From European Ethnology to Festive Studies
Keywords:Festivals, Europe, Ethnology, Folklore, History, Tourism, Rituals, Intangible Cultural Heritage
This essay considers both the history of the growing academic field of festive studies and the history of my own involvement in this field. I first rely on some of the major works of accepted scholarship to show that social scientists and ethnologists had been concerned with festivals and public celebrations for a very long time before this field transformed into a specific area of research. I then show how my own practice in the ethnology of European traditional festivals and rituals evolved toward the idea of interdisciplinary festive studies in the two last decades or so. After connecting these two scales of time—the history of social sciences and my own path as an individual researcher—I eventually suggest possible avenues for future research in festive studies.