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Young Scholars Working Group Conference
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When: Sunday, March 26, 2017
Where: Göttingen

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After a successful and inspiring workshop held during SIEF’s Congress in Zagreb 2015, the Young Scholars Working Group (YSWG) is now hosting its own conference and invites everyone interested to join!

The First International Conference of the SIEF Young Scholars Working Group, "Coming of Age: Young Scholars in the Field of Folkloristics, Ethnology, and Anthropology," will take place in Göttingen on March 26th, 2017.

The aim of the YSWG Conference is to reflect upon the academic, intellectual, and existential conditions of being young scholars in the fields of folkloristics, ethnology, and anthropology. The conference will bring together scholars in early stages of their careers: master's and doctoral students, postdoctoral researchers, and other interested researchers. The conference is envisioned as a platform for exchanging experiences and promoting dialogue across national and disciplinary borders, as well as collaborations on both individual and institutional levels.

The conference will take place in the morning and early afternoon of 26 March 2017, right before the official opening of SIEF’s biennial congress. An informal get-together will take place at one of Göttingen’s bars the night before. The conference will be divided into two sessions and a final roundtable discussion. To enable as much communication and exchange among the participants as possible, YSWG favors dialogic and workshop oriented formats instead of traditional panel presentations. That means YSWG invites people to give short impact presentations (up to ten minutes) or poster presentations to leave space for questions and discussions.

Please send a short abstract of fewer than 200 words and three keywords by October 1, 2016. Participants without a contribution are of course also welcome. Please register by December 20, 2016. In both cases please send an email to

There is no conference fee but you need to be a member of SIEF.

A brief overview of the sessions:

First session (Panel): “How to Learn Our Trade”

YSWG invites participants to take an ethnographic look at their own institutions and reflect upon the way they have been socialized into the disciplines of ethnology/folkloristics/anthropology. This could mean taking a closer look at the impacts of national or regional histories that have influenced the development of the disciplines of ethnology/folkloristics/anthropology, their research emphases and schools of thought (especially given disciplinary roots in nation-building processes or other close ties with national politics and/or political regimes).

The aim of this panel is to combine diverse knowledge and experience to create an overview of the broad and diverse landscapes of institutions where relevant disciplines are taught across Europe and beyond. 

First session (Panel): “Paradigm Shifts and Crossings of Disciplinary Borders”

In the past, paradigm shifts have changed research subjects, theoretical frameworks, and methodologies, thus redefining the profile of ethnology/folkloristics/anthropology in relation to other scholarly disciplines. This panel aims to look at the academic currents that shape research questions and influence disciplinary interests. What kind of impact does the growing relevance of inter- and trans-disciplinary research contexts have on disciplinary self-understanding?

Second session (Workshop): “Workshop on Writing a Research Paper or a Research Proposal” 

This session will be divided into several smaller working groups in which participants can discuss their own work-in-progress (e.g. a research grant proposal, parts of their master or doctoral thesis, monograph, or an article) and receive feedback from other participants. Participants who would like to discuss some of their work are asked to circulate their drafts, questions, etc. in advance to enable practical work on the actual piece of writing/questions.

Third session (Roundtable Discussion): “M.A., Ph.D., Postdoc –What Comes Next”

What will professional life look like after a M.A., a Ph.D. or a PostDoc? Here the aim is to discuss career opportunities within or outside academia (e.g. UNESCO, public services, private companies, NGOs, freelancing) and upcoming questions such as: Which challenges might arise when doing applied research? In competition with academics from other fields in social sciences, ethnologists/folklorists/anthropologists are often obliged to emphasize their profile – how can this be accomplished? YSWG invites people from the field who have followed different professional paths and are willing to share their experiences and talk about chances and challenges.

For more information, go to

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