The Archives of Latvian Folklore (Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art) in collaboration with the ISFNR "Committee on Charms, Charmers and Charming" is organising an international conference
CANONICAL AND NON-CANONICAL IN CHARMING TEXTS AND PRACTICES,
which will take place on 6–9 September 2022 at the National Library of Latvia.
At various times and in various societies, there have existed, alongside the texts and practices based on the canons of science and religion, other unofficial but widely practiced traditions. The traditions of charms and folk medicine feature traits of both 'high' cultures and peripheral otherness, in practices that have interacted over time. Historically, their co-existence has often been peaceful and complementary, though at times violent as well. Traditions practiced by the masses could be banned and persecuted. This clash was based on the values of different cultures, religions, and ethnic groups, as well as economic considerations. At the same time, the antagonism between these values enriched tradition, whether that be the clashes between official religion and folk religion, permitted and forbidden medicine, correct and deluded texts and practices, or so on. Priests, monks and educated doctors have fought for the right to heal the people; church canons, prayers, and the cult of saints have influenced folk traditions; the development of conventional medicine has changed local traditions, while local conditions have determined the regional peculiarities of official religion and conventional medicine.Read more...
The conference focused on the relationship between commerce and traditional culture and to consider the changes commercialization has brought about – both positive and negative – in the past, as well as in the present. The conference invited researchers to focus on themes and issues that reveal the presence of commerce in traditional cultural practices; to examine the role of commerce in the preservation of traditions, including national, religious, and state festivals; and to analyze the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on festive traditions.Read more...
The 14th Conference of the SIEF Ritual Year Working Group "Commerce and Traditions" will take place on 1 – 4 June 2022, Riga (Latvia)
The theme of the conference is related to the impact of product marketing, which is visible in everyday life and a wide range of traditions and festivities. Historically, annual church markets, fairs and pilgrimages had provided opportunities to buy and sell. Amidst them, the items, such as religious symbols, protective objects, and healing substances were available much as in modern souvenir shops. In marketing terms, the values of traditional culture had been considered "products" to be branded, marketed and sold.
Today advertising and marketing campaigns appear everywhere. Many people protest against what they perceive as excessive commercialization of their favourite secular or religious festivals. However, marketing practices attract larger crowds and help to preserve and popularize traditions that might otherwise be lost. Commercialization has made the sale of traditional crafts financially viable, preserving them for future generations.
The conference aims to investigate and evaluate the impact of marketing practices on traditions and rituals, and to consider the changes commercialization has brought about – both positive and negative – in the past, as well as in the present. The following topics will be discussed:
- changes in tradition caused by marketing practices;
- the role of marketing in preserving traditional culture;
- the commercialization of state and national holidays;
- the commercialization of religious celebrations;
- the marketing of ritual and magical practices and objects;
- changes in interrelations of commerce and traditions of the ritual year caused by Covid-19, etc.
More information about the conference on homepage: http://en.lfk.lv/RY2022-commerce-and-traditions.
The #ScienceForUkraine initiative is underway on Twitter Account @Sci_for_Ukraine. It is collecting information and tweeting about the help universities and research institutions offer to students and researchers from #Ukraine. Please use #ScienceForUkraine hashtag on Twitter to help us to find your tweet!
To join the initiative, please visit the website: https://scienceforukraine.eu/, where the latest offers for Ukrainian students and researchers appear. Also visit the Twitter account @Sci_for_Ukraine, which publishes help offers from different countries.
There are a variety of ways in which you can help and even the smallest support makes a difference. The listings collected in our database contain following offers (often a combination of them):
- Accomodation in a dormitory or institution guest quarters
- Office space
- Computer with internet access
- Access to library and/or lab facilities
- Research visit
- Part time/full time employment
- Support for accompanying family members
Please note that what we are collecting here are offers directed specifically to scholars fleeing Ukraine, not general calls or programmes where everyone else can apply.
The initiative was initiated by researcher Sanita Reinsone from the Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art of the University of Latvia. Read Yvan Pandele story on how initiative began "Meet the Latvian scholar rallying support for Ukrainian researchers".
14th Conference of the SIEF Ritual Year Working Group "Commerce and Traditions"
Deadline for proposals – 25th February 2022.
Let's start the new year with new research: a special issue of the journal ''Letonica'' has been published
We are pleased to announce that the 43rd issue of the journal Letonica has been published with a focus on the disciplinary history of folkloristics and related fields through the theoretical approaches of post-socialism and post-colonialism. The issue includes five articles – four of them are by Latvian researchers: Toms Ķencis, Anete Karlsone, llze Boldāne-Zeļenkova, Rita Grīnvalde and Rita Legčiļina-Broka, and they are joined by Ukrainian scholars Pavlo Artymyshyn and Roman Holyk. The issue is in English, on open access and is available here.
The guest editors of the issue are Toms Ķencis and Digne Ūdre.
The 2022 conference of the ISFNR Committee on Charms, Charmers and Charming 6–9 September 2022, Riga (Latvia)
More about the conference: http://www.isfnr.org/files/ChChCh.pdf
Conference venue: National Library of Latvia
Mūkusalas street 3, Rīga
Abstract submission: https://ej.uz/ChChCh2022
This year, with the support of the SCCF programme "KultūrELPA", the Archives of Latvian Folklore (ALF) has digitised and processed VHS cassettes. We are starting with the release of the oldest video material from the 1980s! Today, we publish around 300 videos on the ALF YouTube channel, featuring traditional music as well as folk tales and stories. A large part of the material consists of stories and songs by Anna Brauna from Mālpils, Alma Makovska from Vandzene and Olga Pommere from the parish of Ļaudona. We invite you to watch Anna Brauna's story about Christmas presents in her childhood at the beginning of the 20th century.
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This is the eleventh book in the "Folklore of the Regions" series, but the first book of fairy tales. All the tales were recorded in Vandzene from the oral narration of the storyteller Alma Makovska (1922-2004) between 1987 and 2003. The book contains 84 tales. She heard them in her childhood and youth from her father, her father's brothers, her mother, also at school and from local storytellers. Her native tradition of storytelling has been preserved over several generations.
The online exhibition "Events in Riga". It consists of 29 examples of narrative folklore and 38 photographs illustrating events that once took place in the city. The selection of texts from the Latvian Folklore Repository of the ILFA was made by Rita Grīnvalde. She is also the author of the photographs.
A virtual exhibition "Sign Parks in Latvia". The exhibition documents a relatively recent tradition, specific to Latvia. Sign parks are specially designed areas in nature where large-scale environmental objects - ornaments - are installed alongside the natural environment in a man-made landscape. The origin of the tradition is closely linked to the mythological interpretation of Latvian ornament - signs are perceived as visual representations of deities and other mythological concepts, which in turn allows the development of the idea of the beneficial effect of signs on their users. Sign parks are one of the most creative testimonies to the popularity of the tradition today. The images and text of the exhibition are created by Digne Ūdre, researcher at ALF.
Before the national holiday, the President of Latvia Egils Levits and the Chapter of Orders have decided to award 60 people with the highest Latvian state honours for special merits in the service of the Latvian state. Four scientists of the Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art of the University of Latvia were appointed officers of the Order of the Three Stars - Dace Bula, leading researcher, head of the Culture, Society and Environment Research Department, former director of the Institute and head of the Archives of Latvian Folklore, as well as Elga Melne, Beatrise Reidzāne and Māra Vīksna, researchers of the Archives of Latvian Folklore.
From 20 to 23 October, the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM) will host the third symposium of the research group "Music and Dance of the Slavic World" in Poznan. It opened with a presentation by ethnomusicologist Ieva Tihovska, UL ILFA researcher, on "Folk definitions of traditional music and folklore: A study of Latvian Slavic ensembles". The paper is based on a field study conducted by the researcher with Slavic ensembles that have categorised themselves as 'traditional music' in the Latvian National Culture Centre's shows. Given the stylistic diversity of the performances of these ensembles, which goes beyond a narrow understanding of traditional music, the researcher explored popular perceptions and motivations for associating themselves with this category.
The Krišjānis Barons Conference "Folklore and Awakening" took place from 28 to 29 October. This year, the conference was dedicated to the attitudes of folklore and awakening, as well as to the analytical assessment of the actions of personality, society and political power in the context of the Third Awakening.
The conference was attended by 16 speakers from various Latvian universities and research institutes. Plenary presentations were given by Guntis Šmidchens (University of Washington, Seattle, USA) and Valdis Muktupāvels (Faculty of Humanities, University of Latvia), focusing on the evaluation of folkloristic research and personal experience during the period of the Awakening.
More about the Krišjānis Barons Conference and its history here.
Within the framework of the project "Urban Experiences: Narratives, Memory and Place Heritage", researchers of the Archives of Latvian Folklore collect stories of Pārdaugava residents. On a cool and sunny Saturday, September 18, Una Smilgaine and Ieva Tihovska met with Jumpravsala gardeners Rasma Griņa, Aija Zīle, Aigars Zemīte, Valērijs, Gunārs, and Gatis. The talks were about the arrangement and significance of the garden ("If you are very stressed about something, put your hands on the ground", "help the children, give each one a box of tomatoes"), about the history and future of Jumpravsala gardens, about the anxiety and addiction on the lease of gardeners, on flooding, thieves and concerts, on the incompatibility of pears and junipers, on beetles eating pigeons, the possibility of keeping a horse, the celebration of Midsummer and birthdays, assistance and organized help. We visited the Aija garden, where a two-meter-long lily grew this year, and the oldest garden houses in Jumpravsala, built in the 20th century 40s.