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Socialist and Post-Socialist Area Studies

Socialist and post-socialist countries have rich traditions of folklore in oral performance, literature, and material culture as well as long-standing local research traditions. At the same time, new nation-states, such as the former Soviet republics, struggle with issues of ethnic identity, nationalism, and post-colonialism. During the past two decades, there has also been an explosion of interest in post-socialist vernacular cultures. Folklorists working in these societies could benefit from sharing their research and interacting with each other.

The Socialist and Post-Socialist Area Studies Section of the American Folklore Society aims at enhancing opportunities for sharing scholarship and carrying out projects among folklorists working in these areas. The group convenes annually at the AFS Conference, sponsors panels for the AFS Conference, promotes publications in the area of specialization, and coordinates efforts with other organisations, groups and individual researchers with similar interests. The first business meeting of the Socialist and Post-Socialist Area Studies Section took place at the 2010 AFS annual meeting in Nashville.

The Socialist and Post-Socialist Area Studies Section collaborates with Folklorica.

Folklorica, the journal of the Slavic and East European Folklore Association, publishes articles dealing with the folklore of the various Slavic countries and the countries of East and Central Europe. It also publishes articles on the folklore of the peoples from this area who live abroad.  Reports and book reviews are also regular features. The goal of Folklorica is to promote a dialogue between East and West, an exchange of information and interpretive approaches between the scholars of North American and Western Europe and scholars in the former Soviet Union and East and Central Europe.  During the years when the two scholarly traditions were separated by the Iron Curtain, they grew apart. Yet both areas did grow and develop a great deal of knowledge that can be productively shared.  Folklorica seeks to provide a platform where such sharing can occur.   

We would encourage members to submit articles, reports and book reviews to Folklorica. If you are interested, please contact Jeanmarie Rouhier-Willoughby, Professor of Russian, Folklore, and Linguistics at the University of Kentucky. 

The conveners of this section are Elo-Hanna Seljamaa, University of Tartu andErik Aasland, Fuller Theological Seminary.

Contact the section conveners at [email protected].

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