LV Latviski

Kurls un mēms, bet rēķinus ved. (LFK 1001, 493)

The 8th Conference of Young Folklorists

Riga, September 19–21, 2018

The 8th Conference of Young Folklorists



Keynote Speakers




Are there situations when personal engagement can get in the way of truthful reporting? To whom the folklorist should be responsible more – the scholarly truth or the informant? What are the researchers’ responsibilities to those being studied? Are there any fields of research too sensitive and ethically too difficult to be addressed at all? What are the principles of ethically correct work with archived material and its representation in the digital tradition archives? What are the new ethical challenges introduced by the Digital Age? How the research is going to affect the lives of informants and should such influence be exerted by the results of the research? Can researchers have too much empathy? Some questions regarding the ethics in folkloristics might never be answered, but nevertheless: with this conference we would like the young folklorists to join the international debate.

The topics of interest for the conference include, but are not limited to the following:

The 8th Conference of Young Folklorists "Reflecting on Disciplinary Ethics in Folkloristics" taking place in Riga at National Library of Latvia (Level -1, Room D), September 19-21, 2018, aims to foster academic communication and collaboration in the field of folkloristics, inviting students, as well as recently graduated scholars and anyone who considers themselves to be a young folklorist to join this annual event to share experience and present their research to international audience addressing the question of ethics in the folkloristics.

Programme and abstracts.


Archives of Latvian Folklore of Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art, University of Latvia

The Conference is organized within the framework of the budget sub-programme No. 05.04.00 "Krišjāņa Barona Dainu skapis" (The Cabinet of Folksongs of Krišjānis Barons) of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Latvia, and State Culture Capital Foundation.


September 19

10:00 - 11:30

Registration at the Archives of Latvian Folklore, Level 5

Level -1, Room D

11:30 - 13:00

1st session: Artistic Expression and Ethical Issues

Viktorija Prituļaka: Ethnomusicologist Ethical Issues. The Case of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Riga

Elīna Gailīte: Is Stage Folk Dance a Folk Dance?

Jaydip Chaudhari: Tribal Arts and Intellectual Rights in India

13:00 - 13:45


13:45 - 15:45

2nd session: Interdisciplinary Interactions

Nimeshika Venkatesan: Dialogic Interactions, Folk Aesthetics and the Novelized Saint Stories, a Study

Savannah Rivka Powell: Intersections of Indigenous Methodologies and Feminist Theory: Addressing Ethical Challenges in Research

Ilze Mileiko: Reflection on Some Ethical Challenge Using Interdisciplinary Methodology in Folkloristic and Social Anthropology

Elvīra Žvarte: What to Do with the Diaries in the Archives of Folklore?

15:45 - 16:00

Coffee break

16:00 - 18:00

3rd session: Folklore and Media

Abha Bharali: Folklore in Print Media: With Special Reference to Fictional Works of Birinchi Kumar Barua

Asta Skujytė-Razmienė: Folklore and Gaming Industry: The Case of Video Game the Witcher

Denise McKeown: Dog Cloning Discourses: What Are My Ethical and Academic Responsibilities for Incorporating the Valuable Views in Online Comments?

Ginta Pērle-Sīle: Stereotypes in First Latvian Folksong Collections

19:00 - 22:00

Opening evening. Kaņepe Cultural Centre.

September 20

10:30 - 12:00

Keynote lecture: Dr. Valdimar Tr. Hafstein: Copyrighting Tradition: Creative Agency from a Folklorist's Perspective

12:00 - 12:45


12:45 - 14:45

4th session: Ethics in the Archives

Tiger Juntao Du: From Postcolonial Discourse to Lack of Conscience: The Struggle in Historical Archives Research of The 12-3 Incident in Macau

Viliina Silvonen: Ethics and Archives: Multilevel Immanent Perspectives of Research Ethics

Alena Leshkevich: Informed Consent on Inscribing Elements in Belarusian National Inventory of the Intangible Cultural Heritage

Tuukka Karlsson: Objectivity in the Study of Kalevala-meter Archive Material

14:45 - 15:00

Coffee break

15:00 - 17:00

5th session: Fieldwork Ethics

Kristina Eiviler: Talking about Demonology: Ethical Issues in Field Research

Anastasiya Fiadotava: Is Family Humour a Sensitive Issue? Reflections on Doing Fieldwork on Humorous Family Folklore

Yimshen Naro Jamir: Contestations of the Field: Difficulties in Ethical Research of Folk Memories

Katalin Pajor: Ethic Issues by Collecting Life Stories About National / Ethnic Identity in Mixed-Ethnic Families

18:00 - 21:00

Movie night. Cinema Kino Bize

Valdis Muktupāvels "Latvian Folklore: Songs of Calendric Customs" (Director Andris Slapiņš, 1983, 20 min)

Aigars Lielbārdis "Vera and Jānis" (2006, 30 min)

Valdimar Tr. Hafstein "The Flight of the Condor: A Letter, a Song, and the Story of Intangible Cultural Heritage" (2018, 30 min)

September 21

9:30 - 11:00

Keynote lecture: Dr. Anita Vaivade: Sensitivities and Consents in Researching Intangible Cultural Heritage

11:00 - 11:15

Coffee break

11:15 - 13:15

6th session: Ethical Questions of Cultural Heritage

Tatsiana Marmysh: Ethical Challenges of Intangible Heritage Safeguarding in Belarus

Vikram G. Chaudhari: Tribal Intangible Cultural Heritage Value and Preservation in India

Haripriya Sarma: The Problems of Defining, Preserving and Communicating the Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Rabha People of Assam

Kikee D Bhutia: Possession Narratives and the Role of Ritual Healers in the Everyday Life in North Sikkim

13:15 - 14:00


14:00 - 16:00

7th session: Ethnography Within the Society

Michele Tita: What is real? Desaparecidos, ethical issues and confusion about folklore research in Argentina

Elena Malaia: Ethics of Anthropological Research in Places with Unsettled Status (Based on the Materials of Crimea)

Sunita Acharya: Gender Stereotypes in Folktales and Its Impact on Society

Digne Ūdre: Hidden Ethnography: Alcohol and Fieldwork

16:00 - 16:15

Closing remarks

Keynote Speakers

Anita Vaivade

Anita VaivadeBIO

Anita Vaivade has been Adjunct Professor at the Latvian Academy of Culture since 2012. After master degrees in sociology and legal sciences, she defended her doctoral thesis on the Conceptualisation of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Law in 2011. The research has been conducted in parallel to professional responsibilities as Culture, Communication and Information Sector Director at the Latvian National Commission for UNESCO (2006-2012). Anita Vaivade led the Latvian delegation to the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage from 2013 to 2015, and since 2017 is leading the UNESCO Chair on Intangible Cultural Heritage Policy and Law at the Latvian Academy of Culture. Anita Vaivade joined the UNESCO global network of facilitators in the field of intangible cultural heritage in 2017. She is currently co-leading the 'Osmosis' research project, an international comparative study on intangible cultural heritage national legislation.


Sensitivities and Consents in Researching Intangible Cultural Heritage

Along its rapid entrance into force in numerous countries worldwide, UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, adopted in 2003, has become a widely and diversely used reference, including for defining research agendas. In 2015, Ethical Principles for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage were also adopted. They refer, inter alia, to the issues of documentation and research and encompass, among other issues, concerns about sensitivities, be they cultural, historical or personal, and consents, primarily regarding free, prior and informed consent to be given by persons concerned. Considerations on sensitivities and consents both have implicitly grounded the spirit of the Convention and the course of its interpretation, and both are explicitly stated within the Ethical Principles. In relation to researching intangible cultural heritage and the practices of its safeguarding, these considerations are gradually emphasized and respected at various levels, in concrete forms and regarding diverging research enterprises in various countries.

Exploration of internationally patterned, as well as locally specific intangible cultural heritage law and related ethical principles illustrates more generic connections and entanglements between ethical considerations and law. Ethical concerns may be perceived as a necessary ground for any legislative step to be taken in a particular historical context; as a temporary guidance before being further eventually reshaped in a normative form; or as an overarching cover for numerous concrete normative measures already developed or still to come. All these connections may be observed in the case of researching intangible cultural heritage.

Valdimar Tr. Hafstein

Valdimar Hafstein


Valdimar Tr. Hafstein is Professor of Folklore, Ethnology, and Museum Studies at the University of Iceland. He was the president of SIEF (International Society for Ethnology and Folklore) from 2013-2017 and chaired the Icelandic Commission for UNESCO from 2011-2012. He is the author of Making Intangible Heritage: El Condor Pasa and Other Stories from UNESCO (Indiana University Press, 2018) and a number of other scholarly articles and books on folklore, intangible heritage, cultural property, international heritage politics, and copyright in traditional knowledge.


Copyrighting Tradition

Creative Agency from a Folklorist's Perspective

Should we copyright culture? How can one compose a one-hundred-year-old traditional lullaby? Who owns Cinderella? And what would the Brothers Grimm say? What is the historical provenance of such Catch-22s? While we may not resolve them in Riga, the lessons we learn from picking them apart can inform our thinking about creativity and agency in contemporary culture.
In 1844, Hans Christian Andersen accused the Brothers Grimm of stealing his tale "The Princess and the Pea". That Andersen elsewhere attributes this tale to oral tradition (he heard it as a child) seems not to preclude it from becoming something that others could steal from him. Bizarre? Actually, it's not such an unusual story and the United Nations even has a special committee negotiating a new international convention that addresses such appropriations of traditional culture and traditional knowledge, in music, in medicine, and in visual and verbal art.
Beginning with the paradoxical case of a traditional lullaby that acquired a composer late in its life and 'fell into' copyright, this talk grapples with representations of creative agency -- such as authorship and tradition -- that are endowed with the force of law through the copyright regime. My motivation is to understand the dichotomies that shape understandings of creativity so that we will be better placed to undermine them, to liberate our imagination from their powerful hold, and to imagine creativity in alternative terms.
In a digital age, such acts of liberation and imagination are badly needed; creativity is still enclosed in categories from another era and bogged down by the weight of nineteenth-century romantic ideals about the author.


Sunita Acharya
Jawaharlal Nehru University

Abha Bharali
Gauhati University

Kikee D Bhutia
University of Tartu

Jaydip Chaudhari
Veer Narmad South Gujarat University

Vikram Chaudhari
Patel Ramon Brors Arts and Patel Gopalbhai Ranchhodaji Commence College

Tiger Juntao Du
University of Tartu

Kristina Eiviler
Russian State University for the Humanities

Anastasiya Fiadotava
University of Tartu

Elīna Gailīte
Archives of Latvian folklore
Institute of Literature, Folklore, and Art, University of Latvia

Yimshen Naro Jamir
Jawaharlal Nehru University

Tuukka Karlsson
University of Helsinki

Alena Leshkevich
The National Academy of Sciences of Belarus

Elena Malaia
Russian State University for the Humanities

Tatsiana Marmysh
The Center for the Belarusian Culture, Language and Literature researches of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus

Denise McKeown
University of Tartu

Ilze Mileiko
University of Latvia

Katalin Pajor
Eötvös Loránd University

Savannah Rivka Powell
University of Tartu

Viktorija Prituļaka
Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music

Haripriya Sarma
Gauhati University

Ginta Pērle-Sīle
University of Latvia

Viliina Silvonen
University of Helsinki

Asta Skujytė-Razmienė
Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore

Michele Tita
University of Tartu

Digne Ūdre
Archives of Latvian Folklore
Institute of Literature, Folklore, and Art, University of Latvia

Nimeshika Venkatesan
Stella Maris College

Elvīra Žvarte
Archives of Latvian Folklore
Institute of Literature, Folklore, and Art, University of Latvia


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Last time modified: 18.09.2018 10:52:52