Call for contributions, Ethnologies

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20 Juin 2017

Whither Ethnology?

As we approach the 41st anniversary of the Folklore Studies Association of Canada, the journal Ethnologies invites submissions for a special thematic issue dealing with the future of the discipline. The theme of Whither Ethnology? has as its main goal a retrospective overview of the changes and the challenges in ethnology, both epistemological and institutional, inquiring at the same time into its place and its role in terms of the social and humanitarian sciences and of society.

Born in the era of emerging nations, ethnology is related, in the collective imagination, to the mission of identifying, promoting and safeguarding the tangible and intangible features of culture underpinning the identity discourse of the Nation State. The components of its terminology, ethnos (meaning nation, country) and logia (meaning knowledge), give witness to its origins, destined to (re) produce a comprehensive vision of the world by choosing the cultural foundations of  State-Building rhetoric.

As it is, migration, cultural diversity and the new technologies call into question any engagement with the past and with tradition through the integration of change, of innovation, of cultural renewal. The digital cultures, the creative traditions, the intangible cultural heritage, cultural tourism and globalized cultures reset ethnology and folklore as the focus of issues in terms of cultural and heritage development, of management as concerns cultural and natural territories. The return of consumerist cultures termed ethnic and/or authentic speaks, too of the diversity and relevance of ethnological approaches, through the many ways of seeing cultures and societies over time. Slow culture, fast culture, (the rhythms), the tyranny of time, the threat of time, the search for origins, transmission, time that is fleeting, time for dreams, etc. are only a few illustrations of the rich temporal and cultural vocabulary which formulates and structures daily life, discourses and practices. It is in this context of both questioning and promise that we commit to writing our reflections on the future of ethnology. How is ethnology adapting to the changes in our world? How should we envision the future of the discipline within an ever faster moving timescale, one which is unforeseeable, diversified through technological innovations and the creation and extension of new infrastructures in communication and mediation? What place today does the discipline claim in establishments of learning, in government institutions and, more broadly, in the community? How to (re) define in the current day the relation between the ethnologist and the field, the researcher and ethnography, the intellectual and society? So it is that we invite your proposals for articles based on this theme, in French or in English, for our anniversary edition.

Subjects of interest

  • Ethnology and folklore: past, present and future
  • Ethnology, Aboriginals and Temporalities
  • The return of authenticity
  • The intangible heritage and the test of time
  • Challenges and perspectives of museums in the digital age
  • Material cultures and success or the search for the future
  • Digital cultures
  • The future of ethnology teaching
  • Stories of the founders of the Folklore Studies Association of Canada

Articles dealing with questions related to the future and the changing face of ethnology and folklore will also be given consideration.

Proposals for articles (title, author’s name and a 150-word abstract) must be sent by July 20, 2017 to the issue coordinators, Daniela Moisa Dmoisa@usudbury.ca and Van Troi Tran Van-Troi.Tran@hst.ulaval.ca. The articles themselves, in Word format, along with the abstract and a short biographical note, must reach these same email addresses by September 15, 2017 at the latest.