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Historical Approaches in Cultural Analysis

Ethnologists and Folklorists approach culture from a broad perspective, which, since the 1970s has included so-called everyday culture, those quotidian behaviors and practices that had previously been outside of analytic purview. Cultural analysis thus applies to materials, practices, representations, thoughts, and feelings etc. Since other fields conduct historical research, what is the role of Ethnologists and folklorists, and what additional insight might they bring to the study of Culture?

The working group on Historical Approaches in Cultural Analysis aims to strengthen the particular historical focus of Ethnology and Folklore Studies in the research of culture and past. By engaging in a dialogue with Historians, Anthropologists and scholars of other neighbouring disciplines, the working group will sharpen comparative approaches on the everyday past. At the same time the group is also interested in questions of how historical knowledge is used by different societies in different contexts, and the tradition of knowledge production and the role this plays in culture.

The group will form an international forum for the discussion and promotion of new historical studies and studies of historical knowledge. It will re-evaluate perspectives, approaches, methods, theories and forms of representing knowledge within historical research, and it will seek to broaden possibilities of studying the past and present.

The working group’s strategic aims include the promotion of historical and cultural studies; the encouragement of young researchers to contribute to the historical approaches in cultural analysis; and the strengthening of exchange between the field of contemporary and historical research within Ethnology and Folklore Studies in a more systematic manner.

Hande Birkalan-Gedik (Goethe University),
Gabriele Orlandi (IDEMEC - Aix-Marseille Université),

Anna Caroline Haubold.

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