10th International Conference of Young Folklorists

Anastasiya Astapova's picture
September 23, 2020 to September 25, 2020
Subject Fields: 
Anthropology, Humanities, Oral History, Popular Culture Studies, Research and Methodology

10th International Conference of Young Folklorists

Lore Makers, Law Breakers:

Tradition, Change, and People

September 23-25, 2020

University of Tartu, Estonia

Plenary speakers:

Mirjam Mencej (Professor of Folklore Studies and Comparative Mythology), University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Elliott Oring (Professor Emeritus of Anthropology), California State University, Los Angeles

In 2020, the Young Folklorists Conference celebrates its first decade: annual meetings for graduate students and young scholars in the field of folkloristics and related disciplines have been held in Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia since 2010. The conference has been a lively forum for young folklorists to present their research to an international audience, to make fresh contacts, and to boost communication between scholars from different countries and with varying academic backgrounds.

The topic of the 2020 conference, “Lore Makers, Law Breakers: Tradition, Change, and People”, stresses the dynamic and ever-present role of folklore and tradition in shaping everyday culture. Rules and patterns, whether seen or unseen, organise the social world and thus have been the focus of academic analysis since the beginning of the systematic collection and study of folklore. However, the breaking of traditions constitutes an organic counterpart to these continuities, one that challenges and renews social bonds, brings unseen viewpoints to light, and allows us to see the category of tradition itself differently (not least as an analytic category).

In addition, the currently turbulent political climate involves, in some cases, the foregrounding and instrumentalisation of concepts such as ’nation’, ’traditions’ and ’conservative values’. In another development, the growth in digital communication gives rise to networks, mediums and creative tools to express and enhance polyvocal vernacular expression. The conference aims to address these and other challenges folklorists face when studying tradition-making and tradition-breaking and welcomes proposals touching on to the following subtopics (and other related themes):

  • individuals and communities
  • the authority of tradition
  • publicity and secrecy
  • tradition and modernity
  • conservatism and liberalism
  • heritage production
  • debates around tradition and change
  • lore and law

The working language of the conference is English. Applicants who wish to propose a panel in a language other than English should contact the organisers.

We ask you to submit the titles of your papers, abstracts of 200-250 words, and information about your affiliation to via the registration form before April 1st, 2020. Notifications of acceptance or rejection will be sent out by May 1st at the latest. There is no conference fee, but most of the participants are expected to cover their travel and accommodation expenses. Given that there is only a limited amount of free accommodation available, if you are interested in it, we kindly ask that you indicate this on your submission form. However, free accommodation cannot be guaranteed for all applicants.


Department of Estonian and Comparative Folklore, University of Tartu

Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore

Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art, University of Latvia

Tartu Nefa Group



youngfolklorists@gmail.com (Anastasiya Fiadotava, conference secretary)