Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality.


Skating on thin ice: methodological and ethical issues in research on Cold War ethnology and folkloristics 
Nikola Balaš (Institute of Ethnology, Czech Academy of Sciences)
Kaisa Langer (TU Dresden)
Send message to Convenors
Historical Approaches
Thursday 8 June, -
Time zone: Europe/Prague

Short Abstract:

This panel proposes to question methodological issues which are connected to the Cold War history of European (Eastern Bloc) ethnology and folkloristics, especially in regard to research ethics.

Long Abstract:

The Cold War history of Eastern Bloc ethnology and folkloristics poses many pressing methodological questions related to the range of fundamental uncertainties that arise when discussing the socialist past. How to study people and institutions that have also shaped the career of the researcher? What uncertainties are there when one does not have all the relevant archives fully available? What kind of source criticism is needed when working with the documents produced under socialist power structure? How to deal with apparent lacunae? How to approach interlocutors' narratives? How to write about the past and protect one's interlocutors given their involvement in the "problematic past" by supporting the Communist Party policies or by cooperating with secret police? Even without GDPR and other legislative tools designed to protect privacy, there are issues which can cause contention and controversy even more than 30 years after the fall of the Eastern Bloc. How to deal with other issues such as plagiarism of accomplished scholars? What is it like to write about skeletons in the closet, or elephants in the room? Our panel would like to bring together those who write on the history of European socialist ethnology and folkloristics and are concerned with all these uncertainties. We also welcome scholars studying European ethnology and folkloristics outside of the Eastern Europe who deal with similar issues to discuss their methodological framework to find a nuanced and ethical way for describing the ever uncertain past.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Thursday 8 June, 2023, -