Archives and the Cultural Heritage
The edited volume Archives and the Cultural Heritage focuses on archives as institutions and to their tense relationship with archives as material. These dynamics are discussed in respect of the past, the present, and the future. The focus lies in the mechanisms the Finnish archive institutions have utilised when taking part in forming the cultural heritage and in debating the importance of the private archives in society.
Within social sciences and history from the early 1990s onwards, the effects of globalisation have been seen as a new focal point for research. Momentarily, the archives saw the same paradigm shift as the focus of the archival studies proceeded from state to society. This brought forth the notion that the values of society are reflected in the acquisition of archival material. This archival turn draws attention to the archives as entities formed by cultural practices.
The volume discusses cultural heritage within Finnish archives with diverse perspectives and from various time periods. The key concepts are cultural heritage and archives – both as institution and as material. Articles review the formation of archival collections spanning from the 19th to the 21st century and highlight that the archives have never been neutral or objective actors; rather, they have always been an active process of remembering and forgetting, a matter of inclusion and exclusion.
The focus is on private archives and on the choices that guided the creation of the archives and the cultural perceptions and power structures associated with them. Although private archives have considerable social and research value, and although their material complements the picture of society provided by documentary data produced by public administrations, they have only risen to the theoretical discussions in the 21st century.
The authors consider what has happened before the material ends up in the archive, what happens in the archive and what can be deduced from this. It shows how archival solutions manifest themselves, how they have influenced research and how they still affect it. One of the key questions is whose past has been preserved and whose is deemed worthy of preservation. Under what conditions have the permanently preserved documents been selected and how can they be accessed? In addition, the volume pays attention to whose documents have been ignored or forgotten, as well as to the networks and power of the individuals within the archival institution and to the politics of memory.
The Archives and the Cultural Heritage is an opening to a discussion on the mechanisms, practices and goals of Finnish archival activities. It challenges archival organisations to reflect on their own operating models and to make visible their own conscious or unconscious choices. It raises awareness of the formation of the Finnish documentary cultural heritage, produces new information about private archives and participates in the scientific debate on the changing significance of archives in society.
The volume is related to the Academy of Finland research project “Making and Interpreting National Pasts – Role of Finnish Archives as Networks of Power and Sites of Memory” (no 25257, 2011–2014/2019), University of Turku. Project partners Finnish Literature Society (SKS) and Society of Swedish Literature in Finland (SLS).Book Details
This book is the first edited volume focusing on handwritten newspapersas an alternative medium from a wide interdisciplinary and internationalperspective. Our primary focus is on handwritten newspapers as a socialpractice. The case studies contextualize the source materials in relation topolitical, cultural, literary, and economic history. The analysis reveals bothcontinuity and change across the different forms and functions of the textualmaterials.
In the 16th century, handwritten newspapers evolved as a news mediumreporting history in the making. It was both a rather expensive publiccommodity and a gift exchanged in social relationships. Both functionsappealed to public elites and their news consumption for about 300 years.From the late 18th century onwards, changing notions of publicness as well asthe social needs of private or even secluded groups re-defined the medium.Handwritten newspapers turned more and more into an internal or evenclandestine medium of communication. As such, it has served as a meansto create social cohesion, political debate, and religious education for nonelitegroups until the 20th century. Despite these changes, continuities canbe observed both in the material layout of handwritten newspapers and thepractices of distribution.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
Matthias Alexander Castrén’s (1813–1852) Luentoja suomalaisesta mytologiasta (’Lectures on Finnish Mythology’, originally Swedish ’Föreläsningar i finsk mytologi’) is a key work in the research history of Finnish mythology. This is the first Finnish translation of it. Despite ’Lectures’ in the label, the work is a coherent book. It makes a systematic approach to ancient Finnish religion on the basis of earlier mythographers, Castrén’s fieldwork among Finnic peoples and the latest European research trends of the first half of the 19th century. Even though Castrén’s Lectures significantly developed Finnish mythography and it served as a standard work for half a century, its significance was largely forgotten when new research paradigms were introduced in the course of the 20th century.
The work is an important part of the history of Finnish research in religions, linguistics and ethnography and it also reflects the state of the study of mythology in Europe in the middle of the 19th century. The book is lively written and therefore, it meets the taste of the general public in addition to researchers. This edition includes a concise introduction to Lectures’ historical context, a scientific commentary and exhaustive indexes.
M. A. Castrén is renown especially as a linguist and explorer who worked among Siberian peoples but his work was marked also by interest in Finnishness at a time when the idea of a Finnish nation was developing. Lectures was Castrén’s last work. He finished the book in his deathbed, and it was published posthumously in 1853.
The translator and editor of the Lectures, Joonas Ahola, PhD, is an expert in Old Norse language and mythology as well as kalevala-meter poetry. The other author of the introduction, Karina Lukin, PhD, is an expert of North Siberian cultures and 19th century expeditions among them.Book Details
This book presents current discussions on the concept of genre. It introduces innovative, multidisciplinary approaches to contemporary and historical genres, their roles in cultural discourse, how they change, and their relations to each other.
The reader is guided into the discussion surrounding this key concept and its history through a general introduction, followed by eighteen chapters that represent a variety of discursive practices as well as analytic methods from several scholarly traditions.
This volume will have wide appeal to several academic audiences within the humanities, both in Finland and abroad, and will especially be of interest to scholars of folklore, language and cultural expression.Book Details
In any society, communicative activities are organized into models of conduct that differentiate specific social practices from each other and enable people to communicate with each other in ways distinctive to those practices. The articles in this volume investigate a series of locale-specific models of communicative conduct, or registers of communication, through which persons organize their participation in varied social practices, including practices of politics, religion, schooling, migration, trade, media, verbal art, and ceremonial ritual. Drawing on research traditions on both sides of the Atlantic, the authors of these articles bring together insights from a variety of scholarly disciplines, including linguistics, anthropology, folklore, literary studies, and philology. They describe register models associated with a great many forms of interpersonal behavior, and, through their own multi-year and multi-disciplinary collaborative efforts, bring register phenomena into focus as features of social life in the lived experience of people in societies around the world.Book Details
The chapters of Fibula, Fabula, Fact – The Viking Age in Finland are intended to provide essential foundations for approaching the important topic of the Viking Age in Finland. These chapters are oriented to provide introductions to the sources, methods and perspectives of diverse disciplines in a way that is accessible to specialists from other fields, specialists from outside Finland, and also to non-specialist readers and students who may be more generally interested in the topic. Rather than detailed case studies, the contributors have sought to negotiate definitions of the Viking Age as a historical period in the cultural areas associated with modern-day Finland, and in areas associated with Finns, Karelians and other North Finnic linguistic-cultural groups more generally. Within the incredible diversity of data and disciplines represented here, the Viking Age tends to be distinguished by differentiating it from earlier and later periods, while the geographical space is quite fluidly defined for this era, which was long before the construction of modern nations with their fenced and guarded borders. Most significantly, the contributions lay emphasis on contextualizing the Viking Age within the complexities of defining cultural identities in the past through traces of cultural, linguistic or genetic features.
The volume opens with a general introduction to the topic that is intended to provide a frame of reference for discussion, paralleled by a closing afterward. The following chapters are organized according to three thematic sections which reflect the three aspects of any discussion of the Viking Age in Finland: Time, Space, and People – because any discussion of the ‘Viking Age’ in ‘Finland’ is necessarily concerned with individuals, societies and cultures.Book Details
In this study, I examine the life narrative of a female factory labourer, Elsa Koskinen (née Kiikkala, born in 1927). I analyze her account of her experiences related to work, class and gender because I seek to gain a better understanding of how changes in these aspects of life influenced the ways in which she saw her own worth at the time of the interviews and how she constructed her subjectivity. Elsa’s life touches upon many of the core aspects of 20th-century social change: changes in women’s roles, the entrance of middle- class women into working life, women’s increasing participation in the public sphere, feminist movements, upward social mobility, the expansion of the middle class, the growth of welfare and the appearance of new technologies. What kind of trajectory did Elsa take in her life? What are the key narratives of her life? How does her narrative negotiate the shifting cultural ideals of the 20th century?A life story, a retrospective evaluation of a life lived, is one means of constructing continuity and dealing with the changes that have affected one’s life, identity and subjectivity. In narrating one’s life, the narrator produces many different versions of her/him self in relation to other people and to the world. These dialogic selves and their relations to others may manifest internal contradictions. Contradictions may also occur in relation to other narratives and normative discourses. Both of these levels, subjective meaning making and the negotiation of social ideals and collective norms, are embedded in life narratives.
My interest in this study is in the ways in which gender and class intersect with paid labour in the life of an ordinary female factory worker. I approach gender, class and work from both an experiential and a relational perspective, considering the power of social relationships and subject formations that shape individual life at the micro-level. In her narratives Elsa discusses ambivalence related to gendered ideals, social class, and especially the phenomenon of social climbing as well as technological advance.
I approach Elsa’s life and narratives ethnographically. The research material was acquired in a long-standing interview process and the analysis is based on reflexivity of the dialogic knowledge production and contextualization of Elsa’s experiences. In other words I analyze Elsa’s narratives in their situational but also socio-cultural and historical contexts. Specific episodes in one’s life and other significant events constitute smaller narrative entities, which I call micro-narratives. The analysis of micro-narratives, key dialogues and cultural ideals embedded in the interview dialogues offers perspectives on experiences of social change and the narrator’s sense of self.
This book is part of the Studia Fennica Ethnologica series.Book Details
Mythic discourses in the present day show how vernacular heritage continues to function and be valuable through emergent interpretations and revaluations. At the same time, continuities in mythic images, motifs, myths and genres reveal the longue durée of mythologies and their transformations. The eighteen articles of Mythic Discourses address the many facets of myth in Uralic cultures, from the Finnish and Karelian world-creation to Nenets shamans, offering multidisciplinary perspectives from twenty eastern and western scholars.
The mythologies of Uralic peoples differ so considerably that mythology is approached here in a broad sense, including myths proper, religious beliefs and associated rituals. Traditions are addressed individually, typologically, and in historical perspective. The range and breadth of the articles, presenting diverse living mythologies, their histories and relationships to traditions of other cultures such as Germanic and Slavic, all come together to offer a far richer and more developed perspective on Uralic traditions than any one article could do alone.Book Details
Saamentutkimus tänään is an introduction to the Sámi studies, i.e. the scientific study of the Sámi people. It gives many-faceted basic information of the Sámi people and presents up-to-date views of the disciplines related to the Sámi studies, e.g. history, archeology, genetics, linguistics, comparative religion, folkloristics, ethnology etc. It provides scientifically based knowledge of the Sámi during the prehistory and pre-Christianity, dealing with reindeer herding, handicraft, the Sámi languages, Sámi literature and art and civil right questions, including participation in the international movement of the indigenous people. All the authors are eminent experts of their scholarly fields, and all the articles have been revised by the Academic representatives of the Sámi themselves.Book Details