This article seeks to explore the Bakhtinian carnivalesque in relation to museums generally and to ethnographic museums in particular. The Bakhtinian carnivalesque is based on antihierarchicalism, laughter, embodiment, and temporality, and it has the potential to move museums away from a problematic association with heterotopia. Instead, the carnivalesque allows ethnographic museums to be recognized as active agents in the sociopolitical worlds around them, offers a lens through which to examine and move forward some current practices, and forces museums to reconsider their position and necessity. This article also reflects on the value of transdisciplinary approaches in museum studies, positioning literary theory in particular as a valuable analytical resource.
Rethinking the Ethnographic Museum
Sex, Gender, and Emotions among Polish Displaced Person in the Aftermath of World War II
This article investigates the experiences of Polish Displaced Persons (DPs) through the lens of sexuality, analyzing their perceptions of liberation and life in DP camps in Allied-occupied Germany and Austria (1945–1951). It draws on a wide array of sources, including archival material, memoirs, and letters. Employing Mikhail Bakhtin’s concepts of carnival and the carnivalesque, it argues that the dynamics of DPs’ sexual and romantic encounters, analyzed as emotional experiences, can be characterized as having a carnivalesque structure of oppression, eruption, and normalization. It demonstrates how the eruption of sexuality (including sexual violence) was connected to the wider problems Poles faced, including feelings of emasculation, war trauma, and the challenges of rebuilding a community in exile. Polish elites, acting mostly within a Catholic conservative register, boosted normalization by combatting perceived “immorality” and promoting family values. To this end, they cooperated with international organizations and the Allied military in an attempt to contain venereal disease, prostitution, and abortion. Many of these efforts focused on policing women’s bodies and regulating their sexuality, as a part of rebuilding the nation after the hecatomb of war.
The Edible Ballot Society and the Performance of Citizenship
sense of the carnivalesque. The Canadian government took these performances seriously. A number of the edible balloters were subsequently charged with crimes under the Canada Elections Act, according to which it is an offense to destroy a ballot. Ballots
The Complexity and Ambiguity of Carnival in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa
performances. Anxious about the fact that the Africans and creoles did not conform to the images and roles that were intended for them, colonial rulers attempted to suppress carnivalesque activities as a subversive form of mimesis. As a result, the former were
Counter-Sporting Victorian Reviving the Carnivalesque
In much of his work, H. G. Wells consciously criticises the conservativeness of contemporary sports such as cricket and emphasises cycling as a recreational sport which contributes to the democratisation of social class and gender. This stance is apparent in Wells's first social novel, The Wheels of Chance (1896) which captures the fin-de-siècle passion for cycling but also its social impact. For Wells, Victorian team/spectacle sports such as rugby, football, horseracing, and boxing are overtly competitive, promoting gentlemen's amateur sportsmanship and masculinity. This essay argues that The Wheels of Chance, by featuring recreational cycling as the main motif and casting an unfit draper as the protagonist, is an indirect criticism of gentlemen's sporting activities. It creates a space of amusement where strict rules are shunned in favour of casual pastime, generating carnivalesque games and performances in the Bakhtinian sense. It explores the author's will to change the social order through the carnivalesque, in the ambivalent depiction of Mr Hoopdriver's bi-cycling as play.
While religious celebrations during the Renaissance served to reaffirm society's hegemony, the carnival was a means of freeing oneself from social norms, hierarchy and privileges. As it questions hegemony, the carnival sometimes leads to changes. Picaresque literature emerged in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spain. In its early stages, the picaresque was a strongly satirical and ironic 'countergenre' to mystic literature and romance genres. Like the carnivalesque, picaresque literature questions the ruling classes.2 Tintin is mostly studied either in terms of its ideological commitment or in terms of its fidelity to stylistic features. The aim of this paper differs from such concerns: it is to consider Tintin et les Picaros as a satire of politics. This paper explores the constant pairing of politics and carnival in Tintin et les Picaros, as well as the representation of both through amalgams and imports. Using Bakhtin's theory, the picaresque and Latin American history, this paper addresses the central question: how are politics and carnival represented in Tintin et les Picaros and to what extent is the album picaresque in this respect?
–6). This is a politics that rejects organisation, leadership, and the like in favour of the organic, unrestrained, wild, and sometimes carnivalesque behavior of the crowd event. Yet, as Dean states, ‘dominant power always allows for the carnivalesque’ (p
Benjamin Abrams and Giovanni A. Travaglino
carnivalesque, humorous social protest, in which an anarchist collective prepared elaborate meals from their ballot papers and publicly ate them in order to reframe the Canadian state as an ongoing political project with pretensions to social control. Hayes
European Travel Writers and the Making of a Genre—Comment
Steven D. Spalding
history, starting with Jean de Léry in 1578. Léry’s account describes a physically rather rough experience for the first-time equator crosser. Here Bies passes up the opportunity to explore this ritual’s resonance with carnivalesque rituals in Europe from
Michael Radford’s The Merchant of Venice
Maria-Clara Versiani Galery
. Merchant exhibits various characteristics of the carnivalesque type of inversions that challenge authority and socially imposed norms. 15 Radford’s film explores the Venetian carnival at the background of the play in scenes where we see revellers wearing