Situated at the border between the East and West, Romania embodies the co-existence of cultural paradoxes informing major artistic trends and ideologies during the last 100 years. The course investigates the roots of surrealism, dadaism, theatre of the absurd, as well as practices of resistance against totalitarian regimes, and women's roles in forging a new democratic society.
The main goal of this course is to explore what made Romanian culture different from those of its former communist neighbors and to ultimately challenge preexisting views of the East bloc as a compact entity. We will read a range of texts across literary genres, watch internationally acclaimed movies, and analyze unsettling multimedia artworks.
Poems: Ana Blandiana, Paul Celan, Marin Sorescu
Plays: Eugene Ionesco's Chairs (1952), Matei Visniec's The Body of a Woman as a Battlefield in the Bosnian War (2000)
Short Stories: Gherasim Luca's The Passive Vampire (1945), Mircea Cărtărescu's The Architect (1989)
Essays: Emil Cioran's Russia and the Virus of Liberty, Odyssey of Rancor (1960)
Novellas: Herta Müller's The Passport (1989), D.R. Popescu's The Royal Hunt (1973)
Tales from the Golden Age Dir. Ioana Uricariu, Hanno Hoffer (2009)
4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days. Dir. Cristian Mungiu (2007)
Closer to the Moon. Nae Caranfil (2014)
General Education Requirements met:
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Visual, Literary and Performing Arts (VLPA)
20 % oral presentation;
30% short papers (15 % each short paper of 2 double spaced pages);
50 % final paper about 9-10 double spaced pages.
Initiated by two dedicated scholars, Otilia Baraboi and Ileana Marin, the course Romania Transformed is funded by the American Romanian Cultural Society, a nonprofit that promotes Romanian language and culture in the Pacific Northwest. The tuition fees from the Romanian in the High School program and part of the campaign for the Romanian Film Festival, alongside private donors, make this course possible.