Home » Articles posted by srstudies

Author Archives: srstudies

SRS Bylaws

The SRS Bylaws were amended in 2015 and approved by the SRS membership January 4, 2016

Society for Romanian Studies Bylaws

Article I. The Society for Romanian Studies

A. Name
This organization shall be known as the Society for Romanian Studies (SRS).

B. Purpose
1. The Society for Romanian Studies is an international interdisciplinary academic organization based in the United States of America dedicated to promoting the professional study, criticism, and research of all aspects of Romanian culture and civilization, particularly concerning the countries of Romania and Moldova.
2. The SRS shall not serve as a platform for promoting political parties, ideologies, or agendas.

C. Means
The Society holds annual meetings and periodic international congresses to promote Romanian studies.  The SRS publishes a Newsletter to keep its membership informed, maintains a website, and carries out other activities designed to advance the field of Romanian studies.

Article II: Membership

A. Eligibility
1. The Society for Romanian Studies is open to all academics (faculty, researchers, and students) who have an interest in Romanian studies, in Romania, Moldova and their diasporas, regardless of where they reside. Independent scholars, writers, jurists, retired academics, diplomats, librarians, professionals working in the private sector, students, and others with an interest in deepening their knowledge and understanding of Romanian and Moldovan society, culture, literature, history and politics are also invited to join.
2. There are six membership categories in the SRS: regular members, discount members, sustaining members, life members, sponsors, and patrons. In addition, organizational sponsors and patrons may be approved by the Board on a case by case basis. Organizational sponsors and patrons do not have a vote but their support will be acknowledged by SRS, including linking to organizational websites.
3. Members shall be subject to such dues as may be determined from time to time by the Executive Board.
4. Any person as defined under Article II.A.1 and in agreement with the statement of purpose given in Article I.B may become a member by full payment of annual dues for the calendar year in which her/his membership is to begin.
5. If a member resigns during any given year, her/his dues for the calendar year in which she/he resigns will be forfeited.
6. It is the responsibility of all members to remain in good standing with the SRS, which includes abiding by the Society’s purpose and principles as stated in these by-laws. The Executive Board of the SRS shall have the power to review membership status accordingly and decide upon contested cases.

B. Membership Year
The membership year shall start on January 1 and end on December 31. Membership in the SRS shall be renewable on either an annual or three-yearly basis, according to the fee structure determined by the Executive Board.

C. Rights
Members shall have the right to participate, subject to rules established by the Executive Board and the Bylaws, in programs and activities of the SRS. In addition, individual members shall have the right to:
1. hold office in the SRS;
2. vote for elective officers;
3. vote on matters referred to the membership by the Executive Board;
4. petition the Executive Board.

Article III: Members of the Executive Board

A. Definition and Composition
The Executive Board of the Society for Romanian Studies is the administrative unit of the Society. The Executive Board shall consist of the President, Vice-President, Immediate Past-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Newsletter Editor, Webmaster, eight Board Members at large, and two Graduate Student Representatives.

B. Terms of Office
Regular terms of office begin on January 1 and end on December 31.
1.  The President serves a three-year term.
2.  The Vice-President serves a three-year term.
3.  The Past-President serves a three-year term.
4.  The Secretary serves a four-year term.
5.  The Treasurer serves a four-year term.
6.  The Newsletter Editor serves a four-year term.
7.  The SRS Webmaster serves a four-year term.
8.  Board Members-at-large serve staggered four-year terms.
9.  Graduate Student members serve a two-year term.

C. Duties of the Board
1. The Board shall be responsible for the administration of the affairs of the Society. The Board shall have authority to execute on behalf of the SRS all powers and functions of the SRS consonant with the Bylaws.
2. The Board shall meet either in person or electronically at the call of the President or a majority of the Executive Board. The Board meetings shall be as frequent as needed and at least once every year. The Board is responsible for enabling full participation of all Board members.
3. The Board shall supervise the use of SRS funds.
4. The Board shall approve the sites and themes of International Congresses, as well as regional and other meetings.
5. The President shall be the presiding officer of the SRS and Chair of the Board. The President shall exercise the duties and responsibilities commonly associated with the office and as further defined under Article IV.

D. Decision-making
1. Valid board decisions require that a quorum of at least nine members of the Executive Board Members (including the President or Vice-President) participating and voting (either in person or virtually).
2. Decisions by the Board shall be made by a simple majority of those voting.

E. Attendance
Each elected officer has the duty to participate in Board meetings in person or electronically.

F. Vacancies
1. In the event of death, resignation, incapacity, or inability to carry out the duties of the office of the President (as determined by two-thirds of the Executive Board), the Board shall declare the office vacant, and the Vice-President shall assume the duties of the President and fill out the term.  The Executive Board may elect a new Vice-President to fill out the term or it may choose to leave the office vacant.
2. In the event of death, resignation, incapacity, or inability to carry out her/his duties of any of the other officers or of other board members, (as determined by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Board) the Executive Board shall declare such office vacant. Vacancies for other officers or Board positions will be filled for the remainder of the term on the basis of nominations made by the President and subsequently ratified by the Executive Board.
3.   To remain on the Executive Board a person must continue to be a member in good standing of the SRS.

Article IV: Officers

A. The officers of the SRS shall be President, Vice-President, Immediate Past-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Newsletter Editor, and Webmaster.  These officers, except for the Newsletter Editor and the Webmaster, shall be elected by the membership.  The Newsletter Editor and the Webmaster will be elected by the Executive Board on the recommendation of the President.

B.  The President shall call and preside at all meetings of members and shall be the Chair of the Executive Board. She/he shall sign all contracts, agreements and other instruments which may be entered into by or on behalf of the SRS.  The President shall appoint as needed non-voting members as advisory to the Board (committee chairs, such as the prize committees, program committee chairs, or ad hoc committee chairs) with the approval of the Board.  The President (assisted by the Vice-President) shall be responsible for monitoring Board participation and making recommendations to the Board in cases of perceived nonfeasance, misfeasance, or malfeasance.

C. The Vice-President shall assist the President in the execution of her/his functions and perform the duties of the President in the absence of the President. She/he shall also perform those specific duties assigned by the Executive Board.

D. The Past-President shall assist the President and the President-Elect in the execution of their functions.

E. The Secretary shall keep the minutes of all meetings of the Society and of the National Board; shall maintain the Archives of the Society; shall keep current the list of the Society’s liaison/representatives to other societies and associations that the SRS is affiliated or related to, as well as informing the President and the Board when replacements need to be made; shall receive and answer correspondence addressed to the Association in consultation with the president; and shall send out, receive, and tabulate election ballots, and report the result of elections to the Board.

F. The Treasurer shall have the care and custody of all funds of the Society which shall come into her/his hands, shall deposit the same in such manner and in such banks as the Executive Board or the President may direct, and shall disburse such funds under the direction of the Board. She/he shall keep true books of account and render statements thereof whenever required, and in no case less frequently than once a year, at the annual meeting of the Society; shall manage the collection of dues, and keep accurate lists of the members in each category; and shall provide to the annual meeting of the Society a written statement of disbursements and assets for the current fiscal year.

G. The Newsletter Editor shall have the responsibility for gathering news from members and other sources, for compiling the SRS Newsletter, and distributing the Newsletter at least twice a year, usually Fall and Spring.

H.  The SRS Webmaster shall have responsibility for editing, maintaining, and updating the SRS website under the direction of the President and the Secretary.  She/he will keep the Board apprised of trends and needs involved in keeping the SRS website current, useful, and primarily focused on SRS concerns and materials.

Article V: Elections

A. All SRS members in good standing at the start of the voting period will be eligible to vote for the election of officers.

B. Nominating Committee
1. The Past-President shall chair the Nominating Committee, which shall consist of the Past-President and two or three persons appointed by the President and approved by the Executive Board.
2. The Nominating Committee shall prepare a slate of candidates with at least one nominee for each vacancy. The Committee shall strive to promote balanced representation in regard to age, gender, professional background, locations of residence, and geographical and disciplinary areas of specialization, but shall not be bound by any particular formula.  It shall solicit nominations from the membership.  The Nominating Committee may not nominate for office any of its members.
3. The Committee shall ascertain that each candidate is a member of the SRS in good standing, and that the candidate has given formal consent to be nominated. To be eligible for election as President, Vice-President, Secretary, or Treasurer, a person must be a member in good standing for at least the calendar year prior to the election.
4. The Committee will submit a list of nominations (including a brief CV for each) to the President no later than October 1st of the election year.  The President will circulate this list to the Board for confirmation in a timely fashion so that the ballot can be prepared by the Secretary for circulation to the membership by November 1.

C. Ballots
1. Ballots shall be sent by the Secretary to the membership electronically no later than November 1 of the election year.  Opportunity will be given on the ballot for write-in votes.  2.  Ballots shall be returned to the Secretary no later than December 1 of the election year.  The Secretary shall tabulate the results and forward them to the President by December 10.  The President will announce the results no later than December 15.

D. Voting
1. The procedure for voting shall strive to ensure that voting is secret.  Only members in good standing may vote.
2. Voting will be by electronic media.

Article VI: Financial Operations

A. Fiscal Year: The fiscal year for the SRS shall be January 1 to December 31.

B. Funding: The SRS shall raise operating funds from donors and membership dues. The Board may approve additional fund-raising activities.

C. Membership Dues
1. Dues shall be set by the Board. The Board may create various categories and durations of membership.
2. If membership dues are not paid, memberships shall expire one calendar month after the renewal date.

D. Financial Control
1. The Executive Board shall exercise financial control over SRS funds. To facilitate this control, the Treasurer shall render statements thereof to the Board whenever required, in compliance with Article IV.F.
2. The Treasurer shall disburse such funds under the direction of the Board. For amounts greater than USD500, the Treasurer shall seek prior Board approval.
3. The Treasurer shall be able to disburse amounts up to USD500 as needed, to cover postage, newsletter expenses, website construction and maintenance, and the like.
4. The Board shall provide for a periodic (at least once every three years) audit of the Treasurer’s books, and at the end of a treasurer’s tenure.

Article VII: General Meeting

A. The General Meeting shall consist of a Membership Meeting on an annual basis and a planned program of discussions organized by the Board.

B. The Membership Meeting shall be called by President and shall be open to all members and guests of the SRS. Reports shall be presented by the President, Secretary, and Treasurer. Other committees and individuals as appropriate may also give reports.

C. Elections for the Executive Board and amendments to the Bylaws shall not be conducted at the General Meeting but shall be conducted in accordance with Article V.

Article VIII: Committees

A. The Executive Board or the President shall establish such committees as may be necessary for the conduct of the SRS affairs. Such committees shall be established as either standing committees or ad hoc committees.

B. Committee Membership:  The Executive Board shall serve as a Committee on Committees, advising the President as to the establishment, abolition, and composition of standing and ad hoc committees. All committee members shall be appointed by the President subject to the approval of the Executive Board.  Committee appointments expire when the President who appointed them leaves office unless otherwise specified when such an appointment is made.

C.  Standing Committees:  Standing Committees of the SRS include the following: the Nominating Committee, the Public Relations and Membership Committee, the SRS Book Prize Committee, the SRS Graduate Student Essay Prize Committee, and the International Congress on Romanian Studies Committee. Other standing committees can be created at the suggestion of the President with the approval of the Board.

D.  Program chairs of International Congresses, regional, and other meetings shall be appointed as needed by the president and approved by the Board. Their responsibilities will be mutually agreed on in writing.

E.  Committee and Program chairs shall be nominated by the President and approved by the Executive Board.  Board approval will not be needed if a chair-designate is already a member of the Board.  Committee and Program chairs who are not members of the Board will be non-voting ex officio members of the Board.

Article IX: Publications

A.  The Newsletter:  The SRS shall publish a Newsletter, usually twice a year, distributed via the organization’s major channels of electronic communication and posted on the website.  The Newsletter Editor is a member of the Executive Board.

B.  Studii Romanești/Romanian Studies. In collaboration with Polirom, the SRS shall maintain the Studii Romanești/Romanian Studies book series by publishing a number of scholarly volumes yearly. The Series editors will be appointed by the Executive Board for a five year, usually renewable term, and, in turn, will have the responsibility for naming consulting editors, advisory board members, and others, as well as reporting on a regular basis the progress of the series to the Board.  The SRS collection editors and the Polirom representatives shall jointly decide which manuscripts are worthy of publication, seeking advice from the Advisory Board as needed. With the approval of the Executive Board, the SRS shall make financial contributions towards each publication.

C.  Other Publications:  The SRS shall publish such other regular or occasional publications as the Executive Board deems necessary for the advancement of the SRS’s objectives.  This might include conference publication volumes, promotional materials, and so forth as approved by the Board.

Article X: Affiliations of SRS

The SRS is formally affiliated with the American Historical Association, the American Political Science Association, the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies, the Southeast European Studies Association, and the Romanian Studies Association of America. Official SRS liaison representatives for these groups will be maintained. The National Board has the power to approve additional affiliations with other scholarly societies.

Article XI: Amendments to Bylaws

A.  Amendments to these Bylaws may be proposed by the Executive Board or by written petition to the Executive Board signed by twenty percent of the voting membership.

B.  Proposed amendments shall be submitted to the membership for formal ratification.

C.  Amendments need a simple majority of votes cast to be adopted.

Article XII: Dissolution of the SRS

The SRS can be dissolved by a membership referendum that ratifies a dissolution proposal submitted to it by the Executive Board. To be valid, such a proposal must be supported by 60% or more of the active membership when such a proposal is submitted.  In case the Society is dissolved, its assets shall be used to cover liabilities. The remaining assets shall be donated to further research and other work that is commensurate with the goals of the SRS as stated in the Bylaws. It is the responsibility of the Treasurer to provide full disclosures and reports on the financial and assets situation prior to each distribution step involved in the dissolution of the Society. While all members will be able to suggest suitable recipients for the donation, the decision shall be made by the Board with a simple majority vote. The President has the power to break a voting deadlock. A full final report by the President, officers, and the Board on all dissolution proceedings shall be distributed by electronically to the membership. With the distribution of the final report, all officers and Board members are relieved of their duties, powers, and responsibilities, and the organization ceases to exist.

Article XIII: Final Dispositions

These Bylaws entered into force on January 1, 2011 and were amended on June 15, 2015, and December 31, 2015.

Membership Categories

INDIVIDUAL MEMBERSHIP: ($75.00)

Members receive the SRS newsletter and electronic access to The Journal of Romanian Studies for that calendar year, become eligible to receive SRS prizes, and may vote in SRS elections.

DISCOUNT MEMBERSHIP: ($20)

Members receive the SRS the newsletter for that calendar year, become eligible to receive SRS prizes, and may vote in SRS elections. Discount members do not receive access to The Journal of Romanian Studies. To be eligible for a discount membership you must earn less than the equivalent of USD$14,999 per year.

THREE YEAR INDIVIDUAL MEMBERSHIP: ($215)

Members receive the SRS the newsletter and electronic access to The Journal of Romanian Studiesfor the term of their membership, become eligible to receive SRS prizes, and may vote in SRS elections.

THREE YEAR DISCOUNT MEMBERSHIP:($50)

Members receive the SRS the newsletter and become eligible to receive SRS prizes for the term of their membership, and may vote in SRS elections. Discount members do not receive access to The Journal of Romanian Studies. To be eligible for a discount membership you must earn less than the equivalent of USD$14,999 per year.

LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP: ($1,000)

Lifetime members receive the SRS the newsletter, become eligible to receive SRS prizes, and may vote in SRS elections for as long as both they and the SRS are alive.

SPONSOR: ($100.00)

Sponsors may direct their additional contribution to the SRS prize fund or to the conference fund. Sponsors are acknowledged as contributors to these activities. The sponsor contribution includes membership dues.

PATRON: ($300.00)

Patrons may direct their contributions towards the prize fund, the conference fund, or to support special events at conferences and annual meetings. They may consult with the SRS officers and board to fund a particular activity or initiate a new prize. The patron contribution includes membership dues.

JOINT SRS/SEESA and SRS/RSAA MEMBERSHIPS:

We are currently discussing our joint membership fees with the SEESA (South East European Studies Association) and the RSAA (Romanian Studies Association of America). These will be available again soon.

 

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS: ($300.00 or $500.00)

Requests for organizational memberships will be considered by the Board on a case-by-case basis. If approved, organizations may join as Sponsors ($300) and Patrons ($500). Member organizations do not vote, but their support will be acknowledged by SRS.

All memberships are on a calendar year basis. Members are automatically enrolled in the SRS e-mail news and members only email lists.

How to Join SRS/Renew Your Membership

Membership in the Society for Romanian Studies is calendar-based, expiring at the end of December each year. Our membership categories are the following:

  • $75 – Individual membership with e-journal (income over $15,000)
  • $20 – Discount membership without e-journal (income under $14,999)

 

  • $215 – 3-year individual membership with e-journal (income over $15,000)
  • $50 – 3-year discount membership without e-journal (income under $14,999)

 

  • $100 – Sponsor
  • $300 – Patron
  • $1,000 – Lifetime

All prices are in US dollars.

We are currently discussing our joint membership fees with the SEESA and the RSAA. These will be available again soon.

Paying your dues by PayPal or credit card

To pay your dues by PayPal or credit card, please do the following:

  • Complete the electronic membership form below, and then press the “submit” button at the end of the form.

The membership form

New members, please complete the following form. Renewing members, please provide any information that has changed.

The membership form

New members, please complete the following form. Renewing members, please provide any information that has changed.

 

To continue with the payment, please press the “donate” button below. Note that in the box open by PayPal, you have to confirm the amount you want to „donate” by introducing that amount (e.g., 25.00 ($), 17.00, etc.). Press „Donate with PayPal” without checking the box „Make this a monthly donation.” The next screen is the payment procedure with PayPal.


Donate Button

Paying your dues by check

To pay your dues by check, please follow these easy steps:

  • Fill in and print the membership form above.
  • Please send checks made out to “The Society for Romanian Studies” to:
SRS Treasurer William Crowther

Department of Political Science

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

UNCG P.O. Box 26170

Greensboro, NC, 27402-6170

Checks should be accompanied by the membership form (see above). Thank you!

 

Interviews “45 for 45”

Each week, an interview is published as part of the 45 for 45 series, which will run throughout 2018 to mark the 45th anniversary of the Society for Romanian Studies as well as the 100th anniversary of the formation of modern Romania. You might want to check the latest interviews, available at: https://society4romanianstudies.org/activities-programs/45-for-45/.

 

Announcements & SRS News

 

Society for Romanian Studies—Call for Nominations

The Society for Romanian Studies is an international interdisciplinary academic organization based in the United States of America dedicated to promoting the professional study, criticism, and research of all aspects of Romanian culture and civilization, particularly concerning the countries of Romania and Moldova.

The Society seeks nominations for President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer of SRS. The membership of SRS will elect one individual for each position. Qualifications include membership in good standing of SRS and active engagement in the field of Romanian Studies. Candidates for the Officer positions are expected to have close familiarity with the Society from prior involvement with committees and/or Board work. To be eligible for election as President, Vice-President, Secretary, or Treasurer, a person must be a member in good standing for at least the calendar year prior to election, i.e. 2017.

The open positions and a brief description of duties are as follows:

  • The President is the chief executive of SRS and leads in consultation with the Board, and with appointed committees, allowing these to perform their tasks without interference. She/he shall call and preside at all meetings of members and shall be the Chair of the Executive Board. She/he shall sign all contracts, agreements and other instruments which may be entered into by or on behalf of the SRS.  The President shall appoint as needed non-voting members as advisory to the Board (committee chairs, such as the prize committees, program committee chairs, or ad hoc committee chairs) with the approval of the Board.  The President (assisted by the Vice-President) shall be responsible for monitoring Board participation and making recommendations to the Board in cases of ­­perceived nonfeasance, misfeasance, or malfeasance. Term: January 2019-December 2021

 

  • The Vice-President shall assist the President in the execution of her/his functions and perform the duties of the President in the absence of the President. She/he shall also perform those specific duties assigned by the Board. Term: January 2019-December 2021

 

  • The Secretary shall keep the minutes of all meetings of the Society and of the Board; shall establish and maintain the Archives of the Association; shall keep a record of the SRS committee membership; shall receive and answer correspondence addressed to the Association in consultation with the President; and shall send notices of meetings and announcements regarding other associations. The Secretary shall receive and tabulate ballots and report on the result of elections. Term: January 2019-December 2022

 

  • The Treasurer shall have the care and custody of all funds of the Society which shall come into her/his hands and shall deposit the same in such manner and in such banks as the Board or the President may direct, and shall disburse such funds under the direction of the Board. She/he shall keep true books of account and render statements thereof whenever required, and in no case less frequently than once a year, at the annual meeting of the Society. She/he shall manage the collection of dues, and shall keep accurate lists of the members in each category. She/he shall provide to members present at the annual meeting of the Society a written statement of disbursements and assets for the current fiscal year. Term: January 2019-December 2022

 

The Society is also seeking nominations for graduate students willing to serve on the SRS Board. The membership of the SRS will elect two graduate student Board members at this time

  • Graduate Students on the SRS Board are responsible for the administration of SRS affairs (together with other Board members). Their duties include active participation in Board discussions via e-mail, advising officers on diverse matters involving the Society, especially as these affect junior scholars; serving on sub-committees; and promoting the Society and its activities among M.A. and Ph.D. candidates. Term: January 2019-December 2020

SRS will accept nominations from SRS members until October 20. Send nominations or self-nominations, indicating briefly the nominee’s qualifications, to the members of the Nominating Committee:

Irina Livezeanu (irinal@pitt.edu), Mihaela Serban (mserban@ramapo.edu), and Jennifer Cash (cashjennifer10@gmail.com). If you are nominating someone other than yourself, please seek that person’s approval before submitting their name.

Selection process:

SRS selects officers and board members through an electronic ballot of all members. Open balloting will take place November 1 to December 1, 2018. The results will be announced no later than December 30, 2018.

 

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!!

The Society for Romanian Studies

Announces:

 

The Fourth Biennial SRS Book Prize

 

 

The committee 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 Book Prize Committee Members: 

Alex Drace-Francis

European Studies Department

University of Amsterdam

Kloveniersburgwal 48

AMSTERDAM 1012CX

Netherlands

 

Peter Gross

10025 Casa Real Cove

Knoxville, TN 37922

USA

Inessa Medzhibovskaya Eugene Lang College

The New School 65 West 11th Street New York, NY 10011 USA

 

About the SRS Book Prize:

 

For details of the Prize and past winners please see: https://society4romanianstudies.org/2016/06/18/awards-prizes/

 

Prizes

SRS awards two prizes: the biennial Book Award and the annual Graduate Student Essay Prize. Please scroll down to find out details about the winners of the two prizes, and their outstanding work.


Biennial SRS Book Prize

The Society awards a biennial book prize (worth 500 USD) to an outstanding single-authored book-length publication in the field of Romanian Studies (including Moldova) written in English. A call for submissions will be posted here in early 2017. The prize will be presented at the ASEEES National Convention in November 2017.

 

2017 Book Prize

Committee: Alex Drace-Francis (chair), Inessa Medzhibovskaya, Peter Gross.

The committee received a number of outstanding submissions in several academic disciplines. Four books in particular stood out. Virginia Hill and Gabriela Alboiu, Verb Movement and Clause Structure in Old Romanian (Oxford UP, 2016) show that although early Romanian texts display predominantly Latin and Romance morphology patterns, they also signal a strong manifestation of the Balkan Sprachbund where syntax is concerned. These findings help us to understand more clearly the linguistic processes that paved the way for the emergence of modern Romanian. Dennis Deletant’s British Clandestine Activities in Romania During the Second World War (Palgrave, 2016) contains priceless and rare information concerning Britain’s wartime role in Romania, that by its nature is hard to access. Deletant not only clarifies the documentary record of a contested story but offers careful and calibrated assessments of the ultimate impact of British activities, as well as providing insights from Romanian archives that have not hitherto been available to British researchers. Ştefan Ionescu’s Jewish Resistance to Romanianization (Palgrave, 2016) greatly enriches our understanding of Jewish resistance to the Antonescu regime during the Second World War. Focusing on the Jewish community of Bucharest, Ionescu defines his topic as ‘an asynchronic duel fought with legal weapons in an asymmetric warfare’. His fine analysis, based on extensive archival research, adds to our knowledge both of the Jewish community’s plight and activities, and of their impact on the social and political history of wartime Romania as a whole. In the end, the committee 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.

2015 Book Prize

Committee: Holly Case (Chair), James Augerot, Vladimir Solonari.

The winner of the Third Biennial SRS Book Prize for 2015 was Sean Cotter’s Literary Translation and the Idea of a Minor Romania (Rochester, 2014). To be eligible, books had to be in English and published between 1 January 2013 and 31 December 2014 as indicated by the copyright date. In addition to the call for nominations and submissions, the committee chair also contacted several publishers who had been identified as carrying qualified titles, to which several replied with submissions. Submissions were of very high quality. In the end, Sean Cotter’s book stood out as an exceptional example of rigorous scholarship and original argument. The book wonders “Under what conditions could literary translation move to the center of the national imagination?” To do so, he makes the “minor” status of Romanian culture into an interpretive mechanism, largely through following the careers of Lucian Blaga, Constantin Noica, and Emil Cioran in the aftermath of the Second World War. Being minor is not merely a matter of size or scale, but a matter of nature and type, a “translated nation,” as he calls it. The Soviet occupation prompted Cotter’s protagonists to “rethink the country in minor terms.” Tracing literary debates, personal dilemmas, and translations of their work and ideas both within and beyond Romania, Cotter shows that the essence of “minor” cultures can be read through careful analysis of translation practices. The committee also put forward a runner-up or honorable mention, Moshe Idel’s Mircea Eliade from Magic to Myth (Peter Lang, 2013). Idel presents Eliade in an admiring light, yet does not hesitate to include the various blemishes in the wide-ranging career of one of the best-known Romanian writers of the twentieth century.

2013 Book Prize

Committee: William Crowther (chair), Holly Case, Valentina Glajar.

The prize was presented to Gail Kligman and Katherine Verdery for their  Peasants under Siege: the Collectivization of Romanian Agriculture, 1949-1962 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011), selected from among English language books published between January 2011 and December 2012. Kligman and Verdery make use of multiple types of sources, including archives, the communist press and extensive interviews, to analyze the relationship between the collectivization of agriculture in Romania and the process of party and state building that transformed the countryside and  society as a whole. In the process of collectivization, the Party  and the Securitate were not only changing property relations according to the Soviet model but also creating the new institutions of the party-state through local practices and policies they devised in and for Romania. In sum, Peasants under Siege represents a central contribution to the literature on communist Romania, and on the history of collectivization in other contexts. Because the communist past is an ongoing battlefield in the present-day politics of memory in Romania, an accurate history establishing the extent of participation in and the full range of responses to collectivization is all the more important. Kligman and Verdery write: “Blueprints may provide a plan, but social practices are not so easily hammered or welded into place.” In Romania collectivization was as much negotiated as it was violent. The authors  reconstruct what it created (a new kind of state, society and “person”) while  offering a full account of what it destroyed (communities and lives). This beautifully conceived and clearly written work of history, anthropology and sociology shows how fruitful it can be to ignore the boundaries between disciplines in the interest of gaining insight into the fraught nexus between society and state. Peasants under Siege will provide a valuable guide to scholars seeking to understand rural transformation in the region for years to come, and serve as a primary reference point for those wishing to understand what happened in the long decade of the 1950s in Romania, and what it meant for those who lived it.

2011 Book Prize

Committee: Margaret Beissinger, Peter Wagner, Lavinia Stan.

The committee unanimously chosen Tom Gallagher’s Romania and the European Union: How the Weak Vanquished the Strong (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2009) as the best book in Romanian Studies published in English in 2009-2010. The study was a clear first choice because of its highly contemporary and relevant subject matter, original and provocative analyses, logical approach, and lucid style. Romania and the European Union is a remarkable account of how corruption penetrated Romania’s entry into the EU in 2007. It relates how the local elite not only managed to orchestrate admission into the EU on the basis of an astonishingly minor set of changes but also how Romania has left promises of significant reform  unfulfilled. Gallagher’s own unparalleled familiarity with Romania and its politicians greatly informs his novel interpretations. Original and courageous in his interpretations, Gallagher masterfully integrates case study and EU accession study by laboriously identifying the various points of contention that surfaced during the years of negotiation over Romania’s entry to the EU and the ways in which all of those points were disregarded and even shoved aside. The Romanians involved in the EU discussions were able to pull the wool over the eyes of the anxious and uncertain EU leadership, gaining accession with only a measly agenda for reform. He shows how local figures falsely persuaded the EU that they would satisfy many of the economic criteria for membership, thus convincing the EU to disregard the violations that would occur and even those then taking place. Gallagher furnishes a disturbing account of the long-standing deceit and exploitation among Romania’s post-communist elite as well as the EU leadership’s inability to detect and counteract such conduct. Romania and the European Union is a major contribution to Romanian and European studies, a commanding and convincing monograph that is relevant far beyond Romania as the “West” and “East” Europes of the Cold War now seek to eliminate boundaries. EU accession has been the single most important historical event in post-communist Romania. It is fitting, then, that the SRS Book Prize be awarded to Gallagher, whose intrepid and chilling account of Romanian-EU maneuvers over the past ten years offers an extraordinary analysis of these events—an original and powerful reading that boldly confronts and challenges many of the conventional political views and insights. It is a truly great case study. Congratulations, Tom Gallagher, for this seminal and provocative contribution to Romanian Studies! Tom Gallagher taught in the Department of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford.


Annual Graduate Student Essay Prize

The Society holds an annual Graduate Student Essay Prize competition for an outstanding unpublished essay or thesis chapter written in English by a graduate student in any social science or humanities discipline on a Romanian subject. The prize is worth 300 USD, and is awarded at the ASEEES conference in November each year.

2017 Student Essay Award

Committee: R. Chris Davis (Lone Star College-Kingwood), Valentina Glajar (Texas State University), Ron King (San Diego State University), Diane Vancea (Ovidius University of Constanta)

The Ninth Annual SRS Graduate Student Essay Prize is awarded to the most outstanding unpublished essay or thesis chapter written in English by a graduate student in any social science or humanities discipline on a Romanian subject during the long academic year 2016–17. The prize committee received over twenty essays from a wide range of disciplines, submitted by graduate students and recent graduates from across North America, Europe, and Asia. The committee debated the merits of many prize-worthy essays. In the end, one essay stood above the others. 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.

The committee felt three other finalists from this year’s competition deserved special mention: Kathryn Grow Allen’s “Migration, Conversion and the Creation of an Identity in Southeast Europe: A Biological Distance and Strontium Isotope Analysis of Ottoman Communities in Romania, Hungary and Croatia”; Alin Rus’s “‘Building’ Cultural Patrimony in Ceaușescu’s Neopatrimonial Romania”; and Karin Steinbrueck’s “Aftershocks: Nicolae Ceaușescu and the Romanian Communist Regime’s Responses to the 1977 Earthquake.” The quality and diversity of this year’s submissions certainly bodes well for the future of Romanian studies.

2016 Student Essay Prize

Committee: Peter Gross (Chair), Margaret Beissinger, Chris Davis, and Diane Vancea

After careful deliberation the Award Committee has decided not to offer the SRS Graduate Student Essay Prize this year. We considered that none of few submissions we received was theoretically sound and methodologically rigorous enough to merit this recognition. The Committee hopes that graduate students at universities in Romania, Moldova and other countries will continue to compete for this important award in future years. Peter Gross, Committee Chair

2015 Student Essay Award

Committee: Delia Popescu (Chair), Inessa Medzhibovskaya, and Benjamin Thorne.

The committee evaluated ten entries, most of which were high quality historical or sociological work. Ion Matei Costinescu won the prize with his “Interwar Romania and the Greening of the Iron Cage: The Biopolitics of Dimitrie Gusti, Virgil Madgearu, Mihail Manoilescu, and Ştefan Zeletin.” This is a chapter from his dissertation on The Village as Quest for Modernity: The Bucharest Sociological School and the Romanian Alternative Way, which he has been completing at the University of Bucharest. The dissertation explores the work of the Bucharest Sociological School in interwar Romania to propose an “alternative modernity project configured along biopolitical lines.” Costinescu offers a constructivist twist to a Weberian argument by recasting the notion of the iron cage in the terms of the Bucharest Sociological School. The chapter offers an impressive critical assessment of alternate visions of modernity, which propose the biopolitical transformation of the people, and the creation of a new national ethos infused with a mythos of superior moral and ethnic value. Costinescu suggests that the Weberian model was adapted to accommodate such a new vision of the state imbued with a new and mobilizing “secular magic” of Romanian nationalism. The essay leads with a robust critical argument that is well developed, interesting, and contributes to developments in the field. The strong theoretical focus of the piece offers a much needed and nuanced addition to the small but extremely important literature on Romanian biopolitics by focusing on the latter half of the compound term, politics. It is an important intervention that both deepens and expands our knowledge of the period, is well-researched and engagingly written. Many congratulations to Ion Matei Costinescu for a fascinating essay!

SRS Student Prize Winner Honorable mentions

Madalina Valeria Veres’ “Constructing Imperial Spaces: Habsburg Cartography in the Age of Enlightenment” is an important contribution to the study of historiography and the geopolitics of space in Central and Eastern Europe. Her imaginative and objective interpretation is based on the examination of rare archival material, which is organized with impeccable fairness and scholarly tact. This beautifully written piece is a comprehensive and compelling presentation of patterns by means of which constructs enter politics, a sobering invitation to take nothing for granted– and to reinvigorate the analysis of what appears to be a closed topic. The submission is part of her doctoral dissertation, titled Mastering Space: The Great Military Map of Transylvania, which she is completing at the University of Pittsburgh.

Zsuzsanna Magdo’s “Ceausescu’s Thaw and Religiosity: The Central Committee Considers Atheism, 1965-1974” examines the sort of political dialectic occasioned by the encounter of communist state policy and Romanian cultural religiosity. The essay makes use of archival documents from the Department of Religious Cults, the Committee of Historical Monuments, and the Ministry of Culture, to propose a compelling and sophisticated analysis of the “religion question” in the autochthonous modernity project delineated by the Romanian communist state. Magdo offers an interesting and well-researched historiography with a strong argument that leads to a rich picture that traces historical developments and transformations in the context of communist ideological development. Magdo recasts the politico-ideological interchange between Marxism, modernity, and national spiritual life. The clear and prominent integration of archival material on Agitprop is a particular highlight of the essay, and Magdo succeeds in being both informative, analytical, and infusing the occasional sense of humor, which smooth the way to an enjoyable and thought-provoking piece of reading.  Magdo’s entry is part of her dissertation, The Socialist Sacred: Atheism, Religion, and Culture in Communist Romania, 1948-1989, which she is completing at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

2014 Student Essay Award

The Sixth Annual Graduate Student Essay Prize was presented to Roxana Lucia Cazan for her “Jewish Motherhood, Heritage, and Post-memory in Anca Vlasopolos’s No Return Address and Haya Leah Molnar’s Under a Red Sky,” a chapter from her dissertation on Contested Motherhood: The Politics of Gender, Ethnicity, and Identity in Contemporary Romanian-American Literature and Culture, which she has been completing at Indiana University Bloomington. Oscillating between disciplines and geographical scales, Cazan’s essay gave a truly transnational, comparative, and global edge to Romanian Studies. Cazan examined the meaning of motherhood in a complex prism of Romanian state communism, Jewish identity, the Shoah, communist pro-natalism and post-memory. The essay was impressive both for its conceptual approach and its contents. We learn about two fascinating books by Anca Vlasopolos (No Return to Address: Memoir of a Deplacement) and Haya Leah Molnar (Under a Red Sky: Memoir of A Childhood in Communist Romania), which, in turn, entices the reader to discover and read these books independently. Dealing with two periods of repression – the Fascist period (1920s-1940s) and the early Communist period (1950s-1960s) – Cazan reflects on identity, gender, and memory. What does a memoir by a Romanian Jewish émigré tell us about modern Romanian history, society, and debates about the past? Quite a lot: Cazan’s piece challenges more comfortable boundaries of what constitutes Romanian Studies. Not only is her work interdisciplinary, but the subject matter under investigation highlights that ‘Romanian Studies’ has a global, transnational dimension to it, and thus forces us to re-examine what and where the boundaries of Romanian Studies lie. The author and protagonist of the first novel under investigation (Vlasopolos) is a point in case: a Romanian Jew of Greek origin who leaves Romania with her mother in the early Communist period having lived through the earlier Fascist period. They end up in Detroit, via Western Europe, where Vlasopolos marries a German-American and starts a family. In this intricate web of travel, exile, and memory, Vlasopolos writes her memoir reflecting on a ruptured 20th century. Such stories and Cazan’s masterful analysis compel us to think of Romanian Studies not as an isolated field, but one that is marked by war, exile, movement, cross-border experience and multifaceted identity. Interdisciplinary and very ‘fuzzy round the edges’, Cazan’s work reminds SRS how exciting, diverse, and multifarious research in and around Romanian Studies is. Long may it continue.

2013 Student Essay Award

Committee: Roland Clark (chair), Margaret Beissinger, Oana Armeanu.

The SRS awarded the 2013 graduate student essay prize to Dr. Florin Poenaru, who successfully defended his PhD in Sociology to Central European University in Budapest, Hungary, in October 2013. The ten submissions considered for this year’s prize included a number of outstanding essays and the committee was at times fascinated, horrified, intrigued, and impressed by the findings of these authors. Poenaru’s contribution entitled “The Illusion of Anti-Communism: Articulating Anti-Hegemonic Struggles in Post-Communism” stood out for its clarity, originality, extensive research, and theoretical depth. A chapter of the author’s PhD dissertation on intellectual debates in contemporary Romania, the essay explores the challenges faced by young intellectuals disillusioned with the mainstream critiques of the country’s communist past. Poenaru uses a collected volume entitled Iluzia anti-comunismului: lecturi critice ale Raportului Tismăneanu (Chişinău: Cartier, 2008) as a case study of conflict between politically, economically, and socially influential intellectuals and a group of much younger but passionate and articulate writers. Studying networks of intellectuals as they compete for hegemony over limited resources, Poenaru exposes the limits of Romania’s post-Socialist public sphere and the impact of a transitional market economy on intellectual discourse. He shows how members of the younger generation are forming alliances with their elders to generate a conversation based on universal and standardized values that challenges the celebrity culture of mainstream anti-communism. Writing on a delicate and highly politicized subject, Poenaru’s approach is balanced, sophisticated, and highly analytical. On behalf of the SRS the committee would like to congratulate Dr. Poenaru!

2012 Student Essay Award

Committee: Margaret Beissinger, James Koranyi, and Paul Sum.

The Fourth Graduate Student Essay Award was presented at the 2012 ASEEES conference in New Orleans, LA to Jonathan Stillo (City University of New York) for his outstanding essay titled “We are the losers of Socialism”: Tuberculosis, Social Cases and Limits of Care in Romania’. A doctoral student in Cultural Anthropology at the City University of New York, Jonathan exposes the complex relationships between the state’s “social contract,” former middle-class industrial workers, and social care in post-1989 Romania. Based on two years of fieldwork, including a six-month stint living in a TB sanatorium, Jonathan presents a trenchant and revealing analysis of tuberculosis in post-socialist Romania. He effectively incorporates the testimonies of those affected by the social issues that surround tuberculosis in contemporary Romania, showcasing the disturbing and dismal plight of the victims of TB. The project that Jonathan has tackled is challenging, yet his findings are striking and indeed moving, as he places the individual voices of those who treat as well as endure TB at the very centre of his analyses. Jonathan introduces, for example, a fraught nurse in Northern Moldova attempting to help a middle-aged TB sufferer and alcoholic. He includes other equally harrowing narratives of broken individuals such as Tudor who, at the age of fifty, has been homeless for twelve years without any social network to support him. In short, Jonathan assembles a meticulously researched mosaic, which informs broader debates on health and society in contemporary post-socialist Europe and indeed the wider world. The research presented in this essay is much-needed and promises to generate additional work that will comprise important contributions to the field. The SRS Graduate Student Essay Prize committee was unanimous in selecting Jonathan’s work as the very best from a truly excellent array of submitted essays. It is clear from Jonathan’s findings and his writing that a great deal of both academic and emotional labour has gone into his work, and for this he is hugely deserving of the 2012 Graduate Student Essay Prize of the Society for Romanian Studies.

2011 Student Essay Award

The Third Graduate Student Essay Prize was presented at the 2011 ASEEES conference in Washington, D.C. to Cristina Onose (University of Toronto) for her paper “EU Funding to Romanian SMEs: A Blueprint for Bankruptcy?”

2010 Student Essay Award

The Second Graduate Student Essay Prize was presented to Anca Mandru (University of Illinois) for her paper “Recurrent, Integrative, and Anti-Statist? Cultural Nationalism as Embodied in the Summer School at Valenii de Munte, Romania (1908-1940).” The essay was chosen because of its excellent style, grounded connections to theory, and overall contribution to the field of Romanian Studies. The goal of the paper is to apply John Hutchinson’s theory of cultural nationalism to the case of a series of summer schools organized by Nicolae Iorga at Valenii de Munte before and during the Greater Romania period between the World Wars. The case study also tests the validity of Hutchinson’s model. The essay is clearly and engagingly written, providing substantial background on both the relevant theories of nationalism and the historical context of the treated summer schools. The discussion and conclusions highlight how the summer schools contributed to the historical and political events of the time in considerable detail, however the essay remains accessible and informative even for the non-specialized reader. The essay is an outstanding example of how a case study can inform both historical knowledge and broader theoretical concerns. For this reason, Mandru’s essay stood out for all evaluators as the winner. The paper examines the summer school organized by the Romanian nationalist historian and politician Nicolae Iorga at Valenii de Munte in the interwar period from the perspective of John Hutchinson’s theory of cultural nationalism. Iorga’s summer school is here used as a case-study for testing the theory’s main premises, namely the recurrent, integrative and anti-statist character of cultural nationalism. Examining the challenges posed by the creation of Greater Romania and the subsequent integration of minorities and Romanians from the new provinces in the new state, the paper argues that Iorga’s otherwise traditional ideology was nevertheless integrative, aiming at creating a unified national culture. While Iorga’s project was characterized by strong anti-statist rhetoric, this paper argues that in fact the survival of cultural nationalism in the form promoted by the summer school at Valenii de Munte depended on support from, and cooperation with, the authorities, thus undermining John Hutchinson’s assumption of the essentially adversarial relation between cultural nationalism and the state. Anca Mandru is a doctoral student in History at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She holds a Master’s degree in Central European History from the Central European University in Budapest and a Bachelor’s degree in History from the American University in Bulgaria. She has received numerous awards related to her outstanding academic work, has presented two conference papers, and has a research article under review at a major journal. Her winning essay was written in the Spring Semester, 2010, for a course entitled “Introduction to Historical Writing.”

2009 Student Essay Award

Committee: Margaret Beissinger, Lavinia Stan, and Ileana Orlich.

The First SRS Graduate Student Essay Prize went to Roland Clark, a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh, for his paper “Singing Fascist Style: Music in the Romanian Legion of the Archangel Michael.” The committee wrote: “It was a very fine essay. We found that it was well written, well documented, with a clearly defined research question, and well argued. Clark’s findings on the role of music in the Iron Guard were fascinating and his interpretations were superb. His essay contained definitions ‘of appropriate terms (‘legionary’) based on a diversity of information sources, included Securitate documents obtained recently by the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.’ We also all felt that it was a topic that has not been covered adequately in the English-language literature on the Iron Guard.” Exploiting a support base built by earlier Romanian anti-Semites, the Legion of the Archangel Michael was established by Corneliu Zelea Codreanu (1899-1938) in 1927, and took power in a coup together with General Antonescu in 1940, ruling for five months before the regime disintegrated in an open legionary rebellion. Song lyrics articulated legionary ideology, but the music also communicated messages about unity, virulence, and ethnic specificity. It expressed the legionaries’ love affair with the peasantry, their romanticization of the natural world, their obsession with death, and the religious symbolism that characterized every aspect of legionary public life. Legionaries sang about highly emotional themes, and made frequent use of the imperative tense in their songs. Ron Eyerman and Andrew Jamison argue that in many social movements, “collective structures of feeling are actually made and reorganized … through song.” By claiming that their music expressed the Romanian soul, legionaries hoped to transform spectators into sympathizers and incorporate them into an imagined national community that Legionaries claimed to be appealing to a peasant base, and yet even though early legionary songs celebrated peasant life, they rarely reproduced peasant musical forms. Music, more than many forms of culture, often reflects class distinctions very clearly through both song structure and lyrical content, so how did legionaries use music to attract peasants? Songs expressed the Legion’s mythology, they created its style, and they provided the basis for its convivial sociability. In this paper, I situate legionary songs within the group’s wider semiotic web, suggest why certain musical styles were preferred over others, and show how legionaries used song to form solidarities with diverse sections of the population. Roland Clark is a a doctoral student in History at the University of Pittsburgh.