International Conference of Young Folklorists "Theoretical Frames and Empirical Research" in Vilnius, April 15-17, 2012

Place: Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore. Antakalnio 6, LT-10308 Vilnius, Lithuania

Organizer: The Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore in Vilnius

Partner: Department of Estonian and Comparative Folklore in University of Tartu

Department of Estonian and Comparative Folklore and Department of Ethnology of the University of Tartu hosted in May 2011 a symposium of young folklorists titled "Belief, Tradition, and Identity as Vernacular Practices: Current Issues in Ethnology and Folkloristics". This conference in Vilnius is a continuation of this idea and seeks to establish a tradition of organizing annual academic meetings of young folklorists taking place alternately in Tartu (Estonia) and Vilnius (Lithuania).

The main goals of the International Conference of Young Folklorists in Vilnius 2012 are:

  • Bring together students and young researchers of folklore from different countries and continents to present and compare different ways of folklore research.
  • Foster academic communication between young folklorists.
  • Encourage young scholars to raise and tackle  theoretical research questions and discussions.

The topic of this year’s conference Theoretical frames and empirical research aims to focus the attention of young scholars on negotiating between two important poles of any scientific research – theory and practice. We use theory not only to systematize our knowledge or to choose methodology for empirical research, but theory defines the goals and objects of our discipline. Through theoretical discussions we also enter the interdisciplinary field of human sciences, making our approach and methods comprehensible for others as well as for ourselves. While different researchers have a different attitude towards theory, national schools and research traditions also play an important role. However, it is impossible to bypass theory when we need to locate our research in a particular context, choose methodology or provide arguments in support of our thesis. Young folklorists’ take on theory, their problems and achievements in negotiating between theory and empirical practice shape the future of our discipline and its research objects.

Coordinator: Lina Sokolovaitė, e-mail: