Current intergovernmental initiatives to protect traditional culture rely on a problematic conception of “community” as its creator/owner. Accounts of distributed invention in open-source software suggest that the network model provides a better description of folk process. But the celebrated “flexible network” of contemporary collective creativity is historically specific. Using the example of festival in Catalonia, I show that those forms we call traditional emerge from inflexible networks shaped by economic scarcity, political constraint, and an abundance of time: “hardscrabble academies.” As traditions move into liberal capitalist settings, they undergo certain characteristic transformations, experiencing contradictory pressures towards dispersal and proliferation, on
the one hand, and codification under particular regimes of circulation, on the other.
heritage, distributed invention, festival, network, traditional creativity
How to Cite
Noyes, D., (2009) “HARDSCRABBLE ACADEMIES”, Ethnologia Europaea 39(2), 41-53. doi: https://doi.org/10.16995/ee.1053
- This article was previously published by Museum Tusculanum Press.