Culture in Murky Times

Research Programs

Culture in Murky Times

Culture in Murky Times

This research group was supported by a grant of the Executive Unit for Financing Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation – UEFISCDI, within the Prize for Excellence in Research awarded to New Europe College.

2016 – 2018

Ioana PÂRVULESCU, PhD, Professor of Modern Literature, Faculty of Letters, University of Bucharest

Florinela POPA, PhD, Lecturer, National University of Music, Bucharest

Theodor-Cristian POPESCU, Theatre director, Writer

Vlad ZOGRAFI, PhD, Playwright


The interdisciplinary group gathered specialists from the fields of literature, music, visual arts (including theatre and cinematography, as well as architecture), history, sociology, etc., that analyzed the place and role of culture along a turbulent historical period that was not sufficiently studied. It aimed to discuss relevant aspects regarding the situation of culture (especially the Romanian one) during the last century.

First of all, the complicated relationship between culture/art and the political factor was envisaged, the way in which the authorities sought to achieve political and ideological objectives through cultural policies and the instrumentalisation of the cultural field. There were also various forms of contesting the official culture and resisting the „values” of a culture in service of the political power. These represented one of our major points of interest.

The group aimed to revisit the near past, but also to prospect the present. In parallel with debates regarding recent history, we initiated and hosted events that brought the NEC public in contact with contemporary phenomena of the cultural life, through meetings with important representatives thereof, from within and outside the country. A privileged direction was that of the relationship between texts and representations, be it in the visual arts, music, theatre or film.

Events within the Program:

-Series of dialogues
People, Characters, Realities
Marius von Mayenburg in dialogue with Theodor-Cristian Popescu (III)

13 June 2018, National Theatre Bucharest

Antonio Tabares in dialogue with Theodor-Cristian Popescu (II)
23 November 2017, Cervantes Institute, Bucharest

Martin Crimp in dialogue with Theodor-Cristian Popescu (I)
18 October 2017, New Europe College

-Dialogue Ioana Pârvulescu and Victor I. Stoichiță:
Semnături secrete în cărți și tablouri
3 May 2017, New Europe College

-Roundtable discussion:
Literature from Text to Screen. Case Study: Max Blecher
31 March 2017, New Europe College

-Roundtable discussion:
The Laboratory of Theatre Direction
17 March 2017, New Europe College

-Roundtable discussion:
Culture in Murky Times
3 March 2017, New Europe College