University of Bucharest
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Antropologie și etnologie
“We know very little about the village”
Abstract: In this article, I look at Mihai Pop as an agent of continuity, but also as an agent of theoretical refreshment in the social sciences in communist Romania. Through his research activity, but also through his status as director of the Institute of Folklore and university professor, he ensured not only the connection with the past, but also a permanent connection of the local scientific field with research centers around the world. I have chosen to stop at some pivotal moments in the history of ethnology during the communist period that have Pop as the protagonist, whether it is theoretical disputes, the practice of discipline or the evolution of institutions. I want to show both the way in which the study of folklore was distorted by the ideology, but also the strategies by which the scientific field maintained, as far as the times allowed, a kind of autonomy. I will start from Mihai Pop’s vision of the village and of the folkloric reality showing that, despite the passing of the years, the changes in the political regime and the evolution of the social sciences, the researcher’s vision on the Romanian village has not changed fundamentally during his career. I will then show how the theoretical dispute between Mihai Pop and George Călinescu, from the early 1960s, imposed a new conception of the notion of literary folklore as an ethnological science and not a philological one. I will also point out how Mihai Pop’s double role – as director of the Folklore Institute and Folklore professor at the University of Bucharest greatly influenced the development of the field during communism.
Keywords: Mihai Pop, village, ethnology, communism, The Institute of Folklore, G. Călinescu.
Citation suggestion: Pop, Rucsandra. Nu știm decât foarte puțin ce este satul”. Transilvania, no. 1-2 (2022): 103-110.