CSUMC is co-sponsoring an upcoming lecture by visiting scholar, Eija Stark, Docent in Folklore Studies at the Finnish Literature Society and Åbo Akademi University. Stark’s lecture, entitled “Masculine Ideals: Folklore and Narratives on Men’s Work,” will discuss folklore’s ability to preserve traditional modes of thought in a changing world. The lecture will take place on Wednesday, October 2nd from 5-6:00pm in Room 313 of the University Club on UW-Madison’s Campus.
More on Stark’s upcoming talk:
The theme of masculinity was a key element in the old Finnish narrative culture. Historically, marriage was a foundation for production and reproduction in rural cultures. Husband and wife formed a team in which the two genders acted and worked as separate collectives. There was a community among the men and a community among the women based on production, but based also on a sense of togetherness outside work. These kinds of social and economic conditions had a great impact on folklore and narratives. Time before the spread of printed media and even systematic education for children, everyday information and cultural messages were transmitted in face-to-face communication. Consequently, vernacular expressions were both the message but also the medium of knowledge. Using Finnish folktales and proverbs on gendered rural livelihoods, I examine how economic, societal and cultural changes in the first half of the 20th century reflected the topic of manliness.