ROMANIAN CULTURE IN THE GLOBAL AGE
ROMANIAN CULTURE IN THE GLOBAL AGE
Workshop organized within the Annual Conference of the Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, University of Bucharest
Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures
Str. Pitar Mos 7-13, Room Mark Twain
October 31, 2009, 9 a.m.
as part of the project Romanian Cultural Space in Transatlantic Perspective,
Center of American Studies, University of Bucharest
Project director: Prof. dr. Rodica Mihaila
In the Preface to his 1998 collection of essays The Cultures of Globalization, suggestively subtitled Post-Contemporary Interventions, Fredric Jameson describes globalization as a phenomenon that "reflects the sense of an immense enlargement of world communication, as well as of the horizon of a world market, both of which seem far more tangible and immediate than in earlier stages of modernity." While the underlying force of globalization is the expansion of market economy, with multinational companies and international chains rapidly expanding, and outsourcing becoming the main profit-bouncing strategy, the social (as well as political and cultural) impact of globalization most visibly consists, in Anthony Giddens' words in The Consequences of Modernity (1990) of "the intensification of worldwide social relations which link distant localities in such a way that local happenings are shaped by events occurring many miles away and vice versa."
By 2005, in Arjun Appadurai's view as expressed in an article in his edited volume entitled simply Globalization, globalization had become a phenomenon with such wide implications that it had come to be perceived as a source of anxiety in the U. S. academic world (which has always led the theorizing discourse around the concept, given the American origin of the phenomenon), mainly due to the difficulty to conceptualize a "world without borders." Postcolonial critics – such as Sankaran Krishna in Globalization and Postcolonialism, 2008 – show worry as globalization, initially perceived as an effective decolonization strategy, has posed real neocolonizing threats in more recent years as the world economic system has promoted exploitation of cheaper labor force in formerly colonized countries. This threat is certainly expanding in postcommunist Eastern Europe and has increased with EU accession and the easier circulation of labor force. If this intensification of communication at a distance, facilitated by the spectacular development of the Internet, was beginning to change Jameson's "post-contemporary" world as early as the nineties, Eastern Europe – which in the nineties was struggling with the hardest phase of post-communist transition to a real market economy, with consequences that have still not entirely overcome the stage of savage capitalism – actually started to be part of the global world only after 2000, when EU accession became a valid promise and then a fact.
How does this increasingly fast flow of information and long-distance communication affect a country like Romania, whose visibility has increased dramatically since the country has been more part of the contemporary global world as a result of NATO and EU accession? How has the awareness of being part of the global world and participating in its current debates changed the way in which Romanian culture imagines and reinvents itself as it becomes increasingly freer from the mental manacles bequeathed by the communist regime, whose presence still makes itself felt in everyday life? How does the local/global dialectic intrinsic to the global world affect the re-shaping of a Romanian cultural identity?
We invite 20-minute presentations in English (to be later developed into 4000-5000-word articles for possible publication) along (but not limited to) the following topics:
- Romanian academia and the globalization debate
- Romania between postcommunism, postcolonialism and the global world
- Romanian literature and film as spaces of reflection for the country's increased visibility in today's global world
- The culture of the Romanian diaspora (with an emphasis on, but not limited to, the Romanian American diaspora)
- The role of printed media and the Internet in encouraging the fast flow of information and communication between Romania and the world
- Romanian labor force in the global world as reflected in the media, literature and film
- Romanian cultural institutions and the promotion of Romanian culture abroad
- Global/glocal effects of EU accession as seen from Romania
Please send 150-200 word abstracts to firstname.lastname@example.org by October 15, 2009.
The selected articles will be published in a separate volume. Should participation in the workshop be an issue, articles can be submitted directly in a final version to be considered for publication by December 1, 2009.