Imagined, remembered, gendered

Narratives of cosy other in the media representations of female folk singers

  • Noora Karjalainen Jyväskylän yliopisto


This article examines the narratives of cosy other in the media representations of folk singers Julie Fowlis, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, Emily Portman, and Kate Rusby. I argue that the concept of cosy otherness derives from that of the internal other, but unlike it and the conventional post-colonial other, the cosy other is not ominous, competing, and negative, but something charming and unthreateningly different with singular cultural traits. 

Here, the narratives of cosy other combine the narratives of origins, authenticity, and performance, which in turn are connected in the active processes of remembering and premediation, and construct the four singers as nostalgic, authentic, and feminine in the media. Thus, the concept of the cosy other is also built on remembering, the process of premediation within it, and cultural memory with its individual and collective levels affecting each other and working together in the process.

The aim of the study is to examine how the female folk singers are constructed as the cosy other in the media. The article endeavours to define the concept, to show how the narrative of cosy other is shaped, and to find out how cultural memory, remembering, and premediation work in this construction process. The theoretical framework of the paper is based on the concept of centre versus periphery (Chapman 1994), strategies of assimilation and projection in diminishing the threat of the other (Middleton 2000), discussions about the internal other (Bohlman 2000; O’Flynn 2014; Gelbart 2007), and studies on the concept of cultural memory (Erll 2009, 2011; Keightley & Pickering 2012).

Karjalainen, N. (2018). Imagined, remembered, gendered. Etnomusikologian Vuosikirja, 30, 66–91.