Call for the special issue of Slovak Ethnology / Slovenský národopis, volume 69, number 4/2021

Call for the special issue of Slovak Ethnology/Slovenský národopis, volume 69, number 4/2021, on the topic of Professional, Academic, or Public Engagements and Entanglements of Intangible Cultural Heritage Research. The guest editors of the issue are Kristin Kuutma (UNESCO Chair on Applied Studies of Intangible Cultural Heritage, University of Tartu, Estonia) and Anita Vaivade (UNESCO Chair on Intangible Cultural Heritage Policy and Law, Latvian Academy of Culture, Latvia), co-chairs of the Working Group ‘Cultural Heritage and Property’ of the International Society for Ethnology and Folklore (SIEF).
The adoption of the UNESCO 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage has brought a novel concept into policy frameworks, as well as into academia. Ethnologists, anthropologists, folklorists, sociologists, economists, lawyers, and researchers from other scholarly disciplines now engage in diverging research undertakings related to ‘intangible cultural heritage’, in both fundamental and applied approach, and reimagine and shape their professional and public paths in relation to the named global normative instrument. Academic associations and networks also play their part in advancing research, producing relevant knowledge, engaging in policy analysis and aiming at ‘intangible cultural heritage’ related employment.

Transversal aspects of conceptualization of ‘intangible cultural heritage’, its governance, respective community involvement, and junctions to sustainable development have become part of research agendas, and scholars undertake respective public engagements and contribute to policy analysis. Such professional and reflexive research engagement comes with a reconsideration of the stances of researchers in relation to heritage related policies, strategies and institutional patterns. Researchers become part of discourses and practices of making, breaking, reinterpreting and transgressing heritage related public rules. This invites the questioning of the role of researcher, the research practice and its ethics, as well as the novel skills needed.
This special issue calls to reflect critically on the entanglements envisioned or discarded when professional research paths encounter complexities of the field of intangible cultural heritage safeguarding. We propose to examine how to engage with this field for contemplating agency of change, the institutionalization of knowledge, constructing and interrogating theories of practice, and contesting hegemonies.

This special issue is sponsored by the SIEF Working Group (WG) ‘Cultural Heritage and Property’ and prepared in thematic linkage to the SIEF 2021 Congress titled ‘Breaking the Rules? Power, Participation, Transgression’, as well as to some past panels organized by the WG at previous SIEF Congresses.

The call also makes a bridge to an upcoming conference under the ‘Osmose’ research program, titled « Nommer/normer : approches pluridisciplinaires du patrimoine culturel immatériel » to be held in Paris, France this autumn, and sponsored by the SIEF WG. The call is intended equally to bring attention to the growing network of UNESCO Chairs active in the field of intangible cultural heritage safeguarding.
In addition to research articles, also essays and discussion papers are welcome. Contributors are kindly requested to submit their abstracts and keywords directly through the editorial system of Slovenský národopis/Slovak Ethnology (CLICK HERE) no later than June 30, 2021.
The selected manuscripts are expected no later than August 31, 2021. The text should not exceed 6,250 words or 45,000 characters, including spaces, notes and references, and should follow the Journal´s guidelines for authors accessible HERE.