Ethics in Romanian Cinema

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We invite paper proposals for a panel on the topic of Ethics in Romanian Cinema. The panel will be organized in conjunction with the second edition of the Romanian Film Festival organized by the Pittsburgh Romanian Studies association at the University of Pittsburgh in collaboration with the Romanian Cultural Institute (New York) and the Romanian National Center for Cinema. The festival benefits from the support of the Cultural Studies Program, the Film Studies Program, the Jewish Studies Program, the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly, the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences, and the Russian and Eastern European Studies Program.

The new generation of Romanian filmmakers has opened the black box of the communist past, as well as Pandora?s box of the uncertain present, to unravel personal ethical dilemmas, which reflect larger social problems. The slow tempo and intimate atmosphere of many of the post-1989 feature films and shorts enable the spectators to identify with the protagonists and ponder over the way in which they might have acted had they been in a similar position.

The panel will explore a range of ethical problems raised by post-1989 Romanian cinema. How do harsh socio-economic conditions shape personal decisions? What are the strategies employed by Romanian filmmakers to underscore the interdependence between individual and collective responsibility? What is the relation between the gritty aesthetics of these movies and the troublesome ethical questions they pose? How are people adjusting their personal ethical compass to the new political, economic, and judicial systems introduced in the wake of the 1989 revolution?

Symposium topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:
-heroes and anti-heroes of the communist and post-communist period
-correlations between ethics and aesthetics
-morality and the law
-ethics and the media
-the generation gap
-the convergence of multiple temporalities
-memories, melancholy, estrangement
-the relationship between East and West
-skepticism and pessimism

We encourage paper submissions from graduate students at all stages of research, working in any discipline ? film studies, philosophy, sociology, art history, etc. Abstracts should be under 350 words. Final presentations should not exceed 20 minutes. Please submit abstracts and CVs to by September 25, 2010. We will notify selected speakers by September 30. Find more information about the theme of the festival at:

Cristina Albu
PhD Candidate
Department of History of Art and Architecture
University of Pittsburgh

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