Traditionally, oral traditions were considered to diffuse only orally, outside the influence of literature and other printed media. Eventually, more attention was given to interaction between literacy and orality, but it is only recently that oral tradition has come to be seen as a modern construct both conceptually and in terms of accessibility. Oral traditions cannot be studied independently from the culture of writing and reading.
Lately, a new interdisciplinary interest has risen to study interconnections between oral tradition and book culture. In addition to the use and dissemination of printed books, newspapers etc., book culture denotes manuscript media and the circulation of written documents of oral tradition in and through the archive, into published collections. Book culture also intertwines the process of framing and defining oral genres with literary interests and ideologies. In addition to writing and reading, the study of oral traditions must also take into consideration the culture of publishing.
The present volume highlights varied and selected aspects of the expanding field of research into oral tradition and book culture. The questions discussed include the following: How have printing and book publishing set terms for oral tradition scholarship? How have the practices of reading affected the circulation of oral traditions? Which books and publishing projects have played a key role in this and how? How have the written representations of oral traditions, as well as the roles of editors and publishers, introduced authorship to materials customarily regarded as anonymous and collective?
The editors represent some of the key institutions in the study of oral traditions in Finland: the University of Helsinki, the Finnish Literature Society, and the University of Eastern Finland. The authors are folklorists, anthropologists, historians and literary historians, and scholars in information studies from Finland, Sweden, Norway, Ireland, and the United States.Book Details
Songs and writings: oral and literary cultures in early-modern Finland renews the understanding of exchange between the learned culture of clergymen and the culture of commoners, or “folk”. What happened when the Reformation changed the position of the oral vernacular language to literary and ecclesiastical, and when folk beliefs seem to have become an object for more intensive surveillance and correction? How did clergymen understand and use the versatile labels of popular belief, paganism, superstition and Catholic fermentation?
Why did they choose particular song languages, poetic modes and melodies for their Lutheran hymns and literary poems, and why did they avoid oral poetics in certain contexts while accentuating it in others? How were the hagiographical traditions representing the international medieval literary or “great” tradition adapted to “small” folk traditions, and how did they persist and change after the Reformation? What happened to the cult of the Virgin Mary in local oral traditions?
The first Finnish 16th-century reformers admired the new Germanic models of Lutheran congregational hymns and avoided the Finnic vernacular Kalevala-metre idiom, while their successors picked up many vernacular traits, most notably alliteration, in their ecclesiastical poetry and hymns. Over the following centuries, the new features introduced via new Lutheran hymns such as accentual metres, end-rhymes and strophic structures were infusing into oral folk poetry, although this took place also via secular oral and literary routes. On the other hand, seventeenth-century scholars cultivated a new academic interest in what they understood as “ancient Finnish poetry”.
The book has an extensive English Summary for the international readership.Book Details
Health and healing have been central concerns throughout human history. Individuals and societies have devised multiple ways to health. Healing practices have often been linked to questions of knowledge, power, politics, and morals. The limits of acceptable healing have been contested by men and women, priests and doctors, elites and commoners, indigenous peoples and colonialists. Successful healers have sometimes been labeled as witches, quacks, or dangerous political agitators.
The contributions in this volume concentrate on healing in global history with case studies about Finland, southern Asia and Africa, Brazil, the Caribbean and North America. They discuss medical pluralism and consider the arguments for and against individual healers and different healing systems. The authors focus on the popularity of medical systems, the appropriation and adoption of healing practices in cross-cultural contexts, and the prohibition of certain forms of healing.Book Details
City as a Stage explores the diverse ways in which modern cities of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries presented and projected themselves, especially by staging major urban events, which have often been interpreted as major local and national turning points. In particular, the book discusses how cities were imagined through the prism provided by other cities, major events, as well as alternative pasts and futures. How –with admiration, indifference or contestation– did various urban actors engage with the city as a stage? The book paints a multifaceted picture of the history of urban events and town twinning, while at the same illustrating how students and travellers experienced cities such as Berlin, Rome, Helsinki, and Tampere. As for individual urban events, Stockholm’s General Art and Industrial Exposition of 1897, Helsinki’s 400th anniversary of 1950, and the Moscow Youth Festival of 1957 are all given their own chapter.Book Details
This book presents, above all, a study of the establishment and development of the Soviet organization and system of fashion industry and design as it gradually evolved in the years after the Second World War in the Soviet Union, which was, in the understanding of its leaders, reaching the mature or last stage of socialism when the country was firmly set on the straight trajectory to its final goal, Communism. What was typical of this complex and extensive system of fashion was that it was always loyally subservient to the principles of the planned socialist economy. This did not by any means indicate that everything the designers and other fashion professionals did was dictated entirely from above by the central planning agencies. Neither did it mean that their professional judgment would have been only secondary to ideological and political standards set by the Communist Party and the government of the Soviet Union. On the contrary, as our study shows, the Soviet fashion professionals had a lot of autonomy. They were eager and willing to exercise their own judgment in matters of taste and to set the agenda of beauty and style for Soviet citizens.
The present book is the first comprehensive and systematic history of the development of fashion and fashion institutions in the Soviet Union after the Second World War. Our study makes use of rich empirical and historical material that has been made available for the first time for scientific analysis and discussion. The main sources for our study came from the state, party and departmental archives of the former Soviet Union. We also make extensive use of oral history and the writings published in Soviet popular and professional press.Book Details
"Channel Three will entertain you when television gets too seriousâ, the new entrant in Finlandâs broadcast television announced proudly at its launch in 1986. Channel Three was the first fully commercial television channel in the Nordic countries, founded and owned by a group of odd bedfellows: the public broadcaster YLE, its long standing commercial companion MTV and a growing electronics giant Nokia. The plans to start a commercial TV station were first severely opposed by leading politicians, but it was finally approved as a means to fight back international satellite channels and the efforts of major newspaper companies to enter the television market. Drawing from media policy studies and based on archive documents, contemporary media coverage and interviews of the main actors, the book provides a thorough analysis of the stages of Channel Three, indicating how it, despite its short lifespan, contributed profoundly to the commercialization and marketization of television in Finland.Book Details
The man of blue landscapes describes the life and work of the Finnish geographer Johannes Gabriel Granö (1882–1956), whose career also reflected Finland’s development as a modern state. Granö was a scientific explorer, writer, a pioneer of Finnish photographic art and a professor of geography at the universities of Tartu (Estonia), Helsinki and Turku. In Estonia he applied scientific method to the study of local history and from Tartu brought the tradition of urban research. Granö spent much of his youth in Omsk in western Siberia, where his father worked as a priest among displaced and deported Finns and Estonians. From 1906 to 1916 Granö made an expedition to Mongolia and the Altai mountains, but his fieldwork remained unfinished when the 1917 revolution broke out; the area was then closed to Western scholars for 70 years. Among Granö’s most important works are the classic travel book Altai, vaellusvuosina nähtyä ja elettyä (‘The Altai, seen and experienced during my years of travel’, 1921) and his methodological masterpiece Puhdas maantiede (‘Pure geography’, 1930). In it Granö outlined a theory of landscapes, and the book was a pioneering work ahead of its time: landscape was examined in terms of the relation between human beings and their environment, as the sum of all the senses.Book Details
The collection, first one ever on Aino Kallas in English, highlights her significance to the artistic and intellectual horizons of modernity of Finland and Estonia as well as those of Scandinavia and Europe. In the 1920s and 30s, Aino Kallas became an internationally renowned author and a selection of her work was translated into English. For her, participating in the immediate cultural debates in Estonia and Finland was a priority, yet her whole oeuvre is a negotiation between her more immediate contexts and the leading conceptual frameworks of aesthetics, geniality, knowledge, subjectivity, race, sexuality, nature, etc., circling in Europe at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century.
Containing articles focusing on the question of female voice and echoes of feminist ecological thought in her fiction, a contrapuntal reading of her fiction and that of Isak Dinesen, her unknown manuscript “Bathseba”, the implications of existentialist thought for her work, Kallas’ engagement in her cultural criticism and life writings with decadent modernism, issues of race and heredity, subjectivity and borders, travel, ageing, her interpretation of Goethe, and the iconography of Kallas, the collection features the work of today’s leading Aino Kallas scholars in Finland and in Estonia.Book Details
Rural spaces are connected with different cultural, economic, social and political codes and meanings. In this book these meanings are analysed trough gender. The articles concretely show the process of producing gender and the ways in which accepted gender-based behaviour has been constructed at different times and in different groups. Discussion of gendered spaces leads to wider questions such as power relations and displacement in society. The changing rural processes are analysed on the micro level, and the focus is set on how these changes affect peopleâs everyday lives. Answers are looked for questions like how are individuals responding to these changes? What are their strategies, solutions and tactics? How have they experienced the change process?Book Details
Films are integral to national imagination. Promotional publicity markets “domestic films” not only as entertaining, exciting, or moving, but also as topical and relevant in different ways. Reviewers assess new films with reference to other films and cultural products as well as social and political issues. Through such interpretive framings by contemporaries and later generations, popular cinema is embedded both in national imagination and endless intertextual and intermedial frameworks. Moreover, films themselves become signs to be cited and recycled as illustrations of cultural, social, and political history as well as national mentality. In the age of television, “old films” continue to live as history and memory.
In Performative Histories, Foundational Fictions, Anu Koivunen analyzes the historicity as well as the intertextuality and intermediality of film reception by focusing on a cycle of Finnish family melodrama and its key role in thinking about gender, sexuality, nation, and history. Close-reading posters, advertisements, publicity-stills, trailers, review journalism, and critical commentary, she demonstrates how The Women of Niskavuori (1938 and 1958), Loviisa (1946), Heta Niskavuori (1952), Aarne Niskavuori (1954), Niskavuori Fights (1957), and Niskavuori (1984) have operated as sites for imagining “our agrarian past”, our Heimat and heritage as well as “the strong Finnish woman” or “the weak man in crisis”. Based on extensive empirical research, Koivunen argues that the Niskavuori films have mobilized readings in terms of history and memory, feminist nationalism and men’s movement, left-wing allegories and right-wing morality as well as realism and melodrama. Through processes of citation, repetition, and re-cycling the films have acquired not only a heterogeneous and contradictory interpretive legacy, but also an affective force.Book Details