Why 1989 Still Matters: Post-Communist Rhetoric, Romanian Discourse and European Identity as Public Arguments of Democracy

Tuesday, April 25, 2017
1201 International Affairs Building (420 W 118th St)

Please join the East Central European Center, the Romanian Cultural Institute, New York, and the Harriman Institute for a talk with Dr. Noemi Marin, School of Communication and Multimedia Studies, Florida Atlantic University.

Dr. Marin will present on the pre- and post-1989 political discourse in Romania, Eastern Europe, and the United States, drawing on the volume she recently co-edited with Cezar Ornatowski, Rhetorics of 1989: Rhetorical Archaeologies of Political Transitions (Routledge, 2015). She will address the question of how political speech in communist and transition periods does and does not change democratic action, and what challenges remain inherent to the public arena to this day. In this lecture, she intends to popularize scholarship on Romanian political communication pertinent to the country’s history within the context of European identity post-1989.

With crises arising on the democratic scene of former Eastern Europe, including the rise of nationalist rhetoric and the issues surrounding migration, there is an increasing need for scholarship on the role of the political and rhetorical communication and its impact on communist and post-communist times. The abundant scholarship produced for over the last twenty five years primarily focuses on historical, political, and sociopolitical perspectives, leaving out a communication studies approach. Communication and rhetorical perspectives help the public understand why nationalist arguments remain part of the political arena in Romania and the region as a whole, why democratic language and ‘wooden language’ share political arguments in presidential discourse, and why the notions of ‘other’ and ‘we-they’ remain fundamentally connected to the current European identity public discourse.

Dr. Noemi Marin is a Professor of the School of Communication and Multimedia Studes at Florida Atlantic University. She held administrative positions as Director of the School (2011-2014) and Director of the Peace Studies Program (2007-2012) at her institution. She is also Faculty Associate, Center for Women, Gender and Sexualities Studies, and Faculty Associate, Center for Body, Mind, and Culture, both at Florida Atlantic University. Since 2005, Dr. Marin has been the Editor of the international academic Journal of Literacy and Technology. Dr. Marin is currently President of the Romanian Studies Association of America, affiliated with Modern Language Association.

Dr. Marin has authored several volumes such as Rhetorics of 1989: Rhetorical Archaeologies of Political Transitions (co-edited) Routledge, 2015; two Collocutio collections part of Advances in the History of Rhetoric, (co-edited) Routledge, 2011 and 2007, as well as the single authored book, After the Fall: Rhetoric in the Aftermath of Dissent in Post-Communist Times (Peter Lang, 2007). In addition, she co-edited a Special Issue on Democracies’ in Transition for the academic journal, Controversia (Fall, 2007).

Currently, Dr. Marin is working on a new book project related to political communication and nationalist rhetoric in Eurasian states and an edited volume on post-communist rhetoric of transition in Eastern Europe.

Image by Gelu Savonea