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Accepted Paper:

From the uses of historic-geographic method to empowering the nation. Folklore studies as 'a national science' in Finland since 1945  
Eija Stark (Finnish Literature Society)

Paper short abstract:

This paper explores the paradigmatic role of the historic-geographic method still in the 1960s folklore studies in Finland. What kind of political and intellectual reasons there were behind the variable use of the text-critical approach and what kind of contemporary consequences this has had.

Paper long abstract:

My paper explores the historical mechanisms on why the historic-geographic method had a longer-term impact of folklore studies in Finland than elsewhere. The name of the discipline, "studies of folk-poems", was in use at both the University of Helsinki (until 1989) and the Swedish-speaking Åbo Akademi University (until 1973). Kaarle Krohn's text-critical approach remained strong in the discipline's orientation on archived oral lore texts and their specific variations. Moreover, folklore studies and ethnology had been two separate academic disciplines since the 1920s where the former concentrated on orally expressed cultural forms and the latter on the aspects of folklife and customs. Although new theories, such as the structural analysis of the folklore genres or sociopsychological understanding of folklore made a breakthrough in the end of the 1960s, majority of the works in folklore studies continued to focus on the archived materials that were considered ethno-historically important, i.e. Finnish- or Swedish-speaking oral traditions, which oftentimes were elevated into a national dignity. In my paper, I will ask how the aftermath of the World War II, which left Finland independent but with high war reparations to the Soviet Union, influenced on the folklore studies' decreased international orientation, especially toward the West. Another consequence of the WWII, which had an impact on disciplinary history, was the politically charged atmosphere of the Finnish society in which communists as well as the then president orchestrated not only the politics itself, but cultural and academic life, too. How was this reflected in Finnish folklore scholarship?

Panel Disc04
Tracking knowledge. On the history of changing disciplinary identities after 1945 [SIEF Working Group Historical Approaches in Cultural Analysis] [P+R]
  Session 1 Monday 15 April, 2019, -