Home    Number 4, 2017

A Master of Historical Reenactment on Stage and in Real Life

[Master istoricheskoi rekonstruktsii na stsene i v zhizni]

Type of publication: Research Article

Submitted: 18.02.2016

Accepted: 04.08.2016

About author(s)

Sviatoslav Poliakov | http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0652-6364 | wek.spb@gmail.com | National Research University Higher School of Economics (55/2 Sedova Street, St. Petersburg, 193171, Russia)


stage, historical reenactment, historical reconstruction, post-subcultural approach, profession, craft


Drawn on ten unstructured biographical interviews, the article adopts the post-subcultural approach to examine the professionalization of crafts in the context of mediaeval historical reenactments. The historical reenactment offers its participants a chance of acquiring an extraordinary transgressive experience through dressing up and practices of aestheticized violence. Nowadays, transgression is problematized and marginalized as deviant behavior. To overcome the split between the stage and real life, the actors work towards normalizing their participation in the historical reenactment and making it unproblematic and consistent with legitimate forms of socialization. Among the possible directions of normalization in the framework of historical reenactment, there is the professionalization of crafts whereby economic practices of subsistence turn into a profession, while craftsmen turn into masters.


Poliakov, S.I. 2017. Master istoricheskoi rekonstruktsii na stsene i v zhizni [A Master of Historical Reenactment on Stage and in Real Life]. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 4: 174-189

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