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34th Nordic Ethnology and Folklore Conference
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7/12/2018 to 7/15/2018
When: Thursday, July 12, 2018
Where: Uppsala

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The theme for the 2018 meeting is: What Matters – Accounting for Culture in a Post Factual World

Concepts such as empirical, data, verifications and validity have for some time played a modest role in the disciplinary discussions. In a world of “alternative facts” and “fake news” scholars are obliged to reflect on their production of knowledge. How do they build credibility and how are their claims underpinned?

What is the nature of their empirical material and what position does it hold in their texts? How do scholars present, scrutinize, and describe? How do they integrate, yet keep it separate, in the goals and messages of their texts?

Ethnologists and folklorists strive to create understanding for the role of culture and for a diversity of interpretations and perspectives on the world. They take pride in an ability to account for how methods, theory, perspectives and research questions interfere with and affect their results.

In Uppsala 2018 scholars are invited to reflect upon the empirical sides of their craft: the matter, the case, the object. What is it and how do scholars work to make it sufficient, and sustainable? How do they present it in its own right, describe it, scrutinize it, return to it, underpin with it? How does their material interact with and strengthen their goals, be it their specific message or their scholarly status?

Ethnologists and folklorists are rightly proud of their fieldwork and ethnographic writing. Yet fieldwork and ethnography can turn into slogans used to describe very different types of material and ways of collecting. Conversations, stories, observations, sounds, old texts, objects, facts, emotions, introspections — how are scholars to understand these matters, as effecting their disciplines?

The Uppsala conference thus has a theme that does not ask for smart adaptations, nor does it exclude any contributions. Participants are invited to present “What matters” in sessions that could have the widest variety of themes. All participants shall however be united in their interest in what the empirical matter does for ethnology and folklore. How does it make the discipline and its texts understandable, credible, relevant and important, for the world around the scholar and for the future?

For more information, visit the conference website.

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