Keynote lecture by Professor Otilia Hedeșan (University of Timișoara): “Timoc: Folklore, Ethnography, Linguistics”, or “On the ‘Interrogation’ of Field Research”

Still fragmentary and porous, full of unknowns and tarnished by numerous vulnerabilities, the image of the Romanian community in the Timoc region can, however, be restored, thanks to a series of field research carried out in the past hundred years by folklorists, linguists and ethnologists alike. A small part of their observations and notes were made public, such that a series of collections of folklore, as well as several ethnographic and linguistic atlas bundles will jointly document the region and the Romanian community therein. The lecture aims to analyse and interpret the special conditions of field research in the region, starting from the diversity of research notes and from the author’s own extensive knowledge, accrued over thirty years of fieldwork experience in the Timoc.

Otilia Hedeșan is a Professor of Romanian Civilization at the University of Timișoara, where since 2015 she has coordinated the Research Centre for Heritage and Anthropology (RHeA). Her areas of interest are Romanian mythology in its current guises, the life of Romanian historical communities outside Romania’s borders, the history of Romanian ethnology in the Communist and post-Communist period and the study of Romanian culinary traditions. She has carried out research in the Banat, in Serbia (Banat, Timoc, the Morava Valley), Hungary, Croatia, Ukraine (Transcarpathia), Moldova and Bulgaria. She has authored or co-authored numerous specialist studies, volumes and publications, including “Folclorul. Ce facem cu el” (Timișoara, 2015).

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