What Matters – Accounting for Culture in a Post Factual World
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PRESENTATION OF THE THEME
What matters – Accounting for culture in a post factual world
Concepts such as empirical, data, verifications and validity has for some time played a modest role in the disciplinary discussions. In a world of “alternative facts” and “fake news” we are obliged to reflect on our production of knowledge. How do we build credibility and how are our claims underpinned?
What is the nature of our empirical material and what position does it hold in our texts? How do we present, scrutinise, and describe? How do we integrate, yet keep it separate, in the goals and messages of our texts?
As Ethnologists and folklorists, we strive to create understanding for the role of culture and for a diversity of interpretations and perspectives on the world. We take pride in an ability to account for how methods, theory, perspectives and research questions interfere with and affect our results.
In Uppsala 2018 you are invited to reflect upon the empirical sides of our craft: the matter, the case, the object. What is it and how do we work to make it sufficient, and sustainable? How do we present it in its own right, describe it, scrutinise it, return to it, underpin with it? How does our material interact with and strengthens our goals, be it our specific message or our scholarly status?
We are rightly proud of our fieldwork and ethnographic writing. Yet fieldwork and ethnography can turn into slogans used to describe very different types of material and ways of collecting. Conversations, stories, observations, sounds, old texts, objects, facts, emotions, introspections — how are we to understand these matters, as effecting our disciplines?
The Uppsala conference thus has a theme that does not ask for smart adaptations, nor does it exclude any contributions. You are invited to present “What matters” in sessions that could have the widest variety of themes. We shall however be united in our interest in what the empirical matter does for ethnology and folklore. How does it make our discipline and our texts understandable, credible, relevant and important, for the world around us and for the future?
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