Estonian - et
Events organised by the Department

New Course on Tibetian Sacred Geography in February 2016

A new course Tibetian Sacred Geography (HVKU.04.005; 3 ECTS) by Dr Valentina Punzi ("L'Orientale", University of Naples) can be taken as an optional course by all PhD, MA and BA students. Lectures will be held from 6th to 14th February 2017.

Course schedule:

1. 06.02.2017, at 16.15 (Ülikooli 16-214), Introduction: from the imperial geopolitical unity to the contemporary fragmentation


Symposium "Places and Processes of Pilgrimage, Past and Present" on January 11, 2017

Join us at a symposium "Places and Processes of Pilgrimage, Past and Present" on Wednesday 11th January at 10.15. The symposium will be held in the Von Bock building (Ülikooli 16), room 214. The working language of the symposium will be English.



Tõnno Jonuks (Estonian Literary Museum) "Pagan pilgrimages? Some thoughts about Early Modern age superstition in Estonia"

Atko Remmel (University of Tartu)  "Pilgrimage practices in contemporary Estonia: some (peculiar?) developments"

11:15-11:30 Coffee break


Defence of Reet Hiiemäe's PhD Dissertation "Folklore as a Tool of Psychological Self-Defence: About the Pragmatics of Belief Traditions" on January 4, 2017

PhD student of the Institute of Cultural Research and Fine Arts Reet Hiiemäe will defend her PhD theses "Folklore as a Tool of Psychological Self-Defence: About the Pragmatics of Belief Traditions" on January 4, at 12.15 (UT Senate Hall). Supervisor: Professor Ülo Valk (University of Tartu); opponents Dr. Piret Paal (Hospizdienst DaSein e.V., München) and Dr. Merili Metsvahi (University of Tartu).


Workshop "Changes and Continuities in the Religious Landscape of Northeast India" on January 19-21, 2017

Venue: Don Bosco Institute, Kharghuli, Guwahati, India

This workshop explores the rapidly changing religious landscape of Northeast India through 1) examining how 'traditional' belief systems are being restructured to give rise to 'new' indigenous religions; and 2) analysing how vernacular indigenous myths and legends have influenced the practice and ritual processes of mainstream religions of the area (Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism). It aims to illuminate and comprehend the motivations behind such changes and their effects on practitioners' daily lives; to discover the linkages and correlations among emerging religious movements; and to determine the impacts that these contemporary forms of expression have on identity formulations within these ethnic communities. Examining these topics in context provides new ways to view and understand the methods by which societies in Northeast India strive to meet the demands of modernity, contributing to the scholarly analysis of post-colonial indigenous peoples. For more information, contact Margaret Lyngdoh at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


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).


Dr Maria Ines Palleiro´s Lecture on the Rhetoric of Threat in Belief Narratives: From Personal Experiences to Political Folklore, on the December 15, 2016

On Dec 15th at 12.15 Dr Maria Ines Palleiro (National Council for Scientific Research, Buenos Aires University, Argentina) will deliver lecture "Rhetoric of threat in belief narratives: from personal experiences to political folklore". The lecture will take place in von Bock Building (Ülikooli 16) room no. 214. All are welcome!

The aim is to identify the distinctive features of such rhetoric of threat, dealing with metaphoric identifications with political leaders and with a synechdotic logic of external or global dangers caused to individuals or local identities, that can be identified both in personal narratives, in urban legends and in political discourses. I will examine a personal narrative dealing with cancer which affects common citizens, an urban legend dealing with AIDS, and virtual narratives regarding cancer that has affected Latin American political leaders. My main hypothesis is that there is a thread that connects all these narratives, connected with a synechdotic logic which is a distinctive feature of "rhetoric of infection" connected with conspiracy theories.


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.


Film and Lecture on Goddess Worship in Hinduism on November 16, 2016

Wednesday, Nov 16th, 2016 at 18:15 Ülikooli 18-228 (main building of the university right wing second floor):

Filmscreening “Ghora: Waiting for the Goddess” by Irene Majo Garigliano (Centre d’Études Himalayennes (CNRS), Villejuif, France) and  Alessandro Cartosio (independent film maker). Irene M. Garigliano will comment her film through Skype.

The film is introduced by a short lecture by prof. Ülo Valk titled "Goddess in the Place-lore and Rituals of North-Eastern India".  The talk contextualizes the film within the framework of contemporary forms of goddess worship in Hindu traditions.


New Course on Mythic Discourse on November 2016

A new course HVKU.04.003 Mythic Discourse: Mythology in Social Practice (3 ECTS) can be taken as an optional course by all PhD, MA and BA students. Dr Frog (University of Helsingi, Finland) will give lectures from 14th to 17th Nov 2016.


14.11.2016 at 10.15 (Ülikooli 16-214) "What is Mythology?" focuses on the concept of mythology and definitions that are more and less useful for thinking about mythic discourse. This lecture introduses some terms and concepts that are very important for the following lectures. The most emblematic situations where people use mythology in life are different sorts of rituals.


Symposion and Workshop "Mythology, Discourse, and Authority: Retrospective Methods in Cultural Research", November 22-23, 2016

Mythology, Discourse, and Authority: Retrospective Methods in Cultural Research
Symposium and workshop of the Graduate School of Culture Studies and Arts

November 22–23, 2016


November 22
Jakobi 2-114

9.30 Opening

9.40 Yuri Berezkin: “Myths” and “Tales”: Tools for Reconstruction of Deep and of the Not So Deep Prehistory

10.40 Joonas Ahola: Myth, Language, Origin: 19th Century Mythology Studies in Germany and Finland


Prof Frank J. Korom's Lecture on West-Bengal Folk Art and Globalization on November 9th, 2016

On November 9th at 12.15 Prof Frank J. Korom (Boston University) will deliver a lecture titled "Folk Art and Globalization: An Example from West Bengal". The lecture will take place in von Bock Building (Ülikooli 16) room no. 215.

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