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Durham e-Theses
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Philo-Germanism without Germans. Memory, Identity, and Otherness in Post-1989 Romania

CERCEL, CRISTIAN,ALEXANDRU (2012) Philo-Germanism without Germans. Memory, Identity, and Otherness in Post-1989 Romania. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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The recent history of the German minority in Romania is marked by its mass migration from Romania to Germany, starting roughly in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War and reaching its climax in the early 1990s, following the fall of Communism. Against this background, the present thesis investigates a phenomenon that can be termed “philo-Germanism without Germans”, arguing that the way the German minority in Romania is represented in a wide array of discourses is best comprehended if placed in a theoretical framework in which concepts such as “self-Orientalism”, “intimate colonization” and other related ones play a key role. This dissertation departs from the existence of predominantly positive representations of Germanness in Romanian society. Furthermore, by examining a series of post-1989 Romanian identification/memory discourses, originating from three different discursive fields (politics, mass-media, historiography), it argues that the underlying reasons for this prestige are strongly connected with Romanian Europeanizing endeavours. In other words, the dissertation maintains that “loving the Germans” in post-1989 Romania is strongly connected with the production and reproduction of symbolic geographies aiming to discursively insert Romania into what is perceived to be the “civilized” Western/European World. Thus, Germans in Romania, former 12th and 18th century colonists, become actually a resource for Europeanness, a way of emphasizing Romania’s European belonging. They are “cultural Others”, possessing “all that we lack”, embraced in Romania with “love, ardour, and desire”, a clear case of discursive “selfcolonization”.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:German minority in Romania, Romanian identity, East-West relationships, self-colonization, self-orientalism
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Government and International Affairs, School of
Thesis Date:2012
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Sep 2012 10:59

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