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Announcements & SRS News

 

The 2018 SRS Board election

The 2018 SRS Board election is open to members for voting between 1 April and 15 April 2018. This election is for members of the Board Class of 2022. There are five candidates and we need to fill four positions. The Society is committed to membership participation in governance and to diversity in leadership.

You can vote by clicking on this link.

 

Marina Cap-Bun, Ovidius University, Constanţa, Romania

Dr. Marina Cap-Bun is professor of literature at Ovidius University in Constanţa, Romania, where she teaches ‘Nineteenth-Century Romanian Literature’, ‘Romanian Culture and Civilization’, and ‘Romanian and World Theatre’. She is also the director of the Center for Research and Professional Development ‘Romanian Studies in International Context’ (founded in 2011). She has taught comparative literature and literary theory at the University of Bucharest, and summer courses in Romanian Language and Literature at SWEESEL, Indiana University, Bloomington (2009, 2011, 2012). During the academic year 2001-2002 she was a Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of Washington, Seattle, where she taught ‘Romanian Language and Civilization’ and ‘The Fantastic and the Absurd in World Literature’; as well as working as a Guest Lecturer at Indiana University. She has also lectured at Columbia University, NY, and Università di Pisa. She has authored a number of books: Mirrors within Mirrors: A Study on I.L. Caragiale’s Works (1998); Between the Absurd and the Fantastic: Voyages in the Mirage Waters (2001); Critical Essays (2003); The Great Classics of Romanian Literature (2003) Criss-Cross: Essays in Romanian and Comparative Literature (Munich, 2004; 2006), Junimea (2007), Romanian Literature under the Sign of Modernity (2009, 2014) and many other studies and articles in Romanian and international publications. In 2007-2008 she headed a National University Research Council project on ‘Romanian Studies around the World’, which produced two volumes of collected essays and a web page. She currently serves as a member of the 2018 SRS Graduate Student Essay Committee.

Personal Statement

I strongly believe in the international status of Romanian Studies and I am very pleased that the SRS is determined to become a worldwide academic organization. In this context, having another board member from Romania might bring value to the organization, facilitating joint projects and academic events, student exchanges, and new individual and institutional memberships. Since 2001 I have been actively engaged in the field of Romanian Studies through teaching and research projects, and I have participated in a great number of international conferences dedicated to Romanian Studies, including the SRS congresses in 2001, 2007, and 2015 (I missed the 2012 one as I was teaching Romanian in Bloomington), and many others in various locations (Bloomington 2007, Rome 2007, Vienna 2011, Pisa 2013 etc.). All these activities and the books I edited on Romanian Studies around the world (enthusiastically saluted by Professor Paul Michelson among others) made me aware of the challenges and perspectives of the field, so in 2011, I established The Center for Research and Professional Development “Romanian Studies in International Context” (STUR), which has recently resulted in an institutional partnership between Ovidius University and the SRS. STUR’s aim is to promote all aspects of Romanian, but also to expand interdisciplinary approaches in the field as well as annual conferences that bring together international scholars. As a board member of SRS, I could use my expertise and my connections to promote the Society’s generous goals, and I would be honored to serve.

 

Cătălina Florina Florescu, Pace University, New York, USA

Catalina Florina Florescu earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Bucharest, Romanian Literature (major), American Literature (minor); she holds a Master’s Degree and a PhD in Comparative Literature from Purdue U (specializations: Comparative Theatre & Medical Humanities). She teaches in NYC at Pace U courses on literature, cultural studies, cinema, and writing. She is also an author whose books are in permanent libraries worldwide as well as at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.: Transacting Sites of the Liminal Bodily Spaces (literary criticism; medical humanities); Disjointed Perspectives on Motherhood (mothers in literature & motion picture; feminist criticism); Inventing Me/Exerciţii de retrăit (memoir). Her last book, Transnational Narratives in Englishes of Exile (cultural and literary criticism; immigration; Englishes and plurality; diversity & diaspora studies), was exhibited at the MLA convention in NYC and it would be followed by a book launch at the U of Chicago. 2017 also marked her debut in poetry with a volume titled, The Night I Burned My Origami Skin, from which she is scheduled to read at this year AWP’s annual convention in Tampa. Her next goal is to see her plays performed both here and in Romania. Mia (drama); The After-Tastes of Life (farce); and Suicidal Dog and Laika (political parable). The Romanian version of the plays will be published in 2018 by the publishing house Tracus Arte based in Bucharest. The English version, by PalmArtPress, Berlin. With Mia, Dr. Florescu had a reading at the Romanian Cultural Institute in NYC and she was also a guest speaker at Harvard University. She is currently working on a volume of short stories titled Not/Yet.

Personal Statement

I would like to promote the Romanian language and culture professionally and academically, with a specific focus on the Romanian-US relationship and possible future cultural exchanges. I would also want to seek ways to make the otherwise vast but fairly unknown Romanian body of literature more visible internationally, so that students and faculty alike could use it for their respective courses. Similarly, this could be applied to Romanian theatre, the arts, and cinema.

 

James Kapaló, University College Cork, Ireland

I have an MA from the School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies and a PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies. My principal research area is ethno-religious minorities and minority religions in Central and Eastern Europe. My PhD, which was published as a monograph in 2011 by Brill, is an ethnographic study of folk religion and identity amongst the Gagauz, Turkish-speaking Christians in Moldova. I am currently working on a monograph based on historical and ethnographic research on Inochentism, a new religious movement in Moldova and Romania (Routledge 2018). From September 2016 I am Principal Investigator of the European Research Council Project Creative Agency and Religious Minorities: Hidden Galleries in the Secret Police Archives in Central and Eastern Europe (Hidden Galleries), a four-year project that explores the visual and material presence of religious minorities in the secret police archives in Hungary, Romania and the Republic of Moldova.

Personal Statement

As a member of the SRS board I would like to contribute to broadening the disciplinary reach of the society. The society, in my view, has been extremely successful in fostering strong and sustainable academic links between Romania and academics in the US and Europe and I would like to contribute to this by encouraging a stronger presence of European study of religions scholars as well as anthropologists. The society can also play a role in supporting the development of these disciplines in Romania through engaging Romanian academic institutions in debates regarding the development of innovative academic programs of international quality. Project writing and grant applications are becoming increasingly important for scholars and in the European context I feel that the SRS could play a role in encouraging and supporting Romanian and Moldovan applicants for major European grants. Finally, I would also use my place on the board to encourage a greater presence at SRS conferences of scholars working on Romania’s and Moldova’s minorities.

 

Marius Wamsiedel, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, Suzhou, China

A sociologist by training and vocation, I am currently a Lecturer in the Department of Public Health at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University in Suzhou, China. My educational background includes degrees in Sociology from the University of Arizona (BA 2009, magna cum laude, with a minor in Chinese Studies), University of Bucharest (MA, 2011), and the University of Hong Kong (PhD, 2016). My doctoral research project focused on the social categorization of patients at the emergency departments (EDs) of Romanian hospitals. The papers I have published explored the handling of ‘social cases’ at the triage of EDs, informal practices, and the interactional production of social exclusion. Since 2011, I have been working with Romani CRISS, a leading NGO in Bucharest, on issues related to the Romani population. I authored reports on health mediation, the intergenerational reproduction of ethnic inequality in education, and the access of Roma to healthcare services.

Personal Statement

I am genuinely committed to the development of the Society for Romanian Studies (SRS), which is an important platform for the exchange of ideas and experiences among researchers interested in the Romanian and Moldovan societies. My involvement with SRS goes back to 2015, when I co-organized (with Sabina Stan) a panel on health in post-socialist societies. At this year’s conference, I am the convener of two sessions on hospital ethnography. As a member of the executive board, I intend to work on increasing the membership of scholars affiliated with universities and research centers in Asia; organize smaller scale annual events (mini-conferences, workshops, symposia); develop the communication within the association; and increase the public visibility of SRS in Romania and Moldova. I believe that my enthusiasm, experience in academia and civil society, and international education and employment are strong reasons in support of my candidature.

 

Rodica Zaharia, Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Romania

Dr. Rodica Milena Zaharia is a Professor at Academia de Studii Economice din Bucureşti (known as the Bucharest University of Economic Studies). In 1999 she earned her PhD degree from the Bucharest University of Economic Studies with a thesis on the role of the industrial sector in Romania’s development. Zaharia’s research interests include topics such as corporate social responsibility, higher education development, economic development, migration, and European Union studies, all with a focus on Romania. Throughout her career, Zaharia has had a keen interest in Romanian Studies as a field of academic inquiry, establishing strong relations with other researchers interested in the topic from inside and outside Romania and Moldova. She has published numerous articles in Romanian and international peer-review journals, contributed with chapters in books and coordinated research grants that covered her research interests. In 2014 Zaharia was a Fulbright scholar at Marywood University, Scranton, PA, USA. Dr. Zaharia has been a member of the Society for Romanian Studies since the early 2000s, having actively participated in the SRS international conferences organized in Constanta (2007), Sibiu (2012), and Bucharest (2015). Currently, she is playing a crucial role in the organization of the 2018 SRS conference at ASE both as a member of the SRS organizing committee and as leader of the local ASE team that takes care of conference logistics. Dr. Zaharia has been a member of the SRS Board since early 2017, in which capacity she has strengthened the Society’s links to graduate students and scholars in Romania as well as to scholars working in business, management and economics.

Personal Statement

During the past five years the Society for Romanian Studies has greatly diversified the geographical coverage and disciplinary strengths of its membership. As a renewed member of the SRS International Board I plan to continue to contribute to our efforts to expand and diversify the SRS membership base by bringing new individual and organizational members in. Since its 2012 international conference, the SRS has almost doubled its membership, but these gains must be consolidated and sustained in the long run. I believe that SRS’s strategy of reaching out to individual students and scholars should be complemented by an equally sustained campaign to increase the number of organizational members, as well as institutional and media partners. On my part, as a SRS Board member I have disseminated the goals and values of SRS among my colleagues in ASE in order to bring in the SRS new members who are working in disciplines that go beyond a narrow understanding of Romanian Studies. In addition, I have reached out to colleagues and research partners at other universities in Romania, Moldova and other countries (including the United Kingdom, Poland, and Bulgaria) to explain the benefits of individual and organizational membership in the SRS. At my own university, I have mediated a renewed relationship with the SRS when convincing my colleagues to invite the Society to organize its 2018 international meeting at ASE. Our local organizing team is communicating with both ASE and the SRS in view of organizing the conference and providing the best available technical and logistic support for this important international meeting. Besides coordinating the local team, I have helped the SRS to collect registration fees from local scholars, an initiative that I also implemented for the 2015 conference. My goals as a SRS Board member will also include designing new activities and programs that would help the Society to retain members between international conferences, and to attract a larger number of graduate students as members.

 

Call for Submissions: the 2018 SRS Graduate Student Essay Prize

The Society for Romanian Studies is pleased to announce the Tenth Annual Graduate Student Essay Prize competition for an outstanding unpublished essay or thesis chapter. The submitted single-author work must have been written in English by a graduate student in any social science or humanities discipline; and the work must be on a Romanian subject, broadly and inclusively understood. This year, with an earlier deadline than in previous competitions, we look forward to being able to award the prize, consisting of $300, at the Society for Romanian Studies Conference to be held in Bucharest, June 26–30.

The competition is open to current M.A. and doctoral students or to those who defended dissertations in the academic year 2017–18. The submitted work should have been completed during the 2017–18 academic year. If the essay is a dissertation chapter, it should be accompanied by the dissertation abstract and table of contents.  Essays/chapters should be around 10,000 words double spaced, including reference matter.  Expanded versions of conference papers are also acceptable if accompanied by a description of the panel and the candidate’s conference paper proposal. Candidates should clearly indicate the format of the essay submitted.

Please send a copy of the essay and the accompanying documentation (as both Word and PDF please) and an updated CV to (srsessay@gmail.com). Members of this year’s committee are Jennifer Cash, Marina Cap-Bun, and R. Chris Davis. If you have questions, contact the chair of the committee, Jennifer Cash, at cashjennifer10@gmail.com. Submissions must be sent no later than May 21, 2018.

 

Panel Proposal: “Culture, Legacy, and National Consciousness, and the Creation of the Modern Romanian State” for Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association, Chicago, Jan. 3-6, 2019

In the aftermath of the Great War, new political entities emerged. On December 1st 1918, The National Assembly at Alba Iulia proclaimed the unity of all territories inhabited by Romanians and laid the foundation for the modern Romanian state. Compared with Romania before the First World War, Greater Romania was another country. It had doubled its territory, almost tripled its population, and altered significantly its ethnic component. The proclamation of Alba Iulia insisted on a wide range of principles and forward looking reforms, but their implementation process was slow and at times, totally absent. This  unique historical moment arguably represents in a nutshell the issues and dimensions associated with questions of a Romanian identity, a national consciousness and culture, the place of intellectuals in Romanian public life, as well as the politics, policies, and economics of Romanian development, including in comparative and international perspective.

This panel welcomes proposals on topics related to the Great Union Day. Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • unification in comparison with other unifications, both past and present,
  • unification and its legacies on minorities and diasporas
  • challenges of integration
  • sources and archives
  • culture, ideology, social and education policies
  • writers, artists and the arts in fascism, communism and post-communism
  • the connections between Romania and Moldova
  • the reconfiguration of social stratification
  • post-communist media and journalism
  • the role of the Orthodox Church and of other religious groups
  • dynamics of migration from and into Romania and Moldova
  • urban policies and architecture: 1918, communism, and post-communism
  • party and electoral politics, voting behavior, policy analysis and administration

Please send a short abstract of up to 300 words and a short biographical paragraph of 250 words to ruxandra.canache@mail.mcgill.ca by Feb. 13, 2018. For further information, see: https://www.historians.org/about-aha-and-membership/governance/policies-and-documents-of-the-association/annual-meeting-guidelines, and https://www.historians.org/annual-meeting/future-meetings/submit-a-proposal

Loyalty and disloyalty are forms of human attachment often associated with the history of politics. Yet loyalties function on multiple levels. Individually, or in groups, humans commit themselves to communities, loved ones, principles, a leader, a nation, a religion, an ideology, or an identity. Loyalties stabilize human society, undergird political and social hierarchies, promote courage and cowardice, disguise ethical lapses, and generate revolutions. The determination to maintain old loyalties or devise new ones can become a foundation for building nations, waging war, transforming and imagining new forms of human community, or defending institutions that maintain traditional ways of life.

Loyalties require communication, ritual, and imagery. They can be hegemonic or the outcome of powerful shifts in popular consciousness. Loyalties can also be disseminated through the propagation of ideas, or take the form of nostalgia, distracting from contemporary problems or complexities. Whether social, cultural, religious, economic, or political, loyalties can conceive a path to a utopian future, identifying those who are an impediment to that future as disloyal or as permanently loyal to an outsider group. Divided loyalties might also pose a problem: At what point, for example, can loyalty to party, faith, or community overwhelm loyalty to the nation?

We are interested in proposals that compare questions of conflicting or changing loyalties across time, space, and human experience—whether religious, ethnic, gendered, national, or otherwise—and how they have shaped trajectories of change. After a revolution, opponents of the new regime are often faced with a choice between swearing allegiance—thus betraying the values and leaders to whom they had promised loyalty—and imprisonment, exile, or execution. In contrast to such formal public dilemmas, loyalties that regulate private life can involve forms of expectation and obedience that are often unspoken, generationally specific, or resisted as archaic.

The deadline for submitting proposals is 11:59 p.m. PST, February 15, 2018 (07:59 GMT, February 16, 2018). If you encounter technical difficulties, please e-mail technical support. All data entry issues reported before the deadline will be resolved.

 

Dana Muresan wins the 2017 SRS Graduate Student Essay Prize

It is with great pleasure that the committee awards this year’s Graduate Student Essay Prize to Dana Muresan for her essay “Brancusi: The Construction of a Romanian National Hero.” Muresan’s well-researched and highly sophisticated essay examines through the lens of Brancusi the complex relationship of art and nationalism. It explores the role of Romania in the formation of Brancusi’s universal modern art and, in turn, the role of Brancusi and his art in the formation of Romanian identity and promotion of national culture. In particular, Muresan addresses the value the Romanian state derived from claiming Bransuci as a national hero, as a cultural symbol combining historic identity and contemporary sophistication. Yet this appropriation explicitly could not include full appreciation for the content of the work, given that Brancusi the émigré was producing art that was distinctly non-socialist in theme and format. The paper beautifully explores this contradiction, especially as it played out in official Romanian artistic discourse, highlighting both statements and silences of that official discourse. All at once, Muresan reflects on the legacy of Brancusi’s biography and art in both Romania and Paris; widens the analytical frame of Romanian identity discourses; and makes a significant contribution to an array of scholarly fields, including nationalism studies, identity studies, and art history, among others. Equally important to the committee, the essay showcases the field of Romanian Studies in an international context. Finally, Muresan achieves something very rare in academic writing these days, namely the ability to communicate ideas to specialists and non-specialists alike.

 

Clark is the winner of the 2017 SRS Book Award

The selection committee formed of Alex Drace-Francis (chair), Inessa Medzhibovskaya, and Peter Gross agreed unanimously to award the prize to Roland Clark, Holy Legionary Youth: Fascist Activism in Interwar Romania (Cornell UP, 2015). Clark’s book offers a comprehensive reinterpretation of the interwar Legionary movement from the perspective of the history of everyday social life. Moving away from abstract paradigms of ‘the nature of Romanian fascism’, Clark tells us more about what the Legionaries actually did (and did not) do, using a large number of new archival sources. His book covers the career of the movement from beginning to end and treats a remarkable range of topics, with a good structure, contextualization, regional coverage, and comparison with other fascist movements. Especially impressive is the way Clark situates interwar Romanian political phenomena in the context of broader paradigms of international social, cultural, political and religious history; and brings the topic up to date with a closing reflection on the memory of Legionary activity in post-war and present-day Romanian society. For the breadth and depth of its analysis, its rich documentation and clear writing style, Clark’s work stands out against a very strong field.

 

SRS Statement of support for CEU

An island of academic empowerment in East Central Europe, Central European University (CEU) sees its existence threatened by the wave of populist and illiberal politics that have swept the region in the last few years. Academic life in Turkey and Russia has already been disrupted by those governments’ interventions. Now it seems to be the turn of the Hungarian government to interfere with CEU’s academic freedom and smooth functioning. This comes after months of the Orban government’s harassment of NGOs and the CEU, directed against what this government perceives as one of the last bastions of liberal thinking in a country that has gradually come to embrace authoritarian illiberalism.

We, in the Society for Romanian Studies, feel that is it our duty as colleagues and academics to signal our regret and dismay about the attack on CEU. We offer our solidarity and support in this moment of crisis. We, members of the Society for Romanian Studies, are connected in so many ways to this Center of research excellence in Eastern Europe some of us being now or in the past, students, alumni, professors, mentors, and researchers at this University, that it is impossible to stand idly by.
Society for Romanian Studies #westandwithceu

 

H-Romania

Please subscribe to H-Romania as soon as you are able so as not to miss out on important SRS news, information, and book reviews: https://networks.h-net.org/h-romania. H-Romania is an H-Net discussion network for scholars, students, and professionals interested in Romanian Studies (broadly conceived). It focuses primarily on the countries of Romania and Moldova but also attends to numerous other past and present political, ethnic and social groups, including minorities and diasporas, in terms of their significant connections to present-day Romanian territory. To join H-Romania, first set up an H-Net account. Go to https://networks.h-net.org, click on “Sign up to subscribe & contribute,” and follow the instructions from there. Once you’ve created an H-Net account and profile, you can then go to the H-Romania page and click “Subscribe to this network to join the discussion.” Before allowing any contributions we do ask that you complete your H-Net profile, indicating institutional affiliation, degrees, short bio and areas of interest. You can do this by clicking on the accounts icon in the upper right, then selecting the “Profile” option from the drop-down menu. We are also interested in building our Reviews and Reports pages, including book and film reviews as well as and conference and exhibition reports. If you have any questions please feel free to contact the editors at editorial-romania@mail.h-net.msu.edu. Please also let us know if you are interested in joining the editorial team or becoming a reviewer or blogger at H-Romania. Thanks, and please spread the word to colleagues and students!!

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