Folklore from the Cradle to the Grave: FLS AGM conference 2017

  • 31st March — 2nd April 2017
  • 13:00—14:00
  • Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43-45 High St, Edinburgh EH1 1SR
‘A Prenuptial Blackening at Alford, Aberdeenshire, 22 July 2006’. Photo: Ian Russell

“Folklore from the Cradle to the Grave”.

The Folklore Society's AGM conference 2017, jointly hosted with Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland, and Celtic and Scottish Studies, University of Edinburgh.

Friday 31 March – Sunday 2 April 2017 at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43-45 High St, Edinburgh EH1 1SR

Keynote Speaker: Professor Margaret Bennett, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland: “By request, no toasters, no flowers”: From the Cradle to the Grave, Echoes of the past, edicts of the present.

The conference will begin at 14.00 on Friday 31 March, will run all day Saturday 1 April, and will end at 13.00 on Sunday 2 April.

We are now taking bookings: conference fee: £150 standard, £100 concessions (speakers, students, pensioners, disabled, unwaged, Folklore Society members, staff of TRACS and University of Edinburgh). Day rates also available.

Download the booking form here 

This annual conference will focus on beliefs, practices, expressive and material culture related to the cycle of life from a historical and contemporary perspective.

When the Folklore Society was founded in 1878, its original remit included the study of vernacular customs related to birth, marriage and death. In fact, the first monograph it published, Walter Gregor’s The Folk-Lore of North-East Scotland (1881), opens with a chapter on ‘Birth’ and several subsequent chapters relate directly to other significant life stages. Gregor was mindful of the dynamic nature of such vernacular cultural tradition, particularly in respect of their loss. Modern folkloristics takes a more pragmatic stance, interpreting such change in terms of resilience, hybridisation, acculturation, displacement, innovation and creativity. The breadth of life cycle studies embraces rites of passage, as conceived by the French ethnographer Arnold van Gennep (1909), and here, for example, research includes studies of traditionary behaviour associated with starting and leaving school/college, a particular occupation/vocation, recreation/sport, and retirement.