Head of The Section for Nordic Studies of the Romanian Association for Baltic and Nordic Studies, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Most of the contributions gathered in Volume 7, issue no. 2 (2015) of Revista Română pentru Studii Baltice şi Nordice / The Romanian Journal for Baltic and Nordic Studies (RRSBN) were presented at the Sixth International Conference on Baltic and Nordic Studies in Romania held on 22-23 May 2015 and entitled Historical memory, the politics of memory and cultural identity: Romania, Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea Region in comparison.
The conference was organized by the Romanian Association for Baltic and Nordic Studies in cooperation with the International Summer School of the University of Oslo, Norway and the Faculty of History and Political Sciences of Ovidius University of Constanţa, Romania and in partnership with Nordic and Baltic embassies and consulates in Romania. The conference was funded by EEA and Norway Grants 2009-2014 within the Fund for Bilateral Relations at the National Level.
The aim of the conference was to investigate the link between identity, collective memory and history in the above-mentioned areas by trying to find encounters between them and by making comparisons between the memories of the Romanian, Nordic and Baltic nations.
After offering a short presentation of the Norse-Byzantine relations before the founding of the Varangian guard, Alexandra Airinei from the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iaşi courageously approaches the importance of the guard for the manifestation of the imperial power in the Byzantine public life.
The young scholar Costel Coroban from the Valahia University of Târgovişte makes an investigation of the political power by analyzing some characteristics of royalty in medieval Norway. The case study he chooses for this purpose is Sverris saga, a saga about the Norwegian king Sverre Sigurdsson.
The Norwegian translator Steinar Lone authors two important contributions regarding Romanian history in the 19th century, on the one hand, also revealing the relationship between Romania and the famous musical composition The Entry of the Boyars by Johan Halvorsen, and on the other hand the history of the second half of the 20th century when he himself was under the surveillance of the secret police, Securitatea, as a foreign Norwegian student in Romania.
Having held a plenary session during the conference, the Norwegian historian Jardar Seim looks at ways in which individuals, social groups and political authorities approach the past and chooses examples from Romania and the Nordic and Baltic states.
Rūta Šermukšnytė from Vilnius University and Giuseppe Raudino from Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen further explore the topic of the current issue of the journal with relation to Lithuanian historical documentaries and respectively Baltic cinema.
The Finnish historian Kari Alenius from the University of Oulu investigates the representations of World War II in Wikipedia web pages of the Baltic and Nordic states, which are compared so as to show similarities and differences regarding the image of the war.
The capital city of the Russian exclave Kaliningrad Oblast and its architexture is then brought into discussion by Paulina Siegień from The University of Gdansk.
The issue of security in the Baltic Sea and Black Sea regions is tackled by Mihai Sebastian Chihaia from the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iaşi in order to find similarities and differences in the political and security environment of these areas after the end of the Cold War.
Adél Furu from the Babeş-Bolyai University draws a comparison between the Sami communities living in Finland and the Kurds living in Turkey so as to show how the cultural identity of these ethnic groups was affected by historical marginalization.
The last article of this issue is dedicated to historical memory in connection with women in the Latvian War of Independence 1918-1920. Thus Inna Gīle from the Institute of Latvian History at the University of Latvia discusses the role of nurses during the above-mentioned military conflict.
We hope that, through the new interpretations and the new documentary evidences, the articles published in this issue will further reveal bonds between Romania and the Nordic and Baltic regions and will strengthen the relations between these areas.