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Title: Borealism: folkloristic perspectives on transnational performances and the exoticism of the North
Authors: Schram, Kristinn Helgi Magnusson
Supervisor(s): West, Gary
Shaw, John
Gunnell, Terry
Issue Date: 22-Nov-2011
Publisher: The University of Edinburgh
Abstract: This thesis examines the exotic performances and representations of Icelanders and 'the North' (borealism) in both contemporary mediums and daily life focusing on their practice within intricate power-relations and transnational folkloric encounters. It sets forth theory in understanding the dynamics, agency and ironies involved with performing one's identity and folklore and a corresponding methodology of fieldwork and audio-visual documentation. It looks at the representation of the North through the produced and widespread images of Icelanders. It sheds light on the dynamics behind these representations and the coalescence of personal experience; everyday cultural expression; modes of commodification; and folkloric contexts from which many of these images emerge. The primary case study is an ethnography of Icelandic expatriates in Europe and North America that explores the roles of identity and folk culture in transcultural performances. In approaching the questions of differentiation and the folklore of dislocation everyday practices such as oral narrative and food traditions are studied as an arena of the negotiation and performance of identity. Interlinking theoretical and methodological concerns the thesis brings to bear how expressive culture and performance may corrode the strategies of boundary making and marginalisation re-enforced by exotic imagery by tactical re-appropriation. Finally the thesis explores the concept of ironic, as opposed to 'authentic', identities.
Keywords: performance
oral narrative
visual culture
Appears in Collections:Literatures, Languages, and Cultures PhD thesis collection

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