Circumpolar Archives, Folklore, and Ethnography (CAFE)

Circumpolar Archives, Folklore, and Ethnography (CAFE)

CAFE is a thematic network for the University of the Arctic which focuses upon how archival collections, ethnographic fieldwork, and the study of folklore enrich the representation of and communication across the circumpolar region and its people.

The network will place an emphasis on how the digitization of manuscripts, photographs, sound recordings, and material objects is improving access to collections and making it possible to share collections with host communities. We will specifically examine the best practices of digital sharing and the ethical questions that these technologies pose.

The network is centered around the existing folklore, photographic, and ethnographic collections held by its founding members and will seek to involve community organizations, indigenous research institutes, local artists and media producers, and new academic partners to create a forum for discussing the role of these archives in cultural revival as well as collaborating to create innovative ways for archival materials to reach wider audiences.



  • Polar Libraries Colloquy


  • University of Aberdeen
  • University of the Highlands and Islands


  • UIT The Arctic University of Norway

Faroe Islands

  • University of the Faroe Islands

Russian Federation

  • Northern (Arctic) Federal University
  • Northeastern Federal University


  • University of Lapland
  • Turku University
  • Helsinki University


  • KTH Royal Institute of Technology
  • Umeå University


  • University of Iceland

United States of America

  • Berkeley College
  • University of Alaska - Fairbanks

If you are interested in joining the network, please send a paragraph describing your interests in circumpolar archival research, folklore, or ethnography, your address, and your email and website to the network co-ordinators.

Contact Details

Network Meetings

Turku Network meeting - 6 May 2018

At our first network meeting we discussed making a formal application to the UArctic to become a thematic network. We also identified future conferences and meetings where we could meet. Our application to the UArctic


Santiago de Compostela Network Meeting - 16 April 2019

Our 2019 meeting involved seven members of the network and discussed future funding initiatives and a plan to start a field school.  Minutes of meeting



Stockholm UArctic Council Meeting - 19 September 2019

On 19 September our network was approved officially at the UArctic Council Meeting in Stockholm.




UArctic Assembly, Portland Maine - 2 June 2023

After a long hiatus due to the pandemic, we held our first executive meeting in Portland


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  • The terrestrial and spiritual imaginaries of Siberian entitlements of place

    Anderson, D. G.

    Anthropology of Siberia in the Making: Openings and closures from the 1840s to the present. Habeck, O., Vaté, V. (eds.). Lit Verlag

    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters

  • Transnationalism and Rituals of Commensiality

    Anderson, D. G.

    Academia Across the Borders. Melnikova, E., Vasilyeva, Z. (eds.). Verlag der Kulturstiftung Sibirien, pp. 17-20

    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters

  • Anti Anti-Polyphony and the Borders of Modern Russian Anthropology

    Arzyutov, D.

    Academia Across the Borders. Melnikova, E., Vasilyeva, Z. (eds.). Kulturstiftung Sibirien gGmbH, pp. 20-30, 11 pages

    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters

  • Pisʹma i proizvodstvo antropologicheskogo znanii͡a: Chast’ 1 (Letters and the Production of Anthropological Knowledge: Part 1)

    Arzyutov, D., Siragusa, L.

    Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, vol. 189, no. 5

    Contributions to Journals: Special Issues

  • Pisʹmo iz temnoty: retsentzia na knigu: Sergei Kan, ‘Lev Shternberg: ėtnolog, narodnik, borets za prava evreev’ (2023) (The Letter from the Darkness: Review of Sergei Kan’s book ‘Lev Shternebrg…’ (2023))

    Arzyutov, D.

    Antropologicheskii Forum, vol. 61

    Contributions to Journals: Reviews of Books, Films and Articles

  • Proxies and Partial Connections in an Anthropologist’s Archive

    Arzyutov, D., Anderson, D. G.

    British Journal for the History of Science

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • Res Publica Literaria Frant͡sa Boasa, ili kak postroitʹ transnat͡sionalʹnui͡u antropologii͡u s pomoshchʹi͡u pisem (Franz Boas’ Res Publica Literaria, or How to Build Transnational Anthropology with Letters)

    Arzyutov, D., Kan, S., Siragusa, L.

    Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, vol. 189, no. 5

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • Rien ne se perd: du développement durable dans les pratiques des communautés autochtones du Nord russe (Nothing Is Lost: Sustainable Development in the Practices of Indigenous Communities in the Russian North)

    Siragusa, L., Arzyutov, D.

    Slavica Occitania, vol. 58, pp. 301-324

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • When Siberian Indigenous Inscriptive Practices Meet Slavic and Eurasian Literature Studies

    Arzyutov, D., Siragusa, L.

    Inclusive Strategies and Critical Pedagogies for East European and Eurasian Languages. Rucker-Chang, S., Stauffer, R. (eds.). Academic Studies Press

    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters

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