Romanian transition and transnational crossings: A well-traveled communist biddy

Ioana Luca*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


My chapter argues for transnationalism as lens and method for examining cultural memories of the transition in Romania so as to capture the multiscalar, complex articulations informing them. I focus on I am an Old Commie! by Dan Lungu (Sint o baba comunista! 2007), its national remediations, and regional travels, and analyze its transnational relationalities, both at the diegetic and extra diegetic level. A transnational approach to the novel, to Stere Gulea's 2013 film, and to Antonella Cornici's 2019 play highlights, I claim, how multifaceted global/local interactions and the multidirectional forces of globalization post-1989 shape both representations of the longue duree transition in Romania and forms of remembering the communist past. The coda provides a brief view of the reception of the novel in the former socialist bloc and surveys the 'minor transnationalisms' (Lionnet and Shih 2005) it has enabled. I show how Lungu's much remediated and well-traveled novel fleshes out overlooked global entanglements of the Romanian transition and unexpected post-1989 transregional variabilities, which re-orient us toward complex circuits, relations, juxtapositions, and encounters. Such configurations, I hold, unmoor national frames of reference that have been a given in the understanding of the postcommunist transition and its literary representations in Romania, and point to the relevance of comparative approaches when examining the evolving heterogeneity of cultural memories within the former socialist bloc.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRemembering Transitions
Subtitle of host publicationLocal Revisions and Global Crossings in Culture and Media
Publisherde Gruyter
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9783110707793
ISBN (Print)9783110707700
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Oct 4

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Arts and Humanities


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