CURRENT ISSUE

Volume 5, number 2, Autumn 2020


Editorial board
pp. 1-2 Full text (PDF)

Contents
pp. 3-4 Full text (PDF)

 

 


RESEARCH


ROMANIAN TERRITORIAL CLAIMS DURING WORLD WAR I UNDER THE GAZE OF THE RUSSIAN PRESS

Andrei EMILCIUC

pp. 7-26 | Full text (PDF) | DOI: 10.23740/TID220201

The article analyses the approach of the Russian press towards the Romanian territorial claims during the World War I. It is ascertained that the territorial issue was important in Romania’s attitude towards war, as the unification of historical and ethnic Romanian territories was essential for the national affirmation of Romania as a state. In this regard, the Russian press pointed towards the territories under the rule of the Austro-Hungarian Empire as a major priority for the formation of Greater Romania. The goal was to attract Romania on its side against Austro-Hungarian and German offensive on the Eastern front. We scrutinize the Russian press’s approach towards Romanian territorial claims based on three distinct periods: 1) during Romania’s neutrality; 2) during Romania’s participation in the war as Russia’s ally; 3) After the Bolshevik revolution, when Russia withdrew unilaterally from the war. The emphasis on Romania’s territorial claims is shown mostly in the first period, with one exception – the Bessarabian issue is little or not mentioned at all. Within the second period, the Russian press almost lost sight of the Romanian territorial claims. Finally, the Bolsheviks, who proclaimed self-determination as the main approach to territorial issues, were those who denied Romania any claim for “disputable territories”, just because it opposed Bolshevization. During this latter period, the Bessarabian issue becomes the spear of Russian informational attacks against Romania, following the Union of this historical Moldavian territory with the Motherland.

BORDERS AND TERRITORIAL IDENTITY IN MOLDOVAN ASSR: TRANSNISTRIA AND THE “BESSARABIAN QUESTION” BETWEEN 1918 AND 1940

Valeria CHELARU

pp. 27-40 | Full text (PDF) | DOI: 10.23740/TID220202

Bessarabia’s unification with the rest of the Romanian historical provinces in order to create the Greater Romania in 1918 opened up a dispute between the new state and Soviet Russia. The loss of its previous gubernia to the detriment of Romania, combined with a series of strategies imposed by its tremendous internal transformation, made the Soviet Union to reconsider its western borders. This article provides an overview of the formation of the Moldavan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (MASSR) – the political ancestor of contemporary Dnestr Moldovan Republic or Transnistria – and then proceeds to analyse its role as propaganda and political tools inside the USSR. In such context, Transnistria will be studied as borderland of Greater Romania in order to better understand its socio-political profile in accordance with Soviet policies. The main aim of this paper is to give an objective account of the events from the historical perspective and to reassess the socio-political engineering which the MASSR underwent from its creation in 1924 up until its union with Bessarabia in 1940.

THE COSSACKS’ BORDERING PROCESS IN THE CIVIL WAR. FILMIC REPRESENTATIONS

Olga GRĂDINARU

pp. 41-63 | Full text (PDF) | DOI: 10.23740/TID220203

The Russian Revolution(s) and the Russian Civil War represent topics revisited by the recent Russian media and film-making. Mikhail Sholokhov’s novel And Quiet Flows the Don as a masterful case of fictionalisation of historical events is the basis for four subsequent film adaptations. Whereas the destiny of the Russian Cossacks is a generous theme, we would like to focus on the filmic representation of Cossacks’ bordering process in the Civil War. Two Soviet film adaptations and two post-Soviet ones present in different manners the impact of the shifting borders on people’s lives during the Russian fratricide war. Tzar’s abdication had caused confusion in the midst of the Cossack population loyal to the state father figure, while contributing afterwards to a territorial identity construction and a fight to obtain and maintain the autonomy of the Cossack region. Soviet and post-Soviet directors’ approaches of the geographical, mental and cultural borders during the Civil War in the Cossack region offer insights into the debatable loyalties and multiple sides shifting. The analysis of the four film adaptations is focused on concepts such as questioned loyalty, divisive Cossack territorial identity, nuanced and shifting identity and active/ passive territoriality. We argue that the Cossacks’ territorial identity and their bordering process is differently reflected in subsequent film adaptations of the novel.

“AND THE IMAGE OF THE EMPEROR […] I HAVE TORN IT INTO A THOUSAND PIECES.” MENTAL FRONTIERS IN THE NĂSĂUD REGION AT THE END OF THE GREAT WAR

Claudia Septimia SABĂU

pp. 64-77 | Full text (PDF) | DOI: 10.23740/TID220204

The First World War and the events concluding 1918, namely the unification of Transylvania with the old Kingdom of Romania, changed not only the geographical frontiers of the former Austrian-Hungarian province, but also the mental ones, which are less evident from the official documents of the era. The purpose of our exploratory study is to use edited archival documents, memoirs, and parochial chronicles in order to reconstruct the local context in which the transition from the ‘old’ to the ‘new order’ unfolded. The study focuses on a clearly delimited geographical area with a distinctive historical evolution: the region of Năsăud. Using the memoirs of veterinarian Pavel Tofan as a case study, we focused on identifying the symbolic gestures which mentally transformed the inhabitants of this region from loyal subjects of the Emperor in Vienna to Romanian citizens, loyal to the King of United Romania.

MAKING SPACE AND NATION MEANINGFUL THROUGH BORDERS AND THEIR REPRESENTATIONS IN ROMANIAN GEOGRAPHY TEXTBOOKS, DURING THE FIRST HALF OF THE 20TH CENTURY

Oana-Ramona ILOVAN

pp. 79-116 | Full text (PDF) | DOI: 10.23740/TID220205

Lately, in Romania and abroad, research about the hidden agendas of educational discourses circulated by school textbooks has become richer. This research focuses on the process of bordering that took place in 1918 and the creation of Greater Romania and on the new borders and their representations in Geography school textbooks before and after that year. These representations are considered in the form of both text and images. First, I describe these representations and, secondly, I uncover and explain their intentions in the respective historical and geographical contexts. As History and Geography have been always viewed among the most influential subject matters in school, I employed visual methodology and discourse analysis to study Geography of Romania school textbooks – officially accepted products. The research material is made of Geography school textbooks. From a temporal perspective, my research material includes textbooks that were circulated starting with 1902 and in the 1930s. In addition, I assessed the degree to which Geography education was politicised. Results showed that, in the first half of the 20th century, the wished-for or newly-established and contested borders of Romania generated a lengthy and argumentative discourse about state borders and about the history and geography of the territories inhabited by Romanians. Ethnocultural identity concepts and conceptions of national identity were provided for the young and not only. Geography of Romania school textbooks were not apolitical, but reinforced a socio-spatial consciousness, based on the natural and anthropic features of the borders and on how they were represented, revealing the social practice of the educational discourse about border areas.

BOOK REVIEWS


TRIANON, TRIANON! A CENTURY OF REVISIONIST POLITICAL MYTHOLOGY – A REVIEW

Trianon, Trianon! Un secol de mitologie politică revizionistă [Trianon, Trianon! A Century of Revisionist Political Mythology] / Vasile PUȘCAȘ & Ionel N. SAVA (coordinators)

Reviewed by Adrian ONOFREIU

pp. 117-121 | Full text (PDF) | DOI: 10.23740/TID220206


BESSARABIA: A CONTESTED BORDERLAND – A REVIEW

A Contested Borderland: Competing Russian and Romanian Visions of Bessarabia in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century/ Andrei CUSCO

Reviewed by Anca DOCE

pp. 123-125 | Full text (PDF) | DOI: 10.23740/TID220207