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16th Congress of the International Society for Folk Narrative Research
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6/25/2013 to 6/30/2013
When: 6/25/2013
Where: Vilnius University
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The 16th Congress of the International Society for Folk Narrative Research (ISFNR)

Folk Narrative in the Modern World: Unity and Diversity

Organizers: Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore & Vilnius University

The 16th Congress of the International Society for Folk Narrative Research (ISFNR) will take place in Vilnius, Lithuania, on June 25-30, 2013.

The International Society for Folk Narrative Research – ISFNR ( is an international academic society whose objective is to develop scholarly work in the field of folk narrative research. The research interests of ISFNR members around the world cover a number of disciplines in humanities and social sciences, including folklore, anthropology, cultural studies, comparative literature, language, history, museology, education and ethnography from the point of view of narratives.

The Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore ( is a major national research center, carrying out fundamental investigations of Lithuanian literature, folklore and cultural heritage. The Institute also hosts the Lithuanian Folklore Archives – the largest and oldest repository of folklore in Lithuania, documenting centuries-old peasant culture as well as contemporary folklore. Altogether the Archives now store over 10,000 collections comprising over 1,9 million folklore items. Among the chief objectives of the Institute, preservation, editing and publication of the monumental sources of the Lithuanian cultural heritage should be named. The Institute publishes annually about 30 academic publications, and organizes about 10-15 research conferences, seminars and other academic events.

Vilnius University ( is the oldest university in the Baltic States and one of the oldest universities in North Eastern Europe. It is also the largest university in Lithuania. The University was founded in 1579 and ever since, as an integral part of European science and culture, has embodied the concept of a classical university and the unity of studies and research. Vilnius University is an active participant in international scientific and academic activities and boasts many prominent scientists, professors and graduates. The 16th Congress of ISFNR will convene in the Old Campus - the complex of University buildings extending over a whole block of the Old Town. Its original architecture attracts the visitor’s attention. The construction of the University buildings was carried out over the centuries under the changing influences of the Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical styles. Bounded by four streets, the campus is composed of 12 buildings, arranged around 13 courtyards of different shape and size. At present, the Rector’s Office, the Library, the Faculties of Philology, Philosophy, and History, as well as some interdisciplinary centers, are situated in the old town. 2

General Topic: Folk Narrative in the Modern World: Unity and Diversity


I. What is Folk Narrative? Theoretical Definitions vs. Practical Approaches

II. Narrative Genres: Heritage and Transformation

III. Homo Narrans: Remembering, Telling, Forgetting

IV. Folk Narrative and Social Communication

V. Crossing the Boundaries: the Local and the Global in Narrative

VI. Folk Narratives and Modern Technologies: Preservation, Transmission, Creation

Panels: Participants wishing to suggest a panel are most welcome. Please submit your suggestions (indicating chair/convener of the panel, topic, titles of papers and participants), complying with the thematic guidelines of the subtopics and the general topic of the congress. The deadline for submitting suggestions for pre-organized panels is October 1, 2012.

Some preliminary suggestions for panels include:


by Laima Anglickienė (Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania)


by Christina Bacchilega (University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, USA)


by Jurga Jonutytė (Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania)


by Theo Meder (Meertens Instituut, the Netherlands)


by Algis Mickūnas (Ohio University, USA)

Symposiums. Two symposiums are scheduled to be held within the framework of the 16th congress of the ISFNR in Vilnius:

1) BNN: Belief Narrative Network will hold its symposium entitled

Boundaries of Belief Narratives

Evolving through "legends" and "belief legends", the latest manifestation of "belief narratives" does not just signal an adjustment of the label granted to a certain kind of story, it also indicates the inclusion of stories such as "myths" and "saints legends" that have mainly been considered separate from "legends". Whereas the concept of "belief legends" (which some would consider as pleonastic) already constitutes one of the most problematic kind of story, these problems multiply when faced with "belief narratives". This also makes them extremely fascinating and a fertile ground for new research and discussions.

As part of the 16th ISFNR Congress, the Belief Narrative Committee is organizing a series of sessions exploring the boundaries of belief narratives; lively exchanges on the following, sometimes overlapping topics are anticipated:

Beliefs, Truths, and Disbeliefs

Defining Belief Narratives

Old Figures in New Shapes

Myths 3

The Issue of Eurocentricity

Prospects and Projects

The above themes are merely meant as guidelines. They are meant to be expanded and criticized. For abstracts sketching the scope of the suggested themes, please check the BNN website: Please send your proposals for papers and/or other contributions to: Willem de Blécourt, Do not hesitate to get in touch when in doubt about the suitability of your subject. The deadline for final proposals is October 1, 2012.

2) The ISFNR Committee on Charms, Charmers and Charming will also hold its symposium entitled

Charms on Paper, Charms in Practice

Once again, following meetings in London (2003, 2005), Pecs (2007), Athens (2009), Bucharest (2010) and Moscow (2011), the ISFNR Committee on Charms, Charmers and Charming will hold a symposium during the 16th ISFNR Congress in Vilnius (2013). More details about the Committee's work is available via the Committee’s website

While paper proposals on all aspects of charms studies will be welcome, the symposium's title, Charms on paper, charms in practice is intended to highlight two topics that are particularly welcome, namely the status of charms as text (in manuscripts, in books, in archives) and the practice of charming. Proposals touching on both such spheres are welcome, as are those which attempt to link 'words on paper' and 'living practice'. As long as there is a focus on the verbal aspects of magic, there are no restrictions as to the period or the language of the material.

Please email your proposals of 150 to 300 words to Jonathan Roper,

The deadline for proposals is October 1, 2012.

The congress will also host a book exhibition of recent folklore publications. Participants wishing to contribute their publications for the exhibition may send them to:

Ms. Rūta Pleskačiauskienė (for the ISFNR book exhibition)

Library of the Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore

Antakalnio 6, LT-10308 Vilnius, Lithuania.

Registration [Deadline: June 30, 2012]

Please submit your registration

by e-mail:

by fax: + 370 52616254

by mail: ISFNR 16th Congress

Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore

Antakalnio 6, LT-10308 Vilnius, LITHUANIA 4

Registration Fee

Regular registration until February 1st, 2013: 250 EUR

Reduced fee for accompanying persons, unemployed colleagues and PhD students: 150 EUR

Late registration after February 1st, 2013 or on-site: 300 EUR

Reduced fee for the accompanying persons, unemployed colleagues and PhD students: 200 EUR

Note. Participants of the Vilnius Congress are reminded that this is an event organized primarily by and for members of the International Society for Folk Narrative Research. To ensure their full ISFNR membership status, including the right to vote during the general assembly, participants will be asked to check with the treasurer or the treasurer's representative, and ISFNR members who have not yet paid their dues will be asked to do so prior to registration. The current membership rates are 25 Euros or 30 US Dollars for the period between the major congresses, to be paid in advance. The current membership period is 2009-2013, so the next period will be 2013-2017. Non-members wishing to participate in the Vilnius congress are welcome. Meanwhile, non-members will be expected to pay an additional registration fee of 50 Euros or 60 US Dollars prior to registration. Reduced rates at 25 Euros or 30 Dollars for non-members will only be applicable for students, unemployed, and accompanying persons. Please note that all payments to the ISFNR treasurer must be made in cash.

Submission of Abstracts [Deadline: October 1st, 2012]

Sessions and panels will be structured according to topics (with a maximum of four participants).

Suggestions for panels are going to be treated as separate units, organized and submitted by the panel organizer / chair.

Participants are kindly asked to indicate the sub-topic for their papers while submitting the abstracts.

Format: RTF, Rich Text Format

Typed: Times New Roman, 12 point.

Length: up to 300 words.

Space: single [double space between title/subtopic/author/address and the body of the abstract]

You will be notified about approval of your submitted abstract by January 31, 2013.

N.B. Presentations should not exceed 20 minutes followed by 10 minutes of discussion.

Please submit your abstract

by e-mail:

by fax: + + 370 52616254

by mail: ISFNR 16th Congress

Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore

Antakalnio 6, LT-10308 Vilnius, LITHUANIA 5

Online: available soon.

Local Organizing Committee:

Mindaugas Kvietkauskas (Chair)

Antanas Smetona

Lina Būgienė (Secretary)

Daiva Vaitkevičienė

Jūratė Šlekonytė

Radvilė Racėnaitė

Gintautė Ţemaitytė

Bronė Stundţienė

Uršulė Gedaitė

Lina Sokolovaitė

Further Information

Should you have questions, please e-mail:

Please find regularly updated information regarding the congress, next circulars, registration procedures, etc., on the following websites:

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