural history I aim to develop SIEF further as a central organisation for information, academic contacts and scholarly activities primarily within Europe. Active members and active working groups are essential elements in this strategy. Based on my experiences at my present department at the University of Oslo, covering both European and Oriental studies, I will also try to develop further the real international and global potentials of ethnology and folklore studies.
I have a PhD in literary sciences and am a folklore scholar. My research work is focused on European ballads, animal in folklore and literature, and Slovenian folk song, especially in its relation to contemporary poetry and prose. My recent publications are the scientific monograph Ljudsko in umetno: dva obraza ustvarjalnosti/ Folk and literary: two faces of creativity (2003) and a scientific collection Slovenian Folk Songs, Volume 5 (2007). I am a research advisor at the Institute of Ethnomusicology, and from 1993 its director. In 2003 I was established the postgraduate programme (module) entitled Slovene studies – tradition and modernity in the programme Intercultural studies at Scientific Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts and at University of Nova Gorica, where I am also an Assistant Professor and teaching the course: Slovene folk songs and literary poetry - folkloristic and intertextual viewpoints. I am the head of the research programme Folklore and Ethnological Research of the Slovenian Culture and head of three research projects: Research of the Genre, Typological, and Structural Definition of Folklore Material; Researching the Bearers of Folk and Cultural Phenomena; Etnomuza digital multimedial store of Slovenian folk music and dance, and participate in the two EU projects: Excellence in Processing Open Cultural Heritage (EPOCH); Preservation and On-line Fruition of the Audio Documents from the European Archives of Ethnic Music (Culture 2000). In 2006 I was appointed by Ministry of high education and science Republic of Slovenia as the international reviewer. I am the vice president of Komission für Volksdichtung from 2002-2007 1st term and from 2007-2010 2nd term.
I see my role in the executive board as to focus on reinforcing the representation of scholars from Slavic countries and from other under-represented regions in the SIEF as well as to encourage the placement of applications for various project in the frame of EU projects and to be active on getting funds for SIEF actions from EU institutions as well. From this point of view, I would be pleased to offer my network with different institutions and more direct communication beyond language barriers. This would be an excellent opportunity to give insight into ethnological, folkloristic research from these countries and to establish a network of ideas, institutions and researchers for the cooperation on different levels.
Assistant Professor of Folklore/Ethnology at the University of Iceland 2005-
Born in Iceland in 1972, I embarked on my study of Folklore and Ethnology at the University of Iceland in 1992. In 1997, I enrolled in the MA program in Folklore at the University of California, Berkeley, and seven years later I completed my Ph.D. at Berkeley. In my dissertation, The Making of Intangible Cultural Heritage: Tradition and Authenticity, Community and Humanity, I investigated the concept of intangible heritage and the creation of the convention dedicated to its safeguarding. I have since continued my research in the fields of heritage, both in Iceland and in international politics, but those projects are moreover complemented by a parallel one on intellectual property and traditional knowledge in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), where I have served as an observer on behalf of SIEF since 2002.
In spring semester 2008, I am a Visiting Professor teaching in the departments of Anthropology and Scandinavian at the University of California, Berkeley. In 2005-2006, I was a research fellow at the International Center for Advanced Studies at New York University. I have also taught briefly at Edinburgh University and at the Icelandic Academy for the Arts, and my next stop is the Georg-August Universität, Göttingen, where I´m scheduled to teach a seminar in June/July 2008.
In 2000, I founded with two colleagues the journal Cultural Analysis and served as its co-editor until last year. I have edited two collections of essays in Icelandic, but my English-language articles include the following:
“Claiming Culture: Intangible Heritage Inc., Folklore©, Traditional Knowledge™”, 75-100 in Prädikat “Heritage” – Perspektiven auf Wertschöpfungen aus Kultur, ed. Dorothee Hemme, Markus Tauschek and Regina Bendix. Münster: Lit Verlag.
“Spectacular Reproduction: Ron’s Angels and Mechanical Reproduction in the Age of ART (assisted reproductive technology)”, Journal of Medical Humanities 28, 2007, .
“The Politics of Origins. Collective Creation Revisited”, Journal of American Folklore 117 (#465), 2004, 300-315.
“Bodies of Knowledge. Ole Worm & Collecting in Late Renaissance Scandinavia”, Ethnologia Europaea. Journal of European Ethnology 33, 2003, 5-20.
“Groaning Dwarfs at Granite Doors. Fieldwork in Völuspá”, Arkiv för Nordisk Filologi 118, 2003, 29-45.
“The Elves’ Point of View: Cultural Identity in Contemporary Icelandic Elf-Tradition”, Fabula: Zeitschrift für Erzählforschung 41(1/2), 2000, 87-104.
Professor of Cultural Research, Institute of Cultural Research and Fine Arts, University of Tartu.
Kristin Kuutma holds the position of Professor of Cultural Research at the Institute of Cultural Research and Fine Arts of the University of Tartu in Estonia, where she has also been engaged as senior researcher in ethnology and communication studies. With undergraduate studies in English and a MA in folkloristics from Tartu, she earned her Ph.D in the US at the University of Washington in Seattle in 2002, where she did her doctorate in Scandinavian Area Studies while teaching Estonian under the Baltic Program and serving as a research assistant at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Since her return to Estonia, where she had previously worked at a government agency of folk culture (1984–1994) and a research institution of folklore (1994–1998), she continued as a researcher of cultural history at the Estonian Literary Museum, until the final transition to the university. At the University of Tartu she was elected director of the Research Centre of Culture and Communication in 2006. Due to her combination of expertise in the field of cultural policy making and research, she has been engaged as an expert for various projects undertaken by the UNESCO on a national level as well as in cooperation with all three Baltic countries. In 2006 she was appointed the representative of Estonia at the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage. At the moment, she serves also as the Estonian representative in the Standing Committee for Humanities of the European Science Foundation.
Her research interests draw in the history of ethnographic studies and reflexive cultural critique; she focuses on issues of theory, and the analysis of cultural heritage in the context of representation, modern communication systems, and the making of cultural policy. She has analysed the production of ethnographic representation in collaborative cultural mediation in her book Interpreting the Creation of a Sámi Ethnography and a Seto Epic, in the Folklore Fellows’ Communications series (Helsinki 2006). She has co-edited a collection on disciplinary history Studies in Estonian Folkloristics and Ethnology: A Reader and Reflexive History (Tartu University Press 2005). Her recent publications include also a monograph in Estonian about the transition of tradition into cultural symbols, Pärimuskultuurist kultuurisümboliks. Saami etnograafia ja seto eepose loomislugu (Eesti Kirjandusmuuseum 2005). She has published articles for an international audience in the journals Scandinavian Studies, Oral Tradition, Temenos and Folklore on identity construction from the perspective of vernacular religious practices and other aspects of expressive culture, particularly that of folklore festivals and the singing traditions. In her analysis of the folklore movement and the Baltic song festivals, she has focused on the reflection of socio-cultural processes in musical expression.
She proposes to bring to the SIEF board her good international connections in European ethnology and folklore in Europe and the USA that she has built during research and academic exchange. She has also excellent outreach to her colleagues in the field in other Baltic countries. She would hope to particularly benefit SIEF through her experience and analytical approach to cultural policy making on a wide international scale, based on her activities and involvement within heritage matters in UNESCO.
I was trained in the Department of Folklore and Folklife at the University of Pennsylvania, and today I am Asssociate Professor of English, Comparative Studies, and Anthropology at the Ohio State University, where I also direct the Center for Folklore Studies and an interdepartmental graduate folklore program. I have also taught at the University of Pennsylvania, Indiana University, New York University, the University of Barcelona, the Inter-University Centre (Dubrovnik), Georg-August Universität (Göttingen), and most recently an Open Society Institute summer seminar at Babes-Bolyai University (Cluj, Romania). I was elected Fellow of the American Folklore Society in 2005, and served on its Executive Board from 2003-2006, as well as chair of its Committee on International Issues from 2000-2007. I speak all of the Romance languages (Catalan best, Romanian worst), understand German pretty well and Dutch on a good day, and can order drinks in Turkish and Croatian.
My own research has focused on the collective representations of plural societies, with an emphasis on how intergroup relations are articulated and manipulated through traditional performance genres. My most recent book is Fire in the Plaça: Catalan Festival Politics After Franco (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003). Currently I am writing a series of articles on how heritage and intellectual property regimes are reshaping the social organization of vernacular creativity. I am also working slowly on a history of folk voice as a political device in modern Europe.
Bearing in mind the difficulty of mobilizing busy people internationally, I am interested in participating in three kinds of conversation on the SIEF board:
1. The reproduction of folklore and ethnology in the university. My own growing program has created a new core curriculum in response to a period of flux in US folklore departments, and we have devised an interdepartmental structure that relies on support from twelve departments in four faculties, including such unlikely partners as political scientists. I would like to learn about innovations in curriculum and institutional structures in European programs, including the cross-European collaborations, so that we can learn about what is working in a time when we are all facing institutional challenges.
2. The improvement of scholarly communications in the field. I was the initiator of the new international listserv H-Folk, co-sponsored by six organizations, which as I am writing is about to be launched and holds both promise and pitfalls. In addition to thinking about how such ventures can be sustained, SIEF is well placed to think about how to strengthen bibliographic exchange within our field. In particular, I would like to work on ways to traverse the Germanic-Romance linguistic divide more successfully and to publicize European scholarship more effectively within the US.
3. The emergence of new comparative research agendas. I have organized various small-scale comparative international projects, for example a special issue of Indian Folklife on conceptions of folklore, joining participants from India, Kenya, Turkey, and China, and a 2007 conference “Culture Archives and the State” bringing together young scholars from thirteen countries in Europe and Asia for an exhilarating discussion. I think there is more to be done with small focused international meetings. Most obviously, the moment is ripe for us to enhance our now familiar discussions of cultural politics with more fully theorized accounts of cultural economics. The heritage industry is only the most obvious reason for this: more importantly, as consumer economies become unsustainable, our longterm familiarity with vernacular inventiveness under conditions of scarcity is likely to become a useful intellectual resource.
Institute of Language, Literature and Anthropology, Spanish National Research Council (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, CSIC)
I hold a PhD by the University of Pennsylvania in Folklore (2002) and a Master’s in Popular Culture from Bowling Green State University (1997). I am currently a researcher at the Institute of Language, Literature and Anthropology, Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Madrid. I conducted fieldwork in the Dominican Republic and Spain studying the role of narrating in the creation of locality in the diaspora. I also conduct research on Afro-Dominican Religious Centers in Madrid and their function maintaining transnational families. In addition, I am the coordinator of a research project that analyzes the collective mourning rituals after the March 11th attacks in Madrid and I coordinate the Spanish team of the European project "Cultural Heritage and the Reconstruction of Identities after Conflict" funded by the Seventh Frame Program of the European Union (2008-2011). I have edited various books on rituals, narratives, and migration and published in journals such as Anthropology Today, Journal of American Folklore, Migration: A European Journal of International Migration and Ethnic Relations and RDTP.
My areas of interest are the intersection of migration and religion - in particular the role of the revitalization of religious practices after migration - and the role of rituals and expressive culture in contemporary societies.
As a SIEF board member, I will participate in SIEF’s expansion and growth by coordinating the collaboration of other Spanish colleagues in this professional forum. I truly believe that ethnology is a meaningful social force and if I am elected as a member of the board, I will work to encourage team projects to develop tools and solid theories to approach critically the study of the processes of traditionalization. I think our theories about folklore and the construction of difference are not reaching society at large and we need to develop stronger communication strategies because SIEF has an important role to play in society.
Instituto de Investigação Cientifica Tropical and Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Clara Saraiva (MA 1988 State University of New York; PhD IICT, Lisbon, 1999) is a senior researcher at the Lisbon Institute for ScientificTropical Research (Instituto de Investigação Cientifica Tropical- IICT) and an invited professor at the Department of Anthropology, Universidade Nova de Lisboa. She was an invited Professor at Brown University and a Research Fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies in the same university (USA 2001-2002), and at the Université d´Aix-en-Provence (France-2005).
She has done research both on Portuguese ethnography and African issues. Her main fields of research deal with funerary rituals and conceptions of death (American funeral directors; extensive work on Portuguese death rituals; funerary rituals and religion among the Pepel of Guinea-Bissau, and Cape Verde islands), and, more recently on issues of transnational religions and transnational therapeutic practices among migrants from Guinea-Bissau and Brazil in Lisbon. She is one of the co-founders of the network GIS (Group on Migration and Health), established in Lisbon in January 2006. She was also responsible for the anthropological research project in Luz, a village in southern Portugal entirely moved in 2002-2003 because of the construction of one of the largest dams in Europe. Part of this work included the conception of a museum in the new village, which opened to the public in 2003.
Having in mind the present day importance of migration dynamics within Europe, one of my aims is to include in SIEF´s scientific objectives the enlargement and discussion of this (and other related) themes. The other is to participate in the organisation of the Lisbon 2011 Congress, provided the proposal is acceted, for which I am also counting on everyone´s participation and ideas.
Professor of Empirical Culture Studies (European Ethnology) at the University of Tuebingen, Germany.
Born in Bregenz, Austria, in 1966, I started my studies in European Ethnology and Art History at Innsbruck University. Interested in modern cultural analysis in the tradition of former Volkskunde, I continued my training at Tuebingen’s “Ludwig-Uhland-Institut für Empirische Kulturwissenschaft”. After completing my M.A. degree in 1992, I went to Vienna, first working as a curator and research assistant at the “Austrian Museum of Folk Life and Folk Art”. As of 1995, I worked as an assistant at Vienna University’s Institute for European Ethnology. In 1999, I earned my Ph.D. from Tuebingen University, 2001 completed my habilitation (Dr. phil. habil.) at Vienna University where I became an associate professor for European Ethnology. Since 2004, I hold the Chair for Empirical Culture Studies and Regional Ethnography at Ludwig-Uhland-Institute, Tuebingen University.
My first closer contact with SIEF was during the Vienna Conference in 1994 (I probably still have the protocol from the general assembly on my personal computer, as I served as I was asked to take the minutes). In the following years, I presented papers at every SIEF conference. I also participated in a number of the conferences of the working group on food research. I have gained administrative experiences as a board member both of the “Deutsche Gesellschaft für Volkskunde, DGV” (where I served also as vice-president from 2001 to 2005) andof the Austrian “Verein für Volkskunde”.
My profile in teaching and in research ranges from discipline’s history to studies on the cultural history of landscape and tourism, material culture and food studies to theoretical problems of culture, knowledge, and spatiality in contemporary societies. I have also maintained my engagement in museum studies and in cooperations between the academy and the museum as a field of applied work. Due to the profile of my Tuebingen chair, I am currently mainly focussing on regional ethnology, studying in recent projects for instance the ethnographic formation of historical regions or the transformation processes of regional heritage both in epistemic and globalizing everyday cultures.
My major contribution to working on the SIEF board will be to participate in the development of a future disciplinary identity of European ethnology, showing both the rich and diverse traditions as well as establishing a clearer profile that will let us compete in a changing disciplinary landscape. To further this aim, I will especially engage in networks connecting small institutions, museums and university departments as ethnology is often considered too small for cooperation in larger programmatic opportunities. The internationalization of graduate programs could, for instance, be an important opportunity. From a theoretical and methodological point of view, we might also learn to make better use of the discipline’s diversity and the different pathways to European ethnology. Developping the networks within SIEF to build new platforms for exploring novel ways toward comparative approaches to cultural processes in Europe and beyond is a project I would like to contribute to.