bandeau_actu musicologie

dimanche 9 octobre 2022

Laments lost or alive and well

May 15–17, 2023 in Helsinki, Finland
International Conference of the Lament Tradition
Contact the conference organizing team

Lamenting – ritual wailing – is a practice that is known worldwide. The ways of lamenting and the meanings of laments vary from culture to culture and from context to context.

In this conference, we explore the variety of laments, their meanings, and their practices in relation to the world changing all around. The conference aims to reflect on questions and topics inherent to the contemporary field of lament research and to search for some common ground. We invite scholars to discuss the lament, its various representations and interpretations, and related metacultural discourses: the lament saved, kept, revived, revised, appropriated, experienced, sensed, in history, recorded, dug up from archives, reinterpreted, transmitted, and twisted into something new – but not lost.


The conference discussions find their home in the shared ground between folklore, cultural and religious studies, ethnomusicology, ethnology, and anthropology.

For further information and abstract submission, please see Call for Papers<> (DL November 10, 2022).

Dates and venue

The conference will be held in Helsinki at the Finnish Literature Society as an in-person event on May 15–17, 2023.

Confirmed keynote speakers

Professor Charles L. Briggs (Anthropology, Berkeley University of California)

PhD Eila Stepanova (Folklorist, Executive Director of Karelian Cultural Society)

Eila Stepanova is a Finnish folklorist specializing in Karelian and more broadly in North Finnic lament poetry. She received her doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki in 2014. She is recognized as the foremost active expert on Karelian laments and as an expert in Karelian culture more generally, with a wide range of fieldwork experience. Stepanova is currently an executive director of the Karelian Cultural Society (Karjalan Sivistysseura).


Kyynelkanavat – Laments in the contemporary Finland – project at the University of Eastern Finland founded by Kone Foundation

Karelian Cultural Society

Finnish Literature Society

Contact the conference organizing team



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Dimanche 9 Octobre, 2022