Alessandro Testa, "Rituality and Social (Dis)Order: The Historical Anthropology of Popular Carnival in Europe" (Routledge, 2020)


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Rituality and Social (Dis)Order: The Historical Anthropology of Popular Carnival in Europe (Routledge, 2020) is the first comparative historical anthropology of popular European Carnival in the English language, with a focus on its symbolic, religious, and political dimensions and transformations throughout the centuries. It builds on a variety of theories of social change and social structures, questioning existing assumptions about what folklore is and how cultural gaps and differences take shape and reproduce through ritual forms of collective action. It also challenges recent interpretations about the performative and political dimension of European festive culture, especially in its carnivalesque declension. While presenting and exploring the most important features and characteristics of European pre-modern Carnival and discussing its origins and developments, Dr. Alessandro Testa offers fresh evidence and up-to-date analyses about its transversal and long-lasting significance in European societies.

Dr. Alessandro Testa is Assistant Professor in Anthropology at the Institute of Sociological Studies, Charles University, Prague.

Emily Ruth Allen (@emmyru91) is a PhD candidate in Musicology at Florida State University. She is currently working on a dissertation about parade musics in Mobile, Alabama’s Carnival celebrations.

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