Presentation Title

The Romanian Bard: Translating Shakespeare for a Post-Communist Nation

Presenter Status

Student, English Department

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Location

Buller Hall, Room 250

Start Date

24-5-2019 11:35 AM

Presentation Abstract

Though Latin in language and culture, Romania stands pretzled in the midst of Slavic lands. Suffering nested Orientalism in the context of western European assumed superiority, this marginalization sparked an eagerness to reproduce the works of William Shakespeare in both the communist and post-communist eras to assert national identity and cultural authority. Utilized through performance, a Shakespearean drama, like Hamlet, voiced dissent against the communist regime. In post-communist Romania, successfully adapting his timeless plays indicates a sign of cultural belonging and signals a desire to assimilate into the European Union.  Leading up to the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in 2016, new Romanian translations emerged to correct communist-era censorship tactics. Analyzing such translations can answer questions of how Shakespeare’s functionality shifts in Romania and how a post-communist society positions his works. This project examines the role of Shakespeare in third-millennium Romanian culture by close textual analysis of George Volceanov’s new Romanian Shakespeare translations, the Opere series. Investigating both the commercial and cultural contexts of the publications and the editors’ translation choices suggests distinctive Romanian values and practices and reveals Shakespeare’s purpose in a post-communist society.

Biographical Sketch

Ingrid Radulescu just completed her B.A. in English Literature with a minor in Political Science at Andrews University. She plans to take a year off to work and study for the LSAT in order to apply to law school. Radulescu would like to continue studying the bridge between imaginative literature and political theory by earning completing a JD in law and a PhD in political theory.

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank my research advisor and mentor, Dr. L. Monique Pittman. Without her continuous support, encouragement, and guidance I would not have been able to undergo such an ambitious project.

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May 24th, 11:35 AM

The Romanian Bard: Translating Shakespeare for a Post-Communist Nation

Buller Hall, Room 250

Though Latin in language and culture, Romania stands pretzled in the midst of Slavic lands. Suffering nested Orientalism in the context of western European assumed superiority, this marginalization sparked an eagerness to reproduce the works of William Shakespeare in both the communist and post-communist eras to assert national identity and cultural authority. Utilized through performance, a Shakespearean drama, like Hamlet, voiced dissent against the communist regime. In post-communist Romania, successfully adapting his timeless plays indicates a sign of cultural belonging and signals a desire to assimilate into the European Union.  Leading up to the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in 2016, new Romanian translations emerged to correct communist-era censorship tactics. Analyzing such translations can answer questions of how Shakespeare’s functionality shifts in Romania and how a post-communist society positions his works. This project examines the role of Shakespeare in third-millennium Romanian culture by close textual analysis of George Volceanov’s new Romanian Shakespeare translations, the Opere series. Investigating both the commercial and cultural contexts of the publications and the editors’ translation choices suggests distinctive Romanian values and practices and reveals Shakespeare’s purpose in a post-communist society.