A new fashion : Polka wave in Europe 1844-1860s
Title: A new fashion : Polka wave in Europe 1844-1860s
Author: AUGUSTYNOWICZ, Ewa Anna
Citation: Florence : European University Institute, 2016
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of History and Civilization
This is a thesis about the polka, a dance of women and feminity, love, passion, young and old, peasants, bourgeoisie and aristocrats. And, as I will explain and study in the following pages, it is about one of the spectres haunting Europe in the nineteenth century. A few years ago a short story called "Polkamania" by Joachim H. Stocqueler fell into my hands. This little farce, written in 1844, tells the story of Miss Woolgar, a young lady, who is dying to learn the polka. Then opportunely, a medical student arrives. He tricks the father into thinking that the polka is a new type of medicine that can cure the young lady of ennui. The historian’s curiosity encouraged me to rummage among some dance books and internet websites to find out what was so special about this dance, which Poles usually dance at wedding parties and which contemporary American immigrants consider a part of their cultural and national heritage, to make it a theme of this short story. My curiosity derived not only from the fact that I am Polish but also because, as a musician, I always considered the polka a rather boring, traditional, peasant dance. My short investigation convinced me that it was time to change my mind about this dance form.
LC Subject Heading: Polka (Dance) -- History -- Europe; Polka (Dance) -- Social aspects -- Europe; Folk Dancing -- Europe -- History -- 19th century; Folk Dancing -- Europe -- Social aspects -- Europe
Defence date: 28 June 2016; Examining Board: Professor Antonella Romano, Centre Alexandre-Koyré (Supervisor); Professor Pavel Kolar, European University Institute; Professor Michael Werner, Centre Georg Simmel; Professor Markian Prokopovych, Central European University.
Type of Access: embargoedAccess