Could We Critically Redeem Turbo-folk and Should We Even Try?

Academic | Academic: Lecture | Arts: Music
Event Location: 
Columbia University Morningside Campus International Affairs Building, Room 1219
Date from: 
2015-03-04 18:00:00
Date to: 
2015-03-04 20:00:00

Please join us for a lecture on a frankensteinian music genre combining rural folk ballads with electro-beat, turbo-folk became extremely popular in 1990s Serbia and is on its way to becoming a global Balkan brand.

In his lecture, Vlad Beronja focuses on the highly stylized performance of class, gender, and locality in select trubo-folk music videos that had gone viral immediately upon their release on the web. At the risk of overt didacticism the lecture will be guided by the following question: is turbo-folk a critically redeemable genre or is it destined to remain an ideological monstrosity that it was in the 1990s Serbia? Is it possible to decouple turbo-folk from ethnic nationalism, the new mafia elite, and the patriarchal norms that propped the genre up in the first place? Can the genre accommodate alternative communities and empower marginalized subjectssuch as women, queers, and ethnic minoritiesthrough various forms of (dis)identifications?

Vlad Beronja is a Visiting Lecturer in Slavic Languages & Literatures from the University of Michigan.

The event is sponsored by the Harriman Institute and East Central European Center.

For further information regarding this event, please contact Filip Tucek by sending email to or by calling 2128544618.
Contact Name: 
Filip Tucek
Contact Phone: 
Event Contact Email:
Event Date: 
Wednesday, March 4, 2015 - 18:00 to 20:00