University of Vienna Hosts 13th International Finnougrist Congress

Lifestyle & TravelMore+ ♦ Published: August 17, 2022; 22:18 ♦ (Vindobona)

From August 21 to 26, 2022, the 13th International Finnougrist Congress, or CIFU (Congressus Internationalis Fenno-Ugristarum), will be held at the University of Vienna. It is the most important international event of Finno-Ugristics. More than 300 scholars from 19 countries will exchange ideas on current topics from linguistics to literature and cultural studies.

The 13th International Finnougrist Congress will be held this year at the University of Vienna. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons, Bwag, CC BY-SA 4.0

Finno-Ugrian Studies (or Uralic Studies) is the study of Finno-Ugrian (Uralic) languages and the history and culture of their speakers. These languages include Hungarian, Finnish, Estonian, and numerous minority languages in Northern Europe and Russia.

The congress, which was founded in the 1960s, acted as a "breathing hole" for Finno-Ugric language communities and researchers beyond the Iron Curtain during the Cold War. With this historical background in mind, the 13th CIFU in Vienna will focus on Russia's attack on Ukraine.

Questions about the current situation in Russia and Ukraine will be the focus of the program. According to the University of Vienna, the aim is to find out and exchange ideas on how the current political crisis and war in Ukraine are affecting researchers and scientific communication. The congress, whose significance thus extends beyond the scientific context, will explore the possibilities of scientific communication across global political barriers.

Congress organizer Johanna Laakso from the University of Vienna will discuss these and other questions with many international guests who have many years of experience in the field of research or cultural cooperation with Russian colleagues and institutions.

According to Laakso, individual researchers* in a small scientific discipline "have a big responsibility." A global political crisis like the current one also needs to be discussed openly in the scientific community, according to Laakso. "Many of the languages and cultures we work with are at risk, even more so in the current situation," Laakso said.

Johanna Laakso will discuss these important issues with international guests from the scientific community at a panel discussion at 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 22, in Lecture Hall 1 of the Finno-Ugrian Studies Department.

In addition to scientific discussion panels, there will also be public lectures at the congress. The highly topical research fields of Finno-Ugristics, for example, will be brought closer to the general public at a science rap on Tuesday, August 23, starting at 6:00 p.m. in the auditorium on campus.

More than 300 researchers from 19 countries are expected in Vienna - in addition, the congress will be organized in a hybrid form to allow online participation as well. In more than 250 plenary and section lectures, the scientists will address topics ranging from linguistics to literature and cultural studies.

According to the organizers, participants can expect interesting, even witty or bizarre facts and research questions - from languages without gender, the magic of dead languages and dialects, or the relationship between politics and the contents of our bookshelves.

13th International Finnougrist Congress  
August 21 to 26, 2022
#Panel discussion: "Science under the influence of politics"
Monday, August 22, 2022 - 6:00 p.m. - Lecture Hall 1, Department of Finno-Ugristics, Altes AKH, Hof 7 - admission free! 
#Science 2 Public Event: "We don't grow orchids - Finno-Ugristics total" 
Tuesday, August 23, 2022 - 6:00 p.m. - Aula am Campus, Altes AKH, Hof 1 -  admission free!
For more information: CIFU XIII SCHEDULE

University of Vienna