Uprooted Tradition: Indecency, Coloniality, and Ukrainian Bawdy Folklore

Maria Mayerchyk (University of Greifswald)

While collecting various folklore genres, 19th-century intelligentsia and the middle class tried to uproot folklore texts, which they perceived as indecent and threatening morals. This eradication of the bawdy folklore is most often explained by the legacy of Christianity. However, it should not be forgotten that folklore studies emerged in times of secularization. In the presentation, I ask: If it is not religion, what pushed the Ukrainian elites (and the middle classes all over the globe) to eliminate a considerable part of their cultural heritage? Drawing on the decolonial perspective, I seek to show that the decisive force making folklorists eliminate indecent folklore was coloniality.

Part of 06-02 Decolonizing Cultural Heritage, Friday, November 03, 2:30 pm–4:30 pm