Young Scholars Working Group


First International Conference of the SIEF Young Scholars Working Group held in cooperation with the Institute of Cultural Anthropology/European Ethnology at Göttingen University.

Coming of Age: Young Scholars in the Field of Folkloristics, Ethnology, and Anthropology Göttingen, March 26th, 2017.

SATURDAY MARCH 25, 2017
07:00 p.m. Informal get-together at Café & Bar Celona, opposite the campus.

SUNDAY MARCH 26, 2017
08:30 a.m. – 02:00 p.m. Registration at the Conference venue
                              Conference Centre at the Historical Observatory
                              Geismarer Landstraße 11, Göttingen

09:00 a.m. Official welcome address by SIEF President Valdimar Tr. Hafstein and the                                       YSWG Board Members (Nada Kujundžić, Mathilde Lamothe-Castagnous,
Arnika Peselmann, Jón Þór Pétursson and Alessandro Testa)

FIRST SESSION 09:30 – 11:00 am
Panel A: How to learn our trade
Convenors: Nada Kujundžić and Arnika Peselmann
Room: 1

Mahsun Oti (University of Basel, Switzerland)
“Establishment of the Republic of Turkey: Anthropology as a ‘science of race’”
It is crucial to reconsider Turkish anthropology in its historical context from the late Ottoman era until the formation of the Republic of Turkey. This paper seeks to examine the mainstream understanding of Turkish anthropology through a historical perspective.

Joan Roura-Expósito (Spanish National Research Council – CSIC, Spain)
“Hardship ethnographies: the CSIC (Spain)”
My aim is to discuss the depoliticization of certain traditions of knowledge by focusing on the history of the main Spanish scientific institution: the CSIC (Higher Council of Scientific Research), and the epistemological consequences of its establishment during Franco’s dictatorship (1939–1975).

Nikola Balaš (Charles University Prague, Czech Republic)
“Only experienced mothers can nurture babies: Making of first Czech anthropologists”
After the revolution in 1989, several individuals and institutions attempted to plant sociocultural anthropology in the freshly post-socialist Czechoslovakia. Were these attempts successful? What were the educational realities? How did post-socialist education train its first anthropologists?

Ana Svetel (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia)
“In the draught of central Europe: Traditions and novelties of ethnology and cultural anthropology at the University of Ljubljana”
As soon as the University of Ljubljana was established in 1919, the roots of institutionalised ethnology and cultural anthropology emerged. But they did not develop in a vacuum. My aim is to contextualise the traditions and novelties at the Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology within the wider social, historical and political frames of central Europe in the 20th century.

--Discussion—

Pedro Gonçalo Pereira Antunes (University Institute of Lisbon, Portugal)
“Envisioning the commendation of souls in Portuguese ethnology”

Based on my ongoing PhD research on the “commendation of souls” ritual, I intend to reflect on my engagement with this “classical” Portuguese ethnological subject for a future ethnography. How can its ethnohistorical legacy become a disciplinary meta-reflexive process? How can it inform my own “ethnographic knowledge” formation in the present?

Elīna Gailīte (Archives of Latvian Folklore, Latvia)
“Fieldwork as reality check for a folklorist”
The presentation will explore the importance of student and real fieldwork as part of the professional growth of a young folklore researcher, taking into account positive and negative experience.

Michal Lehečka (Anthropictures & Charles University Prague, Czech Republic)
“Connecting academia and municipalities. Ethnographic practice, applied research, urban development”
Drawing on the teacher/student experiment based on fieldwork practice in Prague’s urban public space, I will show how Master degree students of social anthropology become acquainted with the craft of field research, applied anthropology and urban development issues.

--Discussion--

Panel B: Paradigm Shifts and Crossings of Disciplinary Borders
Convenors: Mathilde Lamothe-Castagnous and Alessandro Testa
Room: 2

Ana Pastor Perez (University of Barcelona, Spain)
“When archaeological conservation meets ethnography”
The democratisation of archaeology can be reflected upon in the context of constant growth of questionable bottom-up projects that gather numerous professionals. Those inclusive, sustainable, participative projects aim to empower our society. What I expect to discuss here is the emptiness that these concepts embody when applied by unintended professionals.

Digne Ūdre (Latvian Academy of Culture & Archives of Latvian Folklore, Latvia)
“Starting folkloristics in the digital age”
The presentation focuses on the interdisciplinary digital turn, that folkloristics has faced during the last few decades, and will give an insight into participative practices carried out by the digital archives of Latvian folklore.

Smita Yadav (University of Sussex, United Kingdom)
“Collaborative anthropology”
Realising there is still much to learn about human society, contemporary anthropology is currently experiencing a return of the old tradition of “othering” field informants. How does the anthropology of today tell us a different story of the world than that told by earlier anthropologists? This paper explores how anthropology continues to interpret growing interlinked societal and cultural concepts and what pluralistic anthropology contributes towards such interspersed landscapes of social lives.

--Discussion--

Emese Ilyefalvi (Eötvös Loránd University Budapest & University of Pécs, Hungary)
“Constructing witches in early modern Hungarian witchcraft trials. Halfway between disciplines”
Using an interdisciplinary scope, the paper seeks to understand how interactors construct the “witch” during early modern Hungarian trial processes, and show how these different scopes help answer the core question.

Eva-Maria Walther (University of Regensburg, Germany)
“Whose realm, whose culture? Challenges and opportunities for anthropologists within area studies”
This paper examines the dissent between disciplines about the nexus of culture and territory, and invites scholars to specify their approach to the matter.

--Discussion--

Ana Ruiz-Blanch (Institute of Heritage Sciences, Spain)
“Knowledge has no borders: An analysis of how to dwell on big changes with no fear, but with many risks”
I will analyse the challenges and risks which accompany attempts to conciliate and create bridges, not only between disciplines but also with non-academic experiences. Moreover, I will explore the need (and difficulties) to look for new formulas for co-creating knowledge, which like love, has no borders.

Nina Graeff (Free University of Berlin, Germany) and Daniela Lazoroska (University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
“Becoming ‘perfect flâneurs’: young scholars searching for home in the multitude”
The perfect flâneur sets up home in the constant networking of “epistemic partners” in academia, in the field, and in personal life. We explore the kinds of anthropological perspectives arising from continuous border-crossings, rather than becoming rooted in one nation and one school of thought.

--Discussion--

 

COFFEE BREAK 11:00 – 11:30 a.m.

 

SECOND SESSION 11:30 a.m. – 01:00 p.m.
Workshop on Writing a Dissertation or Research Paper
Moderated by Nathalie Knöhr, Nada Kujundžić and Julia Tiemann

Workshop 2a
Moderator: Nada Kujundžić
Room: 1

Dagrún Ósk Jónsdóttir (University of Iceland, Iceland)
“The Ouija board in the age of information”
The Ouija board game has been popular with teenagers in Iceland for quite some time. My research reflects on this mysterious game using qualitative research methods. My main questions are: why do teens play the Ouija board? how do they experience this phenomenon? and how do they share their experience?

Mari Säisä (University of Turku, Finland)
“Young adults’ belonging in the community. Case study: Finnish regional student associations of the University of Turku”
I study young adults’ belonging in the community by interviewing members of regional
student associations and observing them. I use the ethnographic approach.

Viktória Havay (Eötvös Loránd University Budapest, Hungary)
“National awakening and the first Hungarian fairy tale collections”
The first Hungarian fairy tale collections were published at the beginning of the 19th century in – curiously enough – the German language. At that time, Hungary belonged to the Habsburg Empire, and the target audience used German as the common language. Georg von Gaal, Count Johann von Mailáth, and Baron Alois von Mednyánszky – the so-called “Triad of Vienna” – were the authors and publishers of these anthologies. My presentation aims to explore how these authors collected fairy tales and stories.

Workshop 2b
Moderator: Julia Tiemann
Room: 2

Maryam Abbasi (Jyväskylä University, Finland)
“Objects as mirror of meanings in the Zar ritual”
This talk focuses on objects used in the Zar ritual and their meanings as a set of cultural activities used to treat spirit possession in the Hormozgan province of Iran. Each ritual object has its own meaning and people carry out ritual actions not only to observe the rules of Zar, but also to avoid supernatural punishment.

Shany Kotler (The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel)
“’Hitler rants’ YouTube meme as an expression of folk-culture protest in modern Israel”
From its very beginning as a simple Facebook event, with the help of countless viral ‘memes’ as well as slogans that are still being used – the ‘Tents Protest’ of summer 2011 in Israel, brought the nation to the streets and the folk creativity to its peak.

Auður Viðarsdóttir (University of Iceland, Iceland)
“Adapting a discipline to your life”
This paper addresses how ethnology enabled me to bring together my three different roles as a musician, feminist activist and an academic in my ongoing project on women, music and technology, and the main challenges faced in this union.

Workshop 2c
Moderator: Nathalie Knöhr
Room: 3

László Koppány Csáji (University of Pécs, Hungary)
“Anthropological discourse analysis: theoretical frame without a fieldwork method”
How can discourse analysis – a theoretical frame – become a useful tool for ethnological studies? On the basis of our long-term fieldwork, actors’ personal discourse horizons, researched discourse space and social discourse field (context) are all to be considered as such a new method.

Franziska Weidle (Göttingen University, Germany)
“Hard to keep up: Questions of proficiency, conventions and experimentation”
Drawing on the experience of my PhD research, I would like to discuss issues of proficiency (or lack thereof), disciplinary belonging and established no go’s. How can we keep up with our increasingly complex topics, live up to the necessary expertise they require and still meet academic standards?

Damián-Omar Martínez (Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany) and Francisco Martínez (Estonian Academy of Arts, Estonia)
“Looking closer to home: Ethnographies of Euro-anthropology”
Whether there is such a thing as European anthropology is still a subject of controversy among different actors in different European national fields. It is that very controversy that deserves a detailed investigation, an ethnographic work, and an actual account of the diversity of anthropologies being practiced on our continent today.

 

LUNCH BREAK 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. (catering on site)

THIRD SESSION 02:00 – 03:30 p.m.
M.A., Ph.D., Postdoc – What Comes Next? Discussion Round
Moderators: Arnika Peselmann and Alessandro Testa
Room: 1

Discussants:
Pavel Borecký (Anthropictures & Institute of Social Anthropology, University of Bern, Switzerland)
As a co-founder of the first applied anthropology NGO in Czech Republic, Pavel Borecký will discuss challenges the NGO has been facing while trying not to lose track of its initial aspirations: knowledge-creation for the sake of social impact, exploration of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches, public presence and recognition of the discipline beyond academia.

Cyril Isnart (Institut d’Ethnologie Européenne, Méditerranéenne et Comparative, CNRS Aix Marseille Université, France)
Cyril Isnart (PhD Anthropology, 2004, Université de Provence) is a researcher at the French National Centre for Scientific Research. Previously, he taught anthropology in France and Portugal, served as research fellow at the University of Évora (Portugal) and worked for different cultural institutions. In 2009, he cofounded the Network of Researchers on Heritagization (Respatrimoni). He is co-chair of the Francophone Network of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies.   

Francisco Martínez (Journalist/ Lecturer at the Estonian Academy of Arts, Estonia)
Francisco Martínez is a Pessoan anthropologist specialized in peripheries. PhD, and with academic experiences that go from the Moscow School of Diplomacy to the Humboldt University and the Aleksanteri Institute of Helsinki, he learns however from artists, and
from time to time crosses the line and curates exhibitions. In his previous life, he was a journalist, working as a correspondent in Russia and Turkey. In the discussion round, he will talk about his actual crossroads.

Markus Tauschek (Institute of Cultural Anthropology/European Ethnology, Freiburg University, Germany)
Markus Tauschek is Professor of European Ethnology at the Institute of Cultural Anthropology and European Ethnology at the University of Freiburg and director of the Centre for Popular Culture and Music. 2009-2015 he was Assistant Professor of European Ethnology at University of Kiel. 2004-2009 he was scientific assistant at the Institute of Cultural Anthropology/European Ethnology at the University of Göttingen. His main research interests concern cultural heritage, traditions, popular and performative culture and economic anthropology.

Anita Vaivade (Latvian Academy of Culture / Archives of Latvian Folklore, Latvia)
Anita Vaivade defended her PhD thesis on the conceptualisation of the intangible cultural heritage legislation (cum laude) in 2011. She became Assistant Professor at the Latvian Academy of Culture and joined researchers of the Archives of Latvian Folklore. She led the Latvian delegation to the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (2013–2016) and is currently collaborating with French legal scholars on a comparative study “Osmosis” on intangible cultural heritage legislation (2014–2018).

Ayako Yoshimura (Librarian, University of Chicago, USA)

A native of Japan, Ayako Yoshimura works as a Japanese studies librarian at a North American university after earning a Ph.D. in folkloristics. The interdisciplinarity of the field and experience in teaching and public outreach serve her well in this non-teaching profession.

POSTER PRESENTATIONS

Maryam Abbasi (Jyväskylä University, Finland)
“Objects as mirror of meanings in the Zar ritual”
This ethnographically oriented poster focuses on objects used in the Zar ritual and their meanings as a set of cultural activities used to treat spirit possession in the Hormozgan province of Iran. Each ritual object has its own meaning and people carry out ritual actions not only to observe the rules of Zar, but also to avoid supernatural punishment.

Tibor Böhm (University of Vienna, Austria & University of Leipzig, Germany)
“From Vienna to South Africa: Young scholars ʻgoing into the field’ for the first time”
In 2016 a small group of postgraduate anthropology students from the University of Vienna travelled to a South African national park to research topics of community participation in nature conservation. This poster highlights the challenges and difficulties of young academics during their first in-depth field work experience.

Eyjólfur Eyjólfsson (University of Iceland, Iceland)
“The Icelandic langspil as a source of creativity and craft”
One of the main goals of my on-going MA research is to give students at elementary schools an opportunity to build their own langspil, an Icelandic folk instrument. My hope is that such a project, with emphasis on creativity and craft, will combine various subjects taught in elementary schools. 

Shany Kotler (Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel)
“Social protests at the internet era”
From its very beginning as a simple Facebook event, with the help of countless viral ‘memes’ as well as slogans that are still being used – the ‘Tents Protest’ of summer 2011 in Israel, brought the nation to the streets and the folk creativity to its peak.

 

Mari Säisä (University of Turku, Finland)
“Young adults’ belonging in the community. Case study: Finnish regional student associations of the University of Turku”
I study young adults’ belonging in the community by interviewing members of regional
student associations and observing them. I use the ethnographic approach.

Anna Joy Thigpen Hunt (MLitt University of Aberdeen, Scotland)
„Looking at the Ghost Ship Tragedy through Facebook“
In Oakland California on December 2, 2016, the artists' community known as the Ghost Ship burnt, taking 38 lives. An analysis of selected Facebook posts made in the aftermath will filter the primary categories of reactions to this tragedy and how the fire acted as a catalyst for addressing issues that had long been of concern.

Asya Zaitceva (University of Vienna, Austria)
“The Russian-speaking in Vienna: Integrated or separated”

Ethnic and cultural heterogeneity, which are held together by a common historical past as well as the Russian language as a lingua franca, are attributed to Russophones worldwide. Both specifics and areas of intensified interaction within the Russian speaking community are regarded in the case of Vienna.

We would like to thank the Göttingen Graduate Schools of Humanities and
the Faculty of Philosophy at Göttingen University for their kind support of our conference.


The new board would like to welcome you all to join the Young Scholars Working Group and thereby help us to strengthen the foundation of our disciplines. The major task of this working group is to introduce young academics to SIEF in the early stages of their academic careers and will thus function as a platform where we can share relevant information about topics concerning students and young scholars.

One demanding task for students and young scholars is to enter professional networks enabling them to participate in international academic circles. The Young Scholars Working Group aims to create a broad network that promotes the projects of students and young scholars but will also serve as a forum to discuss practical matters such as daily university life (learning and teaching), academic experience and international studies.

In order to establish this broad network, apart from the SIEF working group page, we will create social networking sites where information about interesting conferences, seminars, workshops and documentary film festivals, to name but a few things, will be available. Another purpose of the group is to provide information about available programs in ethnology, cultural anthropology, and folklore at European universities and institutions. The information collected will form a database that should give an overview of our disciplines and their institutional characteristics and contexts. It is our hope that the circulation of such information could serve as an entry point for closer collaboration between these departments and institutions, both within and outside Europe, allowing for more flexibility in terms of studies and future projects.

We believe that bringing together students and other young scholars in this working group can stimulate fruitful collaborations and joint projects that are vital for the future of our disciplines across Europe. We therefore encourage everyone interested in joining the working group to bring their ideas forth at the online platforms (once they are up and running), and to participate in upcoming workshops and seminars. Furthermore, we encourage all SIEF members to spread the word and introduce the group to students and young scholars within their respective universities, institutions and academic circles.

All ideas, questions and constructive remarks will be fondly received. email us at

Chairs
Nada Kujundžić (University of Turku/Zagreb)
Alessandro Testa (University of Vienna)

Secretariat
Mathilde Lamothe-Castagnous (University of Pau)
Franziska Weidle (University of Göttingen)

Mailing list

This working group now has a mailing list. Subscribe here