Ootame teese: Balkan and Baltic States in United Europe: History, Religion, and Culture V

Ootame teese: Balkan and Baltic States in United Europe: History, Religion, and Culture V



The 5th edition of the international conference ‘Balkan and Baltic States in United Europe: History, Religion, and Culture V’ to be held in Tartu, Estonia on September 18–22, 2022. This time we are happy to announce that the general topic of the conference will be ‘Nature and Culture in the Rituals, Narratives and Beliefs’.

This theme makes us speculate on the binary opposition of Nature/Culture (formulated by Claude Lévi-Strauss) as it is seen in traditional and modern societies. This opposition finds multiple implementations in many folklore genres, in the beliefs and customs of the calendric and family life cycles, in folk religion practices, in language etc. However, Nature and Culture are not always opposed; they interrelate and complement each other.

In post-modern society due to the increasingly acute challenges of climate change, and correspondingly the cultural attitudes towards nature, actions and debates related to development and sustainability stand at the center of European and world-wide rhetoric. Relatively newly emerged research areas are aimed at a different, non-anthropocentric investigation of the world – more-than-human geography, multispecies ethnography, archeology of fullness, etc., based on the posthuman vision of the world (J. Igoe, W. Dressler, E. Kohn, E. Marris, B. Büscher and R. Fletcher, S. Toncheva and others). The study of Nature/Culture dichotomy became a broad interdisciplinary field – where humanities and social sciences cooperate with Earth and environmental sciences, economics, health and food security etc.

Paper topics:

The conference is targeted at scholars and researchers from diverse disciplines and backgrounds interested in presenting their research related to the general topic of the conference. Recent PhDs and other young researchers are also encouraged to participate. The themes of the presentations may vary, without being limited to:

• The Balkan-Baltic region in the context of the nature/culture dichotomy: local and traditional ecological knowledge, environmental movements, European mechanisms for nature conservation
• Economics/political economy and ‘human–nature’ coexistence
• Traditional beliefs and practices and nature/culture correlation
• Nature and culture in religion, festive rituals and everyday life
• Paganism and neo-paganism: culture or/and nature?
• COVID 19 – the revenge of nature?
• Arts and Nature
• Climate, ecology and climate change in public and individual discourse.

Meanwhile, our fifth conference marks fourteen years of our meetings and discussions on the Balkans and the Baltic region in the United Europe. We, therefore, ask the questions: What has changed in the Balkan-Baltic region during that period? How is history interpreted and re-written? What is the situation with ethnic and religious communities? What new problems and topics emerge in the Balkan-Baltic (and European and World) Research Area?


For proposals – May 30.
Response with acceptance of paper – June 30.
Second Circular – July 15.

The working languages of the conference are English and Russian. Applications and presentations can be made in either language. We intend to publish the conference papers (after editing and peer review) in a special publication of our journal ‘The Yearbook of Balkan and Baltic Studies’, indexed by SCOPUS (https://www.folklore.ee/balkan_baltic_yearbook/YBBS).

Conference websiteBBS V

Please click here to start your registration and submit your abstract (in English). 
For any questions don’t hesitate to contact: bbs5@folklore.ee


Mare Kõiva and Ekaterina Anastasova, Svetoslava Toncheva (heads)
Anne Ostrak, Maris Kuperjanov (secretaries)
Evgenia Troeva-Grigorova, Piret Voolaid, Milena Lubenova, Tõnno Jonuks, and Reet Hiiemäe

The conference is supported by the European Union through the European Regional Development Foundation (the Centre of Excellence in Estonian Studies (CEES, TKK 145).