Staged Otherness

Ethnic Shows in Central and Eastern Europe, 1850–1939
ISBN: 
978-963-386-439-5
cloth
$105.00 / €88.00 / £75.00
Publication date: 
forthcoming
460 pages

The cultural phenomenon of exhibiting non-European people in front of the European audiences in the 19th and 20th century was concentrated in the metropolises in the western part of the continent. Nevertheless, traveling ethnic troupes and temporary exhibitions of non-European humans took place also in territories located to the east of the Oder river and Austria. The contributors to this edited volume present practices of ethnographic shows in Russia, Poland, Czechia, Slovenia, Hungary, Germany, Romania, and Austria and discuss the reactions of local audiences. The essays offer critical arguments to rethink narratives of cultural encounters in the context of ethnic shows. By demonstrating the many ways in which the western models and customs were reshaped, developed, and contested in Central and Eastern European contexts, the authors argue that the dominant way of characterizing these performances as “human zoos” is too narrow. 

The contributors had to tackle the difficult task of finding traces other than faint copies of official press releases by the tour organizers. The original source material was drawn from local archives, museums, and newspapers of the discussed period. A unique feature of the volume is the rich amount of images that complement every single case study of ethnic shows.

 

Acknowledgments

1. Dominika Czarnecka and Dagnosław Demski
INTRODUCTION: FROM WESTERN TO PERIPHERAL VOICES

PART ONE
European Versus Indigenous Agency

2. Hilke Thode-Arora
THE HAGENBECK ETHNIC SHOWS: RECRUITMENT, ORGANIZATION, AND ACADEMIC AND POPULAR RESPONSE

3. Bodhari Warsame
A BRIEF HISTORY OF STAGING SOMALI ETHNOGRAPHIC PERFORMING TROUPES IN EUROPE (1885–1930)

4. Markéta Křížová
“WILD CHAMACOCO” AND THE CZECHS: THE DOUBLE-EDGED ETHNOGRAPHIC SHOW OF VOJTĚCH FRIČ, 1908–9

5. Evgeny Savitsky
WHY HIDDEN EARS MATTER? ON KALINTSOV’S SAMOYED EXHIBITION IN VIENNA, 1882

PART TWO
Performing the Ethnographic Other

6. Dagnosław Demski
(ETHNO-)DRAMA OF EXOTICISM. ETHNIC SHOWS AS A MEDIUM

7. Dominika Czarnecka
HOW DO THESE “EXOTIC” BODIES MOVE? ETHNOGRAPHIC SHOWS AND CONSTRUCTING OTHERNESS IN THE POLISH-LANGUAGE PRESS, 1880–1914

8. Kamila Baraniecka-Olszewska
THE WORLD OF CREATION: POLISH- AND GERMAN-LANGUAGE PRESS ACCOUNTS OF ETHNOGRAPHIC SHOWS IN CIRCUS PERFORMANCES IN UPPER SILESIA DURING THE FIRST DECADES OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

PART THREE
Across Local Contexts

9. Andreja Mesarič 
RACIALIZED PERFORMANCE AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF SLOVENE WHITENESS: ETHNOGRAPHIC SHOWS AND CIRCUS ACTS ON THE HABSBURG PERIPHERY, 1880–1914

10. Maria Leskinen
A CENTURY OF ELISION? ETHNIC SHOWS IN SAINT PETERSBURG AND MOSCOW, 1879–1914

11. Izabela Kopania
“WHEN WINTER ARRIVES, THE SINHALESE GO BACK TO CEYLON AND THEIR ELEPHANTS GO TO HAMBURG.” HAGENBECK’S SINHALESE CARAVANS AND ETHNOGRAPHIC IMAGERY IN THE POLISH PRESS DURING THE PARTITION ERA

12. Timea Barabas
THE CALL OF THE WILD: A SOCIOLOGICAL SKETCH OF BUFFALO BILL’S WILD WEST IN BANAT AND TRANSYLVANIA

13. István Sántha
“STAGED OTHERNESS” IN SAINT PETERSBURG

Epilogue

List of Contributors

Index