Place, Placism, and Belief: Re-Centering Periphery in Ukraine Via Supernatural Apparitions

Mariya Lesiv (Memorial University of Newfoundland)

Apparitions of the Mother of God were recurrently reported in pre-war Ukrainian villages. Village residents are often the victims of placism, defined as “discrimination against people based on where they live” (Jimerson 2005, 211). On the hierarchical scale of settlements, villages occupy the most marginalized position. The apparitions were powerful vehicles for creating the charisma of place by symbolically turning peripheral villages into spiritual centres. This paper discusses comparative links as a distinct pattern in the charisma-building processes. Through material culture and related narratives, these new sites were often symbolically linked to prominent established centers worldwide.

Part of 01-07 Pilgrimage and Place, Thursday, October 13, 8:00 am–10:00 am