Research at the Institute of Cultural Research concentrates on contextualising culture in many closely linked, yet multilateral aspects.

Department of Ethnology carries out research in Estonian, Finno-Ugric and Arctic cultures. Estonian ethnology is explored through the everyday culture diachronically and synchronically including ethnic identity and experiences through life stories. Research in Finno-Ugric and Arctic cultures focuses on changes in the everyday life of the peoples of the North, their world view and rituals, economic systems and ways of life.

Research projects of the Department of Estonian and Comparative Folklore analyse and discuss folklore as a traditional creative process that gets its meanings and functions in social context. Research is focused on biographical narratives, narrated memories, folk songs, laments, legends, myths and folktales, their performance and social functions. In addition to Estonian folklore South Asian and Finnic traditions are being studied; publications are to a great extent addressed to international readership.

The Department of Literature and Theatre Research investigates Estonian works of word art in a wide range of national and international literary contexts, applying theoretical and comparative approaches to the poetics and reception of poetry, fiction and theatre. Questions focusing on the history of Estonian literature and theatre are considered and literary theories are examined. Research outcomes are disseminated in Estonia and abroad.


Research projects




Malay Bera lecture: "Fairy Tales for the Queer Desi": New Paradigms in South Asian Storytelling Traditions

12. detsembril kell 16.15 peab Malay Bera loengu "Fairy Tales for the Queer Desi": New Paradigmas in South Asian Storytelling Traditions.

Maria Mayerchyk lecture December 6 at 16:15

Philipp Schwartz Fellow Maria Mayerchyk is giving a lecture at the Department of Estonian and Comparative Folklore on the topic Intimacy Before Sexuality: Genealogy of Prytula Custom.
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Peahoone lippudega_2022_Foto_Andres_Tennus

International Workshop „The Same Event? Morphologies, Reflections, Disseminations“