SIEF is an international organization that facilitates and stimulates cooperation among scholars working within European Ethnology, Folklore Studies, Cultural Anthropology and adjoining fields. SIEF organizes large international congresses and smaller workshops. Read more about SIEF...

Fourteen thematical Working Groups are active within SIEF which organize their own congresses and workshops.

SIEF shares the statement of AAA

AAA reaffirms its commitment to the values of diversity, equity, and human rights. We call on our colleagues to apply their professional research, scholarship, practice, and teaching to overturning the deeply entrenched institutional sources of race-based inequality that are barriers to a more just and sustainable world.
Read more on the AAA website.


SIEF2021, Helsinki, Finland: 19-24 June 2021

sief2021 logo 15th SIEF Congress Breaking the rules? Power, participation and transgression will take place fully online, in virtual Helsinki. Registration remains open.

Ethnological Matterings

On the wings of the successful Ethnological Sensations series, Áslaug Einarsdóttir, SIEF's courtly filmmaker, has produced films with a slightly different scope. This time we will focus on ways in which ethnological and folklorist approaches and skills can be applied in different fields outside the academia in which our disciplines come to "matter”. We will release one film each month until our gathering in Helsinki. View SIEF's Ethnological Matterings.

Siena’s reaction to the corona virus

SIEF Board member, Fabio Mugnaini reports on how the people of Siena are responding to the corona virus by, among other things, making music. Read something positive here.

SIEF Ethnological sensations

Ethnology sensationThe last Ethnological sensation is available to view online: Cristina Sánchez-Carretero (Santiago de Compostela, Spain) describes how a journey of selfunderstanding during the funeral of her grandmother affected her later research on religion in Galicia.​

What do ethnologists do?

Filmed at the SIEF2017 conference in Göttingen, this three and a half minute long film, entitled 'What do ethnologists do?' comprises SIEF members sharing their views on what distinguishes ethnology from other disciplines, and what ethnologists can actually do to tackle the challenges of the contemporary world. We hope you find the film inspiring and interesting.



New issue of Ethnologia Europaea, Vol. 50, no. 2

Special issue "Brexit Matters"
Guest Editors: Thomas M. Wilson

In this special issue of Ethnologia Europaea, four anthropologists with long-term expertise in the anthropology of European integration examine how Brexit has had an impact on various people and regions of Europe.

Deborah Reed-Danahay explores how migrants and expatriates in England have been buffeted by the continuing crises of the changing dimensions of European citizenship that have been created by Brexit.

Emotions have also run high in the borderlands of Northern Ireland where Thomas Wilson has chronicled the actions and reactions of local people who are trying to keep up with what Brexit will do to their everyday lives.

A broad regional and institutional perspective on transnational governance in the EU is provided by Robert Hayden through his comparison of current events to those that befell Yugoslavia.

Brexit also serves as a leading symbol for many neonationalists across the continent of a return to greater or reaffirmed national sovereignty, not least in efforts to establish illiberal democracy in Hungary as examined by László Kürti.

While the mercurial nature of Brexit makes it difficult to study as an event and a wider and ongoing social, economic and political process, these contributions together, capped off by a commentary by Ulf Hedetoft, demonstrate some of the creativity needed by anthropologists to match the dynamics of Brexit.

The open section presents two papers related to migration and borders, Susanne Schmelter explores migration struggles along the humanitarian border through the case of Syrian displacement in Lebanon, and Ove Sutter discusses the civic engagement of humanitarian assistance to refugees during the migration movements of 2015, arguing the volunteers carried out activities of self-organized prefigurative politics, in which they contributed to the local authorities’ migration management.

Ida Tolgensbakk provides a methodologically oriented contribution zooming in on the researcher’s role in the transcription process and Tine Damsholt closes the issue with a timely contribution on the different temporalities in everyday experience of the coronavirus.

New Issue of Cultural Analysis is out! Volume 19:1

Cultural Analysis 19:1 (2021): Ethnographies of Silence Guest edited by Katja Hrobat Virloget and Nevena Škrbić Alempijević

The collection of articles gathered in the special issue of Cultural Analysis critically analyses the topic of silence. It derives from the panel Silencing memories: routes, monuments and heritages, organized in the frame of the 14th SIEF congress in Santiago de Compostela, 2019. Its editors and authors approach silence as a cultural phenomenon, viewed as a means of communication and interaction of individuals and groups with other human and non-human agents. They view silence as an affectively charged action purposefully stimulated and maintained to achieve – or avoid – specific effects.
Along with the introduction written by Katja Hrobat Virloget and Nevena Škrbić Alempijević, the volume gathers six research articles from the fields of migrations, ethnic conflicts and identities, religious heritage, monument studies, and language communication. Those articles, written by Katja Hrobat Virloget, Janine Schemmer & Marion Hamm, Michele Bianchi, Marijana Belaj, Amy Skillman and Thomas McKean, discuss silencing processes from different points of view and in different spheres: in periods of social change, in everyday life, in the production of heritage, in nation-building processes and in home-making practices. The volume ends with three issue responses, written by Cristina Sánchez-Carretero, Michèle Baussant and Johana Wyss. They highlight the potential of silence to reflect and trigger cultural, social and political processes and bring them in connection with the mechanisms of remembering and forgetting.
This volume is also a call for revisiting and developing the theoretical and methodological strategies that can allow researchers to enter and analyse episodes, spaces, and communities built around silence.



Turkish flagSIEF Statement In Support of Academics in Turkey PDF

In two cabinet decrees issued in September and October 2016 within the context of the state of emergency rule, 68 signatories of the Peace Petition (“We will not be a party to this crime” – Academics for Peace, in January 2016) were deemed “supporters of terrorism”, dismissed from their posts and banned from public service. At least two of these are associated with SIEF and our sister organization AFS: Yücel Demirer and Derya Keskin-Demirer, who frequently attend SIEF meetings. They were dismissed from their positions at Kocaeli University along with 37 other faculty members without a hearing or right to appeal the decision. They are among 3,613 academics dismissed by Turkish authorities in the last three months. Read more ...