SIEF Board 2016


Board, Istanbul, Jan 2016: Triinu Mets (NomadIT), Nevena Škrbić Alempijević, Valdimar Hafstein (P), Clara Saraiva (VP), Tine Damsholt, Monique Scheer, Sophie Elpers (VP), Arzu Öztürkmen, Laurent Fournier, Pertti Anttonen

At SIEF's general assembly (Zagreb, June 23, 2015) the following members were elected to the Executive Board:

+ Valdimar Hafstein, Iceland (2nd term, President)
Valdimar Hafstein

Associate Professor of Folklore/Ethnology at the University of Iceland 2005-

Born in 1972, Valdimar received his Ph.D. in 2004 from the University of California, Berkeley. He was a research fellow at New York University in 2005-2006, a visiting professor at Berkeley in 2008 and has also taught at the Georg-August Universität, Göttingen, at Edinburgh University, and at the Icelandic Academy for the Arts.

Valdimar chaired the Icelandic Unesco Commission from 2011-2012, and has been a principal investigator in European and Nordic collaborative research projects. He helped found the open access journal Cultural Analysis in 2000 and served as its co-editor until 2007. He serves on the editorial boards for Ethnologia Europaea as well as Cultural Analysis. He has edited three collections of essays in Icelandic and two special journal issues in English and he has published some 20 articles in English and 15 articles in Icelandic. His work has been translated into French,Italian, Portuguese, Croatian, and Danish.

+ Sophie Elpers, The Netherlands (1st term, Executive Vice-President)
Sophie Elpers

Trained as European Ethnologist in Bonn and Amsterdam, Sophie Elpers (1978) received her PhD at the University of Amsterdam in 2014. Her PhD research was about the discourse on the reconstruction of destroyed farmhouses during and after WWII, a discourse in which tradition, modernization and national identity were negotiated. Sophie taught European Ethnology at the University of Bonn (2005/2006) and worked as a researcher at the Netherlands Open Air Museum/Institute for Historical Farms Research in Arnhem (2006/2007). Since 2007 she is a researcher at the Meertens Institute (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences) in Amsterdam, which has hosted SIEF’s secretariat for about 15 years now. Sophie is co-editor of the open access journal Cultural Analysis (affiliated with SIEF), and co-editor of Volkskunde, the Dutch/Flemish journal of ethnology and folklore research, and member of the editorial team of the Encyclopedia of Vernacular Architecture of the World, 2nd edition. She has published several articles and books on vernacular architecture, on national symbols, and on intangible and tangible cultural heritage and edited three volumes.

Presently her research focuses on contemporary nationalizing processes in the Netherlands and in Europe, with a particular emphasis on the instrumentalization and commercialization of heritage. Her interest in material culture is realized in collaboration projects with (open air) museums in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.

Due to her expertise in cultural heritage she is a member of the evaluation committee of the national inventory of intangible cultural heritage in the Netherlands. She teaches ICH at the Reinwardt Academy in Amsterdam and gives guest lectures at the University of Amsterdam, the VU University in Amsterdam and Utrecht University.

Ever since her first SIEF congress in Derry (2008) Sophie has felt greatly inspired by SIEF’s activities in building bridges between international colleagues, in exchanging ideas and knowledge, and in motivating close collaboration. As Executive Vice President she acts as an intermediary between the board and the members of SIEF. Important instruments for a lively communication under the umbrella of SIEF are the newsletter and the website for which she is primarily responsible. Both provide the members with important information about the society, its disciplines and its members. Furthermore, Sophie supports the working groups as well as the scientific and local committees of the coming congresses in their work to keep SIEF as vital as it is.

+ Clara Saraiva, Portugal (2nd term, Vice-President)
Clara Saraiva

Clara Saraiva, Portugal, 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 Scientific Tropical 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 organization of the Lisbon 2011 Congress, provided the proposal is accepted, for which I am also counting on everyone´s participation and ideas.

+ Pertti Anttonen, Finland (2nd term)
Pertti Anttonen

Pertti Anttonen is a Senior Lecturer and Adjunct Professor in Folklore Studies at the University of Helsinki and Adjunct Professor in European Ethnology at the University of Jyväskylä.

I have a wide scope of interests in both ethnology and folklore studies, having mostly written on ritual studies, ethnopoetics, nationalism, modernity, and politics of history and heritage. I’ve been a member of SIEF since 2001, and member of the SIEF Working Group ‘Cultural Heritage and Property’ since 2009. I’m also a member of the Editorial Board of Ethnologica Europaea (since 2008), as well as of, Cultural Analysis (since 1999) and Journal of Ethnology and Folkloristics (since 2002) and was a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of American Folklore between 2005 and 2009. I graduated from the University of Helsinki in 1987 and earned my doctoral degree, from the University of Pennsylvania in 1993. I have served as Professor of Folkloristics or Ethnology in a number of universities in, Finland for altogether six years. I’m currently the leader of the award-winning research community ‘Cultural Meanings and Vernacular, Genres’ based at and funded by the University of Helsinki.

+Nevena Škrbić Alempijević Croatia (1st term)
Nevena Škrbić Alempijević
Nevena Škrbić Alempijević

Nevena Škrbić Alempijević is an associate professor at the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and currently the head of the Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology. Her background is in ethnology, cultural anthropology, English language and literature. First she worked as a curator of the Ethnographic Museum of Istria, where she obtained a hands-on approach to the treatment of heritage. In 2001 she started working as a junior research assistant at the Department. She received her Ph.D. at the University of Zagreb in 2006. Since then she has held courses at all levels of study, from undergraduate to postgraduate programme. She also participates in the programme of the Croatian language and culture, organized for international students. She has supervised more than twenty master’s theses and two doctoral dissertations. Also she coordinated more than ten student fieldwork projects. She is active in the Review Board for postgraduate specialist programmes of the University of Zagreb.

Nevena has participated in ten nationally or internationally funded projects, mostly related to political places, realms of memory and postsocialism. She received two research scholarships at the University of Bergen. Since 2007 she acted as a member of the editorial board of the scientific journal Studia ethnologica Croatica. Recently she has become the president of the board of consulting editors for Zagreb Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Press. She is the vice-president of the Croatian Ethnological Society. Her bibliography includes one book in co-authorship that deals with festivals, three edited volumes, about 30 articles in peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes abroad and in Croatia. Her publications have been issued in Croatian, English, French, Hungarian, Norwegian and Swedish. Main areas of her scientific interest are: anthropology of social memory, anthropology of place and space, the construction of cultural regions, the Mediterranean studies, island studies, performance studies, studies of carnivals, festivals and other public events.

Nevena is a member of SIEF’s working group on The Ritual Year. As a member of the local committee and scientific committee, she was fully involved in the organization of SIEF2015 in Zagreb. As a board member Nevena works on encouraging students and young scholars in taking an active part in professional organizations and implementing their fresh ideas and new perspectives in various activities of the SIEF. She views SIEF as one of the highly relevant platforms for the discussion about the place of our disciplines in the European Higher Education Area, and likes a lot to contribute to it. She is also dedicated to the cooperation with ethnologists, cultural anthropologists and folklorists who work outside of academia, which she sees as a fruitful ground for increasing the visibility of the disciplines and the Society.


+ Tine Damsholt, Denmark (2nd term)
Tine Damsholt

Tine Damsholt is professor at the University of Copenhagen, SAXO Institute, section of European Ethnology, and acting head of the department from 2011. She has been evaluating and assessing applications for the Norwegian Research Council and is currently evaluating and assessing applications for Riksbankens Jubilæumsfond, Sweden. She has been teaching, supervising and evaluating on all university levels from first year students to Ph.d.-students. She is part of the editorial board of Ethnologia Scandinavica (since 2001) and Ethnologia Europaea (since 2006).

Her primary field of research is political culture i.e. political rituals, nationalism and patriotic discourses in early modern Denmark-Norway and contemporary Western countries based on cultural history and ethnographic fieldwork. Materiality, landscape, body and gender are recurrent themes in her research and publications. Further she has been involved in several research projects on everyday life and innovation in contemporary Denmark. She has just been appointed PI of the cross-disciplinary project CALM (Counteracting Age-Related loss of Skeletal Muscle Mass) financed by UCPH 2016 funds. Among her recent international publications are: How academic bodies matter – on material-discursive enactments of gender in academia. Ethnologia Scandinavica 2013, ‘Introduction’ (together with Orvar Löfgren) and ‘The Greening of Christianity’ in, ETN, Vol CO2, nr. 2010, Ritualizing and Materializing Citizenship. Journal of Ritual Studies. Vol. 23, nr 2, 2009, and The Sound of Citizenship. Ethnologia Europaea. Journal of European Ethnology. 38: 2008.

+ Laurent Fournier, France (2nd term)
Laurent Sébastien Fournier

Laurent Sébastien Fournier (born in 1974): "In 2015 I have been appointed as an assistant-professor at the University of Aix-Marseille (France), where I teach European anthropology and I do my research at the IDEMEC (Institut d’Ethnologie Méditerranéenne, Européenne et Comparative – UMR 7307 CNRS-AMU), in the Maison Méditerranéenne des Sciences de l'Homme in Aix-en-Provence. I first trained as a social anthropologist at the University of Montpellier where I achieved my PhD in 2002 on the revitalization of local festivals in Mediterranean France. After my PhD I became a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Avignon, working on the history of French ethnographic museums. From 2005 onwards, I got interested in the field of sport studies, specially focusing on the relations between sport, anthropology, and cultural heritage. Between 2005 and 2015 I have been an assistant-professor at the University of Nantes, teaching the sociology and the history of sport and leisure, the anthropology of the body, and the methods of ethnography. Besides my teachings and research, I have served as an expert for the French Ministry of Culture in the implementation of the UNESCO convention on intangible cultural heritage in France. In 2006 I opened a new series of fieldwork investigations in Great Britain, where I studied a set of winter ritual games known as “folk-football”. Since 2011 I have completed my habilitation on this topic and I have studied the diffusion of Scottish sports and games in the USA. I am also in charge of an inventory of French traditional games. Due to my interest in Scottish culture, I have been an honorary fellow of the School for Scottish Studies, University of Edinburgh between 2012 and 2014. Besides the edition of several volumes of conference proceedings and the publication of scientific articles in different European languages, I am the author of two books: La fête en heritage: enjeux patrimoniaux de la sociabilité provençale, Publications de l’Université de Provence, 2005, and Mêlée générale: du jeu de soule au folk-football, Presses de l’Université de Rennes, 2012.

I am involved in several French national professional associations, including the Association Française des Anthropologues, the Société d’Ethnologie Française, and the Association Française d’Ethnologie et d’Anthropologie. I am also the secretary of the FER-Eurethno network, a French speaking network working under the aegis of the Council of Europe. I joined the SIEF at the 2004 meeting in Marseilles and have been active since then in the ‘Ritual Year Working Group’, in the ‘Cultural Property Working Group’, and on the executive board since 2013.

+ Arzu Öztürkmen, Turkey (2nd term)
Arzu Öztürkmen

Trained in folklore at Indiana University and the University of Pennsylvania, Arzu Öztürkmen (1965) is currently a Professor in the Department of History at Bogazici University in Istanbul. She is the author of Türkiye’de Folklor ve Milliyetçilik (1998, Folklore and Nationalism in Turkey) and has published articles on the cultural history of Turkey and the Ottoman Empire. Her areas of research include Performance Studies (National Celebrations, Dance History, Verbal Art as Performance, Television Drama), Oral History and History of Emotions (Memory of Ethnic Conflict) with a regional focus on the Black Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean. Since 1994, she serves as Turkey’s National Liason Officer of the ICTM (International Council of Traditional Music). She also served two terms at the founding Council of the IOHA (International Oral History Association) between 1996-2000. Öztürkmen has been a member of the AFS (American Folklore Society) since 1988.

After her folklore studies in the US, Arzu Öztürkmen returned to Turkey, and began teaching at Boğaziçi University. There, she focused on the interdisciplinary connections between folklore and history, trying to contribute to a critical historical writing in Turkey. At Boğaziçi, she was actively involved in organizing meetings on ethnic issues, including Exploration of a Cultural Heritage: History of Turkish-Greek Communities in the Ottoman World (1997); Ottoman Armenians During the Decline of the Empire (2005); Jewish Languages and the Spanish Legacy (2011) and The Alevi-Bektashi Communities in the Ottoman Geography: Historiography, Sources and Paradigms” (2011). Öztürkmen also organized a series of conferences with the ICTM Study Groups on Ethnochoreology (1993, 1998) and Southeastern Europe (2010). One of her priorities at Boğaziçi University, was to introduce international folklorists and oral historians to Turkish audiences. In 2008 she initiated the Pertev Naili Boratav Lecture Series on Folklore and Oral History in memory of Boratav, the founder of folklore studies in Turkey.

In 2006, Arzu Öztürkmen received the Turkish Academy of Science Young Scholars High Achievement Award and Notre Dame de Sion - Prix d’Honneur. She taught at the University of Pennsylvania (1995), New York University (2010, 2012) and was a visiting fellow at the University of Oxford (2005) and at the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (2006). She received research grants from the Ford Foundation-Middle East Research Competition (2003), the American Research Institute Post Doctoral Award (1996, 2003), Population Council-Middle East Awards (2000) and Alexander Onassis Foundation (1998).

+ Monique Scheer Germany, (2nd term)
Monique Scheer

Professor, Ludwig-Uhland-Institut für Empirische Kulturwissenschaft, University of Tübingen

My training in historical and cultural anthropology began in Tübingen in 1994, at the Ludwig Uhland Institute, where I received an M.A. in 2000 and a doctorate in 2005, but my path toward this goal was not straight and narrow. I was born and raised in the United States, and my academic education began at Stanford University in California, where I received a bachelor’s degree in history in 1989. My family background and the dream of living in Europe drew me to Germany. I worked at a medical publisher’s in Stuttgart for several years, and have found that this interlude of reading anatomy textbooks and editing surgical manuals continues to inform my intellectual endeavors in interesting and unexpected ways. As a doctoral student and as a post-doc, I worked at the Collaborative Research Center (SFB) on War Experience at the University of Tübingen. From 2008 to 2011, I was a research fellow at the Center for the History of Emotions at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin. I came back to Tübingen in October of 2011 as an assistant professor and in 2014 was hired there as a full professor.

For many years, my research has focused heavily on popular religious practices in modern Germany from an historical and ethnographic perspective, for which I was recognized by the Walter de Gruyter prize from the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities in 2011. I have written on the shifting meanings of black madonnas from the 17th to 20th centuries (see article in the American Historical Review 2002), on Marian apparition cults in postwar Germany (Rosenkranz und Kriegsvisionen, 2006), and the emotionality of Protestant worship in Wilhelmine and present-day Germany (several current articles and English-language book in preparation). These topics intersect with further research interests in the history of knowledge production and circulation, particularly regarding constructions of race and ethnicity in the cultural sciences in Europe (edited volume with Reinhard Johler and Christian Marchetti, Doing Anthropology in Wartime and War Zones, 2010). My most recent emphasis has been on the anthropology and history of emotions, which I have sought to integrate into a theory of practice, bringing not only ‘culture’, but also the encultured, socialized body into the analysis of emotional practices (see my article in History and Theory, 2012). My future research will integrate these perspectives into a more general analysis of religious and ethnic diversity in German society.