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President of the Romanian Association for Baltic and Nordic Studies
The Romanian Journal for Baltic and Nordic Studies marks its tenth anniversary with a special issue devoted mainly to 100 Years since Modern Independence and Unification in Baltic Sea Region and East-Central Europe, which was the theme of the Ninth Annual International Conference on Baltic and Nordic Studies in Romania held at Valahia University of Târgoviște on November 15-16, 2018. The event focused on the historical, cultural, social and economic processes which led to the independence of Finland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia and Poland in the Baltic Sea Region, to the unification of Romania and the independence of Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary and Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (Yugoslavia) in East-Central Europe and the consequences of the reshaping of the entire region from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea and Adriatic Sea. Several other political entities created at the end of World War I such as Ukraine, Georgia or Litbel succumbed after barely living for a few months or years of existence. How did the changes of borders and belonging affect the human communities living in the area and what impact did they have beyond the region on the short, medium and long-run? How were war and peace-making experienced in this region and how did they influence the changes of political geography? How did the processes of independence and unification reverberate throughout the region and how did state and non-state actors reflect, echo and react to this structural transformation of the area? How does this metamorphosis resonate in historical memory, the politics of memory and cultural identity, in historical narratives, including competing narratives, and in the use of history in identity politics a century after the guns were silenced? How does literature permeate the changes occurring at the end of the war to end all wars in the region? How do art, architecture, patrimony, in general, capture the message of those tremendous transformations? Places of commemoration, autobiographies, biographies and memoirs, empiric or theoretical research relevant to the conference topic stood also at the core of the conference.
This issue opens with an article dealing with the staging of the celebrated Arthur Miller’s version of An Enemy of the People by Henrik Ibsen at the “Vasile Alecsandri” National Theatre in Iași in 2016. The author concludes that alterations of original texts lead to “a new piece of work”. Crina Leon also explores the reception of this theatrical performance by the Romanian public.
Enikő Molnár Bodrogi approaches in her contribution the influence of borders on identity building of the Hungarian minority of Transylvania. The postmodern concept of border is used in order to seek explanations of the attachment of communities to certain landscapes and the sacralisation and desecration of borders as they are depicted in Transylvanian Hungarian literary texts.
Adél Furu concisely tackles the recognition of Finland’s independence especially by Russia and the Scandinavians and the use and readapting of symbols in the drive towards nationhood and independence since the 19th century.
Two articles focus on the First World War in Romania and Central Europe. Mihaela Mehedinți-Beiean undertakes a study of four newspapers Biserica și Școala, Drapelul, Transilvania and Unirea in order to explain the media perception of Romanian officers’ in the preparation and aftermath of Transylvania’s unification with Romania both as fighters within the National Guards and defence auxiliaries during the Alba Iulia National Assembly of December 1, 1918. The sources of the second article bearing the signature of Costel Coroban are the diaries of the Scottish nurses witnessing the war traumas and their effects on flesh and blood human beings on the Dobrujan front. The article approaches the experience of the Scottish women at a time of defeat of Romanian and Russian armies camped in Dobruja and the de-heroization of war in the perception of the nurses.
The journal ends with the text of the discourse of His Excellency Mr. Arvydas Pocius, The Ambassador of Lithuania to Romania, held at the opening of the Ninth Annual International Conference on Baltic and Nordic Studies in Romania highlighting the significance of the 1918 re-enactment of independence to the Lithuanian nation. The Embassy of Lithuania was a key partner of the conference and His Excellency held the opening speech of the event.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Editorial Foreword 5
An Enemy of the People on the stage of the Iași National Theatre in 2016 7
Enikő Molnár Bodrogi
The effect of borders on identity building in minority life 21
Recognition of Finland’s independence: a time of contemplation 43
From a multi-ethnic empire to a national state: the contribution of Romanian officers in the Habsburg army to the creation of Greater Romania as presented by Transylvanian journalists 53
Elated and Traumatized Self(ves) in Autobiographies from the Romanian Front 71
The most significant date in Lithuania’s history 85
Call for Papers 87