Current students of Folkloristics and Applied Heritage Studies
"I have a BSc in Geography from the University of London, but on completion decided that I wanted to continue my studies in a direction which would allow me to pursue my interest in Gender Studies and Cultural Anthropology. I am particularly interested in the gender narrative of fairy tales and ghost stories, which has also led me to an interest in the manufacturing of heritage and the inevitable ethical conundrums there. I was attracted to Tartu by the supportive staff who have not let my science background hold me back, as well as the diverse community environment here, and the beautiful physical environment Estonia has to offer. The university also encourages a diversity in interests which they allow you to reflect in your module options, allowing you to create a base of knowledge tailored to your interests."
Lily Jane Cartland, United Kingdom
"An artisan in leather and metal and returning student, I came to the program from the United States. I'm presently fulfilling my dream of exploring the intersection of vernacular religion and material culture."
Jerry “Tam” Iverson, USA
"I have a professional BA degree in Material Design and Technology from Riga Technical University. I've always been very curious about different cultures, their traditions and world-views, and I love photography and writing. I was looking for an MA program where I could see all my interests overlapping, so I found Folkloristics and Applied Heritage Studies in Tartu. My current research interests focus on Pamirs, Tajikistan. In addition, I'm very interested in folk music and I play in the Latvian post-folklore band "Daba San"."
Solveiga Kalva, Latvia
"Studying foreign languages and intercultural communication as major subjects for my BA degree, I caught myself at a thought that we often know a lot about others and so little about ourselves. That is how my interest to Belarusian traditional culture began. After working as a research fellow in a local crafts centre, doing internship in an open-air museum in Germany, participating in several public initiatives related to folk culture, I decided to continue my academic education in this field. Being particularly interested in crafts and trying to balance on a point where academia and everyday life meet, I find Tartu and this particular program to be a perfect choice for studies in terms of both theory and practice."
Siarhiej Makarevič, Belarus
"I got my BA degree in Art History from the University of Belgrade. My research interests revolve around the cultural heritage of Balkans, particularly Serbian. Currently, I’m focused on understanding processes of UNESCO intangible heritage nominations, nationalization of folklore, relations between heritage and identity and political folklore. Not only that switch to a field of folklore is enriching my research tools but is also facilitated by thoughtful and helpful teaching stuff and well-designed study programme."
Katarina Stradner, Serbia
"I got my Bachelor’s Diploma in Liberal Arts Faculty at Saint Petersburg State University in Russia. My research interests are related to vernacular religion in the Republic of Dagestan and to the modern life and oral history of remoted communities at the North of Russia."
Makar Tereshin, Russia
"My research focuses on woodworkers, their economical network, group identity, lifestyle and relationship to wood as a material. I am also studying how craftsmen and woodworkers present their work: how the tradition is presented. In addition, I am interested in the protection of heritage, especially in problems related to illicit trafficking in conflict zones. I chose this program because it has a practical outcome and I trust the teaching quality."
Ragnar Kruusimaa, Estonia
"Before arriving here in Tartu, the peaceful, calm and quiet city, I was really into literature and with a special focus on adopting oral narrative as a form in my stories ended up loving folklore. Now my interest has really evolved thanks to the wonderful professors here and I am currently working on Syncretic Folk Religion of Bangladesh, my home country, and its decay into a more institutional structure."
Rasel Ahmed, Bangladesh
"I obtained my M.Phil. degree from Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad in Cultural Anthropology. During my M.Phil. I worked on women’s construction in Punjabi Proverbs that intrigued me to study folklore at the University of Tartu. My research interests are centred around the folk-wisdom, gender construction and the caste system. Besides, I am very interested in rituals, festivals and the anthropology of religion. The University’s diverse research environment provides an opportunity for you to learn and reflect your knowledge based on your interests"
Sohail Arshad, Pakistan
"I got my BA degree in Business administration and economics at the University of Tartu. Currently, I am applying an interdisciplinary approach to numismatics and philately. My primary focus is the identity-framing processes, non-verbal communication, and ritualistic practices that involve money. As a side project, I am also collecting information regarding student life in Tartu including contemporary folklore."
Gleb Gomankov, Russia
"I’m from Portland, Oregon in the U.S., and got my Bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology and Community Development. Before moving to Tartu, I worked as a career coach at a computer programming school and spent a number of years learning about issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. This led me to become intimately aware of the importance of people having an outlet for expressing their voice and story. At UT I’m studying zines and zine-making (small self-published magazines) -- an art form that is all about self-expression and fighting back against institutional barriers. The Folkloristics and Applied Heritage program at UT has given me the freedom to explore different art and craft forms while also providing the theoretical structure to analyze their application."
Audrey Scrugham, USA
"I have a BA in Design from ITES0 in Guadalajara, México, then I studied a specialization in Textil Design at EDINBA in Mexico City. I’ve worked in graphic, editorial and textil design, the latter in dye-sub printing. After graduating I created a collective textile project to preserve collective memory of the mass kidnapping in Ayotzinapa, México. My research focuses on preservation of textiles, craftsmanship, gender, tradition and identity. UT has been a turning point to understand folklore, culture and the way they shape contemporary society. "
Israel Palacios Fierro, Mexico
It took 27 years and four changes of major before I finally completed a bachelor's degree in Anthropology and Sociology. Hopefully, my master's will be a little more straightforward. During this adventure, I wore a number of hats, including metal sculptor, law enforcement officer, and theme park mascot. Somewhere along the winding path I took to Tartu, I fell in love with the various ways people tell the same stories and sing the same songs. I look forward to studying those small adaptations, and how they help people define themselves and their communities, during my time here.
Aaron Scott Reed, USA
I am a lifelong knitter from the US who has studied Estonian knitting from afar for many years and have a deep love of the country in general thanks to several extended trips here over the years. My bachelor’s degree is in Dance Performance from Wesleyan University in Connecticut. My background is in many fields, but includes traditional textile crafts (knitting, crochet, weaving), the impact of creative practice on local communities, and the intersection of the arts and entrepreneurship. While here, my hope is to do field research on the handicraft practices of Setomaa.
Emily Celeste Watts, USA
I have conducted extensive ethnography on ghostlore, ethno-spirituality, ethno-medicine etc. in the deep hills of Bangladesh for my honours degree in Anthropology. It is evident from my interests that if I were a cat, the department of Folkloristics and Applied Heritage Studies offered by UT is the comfortable box where I fit. I cannot stress enough on how the institutional help including resources and faculty members' cooperation is leading me to be a stronger, more efficient researcher on my field.
Rash-Ha Muntaqaa, Bangladesh