Section of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology

Ethnology is the science that studies human life in society and explains how culture develops and functions in terms of ways of life, religious, economic and political phenomena, and cultural traditions. Topics of ethnological research include the phenomena of folklore as an artistic creation, the link between language and culture, ethnic identity, and gender issues. From a historical perspective, it examines elements of traditional material culture and their contemporary functions within cultural heritage. The ethnologist's work is based primarily on field research, where he or she uses mainly participant observation and ethnographic interview methods. The use of ethnological knowledge and methods is multifaceted: since ethnology is an empirical science, it provides information useful for understanding human behaviour in specific cultural and historical conditions. It can be used by social institutions, but also by individuals, contributing to the improvement of people's lives in society.

The Faculty of Arts of Comenius University in Bratislava was the first faculty in Czechoslovak Republic where the lectures on ethnography were given since 1921. This branch of study was established by the professor of general ethnography Karel Chotek. From 1922 he led “The Seminar of General Ethnography”. Professor Chotek read lectures at the Philosophical Faculty until 1932. After he left the University, ethnography as an academic subject ceased to be taught at the faculty. The lectures were renewed in the period 1936 - 1939 within lectures on history. The lectures on ethnography, and especially folklore studies, were given within Slavic studies by professor Peter Grigorievič Bogatyrev. Slavic studies. In the years 1940 - 1943 Professor Bruno Schier was giving ethnographic lectures. Then the Ethnographic Seminar ceased to exist. It was renewed in 1947 under the supervision of Professors Andrej Melicherčík and Rudolf Bednárik. The branch of ethnography was gradually incorporated into the Department of general history and archeology, later into the Department of archeology, art history, ethnography and folklore. In 1969 an independent Department of ethnography and folklore was founded by professor Ján Podolák who was its head until 1970. The heads of the department in the following years were: 1970 - 1990 Ján Michálek, 1990 - 1997 Ľubica Droppová, 1997 - 2003 Milan Leščák, 2003-2015 Marta Botiková, 2015-2020 Pavol Tišliar and since 2021 Tatiana Bužeková . In 1993 the department was renamed the Department of Ethnology and in 2003 the Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, since 2014 Department of Ethnology and Museology.