Staged Otherness

Ethnic Shows in Central and Eastern Europe, 1850–1939
ISBN: 
978-963-386-439-5
cloth
Publication date: 
forthcoming

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.

 

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


PART ONE
European Versus Indigenous Agency


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

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

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

PART TWO
Science, Ideology, Entertainment: Struggle for Control of Reality
4. István Sántha
“STAGED OTHERNESS” IN SAINT PETERSBURG


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

PART THREE
Performing 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

PART FOUR
Across Local Contexts
8. Andreja Mesarič and Jana Milovanović
ENCOUNTERS WITH RACIALIZED OTHERNESS ON THE HABSBURG PERIPHERY: SLOVENE- AND GERMAN-LANGUAGE NEWSPAPER REPORTING ON ETHNOGRAPHIC SHOWS BETWEEN 1880 AND 1914

9. Maria Leskinen
A CENTURY OF ELISION? ETHNIC SHOWS IN SAINT PETERSBURG AND MOSCOW (1879–1914)

10. 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 TIME OF THE RUSSIAN PARTITION OF POLISH TERRITORIES

PART FIVE
Toward Professionalized Illusion
11. Timea Barabas
THE CALL OF THE WILD: A SOCIOLOGICAL SKETCH OF BUFFALO BILL’S WILD WEST IN BANAT AND TRANSYLVANIA

12. 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