Department of European Ethnology and Research
Research and projects
The new organisation of science and research work at universities has provided the financing for major interdisciplinary projects. The most extensive among them was the Brno ethnologists’ participation in the research project Interdisciplinary Centre of Research into Social Structures from Prehistory to the High Middle Ages in 2005–2011 conducted by the Institute of Archaeology and Museology. Brno ethnologists also took part in the faculty project The Faculty of Arts as a Place for Excellent Education. Comprehensive innovation of the study disciplines and programmes at the FA MU in regard to the requirements of knowledge economy (FIFA, 2013–2014), the outcomes of which were study materials, e-learning and guest lectures by experts from Belarus, Germany, Slovakia and Serbia.
The pedagogues at the institute carry out scientific projects financed from grants; in 2005–2010 these included, for example, an interdisciplinary project dedicated to the study of social structures of the past.
In 2011 the institute acquired finance from the OP European Social Fund, Education for Competitiveness for the support of the project Development of Collaboration and Increase of Research Competencies in a Network of Ethnological Institutions, owing to which it was able to innovate its study programmes and created a network of ethnological workplaces, with the Ethnological Institute of the Science Academy of the CR, Ethnographic Institute of the Moravian Museum and the Czech Ethnographic Society. The project was completed in June 2014 and its outcomes were methodological manuals such as Introduction to Ethnological Research.
On 1 March 2012 the institute launched a new research project, this time in collaboration with the Institute of Computing Technology of MU. The project The Geographical Information System of Traditional Folk Culture (1750–1900) was financed from the Programme of Applied Research and Development of National and Cultural Identity (NAKI), and took place from March 2012 until December 2015.
The Institute of European Ethnology annually implements specific research projects under the auspices of GAMU. The project Music Folklore and Contemporary Society in 2013 was devoted to music folklore. In the following year, the institute workers focused on the issues of material culture, notably folk clothing and building within the project Ethnological Research into Selected Components of Traditional Material Culture. On the occasion of the 120th anniversary of the Czech-Slavic Ethnographic Exhibition in 2015, the institute commemorated this major event with a special project, Folk Tradition as a Part of Cultural Heritage. The 120th anniversary of the Czech-Slavic Ethnographic Exhibition. In 2016 the Institute of European Ethnology celebrated the 70th anniversary of its establishment, and within the research project From Ethnography to European Ethnology its research centred on the development of the discipline in the 20th century. This project culminated in a publication of the same title that, apart from the history of the institute, conveys basic statistical data. The Ethnology for the 21st Century project involved a conference and publication on this subject. Another research project of Ethnology for the 21st Century in 2017 focused on the points of departure and perspectives of the discipline, and culminated in an international conference and a collective monograph in English. The year 2017 also marked the beginning of a grant provided by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic (applicant Prof. Alena Křížová) centred on research into folk jewellery, the outcome of which will be a pictorial publication.
Publishing and membership in editorial boards
The publishing activities of the institute include Ethnological Studies (issued since 2006) that contain articles on farming culture, socio-cultural transformation of villages, archaic phenomena of traditional folk culture in Moravia, ornament, clothing and jewellery, iconographic sources for the study of traditional culture and folk dances. The studies also address ethnic issues in the Czech lands and abroad and the theory of science. Apart from this series, the institute also publishes Ethnological Materials and is currently preparing the Ethnological Manuals series intended for students.
The institute workers are editors and members of editorial boards and circles of specialist ethnological journals such as Národopisná revue, Národopisný věstník, Český lid, Folia Ethnographica, Studia Ethnologica Pragensia, Prameny a studia.
The institute is a collective member of the Czech Ethnographic Society which is the top-level ethnographic institution in the CR and is a member of the Advisory Board of the UNESCO Inter-governmental Committee, the section of immovable cultural heritage. The institute workers regularly participate in national and international projects of the UNESCO and in their assessment.
The Institute of European Ethnology operates the research infrastructure GISTraLik which is also accessible to the public. This on-line geographical information system focuses on issues associated with traditional folk culture. It combines maps with information from the area of traditional folk culture defined locally (historical Moravia) and chronologically (1750–1900).
GISTraLik does not have the character of an ethnographic atlas transferred into electronic form, with static spatial visualization of recorded phenomena, It is a sophisticated GIS in the form of a spatial database containing information about the documented phenomena in the field of material and non-material folk culture and about the degree of its processing. It does not only work with information as such but also with references to its source, with its possible further application by the user, according to his or her individual needs.