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Tradition, Creativity and Indigenous Knowledge: Winter School of International Folkloristics
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1/12/2014 to 1/21/2014
When: 1/12/2014
Where: Central University of Jharkhand

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Contemporary approaches conceptualise folklore as a vernacular expressive practice embedded in social, communicative and political contexts. Whereas earlier scholarship emphasised the stability of folklore as a static and conservative body of knowledge, current research focuses on variation, change and creativity. However, even though synchronic approaches tend to dominate in international folkloristics, tradition has remained one of the key-concepts of the discipline, referring to the historical dimension of folklore and the cultural process of 'creating future out of the past’ (H. Glassie). The creation and preservation of traditions is seen as an integral part of the everyday life of individuals, local communities and informal networks as well as states and various institutions.

The winter school at the Central University of Jharkhand, Ranchi, aims at bringing together doctoral students, junior and senior scholars from different countries to discuss the relationship between tradition and creativity, stability and change in folklore past and present. Since the meeting will be held in a region that abounds with indigenous peoples of India, special attention will be paid to the indigenous peoples of the world and their traditional knowledge expressed in worldviews, belief systems, poetic and narrative genres, arts and practices of everyday life.

The winter school will be hosted by the Centre for Indigenous Culture, established in 2010 as a part of the School of Cultural Studies at the Central University of Jharkhand (CUJ). CUJ itself was founded in 2009 and for the time being operates from its temporary campus at Brambe in the close neighbourhood of the villages of the indigenous Oraon people.

Ranchi, the capital city of Jharkhand, is well connected to other parts and cities of India by air, by rail and road. Located at a fairly high altitude (2,000 above msl), Ranchi and its surroundings have a cool, salubrious climate throughout the year. The average winter temperature is 10° - 23° C (Nov – Feb).

The programme of the winter school features lectures accompanied by seminars, fieldwork among the tribal peoples of Jharkhand and an academic symposium. All participants are expected to prepare a 20-minute paper about their current research to be presented for seminar discussions. The working language of the winter school is English. Participation is limited to 20 students and hence competitive. Applicants are asked to send a letter of motivation (200-300 words) and a short CV to by April 30, 2013. Applicants will be notified about the results by June 10, 2013. The organising committee will select an equal number of participants from India and other countries, respectively.

Participants are expected to cover their travel costs to Jharkhand. Registration fee is INR 3000 (for Indian participants) and USD 150 (for foreign participants).

The winter school of international folkloristics is organised by the Centre for Indigenous Culture, Central University of Jharkhand (India) and the Department of Estonian and Comparative Folklore, University of Tartu (Estonia) in collaboration with the Centre of Excellence in Cultural Theory (CECT).

Dr. Rabindranath Sarma, Central University of Jharkhand, India
Prof. Ülo Valk, University of Tartu, Estonia

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