Roxana Oltean
2022 University of Bucharest Review Literary and Cultural Studies Series  
Engaging scholarship pointing to the neocolonial patterns of perception built into East-West relations before and after the fall of the Iron Curtain, as well as compelling questions pertaining to the quasi-colonial status of the countries beyond the Iron Curtain vis-à-vis the Soviet Empire, this paper will focus on the manner in which (post)communist identity in fact forms at the intersection of these sometimes competing, sometimes complementary scenarios of power. Moreover, drawing on Caruth's
more » ... and Tal's work, this paper will suggest ways in which the discourse developed in the field of Trauma Studies holds explanatory and potentially reconciliatory power, as it enables the audience to voice the series of missed or misunderstood encounters that are so often at the buried origin of disturbing memories/memoirs of Eastern Europe (or Romania) in Western (or American) discourse, thus pointing out ways in which interpretative tropes developed in Trauma Studies can be explanatory paradigms that shed light on both (post)communist and Balkan identity discourse. More particularly, invoking a series of early writings on postcommunist identity as well as critical inquiries into Balkanizing or Orientalizing discourse, this paper will explore how one can trace the transformation of individual encounters with (post)communist trauma into collective and then historical memory by borrowing from the field of Trauma Studies the analysis of mechanisms of repetition hovering around the site of trauma.
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