Thursday, October 8, 2015


The course introduces students to the methodology and issues of national/cultural identity. Discursive and ideological strategies will be discussed and illustrated. Students will become familiar with the more recent constructivist models of identity formation, with discourse studies, and with the field of political ideologies. Theoretical approaches will be illustrated with both fictional and non-fictional texts in the nationalist canon of Romania and English-speaking cultures.

The class is also an exam pre-selection and a preparatory course for MA programs in British Cultural Studies, American Studies, Canadian Studies (SCILL).

Texts are available at the BCSC (British Cultural Studies Center, 1st floor in the Pitar Mos building) - inquire at the librarian's desk. 
Alternately, you can email me at and I will send you some of the texts via email/WeTransfer.

1. Heywood, A. Political ideologies. An introduction, London: Macmillian Education LTD, 1992 (Chapters "Liberalism", "Conservatism", and "Anarchism"), Heywood - Ideologies.pdf.
2. Hutchinson, J. & A.D.Smith. Nationalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994 (pp. 34-70,76-82, 89-102, 113-131, 280-300); Hutchinson & Smith, Nationalism (Google Books)
3. Lefter, I.B. ‘Poate fi considerat postcomunismul un post-colonialism?’. Caietele Echinox, vol. 1, Cluj: Dacia, 2001 (pp. 117-119) Lefter Postcomunism-Postcolonialism - Link ;
4.  Bogdan Stefanescu - Patrii din cuvinte, Edit.Univ..Buc. 2017 (link)
5.  B. Ștefănescu, 'On the Discrimination of Nationalisms'.
6. Todorova, M. Balcanii şi balcanismul. Bucharest: Humanitas, 2000 (pp. 35-41). Todorova, Imagining the Balkans (Google Books)


1. 12 Oct. 2018 Organization and Preliminary Remarks
Hutchinson 34-70, 76-82, 89-102;

2. 19 Oct. 2018 B. Ștefănescu, Patrii din cuvinte.

3. 26 Oct. 2018  Radical-Antithetic and Liberal-Analogic Nationalism
Heywood 15-53;
Hutchinson 113-121;
B. Ştefănescu, 'On the Discrimination of Nationalisms' [see respective sections in the article].

4.  9 Nov. 2018  Discussion of proposed themes and outlines for final written essays
Presentation of the bibliography for the final essay proposed by each student.

5. 23 Nov. 2018  Anarchic-Metaphoric and Conservative-Ironic Nationalism
Heywood 53-92, 193-215;
Hutchinson 122-131;
B. Ştefănescu, 'On the Discrimination of Nationalisms' [see respective sections in the article].

6. 11 Jan.2019  Nationalism, Modernity and Postmodernity
Hutchinson 55-70, 289-300;

7. 18 Jan. 2019  Nationalism, Postcolonialism and Postcommunism
Hutchinson 280-286;
Todorova 35-41;
I.B. Lefter (in Echinox 117-119)


N.B. Every week I’ll be available for consultations on bibliography and course-related projects during my audiences hours (Fridays 10:00-12:00).

Students will not secure a pass for this course unless they have met ALL the requirements below (even for resits/reexaminations):
2. SHORT ESSAY (if you have not delivered a presentation in class);

- All reading notes are to be delivered as a single file.doc (Word), .pdf (Adobe) or .zip (WinZip or 7z) archive files.
- Email your assignments to
- State your name and class in the subject line ("[LAST NAME], [FIRST NAME], OPTIONAL Assignments") and sign your email
- Attach the essay and the reading notes file. These 2 files should be titled: “OPT_[LAST NAME FIRST NAME]_Critical Essay” and “OPT_[LAST NAME FIRST NAME]_Reading Notes”, respectively. E.g., OPT_Johnson Terry_Critical Essay.doc
- Expect a brief confirmation email. Should one fail to reach you in a few days, resend your material and ask for confirmation.
- Short and long essays will not be considered unless they are mounted on the Turnitin platform.-  Create an account at  Class ID: 19827963; Class Key: OPTSTEF
Find more details at Turnitin Guides (link).

N.B. One standard page is 2000 characters with spaces or about 300 words (cf. Tools-Word Count menu in Microsoft Word). Only computer-processed work will be considered for evaluation. All essays and coursework must be emailed to me. Keep copies of all your work and double-check that your emails have actually reached me.

· Attendance. Attendance is mandatory for at least 5 out of the 7 meetings, otherwise the student will not get a pass.
· Seminar requirements. 1. Each student will have to give ONE 15-minute presentation. The presentation will be the equivalent of a 3-4-page essay and is to be delivered (not read!) in 15 mins. and then discussed in class with the other members of the group. Students who are unable to deliver an oral presentation will hand in a 3-4-page WRITTEN CRITICAL ESSAY.
2. Apart from these assignments, students will also be assessed for their PARTICIPATION IN CLASS DISCUSSIONS.
3. All students (not just those on assignment) MUST READ CLOSELY THE SELECTED TEXT(S) for each seminar. PERSONAL READING NOTES will be required at every meeting to verify comprehension. Quizzes should be expected. A final portfolio of reading notes is a prerequisite for securing a pass in this class.
· Rules for seminar assignments. Students will enlist for an assignment (presentation/essay) on the first meeting. Volunteering for oral presentations will be attract a bonus of 2 point for the overall seminar mark. Failure to deliver the presentation at the exact scheduled time will be marked as 0. Presentations also have to be handed in at the end of the scheduled meeting in written form. Failure to comply with the assigned topic and methodology (see Critical methodology for seminar assignments immediately below) for a presentation will be marked as 1 (one). Students will not be awarded a grade for this course (i.e., will not pass) unless they have performed all their seminar assignments (i.e., PRESENTATION, CLOSE READING OF TEXTS FOR DISCUSSION, PARTICIPATION IN DISCUSSIONS).
· Critical methodology for seminar assignments.
-The theme/topic and scope of each presentation will be negotiated well in advance with the course director.
-During the actual delivery as well as in the written essay, the theme and critical framework must be clearly stated. The presentation must also have a firm outline and come as a headed argument.
-All of these will appear in a concise, yet sufficiently clear handout for teacher and other students.
-For presentation and debates of the seminar bibliography, the students are expected to actively process the critical text they are presenting. This involves extracting the outline of the main argument, rearranging and selecting the ideas of the text in accordance with their personal prioritization, suggesting points of contention and avenues for debate, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the text, and, just as importantly, suggesting how the text could be used to discuss Romanian/their native culture.
· Computation of grade. The seminar grade will reflect: 1) the assignment (the presentation) = 33% of seminar grade; 2) participation in the seminar debates = 33%; 3) preparation (close reading and reading notes) and attendance = 33%. The seminar grade will count as half of the final mark, the other half is the final written assignment.
· Final written assignment. The final written assignment is a 6-page critical essay.
In order for the essay to be taken into consideration it must:
a) be based on preliminary negotiation of the theme, the approach, the format and the structure of the argument,
b) have a clearly stated theme, approach and structure,
c) comply with the style of an academic critical essay (references, bibliography, editing etc.). This course requires the use of the MLA STYLE for written assignments (see MLA Style from Purdue University - link).
Please note that the theme has to deal with the (construction of a) cultural identity of a (national/ethnic etc.) group and the approach must be derived from the area of discourse studies (rhetoric, pragmatics, DA/CDA, power and discourse etc.) and/or political/ideology studies. Work in the form of personal essay, editorial journalism, historical overview will not be taken into account.
  • N.B. One standard page is 2000 characters with spaces (cf. Tools-Word Count menu in Microsoft Word). Therefore, the 6-page final essay should count 12,000 characters with spaces. Only printed work will be considered for evaluation.
Any form of PLAGIARISM ( ) will automatically result in a fail and even a proposal to the Faculty Council that the culprit be expelled.

· Malfunctions. Should any problems arise regarding the bibliography and its availability to students or the impossibility to meet a deadline or other requirements, please notify B. STEFANESCU immediately. Excuses will not be accepted unless a negotiated solution has been attempted beforehand.

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