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NEC Odobleja

University of Nottingham



Research project: Seeing Like a Censor: Socialist Cultural Policy and Censorial Relations in Communist Romania, 1945-1989

Existing studies of censorship in the Eastern Bloc have focused on victims of censorship and strategies of by-passing the censorial system. This project moves beyond the moment of decision-making to consider more broadly the everyday life of censorship from the perspective of its practitioners. I reconstruct intimate knowledge of the censorial system and practices from archival documents, memoirs, biographies, personal memories of first-hand experiences of censorship, and interviews with former censors. It offers rare glimpses into the complexity of censorial mechanism of a collapsed authoritarian state and it has both a historical and current anthropological value which should be evaluated comparatively: the analysis of the practices of censorship in communist Romania can shed light on other economies of representation of knowledge inside authoritarian states in our present world.