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 AAAAAA 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.
SIEF2019 Congress special issue available
The plenaries of the Santiago de Compostela 2019 SIEF Congress have been published in the leading Spanish journal Disparidades. Also, you can find links to the videos of all the plenaries and social events including Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett’s closing lecture. Read more here...
Welcome at SIEF2023 in Brno, Czech Republic: 7-10 June 2023
Watch the introduction video here.
SIEF2021, Helsinki, Finland: 19-24 June 2021
15th SIEF Congress Breaking the
rules? Power, participation and transgression took place fully online, in virtual
Thank you for your participation! The recordings can be found in the event timetable after logging in.
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.
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.
Special issue "Culture and Heritage under Construction"
Editors: Tom O'Dell (Guest Editor), Lizette Gradén (Guest Editor)
Ethnologia Europaea’s new special issue, Culture and Heritage under Construction, is now online (https:/ee.openlibhums.org)! The seven articles in this issue bridge the Atlantic to bring together scholarly discussions from Europe and North America, connected by the thread of the late Barbro Klein’s outstanding scholarship. The introductory article by Lizette Gradén, Tom O’Dell and Tok Thompson focuses on heritagelore, that is, the lore that shapes and structures the types of stories museum personnel tell one another about their institutions. Their article argues that the heritagelore of a museum legitimates certain curatorial perspectives, while making others more difficult to imagine. James Leary’s article discusses “The Swede from North Dakota”, a humorous narrative folksong or ballad performed in a “Scandihoovian” dialect of English, and how this folksong has circulated in differing versions and through different media – vaudeville acts, folk songs, radio, newspapers, songbooks, and folksong revivals – throughout America’s Upper Midwest since the early 1900s. Leary argues that the song exemplifies ways in which immigrant agrarian and industrial workers simultaneously sustained their evolving ethnic/local identities; assimilated elements imposed by larger American institutions; and forged a creolized regional cultural blend.
The article by Charlotte Hyltén-Cavallius and Lotta Fernstål examines an audio recording with a Roma family made by the collector Arvid Andersson in Sweden in the early 1950s in order to analyze the delicate interplay between the Roma and the interviewer. The authors also examine the agency of the Roma family as they negotiated belonging in Swedish society and resisted discourses about the Roma as both foreign and passively submitting to discrimination and stereotyping. Elo-Hanna Seljamaa’s article explores how diversity has been addressed at the new Estonian National Museum which opened in 2016. Seljamaa takes a closer look at the museum’s permanent exhibition Encounters to show that the exhibition repeats broader societal silences and stereotypes surrounding ethnic minorities in Estonia past and present, and continues essentialist notions of ethnocultural discreteness.
The article by Jo Ann Conrad examines Swedish women’s participation at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries in overlapping and interconnected women’s networks in which they created spaces for alternate cultural, commercial and social responses to the pressures of modernity. Her analysis challenges the dichotomies of past–future and tradition–modernity which have been central to the disciplinary narrative of folklore studies. Inspired by Barbro Klein’s article “The Testimony of the Button”, in his article John Lindow examines legends about Margrethe (1353–1412), the effective and long-ruling sovereign of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Lindow shows how legend themes such as robber legends and the use of a ruse usually associated with male protagonists were adapted to Margrethe’s anomalous status as a female war leader, and how these legends reveal the importance of place within local history.
The seventh article by Frog explores the maintenance and construction of the folk cultural sphere, that is, a society’s generalized perception and understanding of traditional culture. Frog examines a series of cases ranging from medieval manuscript technologies and Snorri Sturluson’s Edda to representations of the Sámi in the 17th to 19th centuries, to the ways in which current Indonesian and Javan traditions are expressed to interested audiences. Frog shows the broader theoretical implications that can be drawn from these cases.
Cultural Analysis 19:2 (2021): Tracking Knowledge: On the History of Changing Disciplinary Identities After 1945
Guest editors: Konrad J. Kuhn and Magdalena Puchberger
The collection of articles gathered in this special issue of Cultural Analysis look at the history of the discipline of European Ethnology/Folklore Studies since 1945 and focus on shiftings of methodologies, epistemological approaches as well as biographical contexts. It derives from a panel organized in the frame of the 14th SIEF congress in Santiago de Compostela, 2019 and asks about the processes and dynamics of forming and transforming knowledge within certain structures of politics and policies, of society and ‘culture’, of economy and administration.
After the introduction written by Konrad J. Kuhn and Magdalena Puchberger, the volume contains six research articles covering a broad field empirical case studies as well as geographical localisations, written by Kaisa Langer, Rita Grīnvalde, Eija Stark, Indrek Jääts, Hande Birkalan-Gedik and Ingrid Slavec Gradišnik. This special issue asks about the different ways of new orientations in scientific work of ethnological disciplines in Europe after 1945, about leaving "old epistemological tracks" behind and about taking new routes in the form of innovative methods and of "relevant" themes to a disciplinary future in the years until the 1980s. The authors follow their tracks of disciplinary and institutional as well as political and societal usage in the fields of building, re-building and/or transforming nations, systems and values. Both the diverse and multi-faceted actors as well as the political systems play a crucial role in stabilizing and promoting the discipline after 1945, while resistance and resilience at the same time becomes visible. The volume ends with three issue responses, written by Jiri Woitsch, Simon J. Bronner and Karin Bürkert. pointing out to shifts in perspectives and unresolved issues.
This volume is a call for taking a reflexive perspective on scientific work within European Ethnology and Folklore Studies, a crucial and very positive characteristic of our multifaceted discipline.
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.
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 ...