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Department's New Homepage Address

In March-April, the homepage of the Department of Estonian and Comparative Folklore, University, of Tartu, will be moved to a new address at This page won't be update any more.

Please change the Department's homepage URL in your address list in case you happen to have links to the content in the earlier version of our homepage. The new homepage is a part of the site of the Institute of Cultural Research and Arts, University of Tartu at


Lona Päll was awarded the second prize for her master's thesis at the Estonian national contest for university students

15. detsembril tunnustati 2016. aasta üliõpilaste teadustööde riiklikul konkursi parimaid. Eesti ja võrdleva rahvaluule magister Lona Päll pälvis oma magistritööga "Ökosemiootiline vaade keskkonna modelleerimisele eesti kohapärimuses Kakerdaja rabaga seotud pärimuse näitel" ühiskonnateaduste ja kultuuri valdkonnas II preemia. Tööd juhendas dotsent Ergo-Hart Västrik. Palju õnne!


CFP: Conference "Deities, Spirits and Demons" on November 9-10, 2017

Department of Estonian and Comparative Folklore University of Tartu in co-operation with the Department of Department of Asian, African and Mediterranean Studies, "L'Orientale", University of Naples announces a call for papers for the workshop

Deities, Spirits and Demons in Vernacular Beliefs and Rituals in Asia

9-10 November 2017 – Tartu, Estonia

The study of religions in Asia has been increasingly expanding its spectrum of inquire into the kaleidoscopic realm of local traditions that are specific to a village or a lineage of transmission. Tradition-bearers and ritual experts master the heterogeneous corpus of vernacular beliefs and ritual practices about deities, spirits and demons as an essential part of the foundations of their authority in the community. Local classes of supernatural beings have often been marginalized, sometimes even demonized by institutionalised religions, yet they are alive in daily life in Asia and engage with social and political changes in their respective local and national contexts. Also, narratives about such beliefs transform, all the while evolving with the context wherein they emerge.


Classes of Folkloristics in English

Since 2010 the Department of Estonian and Comparative Folklore has offered regular classes of folkloristics in English, mainly oriented towards MA and PhD students but open to all. In case you are interested in these courses, please contact Liilia Laaneman, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , phone +372 737 5304.

During the spring semester 2017 the Department of Estonian and Comparative Folklore will offer the following classes in English:

FLKU.04.044 Demonology of Folk Religion (6 ECTS), Ülo Valk, Margaret Lyngdoh. The course can be taken as an optional course by all PhD, MA and BA students. Time: Mondays at 16.15, week 25-37; place: Ülikooli 16-214; first lecture: Feb 13th, 2017: Legend and belief.

FLKU.04.111 Folklore: Textualization and Textology (3 ECTS), Jonathan Roper (for MA and PhD students). Time: Thursdays at 16.15, week 25-38; place: Ülikooli 16-209. First lecture: March 2nd, 2017: Editing Folklore.

HVKU.04.004 Migration and Refugees (3 ECTS), Anastasiya Astapova. The course can be taken as an optional course by all PhD, MA and BA students. Time: Tuesdays at 16.15; place: Ülikooli 16-215; weeks 24-32, 34. First lecture : Feb 7th: Migration: theories and practices.

HVKU.04.005 Tibetian Sacred Geography (3 ECTS), Dr Valentina Punzi. The course can be taken as an optional course by all PhD, MA and BA students. lectures will be held from 6th to 14th February 2017. 


New issue of Ethnologia Europaea: Silence in Cultural Practices

Ethnologia Europaea 46:2 (2016)
Journal of European Ethnology

Ethnologia Europaea is edited by Marie Sandberg and Monique Scheer

Special issue editors:
Elo-Hanna Seljamaa and Pihla Maria Siim

Contributions to this special issue take a back-door approach to the study of cultural practices by exploring various modes and forms of silence and silencing in daily life. Joining Gregory Bateson and scholars inspired by his concept of noncommunication, the articles examine situations and circumstances where communication is avoided, or deemed undesirable, because it would somehow alter the nature of the idea, relationship or situation in question. Authors also draw attention to the unspoken and the unspeakable as they emerge in ethnographic fieldwork and the research process, discussing the challenges of doing fieldwork on silence and pushing the boundaries of silence as an analytical category.


Video lectures about changes in everyday culture

2016. aasta sügisel salvestati UTTVs kümme folkloristika ja etnoloogia alast videoloengut, mille eesmärk on tutvustada meie erialasid gümnaasiumiõpilastele. Videoloengud on seotud Tartu Ülikooli Moodle kursusega "Argikultuuri muutumine" (HVKU.TK.004).


CFP: 7th International Conference of Young Folklorists "Negotiations of Belonging" in Narva, October 4-6, 2017

Call for Papers: 7th International Conference of Young Folklorists “Negotiations of Belonging”

October 4-6, 2017 (Narva, Estonia)

Keynote speakers:

Dr. Tuulikki Kurki (University of Eastern Finland, Adjunct Professor, Principal Investigator of the project "Traumatized Borders: Reviving Subversive Narratives of B/Order, and Other");

Dr. Nira Yuval-Davis (University of East London, Professor, Director of the Research Centre on Migration, Refugees and Belonging).

The 2017 Conference of Young Folklorists is the seventh of its kind, following previous meetings in Estonia (2011, 2013, 2015) and Lithuania (2012, 2014, 2016). The conference aims to foster academic communication, collaboration and research in the field of folklore by bringing together advanced students and young scholars from different countries and giving them an opportunity to present their research to an international audience. The forthcoming event will also be used to introduce plans for a new English-language MA-programme "Folkloristics and Applied Heritage Studies" at the University of Tartu.


CFP: Conference ‘Folklorists are Fallible’ on June 9-10, 2017

The Department of Estonian and Comparative Folklore announces a call for papers for a conference entitled ‘Folklorists are Fallible’ to be held on June 9th-10th, 2017.

Folklorists, just like anybody else, are fallible. This event aims to draw out the patterns of fallibility that folklorists show, and to explore what we might learn from this. The keynotes will be delivered by Carl Lindahl (University of Houston) and Karina Lukin (University of Helsinki).