Institute of Cultural Research

The Institute of Cultural Research belongs to the field of humanities of the University of Tartu and consists of three departments: the Department of Estonian and Comparative Folklore, the Department of Ethnology and the Department of Literature and Theater Studies. Since 2011, the Institute of Cultural Research also includes the Center for Oriental Studies and since 2021 the Center for Arctic Cultures. The institute also has a professorship in the liberal arts and the UNESCO Chair on Applied Research of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Following professors work at the institute:

  • Anneli Saro (Theater Studies),
  • Arne Merilai (Estonian literature),
  • Art Leete (Ethnology),
  • Ene Kõresaar (Oral history and memory research),
  • Jüri Talvet (World literature, professor emeritus),
  • Kristin Kuutma (Cultural sciences),
  • Liina Lukas (Comparative literature),
  • Marina Grishakova (Literary theory) 
  • Ülo Valk (Estonian and comparative folklore).

Composition of the Council of the Institute of Cultural Research (since 10.09.2021)


Art Leete, head of the institute, professor


Anneli Saro, professor

Arne Merilai, Professor

Kristin Kuutma, professor

Marina Grišakova, professor

Ülo Valk, professor

Ene Kõresaar, professor

Liina Lukas, professor

Jaak Tomberg, associate professor

Hedi-Liis Toome, lecturer

Tiiu Jaago, lecturer

Kirsti Jõesalu, lecturer, researcher

Marin Laak, Estonian Literary Museum

Pille Runnel, Estonian National Museum

Piret Voolaid, Estonian Literary Museum

Saara Jaanisk, student representative

Marta Selma Gürvald, Student Representative

Christofer Kivipalu, student representative

Ilona Piirimägi, Student Representative

Killu Issak, student representative


Hille Roots, Institute Coordinator

Dates of the meetings of the Council of the Institute of Cultural Research in the academic year 2023/24:

Autumn semester:

September 20

October 18

November 15

December 13

January 24

Spring semester:

February 21

March 20

April 17

May 15

June 12

Start at 15.00, venue: Ülikooli 16-102, unless stated otherwise.

Department of Estonian and Comparative Folklore

Department of Ethnology

Department of Literature and Theatre studies