Petr Janeček

Ethnologist and folklorist, deputy director of the Institute of Ethnology, Faculty of Arts, Charles University, is mainly engaged in comparative and contextual research of contemporary and modern narrative folklore (such as rumours, urban legends, anecdotes) and the history of ethnological and anthropological sciences, especially comparative folklore studies and European ethnology.

He is the author of a four-volume annotated collection of Czech urban legends and rumours, The Black Ambulance (2006; 2007; 2008; 2020), more than twenty scholarly studies, a large number of popular science texts and a monograph, The Myth of the Spring Man. An Urban Legend Between Folklore and Popular Culture (2017), which will be published in English translation by the American publisher Lexington Books (2021).

As for conspiracy theories, he focuses primarily on their content, form, and genetic connections to anthropologically universal folkloric genres such as rumor, legend, and myth. In researching them, he focuses on these connections in terms of their synergistic relationships with each other at the level of both text and context; not leaving aside their social and cultural functions, which are often very similar for both of these ephemeral, amorphous and marginal elements of expressive culture.

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