Bodies in Motion. The Peregrinations of Early Finland-Swedish Folklore Collectors

Susanne Österlund-Pötzsch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Folk culture was a key concept and source of inspiration for the national romantic movement. This was decidedly the case in the Nordic countries, where folklore texts documented by folklore collectors, stored in large archives, and published in academic publications became intrinsically connected with the promotion of national identity. Additionally, in this article, I propose that folklore collectors’ actual travels and physical presence may have significantly contributed to this process. Taking as a starting point Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s (1962) contention that our bodily experience of movement provides us with a way of accessing the world, I argue that bodies in motion can have an integral role in the creation and performance of identities. Based on travelogues kept by nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century folklore collectors in Swedish-speaking Finland, I also reflect on the physicality of the fieldwork situation and the importance of bodily techniques.

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)253–276
JournalJournal of Folklore Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Susanne Österlund-Pötzsch
  • Folkloristik
  • folktro - historia - Svenskfinland

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