EKW*EE LMU Workshop

Invitation to the workshop "Ethnography, Folklore, and Nineteenth-Century Print Culture", held at the Institute for European Ethnology and Cultural Analyis, LMU München, 23-24 June 2022



Conference "Ethnography, Folklore and Nineteenth-Century Print Culture"

Conference will be held at the Institute of European Ethnology and Cultural Analysis at LMU Munich, 23rd and 24th of June, 2022

Around the turn of the nineteenth century, economic, social, political, and technological transformations in many areas of Europe stimulated interest in studying modernizing societies. At the same time, the advent of market-oriented publishing, which was associated with the rise of new print and communication technologies, the easing of censorship, and the creation of new reading audiences, made the observation and discussion of social realities a public matter. Printed goods became widely available, opening avenues for the profusion of documentary-ethnographic representations of the socio-cultural universe. Newspapers, illustrated magazines, books, (popular) encyclopedias, and various forms of visual media acted as drivers of the consolidation and dissemination of verbal and visual forms, which tracked changes in everyday practices, clothing habits, modes of transport and production, social roles, and urban and rural infrastructures. With their descriptive techniques, the creators of such literary, journalistic, and pictorial representations of the social world approached the concerns and methodologies of the professionalizing fields of ethnography and folklore.

Emanating from the ERC research project Dissecting Society. Nineteenth-Century Sociographic Journalism and the Formation of Ethnographic and Sociological Knowledge, this conference explores the connections between the proliferation of print products and an increased public and academic interest in social expressions and dynamics throughout the nineteenth century. Apart from looking at the particularities of journalistic, literary, and pictorial representations of human appearances, behaviors, and environments, it considers the interdependencies between “popular” and “scholarly” forms of social observation, which became institutionalized in the disciplines of socio-cultural anthropology, folklore studies, and sociology by the end of the century. The conference aims to bring together researchers from any field who (re-)construct tales of the history of social study connecting with the print revolution and emergence of a public fascinated with the art of observation. Consequently, it intends to reveal alternative contexts and strands of early ethnographic knowledge production and provide perspectives for a history of social knowledge beyond disciplinary, national, and genre-related methodologies.

CfP ends 30 September 2021, see below:


More details

Christiane Schwab

c.schwab[ at ]ekwee.uni-muenchen.de