The Concept of Crisis in American Culture

The Center for American Studies at the University of Bucharest

and the Romanian-U.S. Fulbright Commission

invite proposals for their annual student conference on the topic

The Concept of Crisis in American Culture

to be held online

on Friday, May 21, 2021

We invite proposals for 15-minute presentations from undergraduate and MA students whose research is relevant to the topic of the conference. Papers may come from the fields of literature, film, theater and performance arts, popular culture, visual culture and the media, history, politics, intercultural and interdisciplinary communication, and transatlantic relations and may address issues such as (but not necessarily limited to): cultural, economic and political crises in American history; epidemics as crisis; the environment in crisis; American ways of dealing with crisis; crisis, minorities and otherness in American culture; democracy and crisis; the United States and world crises; crises of literary and cultural canons. The best presentation will be awarded the “Dan Grigorescu” prize (US$ 200). Doctoral students are welcome to present outside the competition for the “Dan Grigorescu” prize.

Submission Guidelines

Please submit the following:

1. a 250-word abstract attached as an MS Word file. Your abstract must include the paper title and the name of the academic coordinator who has agreed to supervise your paper. Please note that, considering that each presentation will be 15 minutes long, final papers should be approximately 5-6 pages (Times New Roman, font 12, double-spaced). However, we strongly encourage participants to present and not simply read their papers.

2. 3-5 keywords from your essay;

3. Contact information (name, affiliation, phone number, and email address).

Please email your submissions to sabina.draga.alexandru@lls.unibuc.ro.

Deadline for submissions: Friday, May 14, 2021.

Notifications of proposal acceptance: Monday, May 17, 2021 (earlier notifications available upon request).

For any questions, please contact dr. Maria-Sabina Draga Alexandru (sabina.draga.alexandru@lls.unibuc.ro).

Susținerea lucrării de licență

PROGRAMUL DE STUDII AMERICANE

UNIVERSITATEA DIN BUCUREȘTI

4 februarie 2021

Nr.
crt.
Numele, inițiala tatălui şi prenumele absolventuluiAnul înmatriculăriiTitlul lucrării de licențăCoordonatorOra susținerii
1.Ciucă S. Ștefania2010Importanța Emisiunii Ru Paul’s Drag Race pentru comunitatea LGBTQConf. dr. Dana Mihăilescu9:00
2.Esterabadyan V. Sara2015Un studio al Împletirii dintre Transcendentalism și Pragmatism în Cultura Americană prin Prisma Scrierilor lui Ralph Waldo EmersonProf. dr. Roxana Oltean9:15

Guest Talk by Saviana Stănescu

On January 5, 2021, the American Studies program was honored to welcome award-winning playwright Saviana Stănescu as a special guest in the Contemporary American Drama and Social Change class taught by Dr. Diana Benea.

Dr. Stănescu offered a talk on the process of developing one of her latest pieces, Kilometrul Zero (The Revolution Project), during her sabbatical semester in Romania in the fall of 2019. The presentation was followed by a Q & A session focusing on such issues as the broader contexts of Stănescu’s interdisciplinary body of work, the philosophy and practice of new play development, the representation of history in the contemporary theatrical imagination, as well as current directions and challenges in U.S. and global theater.

***

Saviana Stănescu is a Romanian American playwright, poet, scholar, and ARTivist, whose creative works have been widely presented in the U.S. and internationally. Recent productions include: Bee Trapped Inside the Window (Civic Ensemble), What Happens Next (Cherry Artspace), Aliens with Extraordinary Skills (Women’s Project; Teatro La Capilla, Mexico City), Ants (New Jersey Rep), For A Barbarian Woman (Fordham/EST), Polanski Polanski (HERE, PS 122, Chain Theatre), White Embers (Dramalabbet, Stockholm), Viză de clovn (Teatrul Odeon), Organic (TNB), Toys (Hollywood; Avignon; 59E59 NYC).

Stănescu holds a PhD in Theater from the National University of Theater and Film in Bucharest, Romania, as well as an MA in Performance Studies (Fulbright fellow) and an MFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, where she also taught for eight years. Currently, she is a tenured Associate Professor of Playwriting and Theater/Performance Studies at Ithaca College, NY. Stănescu is also the founder and president of Immigrant Artists and Scholars in New York (IASNY).

Activism and Citizen Participation: U.S. Elections 2020 on Thursday, October 22, 15:00 CEST (16:00 Bucharest time)

The U.S. Embassy in Italy will host an online discussion on Activism and Citizen Participation: U.S. Elections 2020 on Thursday, October 22, 15:00 CEST (16:00 Bucharest time), featuring Dr. Carolyn Jefferson-Jenkins.  If interested and available, please join the event via https://www.facebook.com/AmbasciataUSA.

Carolyn Jefferson-Jenkins is the first African American woman to serve as President of the League of Women Voters, where she focused on increasing voter participation, campaign finance reform, and health care for underserved populations.  Jefferson-Jenkins continues to be an advocate and activist for civil rights, social justice, educational excellence, and stronger citizen participation in the electoral process.  She serves on numerous boards and advises community-based organizations including Howard University’s Women Ambassadors Program.  She also has contributed to numerous journals and books on election reform.


Also, please find below a list of recorded webinars on U.S. Elections-related topics.  They were organized throughout the year by various U.S. embassies.  As you will notice, the U.S. speakers are experienced professionals, who presented and discussed with their audiences on subjects relevant to the 2020 U.S. Elections.  We hope you will find these resources helpful for a better understanding of the U.S. election process.


Understanding the American Election Process
U.S. Speaker: Professor Brian Brox is an Associate Professor of political science at Tulane University in New Orleans,Louisiana.  He also acts as head of political science undergraduate studies at the University and directs the U.S. Public Policy Program.  Professor Brox also serves as a Political Consultant both in Louisiana and nationally.  His company, Brox Research, conducts market research and public opinion polling for a variety of clients.  Dr. Brox received his PHD in Government from the University of Texas at Austin and his BA degree in Political Science from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. https://vimeo.com/396021556
Password: egy-vote2020


Women Running for Office U.S. Speaker: Susannah Wellford, who is the CEO and founder of Running Start, a nonpartisan, non profit organization dedicated to training young women to run for political office.  Running Start trains approximately 2500 young women every year in the United States and around the world.  She is also a co-founder and past President of the nonpartisan Political Action Committee (PAC) Woman Under Forty, an organization which helps young American woman get elected to the United States Congress.  Ms. Wellford has experience working as a lobbyist and as both a congressional and White House staffer. https://vimeo.com/438541221

Youth & Election
U.S. Speaker: Adrienne Lever, who has over a decade of experience in political organizing, civic technology, and electoral campaigns. She is an alumnus of both the Obama and Clinton campaigns, and a founding member of Swing Left, a national grassroots organization that formed in the wake of the 2016 loss and went on to mobilize over half a million volunteers to take back the house in 2018. https://vimeo.com/461095547/c2968d2a9a

Presidential Debates U.S. Speaker: Frank Fahrenkopf, who is Co-Chairman of the Commission on Presidential Debates.  He was previously Chairman of the Republican Party for six years.  When Fahrenkopf retired, he had served as Chairman of the Republican National Committee longer than any person in the 20th century.  He co-founded the Commission on Presidential Debates in 1986 with Democratic National Committee chairman Paul Kirk.  He also founded the National Endowment for Democracy, where he served as Vice Chairman and a board member.  Additionally, he was President and CEO of the American Gaming Association (AGA) until he retired in 2013.
https://vimeo.com/429782716

Doctoral Grants 2021 GSNAS FU Berlin

The Graduate School of North American Studies (GSNAS) at Freie Universität Berlin invites applications for

five doctoral grants with a funding period of three years (1,350 EUR per month, 2021-2024) as well as up to five additional doctoral memberships for candidates who have already obtained third-party funding (starting date: October 1, 2021).

Of interest to prospective candidates who are interested in pursuing a doctoral project in Cultural Studies, Economics, History, Literary Studies, Political Science or Sociology. Only doctoral projects related to the field of North American Studies can be considered. Applicants will be able to submit their applications via our online platform until November 30, 2020 at 23:59 hours GMT (deadline). Further details can be found on our website at gsnas.fu-berlin.de/en.

Should doctoral candidates at your institution be interested in a short-term stay (2-6 months) at GSNAS, we would appreciate to receive inquiries at visitingresearcher@gsnas.fu-berlin.de.

William Faulkner for 21st Century World Readers: FAULKNERIANA: Back to (and Beyond) Yoknapatawpha

by Anca Peiu



Specialized in literary studies of the Old South, Dr. Anca Peiu, an Associate Professor of the Department of English, within the Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures of the University of Bucharest, Romania, is the author of a new book: FAULKNERIANA: Back to (and Beyond) Yoknapatawpha. This volume represents the outcome of her devoted research for over two decades. Anca Peiu has meanwhile also published three volumes of translations into Romanian from William Faulkner’s vast literary heritage. She has provided all these books with critical notes and well-documented introductory studies for Faulkner’s Romanian readers.

The book’s title may hint at E. T. A. Hoffmann’s “Kreisleriana”, an evocation of a favorite romantic character in some fragmentary fiction – thus suggesting now a kaleidoscope of approaches to some particular aspects of the modern American writer’s inexhaustible works. Another possible echo detectable in the present title is Louisiana, the place where William Faulkner’s career as a novelist actually started, with a generous friend’s encouragement, while Faulkner was living in Pirates’ Alley, New Orleans.   

Anca Peiu’s book is written in English, addressing a larger audience. The “C. H. Beck” Publishing House in Bucharest has offered the best support for this volume, enriched with illustrations and cover design by Ion Aramă, a great graphic artist from Romania.

We may often fall prey to clichés about the masters of world literature. These clichés tend to obscure their actual messages. Many readers, whether scholars or just amateurs, may (think they) know enough about William Faulkner to place him into a thematic context and an absolute literary canon of the late 20th century.

From an Eastern-European retrospective, Anca Peiu’s book aims at guiding such readers through a labyrinth of universally contemporary fields of significance. Not only fine witticisms, but also the most unsettling prophecies for our times can we find through Faulknerian lines.

These will trouble us today more than ever; from the mock-cynical echo of a rhetorical question in Faulkner’s Acceptance Speech of his Nobel Prize in 1950: “When will I be blown up?” to his ars poetica reasserted in an interview given to The Paris Review in 1956: “I imagine as long as people will continue to read novels, people will continue to write them, or vice versa; unless of course the pictorial magazines and comic strips finally atrophy man’s capacity to read, and literature really is on its way back to the picture writing in the Neanderthal cave.”

Programare pentru interviul de admitere

16 septembrie 2020

Nr. crt.Nume şi prenumeInterval orar
 Seria 1 – conectare la ora 16:00 
 1.DATCU V. DIANDRA – IOANA16:00-16:15
 2.LIMBOSU E. ELENA-RUXANDRA16:15-16:30
 3.NICA M. MARIA ALEXANDRA16:30-16:45
 Seria 2 – conectare la ora 16:45 
 4.PÂRVAN G. ELENA-IULIANA  16:45-17:00
 5.PASCALE M. SABRINA GEORGIANA17:00-17:15
 6.RUSU P.A. LAURA MARIA17:15-17:30

BA Defense Schedule (September 4 2020)

Toți candidații din fiecare serie de câte 5 se vor conecta la începutul intervalului alocat seriei lor (10:00, respectiv 11:15).

NO.NAMESUPERVISORTIME
1.Armăsaru Cătălina  IulianaLect. dr. Andreea Paris-Popa10:00
2.Fufă Claudia Alina ȘtefaniaLect. dr. Dragoș Manea10:15
3.Limbosu Elena-RuxandraConf. dr. Mihaela Precup10:30
4.Ivănescu Maria Cristina MădălinaConf. dr. Mihaela Precup10:45
5.Rusu Laura MariaConf. dr. Mihaela Precup11:00
6.Sanda Beatrice-AdrianaConf. dr. Octavian Roske11:15
7.Grosu Sorina-ViorelaConf. dr. Octavian Roske11:30
8.Gherase Elena – Cătălina  Conf. dr. Octavian Roske11:45
9.Abeaboeru Andreea-IoanaLect. dr. Raluca Andreescu12:00
10.Costea ElenaLect. dr. Raluca Andreescu, Dr. Ruxandra Rădulescu12:15

Programare pentru interviul de admitere

Master Studii Americane

JOI, 23 IULIE 2020

Toți candidații din fiecare serie de câte 4 se vor conecta la începutul intervalului alocat seriei lor (10:00, 11:00, 12:00, respectiv 13:00)

Nr. crt.Nume şi prenumeInterval orar
 1.SERIA 1
ARON M.  DENISA
10:00-10:15
 2.CIOCOIU R. SILVIA-ANDRADA10:15-10:30
 3.COȘERU  A.N.  IRINA ALEXANDRA10:30-10:45  
 4.DRĂGAN D. MIHAELA10:45-11:00
 5.SERIA 2
FILOTE C-Ș IULIA-ȘTEFANIA
11:00-11:15
 6.GALBEAZA A.V.MARIA ALEXANDRA11:15-11:30
 7.GEANTĂ N. SEFORA11:30-11:45
 8.MĂRGINEANU M.N. ADRIANA ELENA11:45-12:00
 9.SERIA 3
MIHAI M. CRISTINA -MARIA
12:00-12:15
 10.MORARU E. ALEXANDRA-SORINA12:15-12:30
 11.POPA N. SÂNZIANA-MIRUNA12:30-12:45
 12.SAVU D. ANA-MARIA FLORENTINA12:45-13:00
 13.SERIA 4
ȘERBAN M. IOAN CRISTIAN
13:00-13:15
 14.VĂCĂRESCU M.C.  CLAUDIA-ALEXANDRA13:15-13:30
 15.VOICAN N. MARIA-ALEXANDRA13:30-13:45
 16.ZAHIU M ANDREEA-SIMONA13:45-14:00

MA Defense (June 25 2020)

Schedule

No.  NameMA paper title (in Romanian)SupervisorTime
  1.  Degeratu D. Ștefania ElenaTinerii Radicali ai Americii anilor ’70: “American Woman” de Susan Choi    Prof. dr. Rodica Mihăilă  14:00
  2.  Stan P. Ana-MariaAlteritatea Balcanică a lui Dracula Așa Cum Este Reprezentată In Film    Prof. dr. Mădălina Nicolaescu  14:15
  3.  Frunză A. Cristina-DeliaAsamblând o Lume: Natura ca și Construct in Poezia lui Theodore Roethke    Prof. dr. Roxana Oltean  14:30
  4.  Guță C. GeorgeDifuzarea Serialelor Americane de Televiziune in Romania Comunistă- Putere Discretă Americană sau Propagandă?    Prof. dr. Roxana Oltean  14:45
  5.  Stoian I. Bianca-ElenaMetodă și Tehnologie. Spații Utopice în The Sirens of Titan (1959) de Kurt Vonnegut și An Absolutely Remarkable Thing (2018) de Hank Green.    Prof. dr. Roxana Oltean  15:00
  6.  Codrean N. DanielCostumul ca dispozitiv narativ în adaptările cinematografice din “Marele Gatsby”    Conf. dr. Dana Mihăilescu  15:15
  7.  Panait M. Teodor“It ain’t about the money”: Reprezentarea identității gangsterului în Boyz n the Hood (1991) de John Singleton și Paid in Full (2002) de Charles Stone III    Conf. dr. Dana Mihăilescu  15:30
  8.  Dumitriu F. David-IonuțAlterități Transgresive: Metodele Subversive ale Mișcărilor American Hardcore Punk și Norwegian Black Metal    Lect. dr. Dragoș Manea  15:45

25 June 2020

BA Defense Schedule (June 25-26 2020)

BA Paper Defense (American Studies)

25 June 2020

No.NameBA paper title (in Romanian)SupervisorTime
1.Kazemi H. ZahraAspects of social criticism in Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn and a Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s court  Prof. dr. Roxana Oltean10:00
2.Gehl W. Francesca IoanaThomas Jefferson și fundamentele gândirii politice americane  Conf. dr. Octavian Roske10:15
3.Isacenco C. OanaReprezentari ale celor 3 Valuri ale Miscarii Feministe in Filmul Orele (2002)  Conf. dr. Dana Mihăilescu10:30
4.Mihai M. Cristina-MariaReprezentări ale Femeilor din Universul Cinematografic Marvel   Conf. dr. Dana Mihăilescu10:45
5.Savu D. Ana-Maria Florentina‘Re Jane’ provoacă ‘Jane Eyre’ la o schimbare Coreean Americană: Despre Re Jane de Patricia Park (2015) și Jane Eyre (1847) de Charlotte Brontë  Conf. dr. Dana Mihăilescu11:00
6.Stoica M. Daiana-MarinaReprezentări ale sclaviei în filmele istorice din SUA   Nașterea unei națiuni (1915, 2016)  Conf. dr. Dana Mihăilescu11:15
7.Herman M. TeodoraPuterea Creatiei in Dezvoltarea Identitatii de Fan. Fan Fiction pe Wattpad si Fan Videouri pe YouTubeConf. dr. Mihaela Precup11:30
8.Barbu T. Mirela-IsabelaDepicția maternității în seriale televizate despre clasa muncitoare  Lect. dr. Dragoș Manea11:45
9.Manole M. Cecilia AlexandraReprezentări de gen în piesele a două dramaturge americane de la începutul secolului XX: Trifles (1916) de Susan Glaspell și Machinal (1928) de Sophie Treadwell     Lect. dr. Diana Benea12:00
10.Ciocoiu R. Silvia-AndradaMișcarea de Dobândire a Drepturilor LGBT în “Milk”. Un Loc pentru Speranță în Activism.  Lect. dr. Raluca Andreescu12:15
11.Ghasemi A. Sara-ElmiraPedeapsa cu moartea în Statele Unite și Victimizarea Incarceratului  Lect. dr. Raluca Andreescu12:30
12.Rădoi V. Cristina-MonicaCondamnarea la moarte: între pedeapsa legitimă și crimă   Lect. dr. Raluca Andreescu12:45
13.Rashid (Minescu) R. Nargis-ManuelaReprezentări ale mișcării pentru drepturile civile în “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” și “The Long Walk Home”  Lect. dr. Raluca Andreescu13:00
14.Dorneanu V. Tudor Alexandru Interactivitatea rasismului, a discriminăarii și a emoției umane în “The Witcher”Asist. dr. Andrei Nae13:15

BA Paper Defense (American Literature)

26 June 2020

No.NameBA paper title (in Romanian)SupervisorTime
1.  Ma J. Fengming  Marele Gatsby și Visul AmericanConf. dr. Maria Sabina Draga Alexandru10:00
2.Drăgan D. Mihaela  Două Narațiuni Moderniste ale Eșecului: Vârsta Inocenței de Edith Wharton (1920) și Marele Gatsby de F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925)  Prof. dr. Anca Peiu10:15
3.  Stoian V. Teodora  Womanhood in Henry James’s ConceptionProf. dr. Roxana Oltean10:30
4.  Miclăuș I. Andreea-Maria  Aminteste-ti cine e adevaratul inamic! Trilogia Jocurile Foamei de Suzanne Collins; Razboiul Paradigmelor sub Monitorizare in Societatea Distopica din Panem  Prof. dr. Mihai Stroe10:45
5.  Sankat U. Sandra  Maus de Art Spiegelman. Persistența în tăcere a traumei supraviețuitorului  Lect. dr.Andreea Paris-Popa11:00
6.  Musat S. Madalina-Alexndra  Lumea Sclaviei: O noua viziune asupra experientei lui Solomon Northup: 12 ani de sclavie, un film regizat de Steve McQueen  Conf. dr. Octavian Roske11:15
7.  Petrescu A. Mircea-Vasile  Dezvăluiri pe scena politică a Statelor Unite ale Americii: Scandalul Watergate în The Final Days de Carl Bernstein și Bob Woodward și în All the President’s Men de A.J.Pakula  Conf. dr. Octavian Roske11:30
8.  Grosu R. Sorina Viorela  Președinţi ai Statelor Unite ale Americii în evocări literare – Abraham Lincoln și John Fitzgerald Kennedy  Conf. dr. Octavian Roske11:45
9.  Grigore (Dumitru) M. Patricia Andreea  Reprezentarea comunitatilor religioase in mai multe filme documentare americane contemporane  Conf. dr. Mihaela Precup12:00
10.  Voican N. Maria-Alexandra  Reprezentări ale identității afro-americane în Becoming de Michelle Obama (2018)Conf. dr. Dana Mihăilescu12:15
11.  Merian R. Raluca Iuliana  Reprezentări ale proceselor vrăjitoarelor din Salem în A Mirror for Witches (1928) de Esther Forbes și The Crucible (1953) de Arthur Miller  Lect. dr. Diana Benea12:30
12.  Pandrea F. Florina  Arhetipuri Jungiene in piesa de teatru “Un tramvai numit dorinta”  Lect. dr. Daniela Cârstea12:45
13.Baltateanu A. Lucia Camelia  Predispozitia Spre Antieroi a Mediului Vizual Contemporan: Un Studiu asupra Personajului Venom din Franciza Marvel  Lect. dr. Dragoș Manea13:00
14.  Ispas D. Denisa-Emanuela  Masculinitate și Identitate în ,,Mad Men”Lect. dr. Dragoș Manea13:15
15.  Ritivoiu C. Cristina-Ecaterina  A accepta sau a decide viitorul: O analiză a timpului în Abatorul cinci şi Interstellar  Lect. dr. Dragoş Manea13:30
16.  Toma E. Ana  Tropul “Women in Refrigerators” în Benzi DesenateAsist. dr. Andrei Nae13:45

On History and Fantasy: Anglo-American Cultural Memory and Politics of Adaptation

by Dragoș Manea



Historical fantasy – a genre that blends historical reality with elements impossible in their historical periods, such as magic or preposterously advanced technology – affords us new ways of understanding the processes behind the constant remediation of cultural memory by accepting a narrative logic that overtly rejects the paradigm of historical verisimilitude.

In doing so, it allows for an imaginative engagement with the past that is open to radical transformation. Such profound alterations of historical events can also serve to interrogate the grand narratives often associated with them by revealing different, perhaps disturbing potentialities – what could have preferably happened and what has thankfully not.

The Political Imagination of Thomas Pynchon’s Later Novels

by Diana Benea



This book is an attempt to illuminate the ways in which Thomas Pynchon’s later novels – Vineland (1990), Mason & Dixon (1997), Against the Day (2006), Inherent Vice (2009), and Bleeding Edge (2013) – configure a vibrant political imagination, which marks a significant departure from the paranoid and entropic vision of his earlier (high postmodernist) works.

The more recent novels invite reflection on a series of issues invested with a significant ethical and political dimension, committing themselves to a vocabulary that foregrounds the values of community, social justice, relationality, and interdependence. By placing this corpus in conversation with influential works in contemporary (political) philosophy — in particular, late Foucault and late Derrida — this study argues that the subtle shift of sensibility at the heart of Pynchon’s later fiction is most visible in its re-envisioning of the relation of the self to the Other in more hospitable terms.

Reviewed by Scott McClintock for Orbit: A Journal of American Literature 7.1 (2019), Open Library of Humanities, UK. https://doi.org/10.16995/orbit.1810


Reviewed by Ali Chetwynd, “Late Pynchon Theorized: A Review of Diana Benea, The Political Imagination of Thomas Pynchon’s Later Novels, and Sean Carswell, Occupy Pynchon: Politics after Gravity’s Rainbow.” American, British and Canadian Studies, Vol. 33 (2019): 233-243.

Between History and Personal Narrative – East European Women’s Stories of Migration in the New Millenium

Ed. Maria-Sabina Draga Alexandru, Mădălina Nicolaescu, Helen Smith



This book presents a broad spectrum of studies focusing on fiction, graphic narratives, photography, online forums and interviews.

The contributions engage with important aspects of women’s mobility and migration in the aftermath of communism. Thus the book covers untrodden ground in Eastern European studies, feminism and transnationalism, and is a highly welcome intervention in the field of transnational feminism.

The essays in this collection focus on a wide variety of fictional and non-fictional East European women’s migration narratives (by Dubravka Ugresi’c, Slavenka Drakuli’c, Vesna Goldsworthy, Iva Pekárková, Ioana Baetica Morpurgo and Marina Lewycka), multimodal narratives by migrant artists (Nina Bunjevac and Svetlana Boym) and cybernarratives (blogs and personal stories posted on forums). They negotiate the concept of narrative between conventional literary forms, digital discourses and the social sciences, and bring in new perspectives on strategies of representation, trauma, dislocation, and gender roles. They also claim a place for Eastern Europe on the map of transnational feminism.