Europeanization in East-Central European Fiction Film and Television (1980-2000)

Claudiu Turcus's picture
Call for Papers
November 30, 2016
Subject Fields: 
Cultural History / Studies, Eastern Europe History / Studies, European History / Studies, Film and Film History, Intellectual History

Call for Contributions

Studies in Eastern European Cinema (Special Issue 2018)

Europeanization in East-Central European Fiction Film and Television (1980-2000)



Guest Editors:

Constantin Parvulescu (University of Navarra, Spain)

Claudiu Turcuș (Babeș-Bolyai University, Romania)


Deadline for abstracts: November 30, 2016


            The economic, social and cultural transformation of East-Central Europe in the last decades of the twentieth century is the last grand modern social, economic and political change in European history. Fiction film and television production of the region has recorded it and has been shaped by it. This special issue of SEEC aims to study this audiovisual testimony and look into how the filmic and television output of the region has contributed to imagining and recreating socialist and postsocialist reality in times of a change marked by sharp divisions between different imaginary projects.

            Most academic accounts in the field address 1989 as marking the fall of communism and the beginning of transition period. These concepts have their worth, but are also problematic, as they bear the marks of Cold War anticommunism, neoliberal triumphalism and neo-colonialist bias, and assume linear from-to historical transformation. Consequently, this approach has overemphasized, among others, the importance of 1989 as a radical break, the legacy of the communist doctrine in the post-1989 present, the sheer rejection of the past as main motor of development, politicized approaches to history, cultural pessimism, orientalizing aspects, and the national character of cultural production.

            This Call address the audivisual production of the last two decades of the twentieth century in order to put 1989 into a broader perspective. The 1980-2000 timeframe can be instrumental in defetishizng the role of 1989 as landmark of a radical rupture in history and the pre- and post-1989 distinction it implies. Aditionally, employing this period gives researchers the chance to focus not only on the commercial, structural, thematic, and stylistic differences between pre- and post-1989 film and television output, but also on continuities; and challenge the artifical contrasts between socialist and (capitalist) European cultural production. The umbrella term we propose here is Europeanization. It assumes that transformations taking place at a national level are an interdependent part of a broader continental process. It emphasizes the social and cultural aspects of history and, as film historian Randall Halle puts it, can be viewed as an interzone and an ideational space of transit.

            For this special issue of SEEC, we invite scholars to re-read the East-Central European cinema and fiction television of the 1980-2000 period as documenting Europeanization and producing collective post-national (and not only post-socialist) identities. Original articles on institutional (all aspects of financing, production, and distribution), contextual (migrant, transnational, diasporic film) or diegetic (content, storytelling and visual style) aspects of Europeanization are welcome. Transnational approaches are desired.

Topics for articles include, but are not limited to:

  • Rethinking national cinematic and televisual canons in the context of Europeanization
  • Reinventing East-Central European cinemas and television in the late twentieth century
  • Social and economic change on screen
  • Cold War and post-Cold War cultural exchanges
  • The structural transformations of the industries in the context of Europeanization
  • Stylistic continuities in the 1980-2000 period
  • Co-productions and international distribution before and after 1989
  • Stages and levels of Europeanization in the film and television industry
  • The visual rhetoric of European integration
  • Screening the capitalism of East-Central Europe
  • European reception of East-Central European fiction television and film
  • East-Central European stardom in Europe
  • Anticommunist fantasies
  • The cultural politics of Euroscepticism in terms of style, production and distribution
  • Europeanization and self-colonization
  • Local audiences, European dimension: forms of public engagement
  • Reframing the periphery-centre relation within Europeanization
  • Questioning Europeanization: between small cinema, world cinema and transnational cinema

Full articles of up to 7,000 words are expected. The deadline for submitting abstracts is 30 November 2016. Full articles are expected in June 2017. Queries should be sent to guest editors: Constantin Parvulescu ( and Claudiu Turcuș (

Contact Email: