One of the main goals of the Faculty of Arts is to “Support groundbreaking research and creative work.” The Kule Folklore Centre is a powerful asset for achieving that goal. It has a diverse research profile, and projects are initiated by faculty, graduate students, visiting researchers, and community members.
Because they are permanent and specific, endowed research units provide the luxury of investing into long-term projects. The KuFC has particularly great potential to contribute important new ideas about Ukrainian and Ukrainian Canadian culture. More broadly, there is much to share about official and unofficial expressive culture, diaspora/minority cultures, ethnographic methodology, as well as on cultural hybridity and adaptation, cultural understanding and tolerance.
The KuFC is the foremost academic institution in North America dedicated to researching Ukrainian folklore and ethnography. The Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archives is a central repository for KuFC research. Canadian folklore is a second, overlapping research focus, growing in importance for the centre. The KuFC is the only folklore centre in Western Canada.
The University of Alberta has recognized the significance of community engagement increasingly in the past several years, and the Kule Folklore Centre is a leader in this perspective and is actively involved in the community.
The KuFC has initiated a number of centre-based projects over the years involving multiple researchers among and beyond our resident scholars. Endowments provide excellent leverage for funding applications.
The KuFC created and travelled nationally with several exhibits, which were showcased in multiple locations from coast to coast including the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 that hosted our Journey to Canada exhibit.
KuFC research projects are diverse in form: monographs, edited books of collected articles, articles, research reports, reviews, films, websites, exhibits, public presentations and more. A two-pronged focus on academic and semi-academic presentation styles has great strategic value for this small discipline with a large community base of support. This is a positive strategy for raising public awareness, recruitment, engaging the general public with the University of Alberta, and uplifting the whole people.