Coloniality of Indecent: Ukrainian Bawdy Folklore in the Modern Design of Sexuality

Folklore Lunch: Coloniality of Indecent: Ukrainian Bawdy Folklore in the Modern Design of Sexuality

04 April 2023

The Kule Folklore Centre was pleased to present their Folklore Lunch: Coloniality of Indecent: Ukrainian Bawdy Folklore in the Modern Design of Sexuality

Presented by Maria Mayerchyk, Humboldt Research Fellow at the University of Greifswald

April 19, 2023 | 12pm MDT | Kule Folklore Centre

Although 19th-century intellectuals and members of the middle class sought to preserve folklore in all its diversity and complexity, they tirelessly erased some folk texts that they deemed obscene and threatening to public morals. Such an approach to folklore is often considered to be influenced by Christian morality. However, we should not forget that the nineteenth century was marked by secularization and the decline of church influence.

If not the impact of Christianity, what made the modern national intelligentsia abandon this part of folk traditions? Drawing on a decolonial perspective in my presentation, I argue that the main discursive force influencing these processes was colonialism acting through one of its main domains of power – modern sexuality.

Dr. Maria Mayerchyk is an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the University of Greifswald, Germany. Dr. Mayerchyk teaches courses on queer, gender, feminism, Slavic folklore and Ukrainian culture in Germany, Canada, and Ukraine. She holds a Candidate of Sciences degree in History specializing in Ethnology. Dr. Mayerchyk authored/edited seven books in English and Ukrainian and is editor-in-chief of the refereed journal Feminist Critique: East European Journal of Feminist and Queer Studies. Her research interests include decolonial option, queer and feminist epistemologies, East European studies, diaspora studies, and critical folklore studies.

Photo provided by author.

A recording of this presentation will be available after the publishing of Dr. Maerchyk's book on the topic.

See the full poster here.


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