Estonian - et
Elo-Hanna Seljamaa
Researcher

Contact
Columbus/Tallinn

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BA, Tartu Ülikool; MA, Tartu Ülikool

The focus of my current research is on nationalism and ethnic identity in post-Soviet Estonia. My doctoral thesis at the Ohio State University explores ethnic neighborhood interactions and urban décor in Tallinn, combining ethnographic methods and Folklore studies with insights from Political Science and Sociology. In recent years I have also studied infanticide ballads collected in Estonia during the 19th and early 20th century and the artistic works and writings of Kristjan Raud, one of the first Estonian professional artists. In both of these cases, I have been interested in the interrelationship between the study of folk culture and nationalist ideologies.
My other major field of research is the history of Folklore studies, particularly the critical analysis of the historic-geographic method and its impact on the formation of Folkloristics as an academic discipline in Estonia. I have published several articles on Walter Anderson, one of the eminent developers of the historic-geographic method and the first professor of Estonian and Comparative Folklore at the University of Tartu. My interest in the history of the discipline took off from studying the history of the chain letter genre and the impact of the Internet and electronic communication on chain letters.

Recent Activities:
In the summer of 2009 I started fieldwork in Tallinn and plan to continue with it until the end of 2010. In addition, I am working on an article on an Estonian infanticide ballad.
I serve as one of the co-editors of the international H-Folk discussion network. Between 2005-2009, I was the secretary of the International Society for Folk Narrative Research and one of the editors of the ISFNR Newsletter. During my PhD studies at the Ohio State University I have also helped to organize various folklore-related events and conferences.

Selected Publications:
* ““Innu ja tänuga võtkem vastu kõike uut, mis loogiliselt on välja kasvanud minevikust.” Mineviku, oleviku ja tuleviku dünaamikast Kristjan Raua vaadetes ja tegevuses.” – Ühest sajandist teise: Kristjan ja Paul Raud: Kumu Kunstimuuseum, sügiskonverents 2006. Toim. Karjatse, Dana ja Richard Adang. Tallinn: Eesti Kunstimuuseum 2008.
* “International Traffic of Folklore and the Geographic-Historical Method: Carving out a place for a discipline and a nation.” – Proceedings of the ISFNR Interim Conference “Folk Narrative and Society," Santa Rosa, Argentiina, September 2007. Buenos Aires (ilmumas).
* “Geograafilis-ajalooline meetod.” – Argikultuuri uurimise terminoloogia e-sõnastik. Toim. Tiiu Jaago. Tartu Ülikool, eesti ja võrdleva rahvaluule osakond 2008. URL: http://argikultuur.e-uni.ee
* “Remarks on the Historic-Geographic Method and Structuralism in Folklore Studies: the Puzzle of Chain Letters.” – Journal of Ethnology and Folkloristics, 2(1), 2008, 83-98.
* “Täiustatud tõde ehk Walter Andersoni rahvajuttude enesekontrolli seadus.” – Keel ja Kirjandus, 11/2007, 888-906.
* “Walter Anderson: A Scientist beyond Historic and Geographic Borders.” – Studies in Estonian Folkloristics and Ethnology. A Reader and Reflexive History. Eds. Kuutma, Kristin & Tiiu Jaago. Tartu: Tartu University Press 2005, 153-168.
* “Sota kissanpennuista. Bonsai Kitten-verkkosivusto, sen puolustajat, vastustajat ja heidän Internetinsä.” – Kulttuuritutkimus 20, 2003, 33-46.

Recommended Links:
The Center for Folklore Studies at the Ohio State University
H-Folk listserv
H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online
International Society for Folk Narrative Research
The American Folklore Society
Mershon Center for International Security Studies
Sihtasutus Archimedes
The OSU Department of Comparative Studies