Viliina Silvonen

Viliina Silvonen is a folklorist specialising in Karelian lament tradition, emotions and affects as well as archival materials. She defended her doctoral dissertation in Folklore Studies at the University of Helsinki on January 2022. In the Kyynelkanavat project she works as a post-doctoral researcher.

In her dissertation, combining views from performance and practice theories into interdisciplinary affect and emotion theories, she approaches Olonets Karelian laments as performances of ritual oral poetry and as an affective practice. Her research material consists of archival audio recordings. To analyse the poetics, emotions and affectivity, she applies text, music and sound/voice analysis and sensory ethnographic methods.

In Kyynelkanavat project, she concentrates on the continuum of varying lament tradition from ritual practice in Karelia to the practices and performances in contemporary Finnish society, and particularly on the artistic performances of the modern lament practices with her working partner, musician Emmi Kuittinen. In general, Silvonen is interested in how traditions live, change and gain meanings in changing sociocultural contexts. She works at the multidisciplinary research community of Finnish Literature Society (SKS).

Silvonen graduated with a Master of Arts degree in Folklore Studies from the University of Turku in 2014, and also specialises in Finnish language. Silvonen is a member of the editorial board for the Elore Journal and the The Finnish Yearbook of Ethnomusicology Journal. She is one of the founders, editors and writers in the popular science blog Päivystävä folkloristi (‘a folklorist on-call’).

interests: laments, affect, emotion, performance, archival material, audio recordings, oral poetry, Finnic and Karelian tradition

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Twitter: @viliinasil

Viliina Silvonen.