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Theses Doctoral

Wild Music: Ideologies of Exoticism in Two Ukrainian Borderlands

Sonevytsky, Maria Rostyslava

This dissertation presents case studies of two distinct Ukrainian borderland groups: the Crimean Tatars of Crimea, and the Hutsuls of the Carpathian Mountains – two human collectivities that are both, today, Ukrainian by citizenship. Both of these groups also embody dominant stereotypes of otherness in Ukraine – Hutsuls as the ideal Herderian romantic folk, and Crimean Tatars as the menacing, mysterious, “oriental” other. This dissertation traces how historical stereotypes of both of these groups as “wild” have shaped and defined their contemporary expressive cultures, specifically addressing how stereotypes of wildness—or hegemonic conceptions of “otherness”—manifest on the ground within the communities who bear the stigma of such entrenched histories of exoticism. This ethnographic project focuses on music as a medium for challenging and reinforcing ideologies of exoticism, demonstrating how insiders and outsiders in both cases draw upon indigenous musical tropes to express or subvert stereotypes of “wildness.” By analyzing how music energizes social and political agendas for borderland groups such as the Hutsuls and Crimean Tatars, this project emphasizes the copresence of alternate subalterities within the nation-state, demonstrating the degrees to which a post-socialist, diverse and fractured state such as Ukraine is constructed through imaginings of its internal, peripheral Others.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Fox, Aaron Andrew
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
January 27, 2012