Professor Valentina Sandu-Dediu, IAS Fellow at Hatfield College – Durham University, January – March 2024

31 January 2024

We are pleased to announce that Professor Valentina Sandu-Dediu, Rector of the New Europe College, is part of an international group of researchers at the Institute for Advanced Study at Durham University for one semester (January-March 2024), during which she will contribute to the interdisciplinary project Understanding Offence: delimiting the (un)sayable. Exploring offence as a cultural and social phenomenon, the project gathers scholars from legal and political sciences, as well as theologians, anthropologists, linguists and musicologists.

Professor Valentina Sandu-Dediu explores different cases of nationalism and ideological censorship in the 20th-century, looking for similarities and differences between music in Romania and in other totalitarian regimes (in the USSR or Nazi Germany). Working with reputed musicologists like Professor Patrick Zuk and Professor Kevin Bartig, within the Understanding Offence project, Professor Valentina Sandu-Dediu aims to shed light on some issues of the music behind the former Iron Curtain. Certain aspects will emerge through the study of the archives of the former Securitate, as well as of the Romanian publications from the 1970s and 1990s that strongly promoted the peculiar notion of “protochronism”.

Professor Valentina Sandu-Dediu thus becomes an “advocate” for knowledge of post-war Romanian music (and the various types of “offences” that composition entailed under the communist regime) through various public lectures and seminars. So far, she has aroused the British colleagues’ interest in the landscape of 20th-century Romanian music with the following lectures:

-At the edges of Europe: what do we know about Romanian composers?
23 January 2024, The Chapel, Hatfield College, Durham University

-Consequences of communist nationalism: Dacian Sanctuaries, Gods and Heroes in Romanian Music of the 1970s and 1980s
29 January 2024, Cosin’s Hall, IAS

Professor Valentina Sandu-Dediu’s series of lectures on other facets of Romanian music continues in February and March. Details will be posted in advance at: