Category Archives: 2005

Nummer 1-2


De studie van populaire cultuur en van volkscultuur

Summary: The study popular culture and folk culture
In this article we outline the traditional position, however under discussion, of the study matter of folklore and popular culture. It is arguable that in both fields of study quite often the same discourse is being used, namely as  far as views on representation and authenticity (and the opposite such as commercializing and folklorizing) are concerned. The term appropriation makes it possible to fit in both fields of study in the same linguistic usage which keeps an eye on creative consumption of present time folk culture and mass culture.



Lux brings out the star in you

Summary: Lux brings out the star in you
In this article we discuss, against the background of a society moving form modern to post-modern, the development in the field of the media, and especially of the advertising campaigns, with special attention to “LUX” soap. The use of stars in advertising campaign of “LUX” is paid special attention to.


Het is echt gebeurd, het stond in de krant! Een onderzoek naar het verschijnen van moderne sagen in de krant Het Laatste Nieuws (1998, 1999, 2000)

Summary: I read it in the newspaper; it must be true!
This article is a summary of an academic final report. It deals with an inquiry into the publication of modern, urban  legends in the newspaper ‘Het Laatste Nieuws’ in the years 1998, 1999 and 2000. This inquiry proves that the topics of most popular urban legends published in this newspaper clearly reflect what lives with people at a given moment.
Stories about animals and plants, about food and health are found more than those about other subjects. People are more involved with these topics and they pop up in implausible legends. Urban legends are not published on various pages. As to ‘Het Laatste Nieuws’ most legends are published in the first columns of the paper. But most contributions are published in a special column.
People have a firm belief in newspaper texts. The mentioning of a location, name, time, sources, quotations and photographs may convince the reader of the truth of the story, even if this is not always the case. Our research has proved that the written press plays an important part in the circulation of urban legends.



Populaire cultuur en popularisering van cultuur

Summary: Popular culture and the popularization of culture
In this article the role of the Amsterdam Centre for Popular Culture plays an prominent part. The research workers  of this network of the Amsterdam University focus their attention on television, pop music, digital games and football. Next to it the investigation focuses on the question how important public institutions (journalism, politics, public broadcasting) change under the influence of popular culture and popularizing. The key figure in these topics  is the question what role the media plays in everyday constructions of individual and collective identities, and also  what role it plays in social inclusion and exclusion (citizenship). Likewise the power-relations in force around popular culture, that find expression in a permanent but as to character a continually changing reconstruction of “high” and “low” culture, have a prominent place.



Receptie van Suske en Wiske in katholieke tijdschriften

Summary: Reception of Suske and Wiske in Catholic periodicals and magazines
Albeit that the Flemish strip written and drawn by Willy Vandersteen and Marc Sleen developed itself very fast after the second World War and found its way to a broad public, for a long time there was some aversion of the cultural elite towards this relatively new medium.
An analysis of short strip reviews in two Catholic literary critical periodicals shows a more balanced judgement. It strikes us that Suske and Wiske  found more favour than other strips. However, Catholic reviewers always stressed that strips were only easy reading that could be tolerated to a small degree. Up to 1958 critics were more or less favourable to strips but that has changed afterwards. Moreover, fewer and fewer strips were reviewed.




Holland op de helling. Televisie-amusement en feestcultuur

Summary: Holland under review. Television entertainment and festive culture
In traditional cultural criticism, television entertainment is invariably viewed as a corrupt form of mass distraction, a way of exploiting and diverting an oppressed public. The products of the mass media are regarded as impossible to compare with, and ultimately even a threat to “true” and “authentic” popular culture. In this paper, television entertainment is viewed not as an “alien” form imposed upon  people from above, but as an integral and important part of the popular culture, a form of festive culture. Based upon field research, interviews with participants and audience surveys, it is shown how the Dutch entertainment show “Te land ter Zee en in de Lucht” (By Land and Sea and in the Air) is intertwined with forms of festive culture. For its participants, this programme forms part of a wider festive repertoire which celebrates and expresses a group identity. For the audience, the ritualized media find, on the verge of the programme, an opportunity to create and experience imagined communities.


Bericht in uw chatbox: ‘Gelieve naar beneden te komen, het eten is klaar’. Een geïntegreerd kwantitatief en kwalitatief onderzoek naar de gevolgen van ICT voor het gezinsleven

Summary: Family life and ICT (Information and Communication Technologies)
Present day family life cannot without its share of ICT. More and more families possess more and more ICT. An important question arises, namely what is the impact of ICT on family life. In this article the results of an integrated qualitative and quantitative investigation are discussed. In the first place a typology of families was drawn up, based on a telephonic survey of a thousand Flemish families. Three types of families appear; traditional  families, intermediate families and multimedia families.
In a second phase a psychosocial research design was employed to determine the impact of ITC on family life in these families. The results show that the use of ICT is not influenced by the family context, but lies within the dynamics of the family and so has its implication on family life.



Van Zwarte madammen & hippe heksen

Summary: About Ladies in Black and Trendy Witches
The way witchcraft is incorporate in the strip, refers direct to the image of the witch of the present people. This article stresses the adaptation or localisation of traditional witchcraft to current appreciation norms. Strip authors have to adapt themselves to modern public when redacting the age-old witch-legends and stories. The cultural context that influences the perception of the legends has strongly developed. Rationalization has had a strong influence on the attitude and behaviour of the readers.
Supernatural phenomena are not credible anymore so that the imaginary character of the witch is emphasized.   Scepticism and irony have replaces the original fear of the witch. Other social developments have also had an influence on the portrayal of the witch, such as the decline of religious zeal and the rise of feminism. On the basis  of sixteen strips of Suske and Wiske, the development is examined in an oeuvre that spans fifty years.
The author occurred at the end of the seventies in Studio Vandersteen made the research much more interesting.



Category: 2005

Nummer 3


De sportfilms van Flandria Film als verspreiders van ‘banaal’ Vlaams-Nationalisme en wielerflamingantisme (1930-1940)

Summary: “Flandriens“, film and popular culture
‘Flandriens’ is the French name for the best of Flemish cyclists. The sports films of Flandria Films aim at the  dissemination of ‘trite’ Flemish nationalism and cycle flamingantism (1930-1940). In this article we focus on the intense relation among the media, the construction of a collective (national) identity, sports and popular culture. We especially dwell upon the part of Flemish popular sports and cycle film productions in the further popularizing of cycling and the canonizing of ‘flandriens’ as heroes of cycle flamingantism. In this contribution we therefore concentrate on Clament De Landtsheer’s (1894-1984) production and on his small undertaking; Flandria Film. From 1930 onwards Flandria Films started with a frequent release of sports films, basically converges of well-known cycle classics. A thorough examination of the Flandria Films industrial accountancy, as well as of the  internal and external correspondence, shows that these sports films in particular were extremely successful and lucrative. In no time the Flemish minded De Landtsheer got known with the public at large as the commentator of popular cycle races. Here he took advantage in being in good terms with the famous sports journalist Karel Van Wijnendaele, organizer of cycle races and a militant culture flamingant. Although these sports films seem to be a  fringe of the Flandria Films productions, which for the greater part openly contained Flemish nationalist propaganda. De Landtsheer with these sports and cycle films nursed hopes towards cultural flamingant aspirations. Particularly the importance of the tour of Flanders as a popular mass meeting with the “flandriens” as  popular heroes, is in the light of an imaginary construction of a (Flemish) nation significant. With the newspaper “De Sportwereld” (Sports World) and Van Wijnendaele’s contribution, Flandria Films  played a not unimportant part in the wide dissemination of these icons of cycling in Flemish popular image building. With this contribution we get through to the recent developments of theories about media, sports and trite nationalism.


Het testament van heer Gielis van Aelst, Jeruzalemridder

Summary: Jerusalem Knight Gielis van Aelst Will
In 1508, after his safe return from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Knight Gielis van Aelst was heartily honoured with ceremonial wine by his colleagues of the Brussels Bench of Aldermen. It had already been known for a long time that the Jerusalem pilgrim had been a benefactor for the poor. This is shown very clearly by his will, made in the presence of a Brussels priest-notary on June 8th 1525. The will is an important document as to a better insight and knowledge of the then funeral and burial services. The testator honoured all Brussels charitable institutions with a bequest. Other dispositions of the will bear upon the distribution of alms (in the form of loaves) and the foundation of services and Holy Masses in some pilgrimage places in the Brussels neighbourhood. As former church master of St. Goedele’s Knight Gielis van Aelst attached a priest to the collegial church and named a colleague – church master as executor. One disposition of the will deserves a special mention: the bequest to the ‘Fraternity of Jerusalem’. This implies that a fraternity in which pilgrims to the Holy Land and Jerusalem Knights met one another, had already been in existence in Brussels in 1525.



Hedendaagse dorpsfeesten: opzet, perceptie en toekomstperpectieven. Worstenfeesten en ‘kleinvelokeskoers’ te Vlimmeren

Summary: Nowadays country fairs: objectives, perception and future perspectives. Sausage feasts and bike races in Vlimmeren (a village in Flanders)
Far too often traditions are specified as concepts belonging to a distant past. In this contribution we try to review traditional feasts starting from a dynamic and topical viewpoint. The sausage feasts in Vlimmeren are taken as a case-study. In this study we first of all sort out the sensitivity of the organizers, participants, bystanders and outsiders. After a short depiction of the feasts, the impressions of the afore mentioned parties are given with regard to the aims of these festivities, the changes introduced in the course of years, the intention of the organizers and their personal commitment to these feasts. Time and again the points of view of the various informants are put against each other and accounted for. Starting from these results a careful futuristic view of the  feasts is given. The gauge for this is the enthusiasm and the purposeful efforts of all persons concerned.



Etnologie en cultural studies: kanttekeningen bij een mogelijke samenwerking

Summary: European Ethnology and Cultural Studies: Some Comments on a Possible Cooperation
In the next few years European ethnology and cultural studies will probably cooperate more closely. Though this is a welcome development, some comments on the imbalance of cultural studies are in order. The author reviews a number of criticisms vented by anthropologists and European ethnologists and focuses in particular on the language-based perspectives that have dominated much of cultural studies. It is suggested that cultural studies should concentrate more on the historical dimensions of culture, on fieldwork and ethnography and on performance-based perspectives.



Discussie naar aanleiding van het symposium “synergie tussen volkscultuur en populaire cultuur”

Summary: Discussion following the colloquium about synergy between ethnology and popular culture
On 23th April 2005 the Folklore Museum in Antwerp was the scene of a lively colloquium about the relation between ethnology and cultural studies and the possibilities of creating broadening and productive interactions between both disciplines. Gust De Meyer, Stijn Reijnders, Herman Roodenburg and Marc Jacobs discussed several controversial items such as the use of the term ‘folklore’, the scope of the discipline of popular culture and  its focus on phenomena from media culture, e.g. the television show ‘Big Brother’. Ethnologists and scholars of cultural studies meet in the research of contemporary phenomena. Nevertheless chairman van de Zeijden concludes that ‘tradition’ both used as a field concept and as an analytical instrument in the sense of ‘construction of identity’ can enrich the research of ethnology as well as that of cultural studies. This multilateral theoretical reflection is meant to be a strong impulse for future interdisciplinary research.



De dromen van Pamela? Van academische ‘drôle de guerre’ tot kruisbestuiving en platform

Summary: Pamela Ewing dreams? From academic ‘phoney war’ to cross-fertilization and platform
This article discusses aspects of the project “synergie tussen volkscultuur en populaire cultuur” in Flanders and the Netherlands: see the double issue of Volkskunde, 2005, 1-2. An interpretation of the title as “synergy between folklore and popular (media) culture” is rejected as a reckon. The alternative translation “synergy between (study of) popular culture and… (study of) popular culture” illustrates the main point in this analysis. The umbrella or container concept “popular culture” has a complex semantic field that has expanded in Flanders in the 21e century.
Different forms of study of popular culture coincide and (European) ethnology opened up a platform for broad interdisciplinary approach; a development that should not be overlooked. The double issue of Volkskunde 2005 presents a nice series of examples of research focussing on different topics of present-day popular culture from two disciplinary perspectives. In particular the article of Stijn Reijnders in the double issue mixes the different citation communities and offers a new view.


Category: 2005

Nummer 4


Een lied in zijn functionele context herplaatst: “De dood te gast genood”

Summary: A song replaced in its functional context
A West-Flemish manuscript dated around 1757 holds a version of the popular song about a dead who’s invited to a feast (Aarne – Thompson 470 A: The Offended Skull). The composition of the volume (religious songs, prayers and meditation material) indicates the function of this song for the author of the manuscript.
The song had to inspire a pious way of life and religious contemplation.




Microtechnologieën van volkscultuur. Europese etnologie in Vlaanderen tussen sector en discipline.

Summary: Micro Technologies of popular culture. European ethnology in Flanders between sector and discipline.
This article examines the fast changing relationship between popular culture and heritage (as sector) on one hand  and history (as scientific discipline and education) on the other hand. While the concept of ‘heritage’ takes on a more and more generalizing meaning within the cultural sector, some universities are looking for an answer to the  question of professionalism and expertise of the subsequently developing job market.
That question undoubtedly offers opportunities and interesting challenges – e.g. interdisciplinary collaboration – but it equally represents certain dangers. From the educational point of view, the option history threatens to become more job focused and less critical, whereas the conceptual aspect risks to diminish from the research point of view. Essentially, the problem can be reduced to the definition of the educational and research object, namely culture. Heritage workers and ethnologists from the sector apply a cultural concept, which (cultural) is of little use to historians. Through the heritage concept, culture is being reduced to a fabricated and negotiable part of customs, meanings and artefacts of which the many historical layers are being neglected. Further association with the social changes in the field of heritage has to be the subject of a quite critical study before the time-own and ideologically biased image of mankind upon which the current cultural concept is based.


I. STROUKEN, De opportuniteit van het Jaar van de Folklore:

De opportuniteit van het Jaar van de Folklore: repliek op Marc Jacobs

Summary: The expediency of a Year for Folklore: reply to Marc Jacobs
The Dutch Centre for Popular Culture (het Nederlands Centrum voor Volkscultuur) is one of the leading organizers  of ‘2005: Year of folklore’. In the latest issue of Volkskunde (2005) nr. 3, Marc Jacobs, of the Flemish Centre for Popular Culture, questions the expediency of organizing such a year. In his article Marc Jacobs described folklore in terms of a vampire like phenomenon. In this article, Ineke Strouken, the director of the Dutch Centre for  Popular Culture, calls for a more detached way of looking at folklore. Folklore is a very popular paste time in the Netherlands. There are at list more than 1500 groups and organizations who perform folklore as a hobby. It is a form of experiencing heritage.
During the preparations for the year, the organizers argued extensively on the use of the word ‘folklore’, because of its somewhat negative connotations in the Netherlands. The organizes were well aware of this and asked themselves if ‘living history’ were not a better and more modern term to describe the activities of the groups. But in the end it was decided to preserve the term folklore because it’s the term used by the groups themselves to describe their activities. The Year of Folklore, wants to make visible for the public at large the very many activities which are being organised under the umbrella of folklore. But there is more. Performing and presenting culture calls for specific skills and accomplishments. The Year of Folklore is meant to highlight this and organize activities to improve the quality of the performances and in this way give a more positive image to folklore in the Netherlands.


Het ontstaan van de Vlaamse volksfilm: regionale cinema, populaire cultuur en de strijd om de Witte (1934).

Summary: The origine of the Flemish popular film: regional cinema, popular culture and the battle for de Witte (1934).
De Witte (1934) by Jan Vanderheyden is commonly considered to be a milestone in the Flemish cinematic history. However, there has been little research into the production and meaning of this classical Flemish movie.This, apparently innocent, pre-war film based on the novel by Ernest Claes is still a common point of reference and an icon of the popular cinematic culture in Flanders. In this article, which shows de Witte as an  interesting example of the growth of the European regional popular cinema after the introduction of sound, we concentrate on the ideological struggle of the meaning of this picture. Through a historical reception study (press,  original correspondence, journal entries and other material) and the film itself we will relive the controversy that surrounded the meaning and production of de Witte.
When the film had its premiere years ago it was a ‘media event’ of the biggest order. More than anything, roducer  and director Vanderheyden was a smart businessman who, as no other, knew to bring his first film production into he spotlights. Even before the first scene was shot, De Witte was already a media event, which made the film into a play ball of commercial and ideological influences from outside. Our analysis shows that the film, more  than the original work by Ernest Claes, presents a conservative and nostalgic image of Flanders. The film shows how a traditional community is being threatened in the background by a modernistic urban culture.



Uit het repertoire van een Antwerpse marktzanger (18e E.)

Summary: From the repertoire of an Antwerp market singer
The 18e century Ms. In the central library of Ghent University which is here analysed, has once been the cherished possession of an Antwerp singer who goes by the name of Joos, but whose full identity is not known.
It contains thirty-four songs, a few of which are date 1718 and 1765. The Antwerp origin of at least some of these songs is testified to by explicit references to events that took place there.
A remarkable characteristic of the collection as a whole is the rather unusual complete absence of religious songs and the preponderance of love-songs. The latter are seventeen in number, i.e. more than half of the contents. The remaining ones cover a wide range of topics. At least five items were borrowed from broadsides printed in Antwerp by J. Thijs and the widow of H. Thieullier, but the others are found only here.
In the present paper a detailed survey of this manuscript’s contents is given, followed by a transcription of some of the more interesting songs, e.g. a song for Lent, two new Year songs and one against ‘evil tongues’.



Category: 2005