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Wed, 14 Oct 2015 18:59:32 EDT by webmaster, 19561 views
The University of Texas at Austin
Cultural Studies paper by Tyeklar, Nora (all papers)
Szégyelld Magad Orbán!: The poetics of oratory in a performance of Romani Hungarian nation-building
On September 13, 2015 as part of a demonstration organized by the Együtt Party to protest the Hungarian government’s handling of the ongoing refugee crisis, Jenő Setét, a prominent Romani Hungarian activist, delivers the speech that is the focus of my ethnopoetic analysis. In this paper, I analyze the occasion of an ethnically marked man (a Romani activist in Hungary) delivering a speech through a marked channel (a political demonstration) via a marked discursive form (oratory) in a performance of Romani Hungarian nation-building composed through the poetics of oratory. Throughout his speech, Setét moves between directly addressing the audience in front of him, quoting politicians who are not present at the demonstration, and performs the sending of messages to the absent politicians whom he quotes. He uses metaphor, parallelisms, and quoted speech to create and break ties between various groups of people and welcomes his audience to respond. Setét is able to display solidarity with all Hungarians – Roma, non-Roma, Hungarians of the past, present, and future (refugees) and even with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán at several points – and show that they all belong to Hungary together because of how he poetically indexes the common ground they share. Rather than doing the work of nation-building by emphasizing a friend-enemy binary, but nevertheless pointing out difference along the way, Setét ultimately uses the delivery design of his speech to keep his audience motivated in working together with all Hungarians for a united Hungary and understanding difference as a resource for it.
Brief Professional Bio:
Nora Tyeklar is a Ph.D. student in linguistic anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin. In her work, she considers the forms of language as social action that take place in and through popular representations of refugees alongside refugees’ narratives as performances of remembered violence. That is, through an ethnopoetic approach to assessing refugee narratives, her research examines how such narratives are framed via individual biography and larger social and national discourses in the contexts of resettlement and removal. She has a chapter included in an edited volume entitled Refugee Resettlement in the United States: Language, Policy, Pedagogy published in 2015 by Multilingual Matters.