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Accepted Paper:

Folklore outside the academe: a critical re-assessment of folklore in Turkey after 1950s  
Hande Birkalan-Gedik (Goethe Universität)

Paper short abstract:

Focusing on folklore outside the academe, especially on folklore "performed" by the state institutions, this paper re-evaluates folklore's trajectories in Turkey after 1950s—after the establishment and the subsequent closing of an autonomous Department of Folklore at the Ankara University.

Paper long abstract:

Ethnological disciplines, especially folklore, experienced great challenges after the II. World War in Turkey. While Turkey's involvement in the war was very brief, Turkey was not void of the racial/nationalist discourses that prevailed in Europe. Pertev Naili Boratav's attempt to academize folklore at the Ankara University had a relatively short academic journey—ending in 1947-48 because of a certain nationalist view that could not tolerate folklore done "otherwise." In the years to follow, state's influence on folklore had ebb and flow, but never faded away. The post-Boratav period was academically dormant, yet, folklore outside the academe had a lively scene, even creating a ubiquitous "State Folklore" whereby the Turkish State acted as the main agent, site, and source of collecting, storing, and disseminating folklore. The Turkish Folklore Organization (est. 1964), was renamed as National Folklore Research in 1965, aimed forming a nation-wide folklore archive. State-supported folklore journals propagated the idea of "national folklore." Amateur folklorists "performed" folklore through folk-dance groups that were founded inside and outside universities. They translated folklore classics and published original books on folklore. Since 1970s, folklore re-lived another political turn, becoming an issue of debate between right-wing nationalist and left-wing revolutionary groups. Although important, these activities could not meet the impetus that was created in the academe, because of lacking proper methodology and theory. Yet, they certainly deserve a critical re-assessment, as they write an important chapter in the disciplinary identity and history of folklore in Turkey.

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, -