LV Latviski

In the 1950’s, in order to get permission for the publication of the largest Latvian folksong collection, the folklorists of the Institute of Language and Literature had not only to comply with the ideological expectations of the Soviet rule but also consider the requirement that the new edition must be better than the first complete publication of Latvian folksongs – “Latvju dainas”. The objective of the seminar is to discuss the creation of the academic folksong edition as a dynamic process, which was influenced not only by the Soviet ideology but also by the policy and bureaucracy of the Academy of Sciences and the scholarly goals of its compilers.


From August 17 to 22, the team of the ILFA’s (Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art) literature vortal spent an active week at the Latvian Center in Münster (LCM) working with the Münster archive of the Latvian Community in Germany (LKV), supported by the Baltic-German University Office (Baltisch-Deutsches Hochschulkontor) in the project "Latvian Writers in Exile: Research, Selection and Digitization of Documents and Photographs of the Latvian Center in Münster" (project leader, head of the Literature Department and content editor of Māra Grudule).


The international conference "Socialist Folkloristics: A Disciplinary Heritage" will take place on 28–31 October 2020 in Riga, Latvia.

You can apply until May 1, 2020 by sending to abstract of your presentation, no longer than 200 words, professionally edited for publishing; BIO, stating your affiliations and interests in no more than 50 words.


#DHN2020 is postponed to 20–23 October 2020!
The general outline of the programme will not change:
October 20: pre-conference workshops,
October 21–23: the main programme.
More information will follow!

The 5th annual conference “Digital Humanities in the Nordic and Baltic Countries” (DHN2020) will be held from the 17th to the 20th of March, 2020, at the National Library of Latvia. The early bird registration rates are applicable until February 2th:

Special guests of the conference this year will be Professor of Social and Ethical Artificial Intelligence at Umeå University Virginia Dignum, Professor of Folkloristics at the University of Iceland Terry Gunnel, Researcher at the Cambridge Social Decision-Making Lab at the University of Cambridge Jon Roozenbeek, and Chair and Principal Investigator at the Laboratory for Perceptual and Cognitive Systems at the Faculty of Computing at the University of Latvia prof. Jurģis Šķilters. More than 80 papers and 20 academic poster presentations are included in the main programme of the conference.


Translator Kaija Straumanis awarded a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts (USA) to support the translation from the Latvian of the nonfiction collection Forest Daughters, edited by ILFA's researcher Sanita Reinsone. This collection includes 12 life stories of Latvian women who lived in the thick of the guerilla war against Soviet invasion and occupation. Often left out of Latvia's guerilla war history, women played an integral role in protecting their homeland. Reinsone (b. 1981), a scholar in Latvian folklore, oral history, and digital humanities, recorded the stories of these women in a documentary-essay style and each chapter is alive with the respective woman's experience as she recalls harrowing and heart-wrenching events of her life during this period in history.

Kaija Straumanis is a translator and the editorial director of Open Letter Books. Her book-length translations from the Latvian include Flesh-Coloured Dominoes by Zigmunds Skujiņš and High Tide by Inga Ābele, which won the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages Award for Best Literary Translation into English.

Are you working on the post-war disciplinary history of folkloristics or related discipline in the former Soviet Union or the Socialist Bloc countries? Please consider contributing a draft of original research article to the international, peer reviewed, and SCOPUS or Web of Science indexed volume in summer 2020. The collection of articles will be prepared by the Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art of the University of Latvia.

In order to maximize the impact of research dedicated to disciplinary histories of the previous Socialist world and establish new networks within the field, an interdisciplinary, international conference will be organized on 29-31 October 2020 in Riga, Latvia.


31.01.2020. - send to

- your name, surname and a short bio,

- title of your article and keywords,

- concept or summary of the article (up to 350 words);

17.02.2020. – notice of acceptance and further information;

20.06.2020. - 7000–10000 words long original article in English;

Fall 2020 – peer-review and editing.


Along with the fruits of the land fall has also brought the 39th issue of the humanities journal 'Letonica'. Guest-edited by ILFA researcher Toms Ķencis, the issue is dedicated to folklore within the relationship between state and tradition. As such it reflects the centenary of statehood of Latvia celebrated on 2018.

Twelve double-blind peer-reviewed papers published in the journal are mostly related to three events: last year’s Krišjānis Barons memorial conference ‘Traditions and state’, the most recent project of the disciplinary history research 'Latvian folkloristics (1945-1985)' carried out at ILFA, and the publication of the first part of the 11th volume ('Wedding') of the academic edition of Latvian folksongs. Apart from one paper originally in English, all articles are in Latvian with an English summaries. The articles are followed by a special paper on the Archives of Latvian Folklore, eight book reviews and disciplinary news. Read more...

Krišjānis Barons’ Conference is an annual academic forum organized by the Archives of Latvian Folklore, ILFA, UL. In 2019, the topic is "Folklore and Education" (Folklora un izglītība). Viewed from diverse perspectives, the place of traditional culture in formal and informal educational processes will be discussed.

There will be 18 researchers from various fields of humanities, social sciences and arts presenting their papers. Both historical and current issues will be analysed, including folklore as an ideological educational tool, folklore in textbooks, contribution of students and teachers in documenting traditions, teacher jokes, intangible heritage in education, challenges and methods of teaching folklore, etc. Read more...

The annual conference, "Digital Humanities in the Nordic Countries," invites submissions of proposals for its 5th conference to be held in Riga, Latvia, 17–20 March 2020. The DHN conferences aim to provide an overview of research, education and communication about the interdisciplinary field of digital humanities from the Nordic to the Baltic region, and beyond.

New deadline: 30 September 2019!

In its 5th year, the conference will focus on interdisciplinary connections and methodological links between digital humanities and digital social sciences. Striving to acknowledge productive interconnections between the disciplines, DHN2020 aims to inspire a broad consideration of knowledge sharing and debates inspired by various forms and results of interdisciplinary cooperation.

14th Conference of the SIEF Ritual Year Working Group

15–17 November 2020, Riga (Latvia)


The impact of product marketing is visible in everyday life, including a wide range of traditions and festivities, which have lately become highly commercialized. In marketing terms, the values of traditional culture are considered "products" to be branded, marketed and sold. We have all experienced the pre-Christmas gift buying madness and have visited souvenir counters at major historical sites and cultural venues in different countries, each promoting their "brands". Historically, annual church markets, fairs and pilgrimages attracted people from great distances, providing opportunities to buy, sell, and trade durable goods in addition to food and drink required by pilgrims and merchants. Additional items, such as religious symbols, protective objects, and healing substances were available much as in modern souvenir shops. The means for advertising such objects for sale were, at that time, limited. Today advertising and marketing campaigns appear everywhere. Many people protest against what they perceive as excessive commercialization of their favourite secular or religious festivals. However, marketing practices attract larger crowds and help to preserve and popularize traditions that might otherwise be lost. Commercialization has made the sale of traditional crafts financially viable, preserving them for future generations. Thus, it is possible for craftspeople to continue practicing their traditional arts and crafts. Not only have the traditional artisans benefited, but religious institutions have witnessed an increase in income, which is needed to maintain the facilities visited by the growing numbers of visitors. New forms of commercialization of rituals with the developing practices of creating new festivals and making them local tourist brands can be seen in many geographical areas.


A guest lecture by Norwegian researcher Knut Djupedal is expected at the Archives of Latvian Folklore on August 14, 2019. Mr. Djupedal’s lecture is entitled “World View, Culture, and Folklore.” The lecture will discuss the relationship between these three concepts. At the end of the lecture, Mr. Djupedal will discuss some of the practical uses that an education in folklore – in his experience - can provide when studies are finished, a degree is achieved, and a living must be made.

Knut Djupedal (b. 1948) has recently retired from a 27-year career as director of the Norwegian Emigrant Museum, near Hamar, Norway. Previously, Djupedal, who has an M.A. in History from the University of Oregon, USA, and a Magister Artium in Folkloristics from the University of Bergen, Norway, worked as Research Associate with the Norwe­gian Re­search Council for the Humanities (NAV­F), on pro­jects con­cerning Norwegian emigra­tion and return migra­tion. He also served as Temporary County Cultural Conserva­tor in Sogn og Fjordane County, Norway, and lectured at the Universities of Bergen, Oslo and Stavanger, and The Hamar University College of Education.


Tuesday, 23 July, 2019 (All day) to Friday, 26 July, 2019 (All day)

BSSDH programme offers must-have introductory courses for digital humanists and digital social scientists who wish to come to grips with programming and text encoding. The course is co-taught by an international team of researchers and practitioners of digital humanities and digital social sciences coming from Germany, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia. As always, this will be a great opportunity to meet colleagues and mentors from other countries and explore different perspectives! Read more...

Our leading researcher Sanita Reinsone is one of the authors of the newly published report How to Facilitate Cooperation between Humanities Researchers and Cultural Heritage Institutions. Guidelines, edited by Maciej Maryl and Klaudia Grabowska from the Digital Humanities Centre at the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences. This report is the outcome of a hands-on workshop awarded funding by the DARIAH Theme Grant 2017 and organised in the project ‘Facilitating Cooperation Between Humanities Researchers and Cultural Heritage Institutions’ which is implemented by the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Trinity College Dublin and Creative Commons Polska.

We are very proud and happy, that the book 'Visions and Traditions – Knowledge Productions and Tradition Archives' is the winner of the 2018 Brenda McCallum Prize, for works of excellence and innovation that further the cause of preservation, organization, curation, or enhanced public access and use related to folklife archival collections:

"We congratulate the authors and editors on a work the Committee agreed was forward-looking, cutting edge, and tightly focused on centralmatters of folklore and folklife archiving, history, theory, and practice. Committee members also saw the work as propelling folklore archives into the modern era of disciplinary shifts by claiming a firm foothold in academic conversations accessible to archivists, folklorists, and folklore-archivists. It also offered numerous interesting case study examples for contemplation."
– American Folklore Society / Archives & Libraries Section Prize Committee

Among the editors and authors are our leading researchers Rita Treija and Sanita Reinsone.