Hidden Galleries project Sunday, Sep 10 2017 

The Hidden Galleries project is based at the University College Cork. Dr. James Kapalo is the heart and soul of the project, which is funded by European Research Council. The Creative Agency and Religious Minorities: ‘Hidden Galleries’ in the Secret Police Archives in 20th Century Central and Eastern Europe comparative research project, which runs for four years, explores the presence of material religion in the secret police archives in Romania, Hungary and Moldova, offering a perspectival shift on the value and uses of the secret police archives away from questions of justice and truth to questions of creative agency and cultural patrimony.

I am more than happy to serve as ethics reviewer for this project, which involves a dynamic team, which also includes Drs. Anca Since and Kinga Povedak, as well as doctoral candidates Iuliana Cindrea and Dumitru Lisnic. I am looking forward to the panels and presentations the team will deliver at the June 2018 international conference that the Society of Romanian Studies organizes in Bucharest at the Academy of Economic Sciences (ASE).

IMG_5573The project also has a FB page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1218071948262287/.


Cultures of History Forum Sunday, Sep 10 2017 

Honoured to become an Advisory Board member of the Cultures of History Forum in Germany, whose September 4 meeting was most illuminating and engaging. The Forum is an online journal part of the ‘History and the Public Sphere’ research stream at the Imre Kertész Kolleg in the Friedrich Schiller University Jena. It is concerned with “how the countries of Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe, which more than any other European region have been shaped by the vicissitudes of the twentieth century, address and negotiate their histories in public. Such negotiation is a continuous process that takes place in different spheres: the cultural, social and political.”

The Forum invites contributions along “three key areas of concern: museums and exhibitions; public debates and controversies; and official acts and government programmes.” It encourages experts from the region, and experts studying the region from outside of it, to examine “the ways in which history is presented through images and visual representations in museums and exhibitions,” to investigate local media-based debates over historical issues and diverging interpretations of the 20th century past, and to “look into specific political acts, legislation or programmes carried out in order to strengthen specific historical interpretations or narratives and/or to weaken others.”

More information is available on the Forum‘s website, at http://www.cultures-of-history.uni-jena.de/home/.


September 25 – deadline for submissions for the 2018 SRS conference Saturday, Sep 2 2017 

Upcoming book with Cambridge University Press Sunday, Aug 20 2017 

We are close to seeing our volume on transitional justice in the Former Soviet Union in print! It includes a set of wonderful chapters covering a range of countries, both cases and non-cases. As editors, Cynthia Horne and I are most grateful to all contributors who took the time to write their analyses, and to John Berger at Cambridge University Press for his constant support.

Transitional Justice and the Former Soviet Union: Reviewing the Past and Looking Toward the Future

Part I: The Long Shadow of the Past

Chapter 1: Limited Reckoning in the Former Soviet Union: Some Explanatory Factors – Lavinia Stan
Chapter 2: Challenges to Transitional Justice in Russia – Nanci Adler
Chapter 3: Public Memory and Communist Legacies in Poland and Russia – Mark Kramer
Chapter 4: Transitional Justice Attempts in Kazakhstan – Alexei Trochev
Chapter 5: Historical Reckoning in Belarus – Nelly Bekus

Part II. Transitional Justice Programs, Practices and Legislation

Chapter 6: Lustration in Ukraine and Democracy Capable of Defending Itself– Roman David
Chapter 7: Between Politics and History: The Baltic Truth Commissions in Global Perspective – Onur Bakiner
Chapter 8: Lustration: Temporal, Scope and Implementation Considerations – Cynthia M. Horne
Chapter 9: Transitional Justice and the Revision of History Textbooks: The 1932–33 Famine in Ukraine — Lina Klymenko
Chapter 10: Historical Politics and Court Redress in the Baltic States – Agata Fijalkowski

Part III. Layered Pasts and the Politics of Denial

Chapter 11: Confronting the Soviet and Post-Soviet Past in Georgia – Robert Austin
Chapter 12: Transitional Justice Lessons from Moldova – Lavinia Stan
Chapter 13: Confronting Multiple Pasts in Post-Soviet Armenia—Oana-Valentina Suciu
Chapter 14: Learning from Serbian Failure: The Denial of Three Repressive Pasts – Nenad Dimitrijević
Chapter 15: Entangled History, History Education and Affective Communities in Lithuania – Violeta Davoliūtė and Dovilė Budrytė

Chapter 16: Conclusion–Transitional Justice: Uses, Lessons and Questions— Alexandra Vacroux

The front cover will include this Getty Images photo: http://www.gettyimages.ca/license/52742015

EJPR report on Romanian politics released Tuesday, Aug 1 2017 

The 2017 report on Romanian political developments, which I co-authored with Razvan Zaharia, has been released electronically at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)2047-8852/earlyview. The report, which covers elections, cabinet changes, main policies and referenda in the previous year, is part of a special issue published every year by the European Journal of Political Research, the top political science scholarly review in Europe. This is our tenth report, if I’m not mistaken.

Book review in Perspectives on Politics Friday, Jun 23 2017 

Book review in “Perspectives on Politics,” the APSA vehicle, of Post-Communist Romania at Twenty-Five: https://www.cambridge.org/…/68E10A916C08AC92638D19E15E86E59F. We thank Nicolae-Emanuel Dobrei (SNSPA) for his positive feedback.


Post-Communist Romania at 25

Launch of book by Herman Victorov Monday, Jun 19 2017 

On 17 June Lucian Turcescu and I attended the launch of Sub aripa neagra a razboiului, a book signed by Herman Victorov with Mihaela Ignat and published earlier

this year by Maple Red, a small Publishing House in Toronto. The volume is a vivid testimony of life in the small Moldovan towns of Tg. Ocna and Bacau during 1940-1950, written through the eyes of a child. Centre stage is taken by Mr. Victorov’s close family, which suffered the direct effects of the Romanianization policies imposed by the Ion Antonescu dictatorship.

Mrs. Liliana Radulescu Deisel was kind enough to send me these photos.


Vocile exilului – a new series inaugurated at Ovidius University Friday, May 26 2017 

Daniel Citiriga and Florin Anghel have taken the initiative to launch a new series of interviews with Romanian diaspora members. I happened to be the first one in line for this event, inaugurated on May 18 at the Ovidius University in Constanta, Romania. A book is planned for the near future.

Book launch – the SRS-Polirom series Friday, May 26 2017 

On May 16, we had a very well attended book launch of Romania postcomunista: trecut, prezent, viitor. This title, the four in the SRS-Polirom Studii Romanesti/Romanian Studies series coordinated by Irina Livezeanu and Lavinia Stan, is the translation into Romanian of a volume originally published in 2015 by Rowman & Littlefield. Thank you to Ovidius University for an extraordinary event.

Honorary Doctorate ceremony at Ovidius Friday, May 26 2017 

I am honoured for having received an honorary doctorate from the Ovidius University in Constanta, Romania, where I have some very good friends working in history, political science, economics, literature and languages. Thank you to the Faculty of History and Political Science who nominated me, the selection committee, and Rector Sorin Rugina for their support and warm welcome.

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