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Professionals and fringes in the Slavic and Jewish cultural tradition

Dear colleagues, we invite you to take part in the annual academic conference, which is the next stage of a long-term project on the comparative study of Jewish and Slavic cultures. Time and place of the conference: Moscow, December, 1-3 2021, Institute of Slavic Studies of the Russian Academy of Science, Leninsky Prospekt 32A)

The conference "Professionals and fringes in the Slavic and Jewish cultural tradition" will be the twenty-fifth in a series of annual meetings of scholars who have been working on the international project "Culture of the Slavs and the culture of Jews: dialogue, similarities, differences" since 1995. The project is carried out by the Center for Slavic-Jewish Studies of the Institute Slavic studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences in cooperation with various academic and public organizations that show interest in the dialogue of cultures.

The conference is supposed to discuss a wide range of issues related to the concept of professionalism in traditional society. It is known that professionals (stove-makers, blacksmiths, potters, healers, hunters, foresters, musicians, bee-keepers) were often at the periphery of the cultural space in traditional society. People of urban professions were perceived in the same way. There were also social fringes - soldiers, prisoners, beggars, holy fools and madmen. In the Jewish tradition, representatives of professions at the intersection of cultures (tavern-keepers, balagoles - coachmen, junk dealers, cantonists) became marginalized. Converts to Christianity also were a separate marginal group.

We will explore the mechanisms of inclusion of marginal people in society and their rejection, the principles of coexistence at the boundaries of cultural, confessional and ethnic spheres, folklore of professional and subcultural communities.

The conference is interdisciplinary in nature, reports of historians, philologists, folklorists, ethnographers, reflecting the comparative aspects of the problem, are welcome. The materials of the conference are supposed to be published in the annual "Culture of the Slavs and the Culture of Jews: Dialogue, Similarities, Differences" collection.

We look forward to see you all at the conference - as speakers, discussion participants or guests!