The Department of Folkloristics (FD) of the Estonian Literary Museum (FD) was established in 1947 as a unit of the Institute of the Estonian Language and Literature, a center for publishing and basic research into folklore. Since 2000, the department has been part of the Estonian Literary Museum. In 2001-2007, FD also belonged to the Centre of Cultural History and Folkloristics in Estonia, the first top centre in the humanities in Estonia.
The work of the FD is aimed at introducing Estonian folklore and folkloristics both home and abroad, internationally. Our main activities lie in the research of various folklore genres like figurative speech, folk narratives and folk belief. We analyse the expressions and contexts of folklore in new media, the nature and functions of humour in culture and popular folk knowledge of astronomy, botanics and medicine. Taking an interdisciplinary approach has been a conscious choise in the development of the department. Our subjects of study are tackled by scholars who have been schooled in fields of folkloristics, linguistics, archaeology, semiotics, astronomy and botanics. To study contemporary phenomena, we need contemporary source material, which we gather in the course of fieldworks. We have also used materials in Estonian archives to compile digitised data bases of folk narratives, paremiological material, belief accounts and historical tradition. These provide a nice comparative background for contemporary folklore and widen the time scope of study material. FD also participates in international cooperation networks and joint projects.
FD is involved in the publishing of two speciality journals - 1.1 Folklore. Electronic Journal of Folklore and 1.2 Mäetagused. Our researchers act as compilers of publication series of studies in paremiology Reetor, folk belief Sator, of articles on contemporary folklore Tänapäeva folkloorist, Contemporary Folklore and are fequent authors of books and and e-publications.
You are welcome to attend the open seminars of the department (each Tuesday at 12, room no. 234) seminarid, and other academic seminars organised by the department (info available at homepage).
The head of the department is Mare Kõiva. Audience on Tuesdays, 12-14, in room 235.
The department currently divides into four thematic working groups, depicted above: