Work in the Arctic: Arctic workshop of the University of Tartu
University of Tartu
29–30 May, 2015

Ülikooli 16, room 212
Department of Ethnology

Life in the Arctic is often depicted as a place where people fight for survival, struggling with the harsh climate, long distances and the limited choice of consumables. Simultaneously, the Arctic is a resource frontier where circumpolar countries develop extraction industries by constructing or maintaining large-scale infrastructure with settlements. A narrative of heroic work under hard conditions is part of the image of life in the Arctic, exploited enthusiastically both by people who live in the region and outside of it. Sometimes the gains of that struggle are measured in high northern wages, sometimes hard work in the Arctic proves the extraordinary toughness of “Northerners”, sometimes modern industry is presented as a symbol of progress.
This workshop will focus on different aspects and interpretations of work in the Arctic. Our goal is to assemble a truly interdisciplinary collection of presentations that will focus upon the cultural and social side of working in the Arctic, contributing to a better understanding of the economic, political or ecological aspects in general.
For more information please contact: Aimar Ventsel, aimar.ventsel@ut.ee


Friday, May 29

10.00 Art Leete (University of Tartu): Welcome note
10.05 Aimar Ventsel (University of Tartu): Introduction
10.10 Mart Laanemäe (Ministry of Foreign Affairs): Keynote speech: Estonia and the Arctic?
10.40–11.00 Coffee break
11.00 Maura Hanrahan (Memorial University, Canada): The Arctic in the Western Mind
11.30 Gertrude Eilmsteiner-Saxinger (University of Vienna, Austria): Living in a workers` camp: gated communities in the Sub-Arctic´s extractive industries – Yukon and Siberia
12.00 Nikolai Vakhtin (European University at St Petersburg, Russia): Work in the Yupik Eskimo Society before and after the Russian Influx
12.30 Nafisa Yeasmin (University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland): Interaction of Cross-border Immigrants Communities in the Barents Region: Promoting Sustainable Muslim Entrepreneurships
13.00–14.30 Lunch (for registered participants only)
14.30 Panu Itkonen (University of Helsinki): Changing work patterns in the Skolt Sami reindeer herding community of Sevettijärvi
15.00 Olena Podvorna (Ostroh Academy National University): Foreign And Security Policy Of Russia Towards The Arctic
15.30 Andrian Vlakhov (European University at St. Petersburg, Russia): Working in Barentsburg: modern changes in Soviet town?
16.00 Olga Riabchenko (Kharkiv): Memories of professor B.P.Ostashshenko-Kudriavtsev about the participation in polar expeditions in 1899-1900

Saturday, May 30

10.00 Alla Bolotova (European University at St. Petersburg, Russia): Pride and fear: Belonging to the ‘town-forming’ enterprise in the Russian North
10.30 Yuri Danilov, Mikhail Nikoforov, Egor Egorov (North West Federal University, Yakutsk): Paradigm of the development of Artic peoples in Yakutia for the third millennium
11.00 Elena Liarskaia (European University at St Petersburg, Russia): Indigenous people and migrants (the situation on the labour market of Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Oblast)
11.30–12.00 Coffee break
12.00 Sigrid Schiesser (University of Vienna): Entangled Socialities and Materialities: Sakha Architecture in the 21st century
12.30 Anna Varfolomeeva (Central European University in Budapest): Mining as a Part of Environment:Indigenous people and extractive industries in Karelia
13.00 Pilvi Vainonen (Museum of Cultures, Helsinki, Finland): Ethnographic exhibition and publication on the Arctic
13.30-15.00 Lunch (for registered participants only)
15.00 Nikolai Kulik (Chukotka Branch of North-Eastern Federal University): Chukotka settlement's labour market: a look through magnifying glass
15.30 Valeria Eboli (University of Pisa, Italy): The Arctic legal regime and its specificity
16.30–18.00 Final discussion

Responsibility and authority in drinking: Arctic workshop of the University of Tartu
30–31 May, 2014
Ülikooli 16-102
Department of Ethnology

Last May we successfully held an international workshop on drinking alcohol as sociocultural practice in the Arctic. Our focus was on drinking both in indigenous and non-indigenous communities. The High North is notorious for the excessive use of alcohol and is associated primarily with the negative themes like alcohol related injuries, violence, suicide, decline of indigenous traditions, culture shock and other misfortunes that result from binge-drinking. Despite the scholarly take and state institutions’ efforts to limit alcohol use, most people still continue to drink, an activity associated not only with death and loss but also with leisure, pleasure and celebration. Alcohol is deeply embedded within many rituals such as the greeting of an honoured guest, a demonstration of masculinity or as a part of religious ceremony. Inspired by lively discussions at the last workshop, we decided to continue with the same topic from a slightly different angle. The aim is to widen both the scope as well as the geographic area. Our particular interest lies in the dimensions of morality and power related to the use of alcohol and the concept of (ir)responsibility both inside the communities as well as in the state discourse.
For more information please contact: Aimar Ventsel, aimar.ventsel@ut.ee


Friday, May 30
10.00 Prof. Art Leete (University of Tartu): Welcoming words
10.10 Aimar Ventsel (University of Tartu): Reflections on the first workshop

Chair: Laura Jamsja (University of Tartu)

10.30 Elianne Anemaat (University of Amsterdam): Balancing drinks: an ethnographic exploration of the alcohol controversy in Sweden
11.10 Igor Mikeshin (University of Helsinki): Rehabilitation through conversion and conversion through rehabilitation in the Baptist ministry
11.50–12.00 Coffee break

Chair: Margus Parts (University of Tartu)

12.00 Kirill Istomin (Komi Science Center, Russian Academy of Sciences): “Vdrug sluchilsa s nim zapoi” (Suddenly a binge drinking episode has happened to him) –Locus of control, notion of responsibility, alcoholism and suicide in the Taz Region, Yamal Nenets Autonomous Okrug
12.40 Lyudmila N. Khakhovskaya (NEISRI FEB RAS, Magadan): Alcoholic Practice in the Koryak Community
13.30–15.00 Lunch (for registered participants only)

Chair: Keiu Telve (University of Tartu)

15.00 Vieda Skultans (University of Bristol): Competing aetiologies of alcoholism in Latvia
15.40 Laurent Legrain (Université Libre de Bruxelles): The Mongolian singer and the drunkard : explorations in an intricate web of connections
16.20 Yonatan Moges (Haramaya University)Alcohol drinking patterns among high school students in Ethiopia: a cross- sectional study

Saturday, May 31

Chair: Kalev Aasmäe (University of Tartu)
10.00 Andrei Tutorsky (Moscow State University): Drinking in the Russian North: from traditional to totalising liminality
10.40 Eleanor Peers (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology): The aesthetics of drinking at a Sakha Yhyakh: the Romantic shaman versus the merry patsan
11.20–11.40 Coffee break

Chair: Ode Alt (University of Tartu)

11.40 Anastasia A. Yarzutkina (NEISRI FEB RAS): Anthropological Aspects of Alcohol Trade in Microsocieties of Chukotka National Settlements
12.20 Tatiana Bulgakova (Herzen State Pedagogical University in St. Petersburg): Alcohol in Nanai Shamanic Practices
13.00 Aimar Ventsel (University of Tartu): Yakutian identity: Folklore, politics, alcohol, food
14.00–15.30 Lunch (for registered participants only)

Chair: Merilin Piipuu (University of Tartu)

15.30 Nikolai Vakhtin (European University at Saint Petersburg): Final discussion
Workshop is supported by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (Center of Excellence in Cultural Theory CECT).

Drinking and driving is so much fun : Arctic workshop of the University of Tartu
May 31 - June 1
Department of Ethnology, Ülikooli 16-214

The song Drinking and Driving was recorded by British punk band The Business in the late 1970s and became an instant hit among beer loving punks. The song associated drinking with fun and collective action (to put it mildly) demonstrating that beer drinking can be evaluated as a process with a positive social meaning.
Punks are not the only group of people who believe that drinking is related to the pleasant side of life and is unavoidable in certain situations. The use of alcohol and its social meaning as a topic of research has an impressive history. However, in Arctic studies, alcohol is primarily discussed in the context of negative themes: alcohol related violence, suicide, the decline of indigenous traditions, culture shock and other misfortunes that result from excessive drinking. Despite the scholarly approach to alcohol use, people still continue to drink, an activity primarily associated with leisure time, joyfulness and celebration. Alcohol is deeply embedded within many rituals such as the greeting of an honoured guest, a demonstration of masculinity or as a part of religious ceremony.
This workshop at the University of Tartu explores the topic and seeks answers as to why people drink in the Arctic and whether there is anything specific in the use of alcohol that distinguishes this region from others. We examine a wide range of papers that discuss the social, political or cultural meanings of indigenous and non-indigenous alcohol use in the Arctic. Our aim is to discuss how alcohol s agency is conceptualised in the region and how these concepts vary in different ethnic, religious, gender and age groups. Also, we are interested in the role of alcohol in field research situations and how questions of fieldwork ethics are related to this.

For more information please contact: Aimar Ventsel, aimar.ventsel@ut.ee


Friday, May 31
9.00 Art Leete, Aimar Ventsel (University of Tartu): Welcoming words
9.15 9.45 Prof. Jaanus Harro (University of Tartu): Keynote speech: Alcohol and the brain ... and driving
9.45 10.00 Coffee break

Chair: Jaanika Jaanits (University of Tartu)

10.00 10.40 Ina Schroeder (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology): Stumbling upon a drunk: moral, ritualistic and comic aspects of drinking
10.40 11.20 Stephan Dudeck (University of Lapland): Once the boozing starts you might as well cut the last cucumber.
11.20 12.00 Laura Siragusa (University of Tartu): Vepsian language and alcoholism in rural areas
12.00 14.00 Lunch (registered participants only)

Chair: Kaija Rumm (University of Tartu)

14.00 14.40 Tatiana Argounova-Low (University of Aberdeen), Yurii Zhegusov (Institut Gumanitarnykh Issledovanii i Problem Malochislennykh Narodov Severa, Russian Academy of Sciences): Coded: Perception and Treatment of Alcohol Addiction in Sakha (Yakutiia)
14.40 15.20 Anna Gossmann-Stammler (University of Lapland): 'Alcoholity': Images, Values, and Control
15.20 15.40 Coffee break

Chair: Helleka Koppel (University of Tartu)

15.40 16.20 Aimar Ventsel, Liivo Niglas (University of Tartu): The mystical gene: instrumentalising what everybody knows
16.20 17.00 Norman Prell (University of Aberdeen): Drinking on the Kolyma Road and remembering the past

Saturday, June 1
Chair: Epp Tamm (University of Tartu)
10.00 10.40 Laur Vallikivi (University of Tartu): Conversion to temperance: Vodka, blood and missionaries in the Nenets tundra
10.40 11.20 Otto Habeck (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology): Hangover
11.20 12.00 Kirill Istomin (Komi Scientific Centre, Russian Academy of Science): The sooner you drink it all the more time you will have thereafter
12.00 14.00 Lunch (registered participants only)

Chair: Katre Koppel (University of Tartu)

14.00 14.40 Art Leete (University of Tartu): The Historical Image of Drinking Native of the North
14.40 15.20 Karina Lukin (University of Helsinki): They live like dogs. Doing Ethnography within the Negative Images
15.20 16.00 Eleanor Peers (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology): How to enjoy a teetotal all-night party: The use and abuse of alcohol at the Sakha people s Yhyakh
16.00 16.30 Coffee break

16.30 17.40 Chair: Mare Kõiva (Estonian Literary Museum)

Final discussion

WORLD ROUTES 2: Arctic Workshop of University of Tartu

May 27-28, 2011
Tartu, Estonia (At the guesthouse “Vikerkaare”, Vikerkaare 40)

The workshop wishes to explore the aspects of movement of people in different regions of the Arctic. The main theoretical framework of the workshop is that this both past and present is multilayered, has complex background and content, and several initiators. We would like to discuss different levels and aspects of movement in the Arctic. Herewith we do not want to limit with one discipline, region, ethnic group or economic form (mode). Beside anthropologists we also encourage contributions from specialists in history, biology, sociology, management studies and so forth. Colleagues just working on their PhD thesis are also welcome to come and discuss their works.

Workshop is organized by the Department of Ethnology, University of Tartu.


Friday, May 27

10.00 Art Leete (University of Tartu, Estonia). Welcome note

10.10 Aimar Ventsel (University of Tartu, Estonia). Introduction: How to Position “World Routes”

11.40 Coffee break

Session 1: MIGRATION (11.00-13.30)

CHAIR: Piret Koosa (University of Tartu)

(each presentation involves 20 min. talk and 30 min. discussion)

11.00 Florian Stammler (Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, Finland & Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge). Relocation and Finding One’s Roots: Ideologies, Ideas and Perceptions of Movement and Emplacement in the Russian Arctic.  See the abstract

11.50 Vladimir Davydov (University of Aberdeen, UK). Temporality and Scale of Movement of Northern Baikal Evenkis.  See the abstract

12.40 Donatas Brandisauskas (Vilnius University and Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Lithuania). ‘Relying on my own two’: Walking, Routes and Strength among Orochen-Evenki Hunters and Herders of Zabaikal’e (East Siberia).  See the abstract

13.30-14.30 Lunch (registered participants only)

Session 2: MIGRATION AND HISTORY (14.30-17.00)

CHAIR: Andrus Kask (University of Tartu)

14.30 Sara V. Komarnisky (University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada). Reconnecting Alaska: Mexican Movements and the Last Frontier. See the abstract

15.20 Hilary Pilkington (University of Warwick, UK). ‘I love the city but I have to leave’: Migration, Mobility and Connectivity among Vorkuta Youth. See the abstract

16.10 Eva Toulouze (National Institute of Eastern Languages and Civilizations (INALCO), France; University of Tartu, Estonia). Nomads and School: The Experience of Russia’s North. See the abstract

17.00 End of the day

Saturday, May 28

Session 3: INFRASTRUCTURE (10.00-12.30)

CHAIR: Jaanika Jaanits (University of Tartu)

10.00 Tanya Argounova-Low (University of Aberdeen, UK). Stories on the Road: Long-Distance Driving in Sakha (Yakutiia). See the abstract

10.50 Yakov Samodelkin (Ural State University, Russia). The Place of the Urals in the System of Russian Geopolitics. The Role of Water Transport Communication in the Economic Development of Russia. See the abstract

11.40 Stephan Dudeck (Max Plank Institute for Social anthropology, Halle (Saale), Germany). From the Reindeer Path to the Highway and Back - How Infrastructural Innovations Enable Distinctive Lifestyles in Western Siberia. See the abstract

12.30 Coffee Break


14.30 Lunch (registered participants only)

E-mail addresses of the participants and abstracts

Program (PDF)

Program manager: Aimar Ventsel (aimar.ventsel@ut.ee)

The workshop is supported by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (Center of Excellence CECT).

Symposium "Belief, Tradition, and Identity as Vernacular Practices: Current Issues in Ethnology and Folkloristics"

May 4, 2011
University of Tartu (Ülikooli 16 - 212)

10.15 – 10.30 Ülo Valk (Tartu, Estonia): Belief, Tradition, and Identity as Vernacular Practices. Introduction to the Symposium

10. 30 – 11. 00 Lina Sokolovaitė (Vilnius, Lithuania): Landscape Making Identity: the Model of Trakai in Lithuania

11.00 – 11.30 Ergo-Hart Västrik (Tartu, Estonia): Festival of St. Elijah's Friday in Ilyeshi Village

11.30 – 12.00 Özlem Demren (Sivas, Turkey): Traditional Wedding Rituals in the City of Sivas in Turkey

12.00 – 12.30 Sadananda Singh (Imphal, India): Manipuri Folk Epic Khamba Thoibi: Oral Transmission and Performance

12.30 – 14.00 Lunch

14.00 – 14.30 Margaret Lyngdoh (Tartu, Estonia): The Secret Name: Jhare Magic and the Khasis

14.30 – 15.00 Svetlana Tsonkova (Budapest, Hungary): New Identity for an Old Demon - Continuity and Specifics in Bulgarian Charms Tradition

15.00 – 15.30 Çağdaş Demren (Sivas, Turkey): Tattoo and Henna as Body Inscription In Anatolian Culture

15.30 – 16.00 Katrin Alekand (Tartu, Estonia): Henna - Tradition, Beliefs and Urban Legends

16.00 – 16.30 Coffee break

16.30 – 17. 00 Kirsi Hänninen (Jyväskylä, Finland): "People Would Say I Am Mad". Stigmatization of the Supernatural in Finnish First-Person Narratives

17.00 – 17.30 Andrus Kask (Tartu, Estonia): Discourse Analytical Approach to the Relationship between the Researcher and the Research Context (Based on Fieldwork among the Northern Khanties)

17.30 – 18.00 Tiina Sepp (Tartu, Estonia): Interview as an Act of Seduction (Based on Fieldwork on the Camino de Santiago)

Symposium is organized by the Department of Estonian and Comparative Folklore and the Department of Ethnology, University of Tartu.

WORLD ROUTES: Arctic workshop of the University of Tartu

May 28-29, 2010

The Department of Ethnology/Anthropology of UT is planning to launch its annual Arctic workshop series. The first workshop is called “World Routes” and is dedicated to the movement in the Arctic.

More information

Conference on Cultural Heritage and Property

August 4, 2009
Ülikooli 16-212

9:30-10:00 Kristin Kuutma Cultural Heritage and Property Relations: Between Predicaments and Dynamics
10:00-10:30 Ergo-Hart Västrik From Vernacular Religion to Cultural Heritage? The Seto Case
10:30-11:00 Anita Vaivade Person and Property: Perspectives of legal philosophy for interpreting the intangible cultural heritage

11:00-11:30 coffee break, Ülikooli 16-102

11:30-12:00 Stein R. Mathisen Heritage Politics, Borders, and Rhetorics of Authentication
12:00-12:30 Luís Silva Historical Heritage Construction, Property, and Consumption in Portuguese Hinterland
12:30-13:00 Katriina Siivonen Local Culture as Resource in Regional Development in Southwest-Finland Archipelago

13:00-14:30 lunch, Ülikooli 16-102

14:30-15:00 Johanna Björkholm Cultural Heritage and Performativity
15:00-15:30 Paula Mota Santos 'Heritage' as a Paradox
15:30-16:00 Valdimar Hafstein Claiming Culture: Intangible Heritage Inc., Folklore©, Traditional Knowledge™

16:00-16:30 coffee break, Ülikooli 16-102

16:30-17:00 Arnika Peselmann Global, National and Local Property Claims on Cultural Heritage: Woodart from the Erzgebirge
17:00-17:30 Marc Jacobs Intangible Cultural Heritage, Inventories and ‘sauve-garde’: Pieter Brueghel the Elder (ca. 1525-1569) and the 2003 UNESCO convention

Seminar of ethnology research group «Rethinking identity – dynamics and stability in post-socialism»

May 30, 2009
Ülikooli 16-102

Seminar is also connected with EUROCORES BOREAS program project "New Religious Movements in the Russian North: Competitive Uses of Religiosity after Socialism".

Info: Art Leete, artleete@hotmail.com
Kirsti Jõesalu kirsti.joesalu@ut.ee, 51 42 541
Toimumiskoht v.Bocki maja (Ülikooli 16, Tartu) ruum 102.


10.00 Avasõnad Art Leete

10. 00– 10.40 Tatjana Agranat (Moskva) "The Disappearance of the Votic Ethnos as Reflected in the Life Stories of the Last Votic Speakers"
10.40-11.20 Ester Võsu, Maarja Kaaristo (Tartu) "Negotiating local identities in farm tourism: The cases from Rõuge and Haanja parishes in South-East Estonia"

11.20-11.50 cofee

11.50-12.30 Natalja Novikova (Moskva) "Этническая и правовая идентичности российских аборигенов: факторы формирования в современной политике / Ethnic and Legal Identities of Russian Indigenous Peoples: Forming Factors in Contemporary Politics"
12.30-13.10 Oksana Zvydonna (Moskva) "Культурная память как основа идентичности в мире детей и взрослых (по материалам полевых исследований на Дальнем Востоке)"

13.10-14.30 lunch

14.30- 15.10 Aleksander Pantšenko (Peterburi) "New religious movements and the Soviet past: Religious identity and culture in contemporary Russia"
15.10-15.50 Art Leete, Piret Koosa ’(Tartu) "Contemporary religious developments among the Komis"
15.50-16.30 Eva Toulouze, Liivo Niglas (Tartu) "Reconstructing the Past and the Present: the films made by the Estonian National Museum in the 1960ies and 1980ies"

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