Ethnological and Folkloristic Research in Slovenia and in Europe. (2004-2008)
(Slovenian Research Agency, no. P6-0088-0618-04)
Head: Mojca Ravnik
Research team: dr. Marija Stanonik, Jurij Fikfak, Maja Godina Golija, Naško Križnar, Monika Kropej, Stanka Drnovšek, Katja Jerman, Špela Ledinek Lozej, Vesna Ličer, Saša Poljak Istenič.
The research program has been designed as a total of research investigations into culture and the way of life of Slovenians within the European cultural area, with the focus on the 19th and the 20th centuries. It represents a continuation and a more extensive examination of the general research orientation of the Institute of Slovenian Ethnology (ISE) which focuses on material, social, and spiritual culture in the entire Slovenian ethnic territory. Suggested are also new themes and methods, aimed at comparisons with other European countries. Important components of the research program are history and theory of ethnology, visual research, formation of collections, and publications in the form of articles, monographs, films, and on the internet. The project is based on fieldwork, classification, research, and archival preservation of materials and sources. Research field: architecture, dwelling culture, food culture; social communities, family and kinship, neighbor relations, everyday communication, customs of the yearly and life cycles, work customs, interurban and interethnic relations, life along national borders and in areas of transition, national identity prior and after the incorporation of Slovenia into the European Union; literary folklore, proverbs, sayings and riddles, folk narrative, mythology, belief, life stories, contemporary legends, stories of the everyday, tales; history and theory of ethnology. The ISE's central documentation center contains written material, illustrations and photographs, audio and visual material, and fieldwork notes. Audovisual Laboratory is a special unit of the Institute. Its activities are: research of visual production among the minorities in Slovenia and amateur filmmaking; the making of visual documentation in the field and the making of research and ethnographic films; preparation for internet presentation of the Audovisual Laboratory's visual documentation. ISE Library is the central library with written and other material on Slovenian ethnology. Its visual collections contain material from the oldest ethnological film documents to most recent video material.
The research program sets forth researchthemes of the ISE, most of which have had priority status since the Institute's foundation at the beginning of the 1950's (folk narrative, beliefs and mythology, literary foklorie, architecture, food culture, life-cycle and yearly customs) as well as new ones: visual research projects, family and kinship, life stories, theory and history of ethnology. Research is focused on the study of those topics that have not been included into research plans of other institutions. Researchers cooperate with ethnologists from other institutions, museums and institutions for monument protection, and give support to students of ethnology, and Slovenian and foreign researchers who need professional literature, advice, or comparative material for their own research. Institute's collections and research findings represent a wealth of knowledge and information also for non-scholarly institutions and individuals (involved in various cultural projects, teachers who wish to add another dimension to their lectures and classes, or artists in search of inspiration in folk heritage). Of special importance is the research in the neighboring countries (Italy, Austria, Hungary); in the past, the Institute has significantly contributed to the knowledge of Slovenian culture among the neighboring majority nations as well as international ethnological experts.
Aside from acting as supervisors to the undergraduate and postgraduate students of ethnology the Institute's researchers lecture at the universities in Ljubljana, Maribor, and Koper.
The Institute's program team continues the research with which the ISEsignificantly contributed to an increase of knowledge about the way of life and folk culture in Slovenia. Its findings have also been recognized and appreciated by the neighboring countries with a Slovenian minority, and in international academic circles. European and international experts have been able to learn about phenomena from material, social, and spiritual culture of Slovenians; findings about architecture, food culture, customs, plays, narratives, literary folklore, and ethnographic film production have significantly enriched European ethnologies. By becoming part of the European Union Slovenia is no longer divided by borders. A continuation of ethnological and folkloristic research in areas formerly along and across the borders of Slovenia shall undoubtedly greatly contribute to the understanding of the formation of the new Europe. The Institute's program team is included in various international projects. Individual program team members, who are members of various international expert associations and committees covering different fields, present and publish papers and articles in foreign publications. Traditiones (since 1972), a yearly journal of the Institute , has an international editorial board; aside from the findings that are the result of the Institute's various research projects it publishes contributions of different international experts. Since 1998, and in co-operation with the University of Udine, the Institute also publishes an international journal Studia mythologica Slavica.
(Ministry for Education, Science, and Sports, No. P0-514-0618)
Head: Mojca Ravnik
Research team: Marija Stanonik, Jurij Fikfak, Maja Godina Golija, Naško Križnar, Monika Kropej, Ingrid Slavec Gradišnik, Helena Ložar-Podlogar, Sinja Zemljič-Golob, Stanka Drnovšek, Barbara Ivančič Kutin, Špela Ledinek, Božena Gabrijelčič.
The program comprises ethnological research throughout the Slovene ethnic territory, history of Slovene ethnology, visual ethnology, ethnological theory and methodology, and central document collection. Research work is centered in the following sections: teh section for material culture (economy, architecture, food culture, clothing culture), the section for social culture (yearly and life cycle customs, masks and masquerading, work customs, family and kinship relations, neighborhood, inter-settlement and interethnic relations), and the section for spiritual culture ( narrative and folk literature,beliefs, mythology, toponymics). The Audiovisual Laboratory conducts filming and visual research projects as well as summer visual workshops. Our most imminent team project is the completion of the Slovene Ethnological Lexicon (see ed. A. Baš) which involves most Slovene ethnologists. Valuable research material from the field is kept at our central document collection. Work is being done on multimedia presentations of Slovene cultural heritage. Our library contains basic Slovene literature as well as comparative studies from other European nations.The so-called young research fellows, who participate in our research projects, prepare their M.A. and Ph. D. theses. We have established contacts with numerous domestic and foreign research institutions, university departments, museums, and individuals. We publish two yearly publications, Traditiones (a collection of scientific papers), and Studia mythologica Slavica which is a joint publication of our institute and the Udine University from Italy.
Tradition and its re-producers (1. 2. 2008–31. 1. 2011)
(Slovenian Reaeach Agency Grant, No. J6-0070)
Head: Marija Stanonik
Research group: Jurij Fikfak, Maja Godina Golija, Monika Kropej, Ingrid Slavec Gradišnik; young researchers Saša Babič and Saša Poljak Istenič
Head: Marija Stanonik
Tradition is a central concept in ethnology and folklore studies. This anthropologically universal phenomenon enables appropriate identification and affiliation for an individual or a group/community. Like other phenomena, tradition is in constant dialogue with culturally innovative, and therefore it is not possible to equate it with the past or with history; it is a historical vestige but also simultaneously a contemporary phenomenon. In Europe and throughout the world “small” traditions have been increasingly becoming an alternative to globalization. In Slovenia, the search for and reliance on tradition became more pronounced after the mid-1980s, when, because of specific circumstances, this first appeared in considerations of the special features of national identity and viability, which contributed to a reevaluation of folk culture or previously marginalized traditional features and practices. Following independence, reference to tradition strengthened in connection with outward recognition of Slovenia, and also increasingly in the multifunctional expression of local, regional, and other collective identifications.
In reflecting on tradition, at least three discourses are important: 1. professional (scholarly, technical), 2. non-professional (amateur and performance practices), and 3. media discourse. This project primarily focuses on the second one. The analysis and interpretation will make it possible to better comprehend individuals’ perceptions and images of the world and the role and significance that tradition holds in it, their self-understanding in the triad of professional/lay/popular discourse, and each individual’s creativity and role in re-creating tradition.
Cultural and Academic Contacts – Serbs and Slovenians between the 19th and 21st Centuries
(Slovenian Research Agency, 2008–2009, BI-RS/08-09-026)
Heads: Ingrid Slavec Gradišnik in Dragana Radojičić
Project groups: Jurij Fikfak, Naško Križnar, Monika Kropej, Saša Poljak Istenič in Mladena Prelić, Milina Ivanović Barišić, Jadranka Đorđević, Ivan Đorđević, Srđan Radović, Marta Stojić.
One of the objectives of the proposed joint project of the Institute of Slovenian Ethnology SRC SASA and the Institute of Ethnology of the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences (Belgrade) is to at least partly fill the gap in cooperation between Slovenian and Serbian scholars that occurred after 1990. This tumultuous period, which brought a complete turnabout of the citizen status of Serbs in Slovenia and of Slovenians in Serbia, limited contacts between Slovenia and Serbia. These events profoundly influenced everyday lifestyles of both groups and their perception of their own position and cultural identity in view of new circumstances. It is the principal aim of this study to investigate these changes and issues.
Slovenian researchers plan their research work along two lines:
1. Research of selected segments of cultural heritage and of the present situation of Slovenians living in Serbia (parallels in folk narrative, Slovenian Society »Sava« in Belgrade)
2. Scientific parallels: comparative research of the history, methodology, theory, and practice of ethnology (academic contacts between Slovenian and Serbian intellectuals in the 18th and 19th centuries; parallels and divergences in ethnology and folklore studies in the 20th century; comparative research on visual production).
Researchers plan an international conference in Serbia (2009) and a common publication (2010).
Slovak-Slovenian Parallels in ethnology and folkloristic
(Slovenian Research Agency, 2008–2010, BI-SK/08-09-007)
Heads: Ingrid Slavec Gradišnik in Gabriela Kiliánová
Project groups: Jurij Fikfak, Barbara Ivančič Kutin, Saša Babič in Eva Krekovičová, Tatiana Bužeková, Michaela Ferencová
The project proposal is based on the current ambition of both research groups and represents the beginning of more thorough scholarly and inter-institutional cooperation between two central national research institutes for ethnology and folklore in Slovenia and Slovakia.
The project focuses on two topics:
1. on the comparative history of European national ethnologies, and
2. on the thematization of tradition and folklore, its genres , and social communication.
Both topic areas interest us at two levels at which the images of cultural dynamics are reproduced: academic discourse and everyday life (the empirical level). To understand cultural dynamics, the concepts of tradition/cultural heritage and cultural identity are central. We view our contribution to elucidating both of these in issues of concrete cultural practices and findings about them through the production of knowledge in ethnological and folklore studies today.
As part of the first topic, researches from both teams examine the period following the Second World War, that's the period of the so called socialist ethnology/folkloristics.
The second part is oriented towards addressing the mechanisms for maintaining andr e-creating tradition (selected folklore genres) and theit social implications (for esthetics, communication, and identity).
The reaearchers on both sides will elaborate particular in depth studies on selected topics. The results od their studies will be discussed and compared during the planned mutual visits as well as at the closing conference and in the joint publication (2010).
Implementation of information technology in the field of intangible ethnological and folklore heritage (2005-2008)
Implementation of information technology in the field of intangible ethnological and folklore heritage (2005-2008)
(Slovenian Research Agency; Basic research project, no. J6-7031-0618-05)
Head: Marija Stanonik
Research team: Jurij Fikfak, Maja Godina Golija, Barbara Ivančič Kutin, Naško Križnar, Monika Kropej, Mojca Ravnik, Ingrid Slavec Gradišnik, Stanka Drnovšek and Miha Peče.
The goal of the research project is:
1. Urgent revitalization of sound and film records on intangible cultural heritage that are kept at the ISE SRC SASA.
2. To make all the material accessible to researchers with various methodological and thematic orientations.
3. To conduct a study to design a unified classification scheme in ethnology and folklore studies.
4. Digitization and the online publication of documentation (including visual documentation) in an interconnected database will be an invaluable resource for the study of the continuity of Slovenian identity beyond the field of study as well.
5. Examples for a more detailed classification will be gathered
a) From specific archive material;
b) From the selected themes of Slovenian culture along the Slovenian border and beyond the borders of Slovenia.
We expect that the connectedness of the databases and the effort to publish examples will open a new view on intangible heritage, especially from the viewpoint of the connectedness of various levels of cultural manifestation. The ethnological and folklore conceptualization of this issue and the associated research methodology try to show how cultural phenomena are intertwined and form a network. Modern information technology can help a great deal here. The focus of the research project is to improve and expand the methodological apparatus. The researchers will check the methodological foundation and research methods to date from the viewpoint of the planned implementation of information technology. We anticipate that the collection methods and documentation of material with the help of modern technical tools, along with an improved classification, will enable a better quality design of collections and interconnectedness of various thematic areas and types of material.
On the basis of theoretically established classification, the planned implementation of information technology in the field of cultural heritage will enable the collected material to be more comprehensive. It will also make possible points of departure for its future management as well as greater internal coherence and opportunities for interdisciplinary research.
Characteristics of the Slovenian Entrepreneur between 1960 and 1990 (2005-2008)
(Slovenian Research Agency, Applied research project, L6-7129-0618-05)
Research team: Tatiana Bajuk Senčar, Oto Luthar, and Jeffrey David Turk (SRC SASA), Jože Prinčič (Institute of Contemporary History, Ljubljana).
It is generally believed that Slovenia was the best prepared to enter the European Union and the common currency (the euro) among all the other former communist countries. Today's relatively successful starting point of the Slovenian economy was influenced by numerous directors that in the period between 1960 and 1990 either improved economic foundations that were already established before the Second World War or developed new centers of economic prosperity. The task of this project, in which professionals from several disciplines are participating, includes:
- Describing the characteristics of the transition from a military to a political and, later, civil economy;
- Presenting in a more detailed manner the maneuvering area that the directors had at their disposal and the mechanisms that they used to achieve successful economic operations;
- Presenting the characteristics of structurally-based conflicts and constant frictions between politics predominantly directed from one center and the economy, which sought market niches and suitable space for expansion.
For the presentation of these views, the accounts of the creators of Slovenian economic success themselves are the most important. Consequently, research is based on the narrative interview as the technique that enables the narrator, in this case the director, to articulate his or her view on the situation of that time. Together with an analysis of appropriate archival material we will thus obtain a dual insight into the time when the Slovenian economy was forming.
(Slovenian Research Agency, no. J6-6352-0618-04)
Head: Ingrid Slavec Gradišnik
Research team: Marija Stanonik, Jurij Fikfak, Maja Godina Golija, Barbara Ivančič Kutin, Naško Križnar, Monika Kropej, Saša Poljak Istenič, Miha Peče, Božena Gabrijelčič.
The theme of the research project is ethnological research in Slovenia in a comparative European context, historically limited to the 20th century, which corresponds to the scholarly phase of the development of ethnological thought and research. Based on older comprehensive and conceptually quite diverse works –Narodopisje Slovencev (Ethnography of the Slovenians), 1944 and 1952; Vilko Novak's Slovenska ljudska kultura (Slovenian Folk Culture), 1960; Pogledi na etnologijo (Views on Ethnology), 1978; Slovensko ljudsko izročilo (Slovenian Folk Tradition), 1980) – and taking into account the themes that are the subject of traditional and current research by the associates of the ISE SRC SASA, as well as modern findings, the available empirical material (various collections), the changing research samples, and points of view, – the group’s ambition is on the one hand to present research on culture and lifestyle in Slovenia from the end of the 19th to the beginning of the 20th century by presenting examples from selected cultural themes that were comprehensively studied and illustrated with case studies. On the other hand, the group wishes to define the theoretical and methodological views and various perspectives of the researchers that left the strongest imprint on ethnological production during this period. These will be summed up in three interconnected sections:
- Views of the Researchers: time and places of identity, tradition, innovations, and intercultural and interethnic contacts; studies on selected cultural phenomena and processes at the intersections of the material, social, and symbolic, taking into account the differences between various time periods and transitions (the pre-communist era, the communist period, and transition), different social contexts and regions.
- Views of the Researched: time and places of memory, creativity, authenticity and belonging; the views of the researched and the language of their cultural horizon are the building blocks of findings in ethnology and folklore, bringing into these a totally different quality.
- Views on the Researchers: time and places of concepts and methods (topography of records, analyses, interpretations, and representations). The researcher’s principles and research strategies show theoretical and methodological shifts; they operationalize the relationship with the researched and substantiate the relationships between the objects and subjects in the research process.
The research carried out by the associates of the ISE is based on the study of domestic and foreign literature, the institute’s rich archives, visual and audiovisual collections, and field research. Within the selected themes, appropriate empirical and interpretative methods are used.
Registry of intangible heritage (2006–2008)
(Slovenian Research Agency, No. V6-0276)
Head: Naško Križnar
Research team: Marija Klobčar, Monika Kropej, Miha Peče, Mojca Ravnik, Ingrid Slavec Gradišnik, Urša ivic, Snežana Tecco Hvala; Aleš Gačnik, Martina Piko-Rustia, Inja Smerdel, ????
(Ministry for Education, Science, and Sports, Basic research project, No. J6-3108-0618-01)
Head: Ingrid Slavec Gradišnik
Research team: Helena Ložar - Podlogar, Stanka Drnovšek, Božena Gabrijelčič
The proposed research project is going to continue and update two fundamental works on Slovene customs, both by Dr. Niko Kuret: Praznično leto Slovencev (The Festive Year of Slovenes, last edition in 1989), and Maske slovenskih pokrajin (Masks of Slovene Regions, 1984). Due to this superb basis the project will be able to emphasize the period from the end of the 1980s and the sociopolitical, historic and cultural changes in which the yearly and life-cycle customs appeared. This is the period after Niko Kuret concluded his Praznično leto Slovencev, and when important political and social changes started to occur in Europe and in Slovenia as well; these were visibly manifested in various customs and holidays. We will be especially interested in the phenomena which appeared due to changes after Slovenia gained its independence and changed its political system. We will follow the customs of the yearly and life cycles from the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s when certain, especially religious customs gained a prominent role in public life. The project will go into four groups of customs: those which existed before World War II and continued afterward as well; those which disappeared (or were even banned) after World War II and were resurrected toward the end of the 20th century; the customs which were emphasized after World War II, or which originated in that period; and those which have been taken over from western Europe and the USA.
Slovenian Ethnological Lexicon (2001–2004)
Head: Mojca Ramšak
Research Group: Maša Marty, Sinja Zemljič - Golob, Božena Gabriječič.
Slovenian ethnological lexicon is at present certainly the most important and basic synthetical task of Slovenian ethnologists. Until now 44 chapters have been written. Lexicon will contain 52 chapters from all fields of contemporary and historical ethnology and folkloristics. About 6000 articles, 5500 of which have already been completed, and about 1000 illustrations (photos, sketches etc.) will present the most concise knowledge about material and social culture and about folklore in Slovenia and abroad. The research project is dedicated to the writing of articles, to the extensive illustrations selection and to the lexicographic redaction and preparation for print.