CfP: Celebrate! Commemorate! Parade! Festival Economy Then and Now

Cora Gaebel's picture

Call for Papers:


Celebrate! Commemorate! Parade!

Festival Economy Then and Now


A Workshop held at the University of Cologne


Humans celebrate and probably always did. In most cases, money or similar values are invested in these festivals; occasionally, these investments exceed the means of the investors, be they individuals or entities such as temples and states. Potlatches come to mind, prominently described for the Kwakwaka’wakw (‘Kwakiutl’) by Franz Boas. Festivals such as pride parades, Hindu chariot festivals, and carnivals draw thousands, sometimes even millions of visitors. Similarly, many festivals were celebrated in antiquity, from the Dionysia in ancient Greece to the Festival of the Valley in Thebes (Egypt). These festivals were an integral part of the calendar and demonstrated the prosperity and significance of both the temples and the state.


These and related issues spanning various times and regions of the world will be discussed during a one-day workshop at the University of Cologne on June 28, 2019. We invite proposals from young and established scholars who work on economic dimensions of religious and non-religious festivals such as celebrations and holidays, rituals and commemorations, carnivals, processions, and parades. The workshop aims to initiate a discussion on festival economy and to establish an interdisciplinary cooperation in the economic study of festivals.


Scholars interested in participating in this workshop on festival economy should submit an abstract (c. 200 words) and a brief bio statement (c. 50 words) to by March 17, 2019. We are interested in traditional forms of paper presentations as well as creative formats.

Limited funds for travel expenses (second class/economy tickets within Europe) and accommodation will probably be available. Please indicate in your email whether you would need funding in order to attend the workshop. If there is sufficient interest from the participants, the papers will be published as a special issue of the peer-reviewed Journal of Festive Studies.


We are looking forward to reading your abstracts and welcoming you to Cologne!


Cora Gaebel (Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology)

Tobias Gutmann (Department for Egyptology)