Ed. by Petya Bankova, Michelle Janning, Aude Le Guennec, Elya Tsaneva and Violeta Periklieva. Sofia: Prof. Marin Drinov Publishing House of Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 2020.

 

 

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Abstract

          The volume we have in hands resembles one of the variegated and excitingly diverse colorful kaleidoscopes that we all remember from our childhood; it embraces the most significant and brightest elements of the topic and presents it to the readers dynamically, logically, with striking glaring field and situational examples and strong conclusions. The collection consists of 28 chapters which were presented as papers at the conference of the same name initiated and hosted by the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Studies with the Ethnographic Museum at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in the late October 2018. The concept and organization of the conference were a happy thematic choice and a brave creative idea of a team of ethnologists and folklorists working – mainly or secondarily – on various aspects of childhood. The conference was attended by 78 scholars from 25 countries who shared problems, views, theses and plans in an atmosphere of mutual understanding and common language, of interest, cordiality and sympathy. The several thematic panels of the conference have since been grouped in the publication into three sections which present the main problems not only of the papers but also of the Ethnology of Childhood as a significant anthropological and ethnological field.

 

        As Petya Bankova, the initiator and the main force of the event, puts it in her introductory words: “The conference also raised the question of the need for a new format for the collection and presentation of scientific achievements in the field of childhood research”. This volume seeks such a format and offers it in terms of texts and structure: three independent and original introductions to the topic as part of the “Editorial”, followed by the sections, each by means of its chapters forming a general summary directing the researcher’s mind and thus offering and discussing three  differentfundamental problematic fields of research. This makes the volume a complex text with a constitutive role in the development and presentation of the topic. This wonderful collection has high quality editorial work from the Bulgarian main publisher and the foreign editors, supplemented by the professional contributions of the art and editorial team of the Publishing House of BAS. The project has been supported throughout by the IEFSEM – BAS and the publication was funded by a comradely gesture of the UNESCO Regional Centre for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in South-Eastern. As a publication fact, it crowns a meaningful body of academic work and presents a very powerful example of the role and professional values of the combined body of ethnologists and folklorists.

CR