Research topic: Folklore
The term folklore denote cultural traditions that have survived by word of mouth and that in the 19th century were described as part of "the people's spiritual culture".
The concept must be understood in the light of views concerning the "otherness" of folk culture and the process of nation-building in Europe. In this context important source materials include folk narratives, folk music, folk beliefs and folk rituals.
The study of folklore at UiO was formerly closely associated with Norwegian material collected during the 19th century. As a result the field adopted an overly narrow perspective regarding its own subject area.
By the 1970s and 1980s, the evolutionary view of folk culture had long outlived its usefulness and the field changed its focus. It was established that the field could also deal with subject-matter from more recent – and even contemporary – times by means of the collection through active fieldwork of material from new sources.
Today our research attempts to preserve and pass on our knowledge of everyday culture and the world in which people live, while we also identify new themes and research topics that are interesting to analyse and discuss from the perspective of cultural history.