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Silenced traditions, marginalized genres, and hidden sources in the creation of cultural heritage and literary canons II 
Niina Hämäläinen (Kalevala Society)
Venla Sykäri (Finnish Literature Society)
Lotte Tarkka (University of Helsinki)
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Wednesday 23 June, 14:00-15:45 (UTC+3)

Short Abstract:

The panel explores ideologies and practices of documentation and textualization of folklore and their impact on the formation of national elite cultures during the long 19th century. We focus on the sources and traditions excluded from the sphere of cultural heritage and literary canons.

Long Abstract

The panel explores the processes of documentation and textualization of folklore and their impact on the formation of elite cultures and literatures as well as notions of nationhood during the long 19th century in Europe. We focus on the sources and traditions marginalized in the production of cultural heritage and literary canons by looking at the practices and ideologies of documenting, archiving, editing and publishing folklore.

We argue that these seemingly neutral textual practices build on aesthetic and ideological values have had a decisive role in creating an implicitly unequal, unilateral and biased foundation for official cultural traditions. This was accomplished by denying diverse intersectional marginalized groups access to cultural capital, heritage and related resources. Whereas some genres and groups identified as emblematically vernacular were celebrated as icons of national cultures and heritages, some were disregarded and muted. We ask how, why, and by whom such inclusions and exclusions were executed and encourage speculations on heuristic alternative histories for the potential uses of folklore in society, past and present.

The panel invites papers addressing, for example, 1) the role of (tradition) archives in making some aspects of vernacular culture, groups of people and expressive languages invisible, 2) the aesthetic and ideological premises for the selection and evaluation of appropriate sources for the creation of elite cultures and traditions, 3) the marginalization of certain genres in the history of folklore research, and, 4) the transgressive potential of marginalized vernacular culture in the creation of literatures, heritages and cultural identities.

Accepted papers: