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Folk Knowledge: Institute of Ethnology Slovak Academy of Sciences: Call for Papers

AAA bratislava

Folk Knowledge:  Models and Concepts

Institute of Ethnology Slovak Academy of Sciences

March 26th to 28th 2013 


The problem of human knowledge – what a person employs to interpret and act on the world – has been in the centre of scholarly attention for a long time. Knowledge is shaped by culture and distributed in population in certain ways; anthropological research has been directed to the distribution of knowledge – its presence or absence in particular persons – and the social processes influencing these distributions.

Attention has been paid in particular to so-called folk knowledge consisting of beliefs and socially accepted rules corresponding to various spheres of life: social relations, natural environment, reasoning and emotions, economic relations, oral tradition, etc. These beliefs and rules are shared and adapted to the particular local settings. Theoretical debates focused on the models of natural and cultural environment in particular social and cultural conditions, and the impact that those models have on human behaviour. The aim of this conference is to contribute to this focus by bringing together scholars doing research in different cultural settings.

A comparative perspective on human knowledge allows us to unravel a number of aspects of the cultural worlds which people construct. Empirical research can demonstrate how established thoughts, representations, and social relations to a considerable extent configure and filter individual human experience of the world around us and thereby generate culturally diverse worldviews which might include feelings and attitudes as well as information, embodied skills, verbal taxonomies and concepts: all the ways of understanding that humans use to make up a reality.


We invite interested scholars and students to submit proposals for papers which will explore:

• Folk knowledge and expert knowledge

• Material culture: material objects and their cultural meanings

• Religious beliefs and rituals

• Concepts of ethnicity and race

• Social learning: acquisition of knowledge by children and adults

• Children and their concepts

• Verbal concepts and models

• Taxonomy of concepts

• Representations of morality

• Gender relationships and representations

• Representations of economic relations and processes

• Visual representations: construction of meanings


Key lectures:

Prof. Anthony Good

Anthony Good is Emeritus Professor of Social Anthropology at the School of Social & Political Science, University of Edinburgh, Great Britain. The lecture: Folk Knowledge and the Law

Prof. John Eade

John Eade is Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Roehampton and former Executive Director of CRONEM (Centre for Research on Nationalism, Ethnicity and Multiculturalism) which links Roehampton and the University of Surrey. He is also Visiting Professor at the Migration Research Unit, the University College London, Great Britain.

The lecture: Contested Knowledges: The Politics of Pilgrimage in a Changing Europe

Dr. William (Lee) W. McCorkle

William McCorkle is

Director of Experimental Research at the LEVYNA (Laboratory for the Experimental Research of Religion and Ritual). He is Associate Professor and Research Specialist at the Department for the Study of Religions, Masaryk University, Czech Republic.

The lecture: From Compulsion to Script: The Evolution of Ritual and the Rise of Religions


Submission details:

The language of the conference will be English only. The papers should last no more than 20 minutes.

Abstracts (up to 350-words in Word doc.), with contact details and affiliation, should be sent to:

the conference e-mail address: uet.conference@savba.sk by 31st January 2013.

You will be informed about acceptance or non-acceptance of your proposal by 15th February 2013.


Conference participation fee:

• scholars who will present their papers: € 50;

• PhD students who will present their papers: € 25;

• participants who will not present papers: free. The participation fee includes all conference proceedings and daytime refreshments. Accommodation is not included in the conference fee.


Organizational team: Tatiana Bužeková, Institute of Ethnology SAS, email: tatiana.buzekova@savba.sk Miroslava Hlinčíková, Institute of Ethnology SAS, email: miroslava.hlincikova@savba.sk Danijela Jerotijević, Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences, Comenius University, email: danijela.jerotijevicova@fses.uniba.sk Soňa G. Lutherová, Institute of Ethnology SAS, email: sona.lutherova@savba.sk

They look forward to seeing you in Bratislava in March 2013!

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