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Modernity, Postcolonialism, and Theatrical Form in Uzbekistan


In this article Laura Adams examines cultural change in Uzbekistan through the evolution of European-style theater during the twentieth century. The adoption of this theatrical form was part of a broader project of cultural modernization undertaken first by the Jadids and then by the Soviets. It was also an example of a colonial hierarchy of cultures, which deemed European forms to be more advanced than indigenous ones. In spite of a pervasive discourse about the renewal of national culture, however, European-style theater continues to be strongly supported in Uzbekistan today. Adams argues that both modernization and colonialism contributed to an internationalist orientation among Uzbekistan's cultural elites. This orientation makes an investment in indigenous cultural forms less desirable, since they are only intelligible on a local level. European-style theater, however, enhances the value of national culture both by marking its modernity and by communicating national content in an internationally understood and valued medium.

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Slavic Review
  • ISSN: 0037-6779
  • EISSN: 2325-7784
  • URL: /core/journals/slavic-review
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