October 4-6, 2017, Narva (Estonia)

The 2017 Conference of Young Folklorists is the seventh of its kind, following previous meetings in Estonia (2011, 2013, 2015) and Lithuania (2012, 2014, 2016). The conference aims to foster academic communication, collaboration and research in the field of folklore by bringing together advanced students and young scholars from different countries and giving them an opportunity to present their research to an international audience. The forthcoming event will also be used to introduce plans for a new English-language MA-programme "Folkloristics and Applied Heritage Studies" at the University of Tartu.

The 2017 conference will be held in the border town of Narva in collaboration with the University of Tartu Narva College. Located on the border between Estonia and Russia or, as some might say, the West and the East, Narva is uniquely situated to inspire and host explorations into diverse modes and notions of belonging. The concept of belonging has emerged in recent years as a prominent analytical tool for examining the processual character of social life and the multiple, even contradictory attachments of individuals and groups alike in today's interconnected world. As such, belonging is closely related to intersectionality, multiple identities and other interdisciplinary concepts that hold the promise of expanding our thinking about the ongoing making of subjectivity, collectiveness, society and culture as well as the role of folklore therein.

The topic of the 2017 conference "Negotiations of Belonging" invites contributions that address belonging as it is - or has been - experienced, performed and negotiated in daily life and discourse by means of drawing on traditional creative practices and forms of knowledge. The conference also welcomes papers dealing with other aspects of folk culture.

The topics of interest for the conference include but are not limited

  • Vernacular conceptualizations of belonging: what makes a person feel that s/he belongs - or does not belong?
  • Expressive practices and genres whereby belonging is established, confirmed, performed, questioned, or undone in daily life;
  • Material and sensory qualities of belonging and not-belonging;
  • Contested belonging;
  • Lived and ascribed belonging or belonging as it is lived vs. political and ideological discourses of belonging;
  • Intersections between ethnic, generational, gender, class, religious, political, professional and other kinds of belonging;
  • Multiple belonging and negotiations thereof;
  • Interconnections between belonging, agency, and mobility;
  • Belonging and fieldwork, including belonging as a mode of ethnographic knowledge production;
  • Place and belonging;
  • Ambiguities of belonging in vernacular religion: belief, narratives, rituals.

Organized by the Department of Estonian and Comparative Folklore (University of Tartu), University of Tartu Narva College, and Tartu Nefa Group, in partnership with the Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore (Vilnius).