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Accepted Paper:

Scholarly infrastructure for Latvian folkloristics in exile  
Rita Grīnvalde (Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art, University of Latvia)

Paper short abstract:

After World War II, Latvian scholars in exile in Europe and around the world continued Latvian folklore studies. This paper analyses the establishment of a new scholarly infrastructure: cooperating interstate mechanisms, functioning of exile academic organizations, and publishing Latvian folklore.

Paper long abstract:

As a result of changes during World War II, many Latvians who were educated professionals in the field of folklore studies were exiled. This was a fundamental shift in the disciplinary history of Latvian folkloristics which had been flowering in 1920s and 30s. Using approaches learned during the interwar period, the exiled scholars continued teaching others (e.g. starting the Baltic University and teaching in the displaced persons camps in Germany after 1945). In addition, they educated themselves to be open to the folklore practices of countries they now inhabited, and they also worked to enter the academic environment of their new home countries. They formed networks of cooperation and continued researching Latvian folklore in their new homelands, including Sweden, Germany, the United States of America and Canada. Communication between the exiled folklorists and those in Soviet Latvia was limited, especially during the initial period of the occupation; however, news on important events in the field was still able to be circulated.

This paper seeks to analyse the establishment of a scholarly infrastructure for Latvian folkloristics in exile. This included fostering international cooperation mechanisms within the Latvian exile community, founding new academic organizations, and publishing exile editions of primary sources. Thus, they were able to restore the availability of folklore texts which had been previously collected, published, studied and left behind the Iron Curtain.

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, -