Prof. Sadhana Naithani, 


The International Society for Folk Narrative Research is pleased to announce the start of a new lecture series entitled The ISFNR Lecture Series: Voices from Around the Globe, which will be open to not only our global network of international folk narrative scholars but also the general public. The lectures will take place online at 5 pm UTC, on the third Friday of every alternate month, beginning April 15, 2022, each of them coordinated by a member of the Executive Committee of the Society. The plan is for the Vice Presidents of the ISFNR to invite particular members of the Society (and other scholars to present their research in any language in which they wish to speak (bearing in mind the need to communicate to an international audience). The papers not presented in English will be made available in English translation.

On behalf of the ISFNR, I would like to invite you all to join us in this exploration of various cultural phenomena, local and global, old and contemporary, and stable and changeable. Folk narrative scholars continue to record, map and communicate how people are navigating their cultural practices and values through turbulent and peaceful times and through the palimpsestic layers of history which have witnessed the rhizomatic growth of narratives. Indeed, in our own time, it is relevant to ask whether folk narrative still has the means to grasp the truth of a post-truth world.

Details and a schedule of lectures will be announced shortly. Links for the lectures will be emailed to all members of the ISFNR and shared on the Society’s website and the Facebook Page. For more information, contact: nisfnr@gmail.com

Next lecture

Asafa Dibaba

Finding Meaning/s in Social Memories

21 April 2023., at 5 p.m. CET

Speaker's Biography:

Asafa Tefera Dibaba (PhD), College of Humanities, Addis Ababa University, Oromia / Ethiopia 

Prof. Asafa Dibaba is a poet, educator, and researcher with PhD in Folklore (and minor, Anthropology) from Indiana University, USA (2011-2015),  and MA in Comp. Literature. His research interest includes environmental folklore, resistance songs, women folklore, social memories, narratives, ecopoetics / ethnoecology, and nature poetry. 



The lecture aims to examine various means of  vernacular memory practices, both traditional and modern, used among the Oromo people to facilitate everyday acts of cultural transmission and social transformation in the face of rapid changes. The Oromo are the largest and populous nation in Oromia /Ethiopia, Northeast Africa. The underlying assumption here is that  changes are exacerbated both by externally induced forces and internally motivated factors which impact social memory practices, cultural symbols, expressive representations, and ways in which, among the Oromo, everyday representations of the past and  meaningful sense of shared identity are strategically negotiated. The research attempts to tackle questions of folkloric, historical, and anthropological nature:  What are some of the expressive representations of the past available among the Oromo today? What cultural practices and symbols are used to effect social memory, and on what contexts, to negotiate meanings? Where and how are individuals’ personal narrative repertoire enacted to situate social memory within the traditionalized understanding of shared/historical identity. What factors are at work, both internally and externally, to disrupt social memory practices? Towards this goal, the data come from field interviews, folkloric and historical texts, oral histories, life history narratives, and other expressive memory works and available cultural symbols used to relocate the social imagining of historical identity rooted within a translocal past of the people.