Alexander Panchenko - Conspiracy Theories and Contemporary Legends

Klipi teostus: Pille Kannimäe 07.10.2015 1921 vaatamist Kultuur



Alexander Panchenko - Institute of Russian Literature, Russian Academy of Sciences St. Petersburg State University, Russia


The presentation deals with the role of conspiratorial motifs and themes in formation and transmission of what is known as ‘contemporary legend’. The discussion of empirical data includes two case studies, the history and present day transformation of ‘organ theft legends’ and apocalyptic narratives about ‘the Beast of Brussels’. Proceeding from the concept of emotional communities formulated recently by American historian Barbara Rosenwein (2010), Panchenko will try to show how and why present day conspiracy theories and practices of ‘conspiratorial hermeneutics’ are inspired by particular combinations of emotional, moral and epistemological expectations.


The 5th International Conference of Young Folklorists Folklore of Connections, Folklore of Conflict


University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy October 7–9, 2015



Organised by the Department of Estonian and Comparative Folklore (University of Tartu), Estonian Native Crafts Department (University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy), and Tartu Nefa Group, in partnership with the Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore (Vilnius)



The 2015 conference “Folklore of Connections, Folklore of Conflict” focuses on the role of folklore in the formation of relationships and attitudes, as well as confrontations. Folklore bridges and connects individuals and groups, providing them with means to construct, reinforce, display, or question identities and cultural patterns. As numerous examples from history show, however, folklore serves also as an instrument for exclusion and othering. The same stories, gestures, patterns and objects can be invested with different meanings in varying contexts.