Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Sounding Sápmi in Multimedia: Gender, Politics, and Indigenous Solidarity in Contemporary Sámi Music
by Fuller, Kelsey A., Ph.D., University of Colorado at Boulder, 2020, 289; 28155068
Abstract (Summary)

The Sámi are Indigenous peoples of northern Fenno-Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Finland, and the Kola Peninsula of Russia). While today the political and cultural initiatives of the Sámi function both nationally and internationally, the Sámi are, and have always been, a group of peoples with their own internal diversity of language, traditions, and lifeways. Similarly to many other Indigenous groups around the world, colonization and exploitation have affected the Sámi, and their homeland Sápmi, since the seventeenth century. Popular genres of music have since the mid-twentieth century been outlets for protesting the unfair treatment of the Sámi, and remain vibrant modes of expression today, used to voice challenges against institutionalized colonialism and the stereotypes and expectations of Indigeneity.

Previous scholars in musicology and anthropology have focused their research mostly on the iconic Sámi vocal tradition of joik or reindeer husbandry. However, this dissertation is concerned with how contemporary popular music and multimedia productions by and about Sámi artists, whether they include these explicit ethnic markers or not, engage in forms of decolonial activism or protest, particularly in relation to Sámi conceptions of intersectional ethnicity and gender. Sámi popular music now exists in a variety of multimedia forms, such as music videos, social media content and discourses, feature films, and multimodal activist collaborations with other Indigenous musicians and activists around the world. In these venues, the artists challenge ethnic and gendered assumptions, practice global Indigenous networking and solidarity, and contribute to goals expressed by the Sámi Parliaments such as language and cultural revitalization, environmental protection, and suicide prevention. Online and digital networks created by Indigenous activists often lead to collaborations in the corporeal world as well, where musicians and other artists collaborate as parts of larger projects and festivals. This dissertation examines the overlaying structures and issues, as well as several case studies, of each of these types of multimedia expressions, and provides insight into the topics, aesthetics, and political causes that are relevant to Sámi artists making music in twenty-first century Fenno-Scandinavia.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Teitelbaum, Benjamin R.
Commitee: Okigbo, Austin C., Medak-Saltzman, Danika F., Weber, Beverly M., Caballero, Carlo
School: University of Colorado at Boulder
Department: Music
School Location: United States -- Colorado
Source: DAI-A 82/6(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Music history, Scandinavian Studies, Gender studies, Ethnic studies, Native American studies, Web Studies, Multimedia Communications, Political science
Keywords: Multimedia, Music and activism, Popular music, Sami, Indigenous musicians, Cultural initatives, Music videos, Social media content, Feature films, Multimodal activist, Twenty-first century Fenno-Scandinavia
Publication Number: 28155068
ISBN: 9798557023047
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