We make sense of repetition: repeated patterns (a.k.a. culture), repeated actions (a.k.a. performance), repeated words (a.k.a. folk narrative), repeated rhythms and melodies (a.k.a. folk music), repeated forms and dispositions (a.k.a. material culture; indeed re is the ablative case of the Latin res for thing or matter). Our fields were formed and reformed around various notions of return: the ways in which people (in various times and places) recycle ideas, restore behaviors, remix words, recreate tunes, reuse objects, remember customs, remake, repair, rehash, refine and reduce. This is our special remit within the humanities and social sciences.
Re-verbs and re-nouns mark our perspectives on the various topics we study: they are integral to the ethnological/folkloristic touch. As soon as we approach them, our topics shed their „originality“ (so highly valued in most humanities) without losing anything in imagination or creativity; we reevaluate them, review them from an angle that brings their connections into focus while recontextualizing their individuality, recentering them in their relationship to other ideas, words, objects, and behaviors: their representation, reception, recovery, recognition, reproduction, reciprocity, resonance, reverberation or repercussion.
What better place to recongregate, then, to rehearse our respective research, retrace and renew our ideas, and revisit our topics with regard to the re-perspective than, precisely, in Reykjavík?
(Re)see you in Reykjavík next year!