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Folklore and Anthropology in Conversation

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Royal Anthropological Institute

50 Fitzroy St

London

W1T 5BT

United Kingdom

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Third Folklore Society / Royal Anthropological Institute Joint Seminar

The Third Joint Seminar of the Society and the RAI will be held on Thursday 26 October, 2017 from 10am to 5pm at the Royal Anthropological Institute, 50 Fitzroy Street, London W1T 5BT. The general theme will be 'Folklore and Anthropology in Conversation', continuing on from last year's presentations.

These days are organised jointly by the RAI and the Folklore Society, and cover any aspect of mutual synergy between our two fields, expressed historically, theoretically or practically in terms of research results. It is expected that there will be approximately six papers in all, drawn equally between our two societies.

Potential contributions are welcome from Fellows at all stages in their career. Abstracts should be sent please by 1st October to admin@therai.org.uk.

A detailed programme will be published in due course. However, we are pleased to announce that the key-note speaker will be the film maker and museum curator Giovanni Kezich, Museo degli Usi e Costumi della Gente Trentina (Italy), who, as he outlines in his abstract below, will be describing his major comparative project on European winter masquerades.

Giovanni Kezich

“Carnival King of Europe” between folklore and anthropology.
A thorough going survey of European winter masquerades, carried out from 2007 to 2017 in about one hundred different locations in 13 countries, under the premises of a research project co-funded by the EU and the title “Carnival King of Europe” (see the site www.carnivalkingofeurope.it), seems to have opened some new important perspectives in both comparative folklore and social anthropology. Specific targets of the survey have been the small scale village masquerades that take place in rural Europe in a variety of winter occasions, from Halloween to early March and beyond, being based on the yearly return of mysterious ritual figures, always clad in rich and elaborate attires. On such grounds, it was easy to ascertain that throughout Europe, from the Balkans to Iberia and from Sicily to England, the language of such ritual masquerades is one and the same, directly relating to the same hidden ancient liturgy of agrarian magic. This finding has deep implications as towards a reconsideration of European culture history in unitary terms, from its all too evident common roots in protohistory to the emergence in the late medieval context of the idea of “Carnival” as an encompassing new ideology of popular culture. Also, the current revival of such rituals, which has swept over the whole continent from the 1980’s, can be seen as a specific testimony to the unitary character of the underlying culture. “Carnival King of Europe” has thus revisited some of the classic themes of Sir James G. Frazer, first and foremost of which is the obligatory nature of a sacrificial ritual which annually ties up in a single whole the world of men to the world of nature: a reappraisal of comparative ethnography largely carried out with the contemporary means of visual anthropology. The presentation will expound upon the methods, contents, results and further research perspectives of “Carnival King of Europe”, from its beginnings in 2007 to the present day.

Royal Anthropological Institute, 50 Fitzroy Street, London W1T 5BT. The RAI office is just around the corner from Warren Street, NORTH of Fitzroy Square. It is next door to French's Theatre Bookshop.
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Royal Anthropological Institute

50 Fitzroy St

London

W1T 5BT

United Kingdom

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