Professor Odette BLUMENFELD

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Odette Irenne Blumenfeld was born in Iasi, Romania, in 1947. She is a graduate of   the Faculty of Philology, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iaşi, with a diploma in English language and literature and Romanian Language and Literature. She obtained her doctoral degree in Philology from the University of Bucharest in 1979. Her PhD thesis was devoted to an analysis of European influences on the American drama of the 20th century.

She occupied, successively, the positions of instructor (1969-1977), assistant professor (1977-1990), associate professor (1990-1998), full professor (1998-2012) at the Department of English, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi. She was Head of this Department (1995-2012). She initiated and directed the undergraduate and MA programmes in American Studies at the Faculty of Letters of the same university.  She was a member of the National Council for Awarding University Titles, Diplomas and Certificates (2008-2011). She won a Fulbright grant for research in the poetics and semiotics of the theatre at Washington University in St. Louis (1990), an ACLS grant for research in the field of feminism at CASTA, CUNY Graduate Center, New York (1994-1995).

She was twice (1977, 2002) a Fellow of the Salzburg Seminar in American Studies. Inspired by the Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies, she worked hard, with the substantial help from some members of the Department of English, to establish the Center for (Inter)cultural and  (Inter)lingual Research that got official national recognition in 2006. Two years later, as director of the Centre, she did her best to provide it with a journal. That is how Linguaculture came into being. She served as its editor-in-chief until she retired in 2012. At present, she is a member of its editorial board.

Her teaching and research areas of expertise include English neoclassicism, British and American literature after World War II, the semiotics and poetics of the theatre, Shakespeare’s works in performance, gender studies, cultural studies, theatre/ performance studies, film studies. These broad interests can be subsumed to such major directions of research as: a study of texts, primarily dramatic ones, by using diverse and heterogeneous critical/theoretical perspectives; an exploration of issues connected to identity politics and its intricacies in well known or less known literary works; an examination of the evolution of American Studies as a discipline focusing on different paradigms, from the traditional ones of its beginnings to the new ones that have evolved in the contexts of multiculturalism and globalization; an assessment of the reception of Shakespeare’s work in Romania, foregrounding the contribution of well-known Romanian directors who have provided the bard’s texts with a context of utterance deeply anchored in the new socio-historical, political and cultural realities.

Teaching

She currently teaches:
- Theatre – From Text to Performance: a course of lectures meant to provide 2nd year undergraduate students in American Studies with an “anatomy of drama”;
- “Old” and “New” Paradigms in the Evolution of American Studies: a course of lectures and seminars designed for the 1st year MA students in American Studies;
- The “New” American Theatre (The American Theatre after 1945): a course of lectures and seminars designed for the 2nd year MA students in American Studies;
 

Research supervision

BA, MA and PhD supervision in the fields of literary studies, cultural studies, theatre studies and adaptation studies:
- Shakespeare’s plays;
- Neoclassicism in England;
- Modernist and postmodernist literature in the United States;
- British and American drama after 1945;
-  From text to screen: adaptations of literary and dramatic works;
- Diasporic and Third World writers;

Books

- A Guide to American Literature for Teacher Training and Refresher Courses. Iaşi: Alexandu Ioan Cuza University Press, 1981, 159 pages;

- Perspectives in the Semiotics and Poetics of the Theatre. Iaşi: Alexandru Ioan Cuza University Press, “Interferences” Series, 1990, 128 pages;

- Teatrul european – teatrul american: influenţe (European Theatre – American Theatre: Influences). Iaşi: Alexandru Ioan Cuza University Press (ISBN 973-9312-28-4), 1998, 356 pages;

- Studies in Feminist Drama. Iaşi: Polirom Publishing House (ISBN 973-683-091-8), 1998, 248 pages;

- Elements of Drama. Iaşi: Alexandru Ioan Cuza University Press (ISSN-2282), 2000, 108 pages;

 - Approaches to the Dramatic Text. Iaşi: Demiurg Publishing House, (ISBN-973-8076-96), 2005, 188 pages;

- Highlights of British and American Drama (a genre approach). Bucharest: Minister of Education and Research (ISBN 10 973-0-04575-5), 2006, 255 pages.

Volumes

- Blumenfeld, Odette and Radu Andriescu, eds., From Margin to Center. Iaşi: Universitas XXI Publishing House (ISBN 973-99810-5-4), 2000, 280 pages;

- Blumenfeld, Odette and Radu Andriescu, eds., Living in between and on Borders. Iaşi: Universitas XXI Publishing House (ISBN 973-8344-23-9), 2003, 544 pages;

- Blumenfeld, Odette and Radu Andriescu, eds., Tradition, Modernity and Postmodernity. Iaşi: Universitas XXI Publishing House (ISBN 973-7889-00-2), 2005, 760 pages;

- Blumenfeld Odette and Radu Andirescu, eds., Mapping the Future: Permanence and Change. Iaşi: Universitas XXI Publishing House (ISBN 10/973/7889/51/7), 2007, 738 pages;

- Blumenfeld, Odette and Veronica Popescu eds., Shakespeare in Europe: Nation(s) and Boundaries. Iaşi: Alexandru Ioan Cuza University Press (ISBN 978-973-640-673-7), 2011, 343 pages;

Articles published in Romania and abroad after 1990 (selected)

- “Shakespeare in Post-revolutionary Romania.” Shakespeare and the New Europe. Eds. Michael Hattaway, Boika Sokolova and Derek Roper.230-247. Sheffield: Sheffield University Press, 1994.

 - “The Beekeeper’s Daughter: A Play on the Genocide in Bosnia.” Slavic and East European Performance 15.2. (1995): 46-54.

- “A Cross Cultural Response to Saul Bellow’s The Dean’s December.American Literature for Non-American Readers. Ed. Meta Grosman. 46-63. Frankfurt, Berlin, Berna, New York, Paris, Viena: Peter Lang, GmbH, 1995.

- “Queer Theatre.” Modern Theatre in Different Cultures: Styles and Conventions. Ed. Eleonora Udalska. 117-129. Waszawa: Wydawnictwo Energeia, 1997.

-  “The Oak: A Balancing Act from Page to Screen.”Film/Literature Quaterly 26.4 (1998): 267-278.

- “Brechtian Theory in American Feminist Theatre.” British and American Studies. Ed. Adina Ciugureanu. 115-125. Constanţa: Ovidius University Press, 1999.

- “Center and Margin in Adrienne Kennedy’s The Owl Answers.” From Margin to Center. Eds. Odette Blumenfeld and Radu Andriescu. 195-204. Iaşi: Universitas XXI Publishing House, 2000.

- “Hamlet at the Craiova National Theatre.” On Page and Stage: Shakespeare in Polish and World Culture. Ed. Krystyna Kujawinska Courtney. 197-211. Krakow: UNIVERSITAS Publishing House, 2001

- “Shakespeare in Romania”.” The Oxford Companian to Shakespeare. Eds. Michael Dobson and Stanley Wells. 395-397.Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.

-  “Mihai Mănuţiu’s Richard III: Inwardness Rendered Visible.” Cuadernos de Filologia Inglesa Numero monografico: More European Shakespeares 7.2. (2001): 11-23.  

- “Feminist Topics and Representational Strategies in Caryl Churchill’s Plays.” The Case for Women: Britain and Europe. 89-104. Sofia: Kliment Ohridski University Press, 2001.

- “Teatrul evreiesc la Iaşi. De la începuturi până în 1939  (The Jewish Theatre in Iaşi. From its Beginnings to 1939).” Studia et Acta Historiae Iudaeorum Romaniae VII (2002): 39-71.

- “Mihai Mănuţiu’s Richards.” SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE/L’EUROPE DU SUD-EST, XXIX (2002): 59-72.

- “Angels in America - A Play About the Queering of America (and Much More) on Broadway and in Bucharest.” Living in between and on Borders. Eds. Odette Blumenfeld and Radu Andriescu. 185-196. Iaşi: Universitas XXI Publishing House, 2003.

- “The Jew as Character in American Drama.” America in/from Romania. Essays in Cultural Dialogue. Eds. Rodica Mihăilă and Irina Grigorescu Pană. 209-220. Bucureşti: Editura Univers enciclopedic, 2003.

- “Literary into Cultural Studies: The Case of the American Studies.” Messages, Sages and Ages. Eds. Evelina Graur, Cornelia Macsimiuc and Alexandru Diaconescu. 17-33. Suceava: Ştefan cel Mare University Press, 2004.

- “Bodily Inscriptions: Gender, Race and Power Politics in Silviu Purcărete’s Staging of Titus Andronicus.” Tradition, Modernity and Postmodernity. Eds. Odette Blumenfeld and Radu Andriescu. 730-741. Iaşi: Universitas XXI Publishing House, 2005.

- “Edward Albee’s Plays: Exploring the Tragic and the Limits of the Human Condition.” Cultural Matrix Reloaded. Eds. Elena Croitoru, Michaela Praisler and Daniela Ţuchel. 117-127. Bucureşti; Editura Didactică şi Pedagogică R.A., 2005. 

- “The Night of the Iguana: A Character Analysis.” Cultural Perspectives XI (2006): 23-49.

- “Performance as Keyword”.” The Fellowship of Cultural Rings. Eds. Elena Croitoru, Michaela Praisler and Daniela Ţuchel. 76-88. Bucureşti: Editura Didactică şi Pedagogică R.A., 2006.

- “Shakespeare’s King Lear – Bond’s Lear: A Comparative Study.” Mapping the Future:Permanence and Change. Eds. Odette Blumenfeld and Radu Andriescu. 687-715. Iaşi: Universitas XXI Publishing House, 2007.

- “Strategies of Power: Richard III and Richard II on the Romanian Stage,” Shakespeare in Romania: 1950 to the present. Ed. Monica Matei-Chesnoiu. 105-140. Bucureşti: Humanitas Publishing House, 2008.

- “The Historical Subject in the Plays of Joan Schenkar and Susan-Lori Parks.” Identity, Alterity, Hybridity (IDAH). Eds. Ioana Mohor-Ivan, Gabriela Iuliana Colipcă. 262-280. Galaţi: Dunărea de Jos University Press, 2009.

- “Can Cultural Studies Replace Literary Studies in the New Curricula?” Language, Culture and Change: Higher Education between Tradition and Innovation. Eds. Luminiţa Cocârţă, Sorina Chiper and Ana Sandulovici. 9-19. Iaşi; Alexandru Ioan Cuza University Press, 2010.

- “Ophelia’s Madness and Its Representation in Two Romanian Productions.” Analele ştiinţifice ale Universităţii “Ovidius” Constanţa, seria Filologie, 27.1. (2016): 51-71.

- “Bucharest Under Communist Dictatorship: Saul Bellow’s The Dean’s December.” “Views of the East. Travel and Intercultural Communication in Europe. Ed. Oana Cogeanu. 58-90. Iaşi: Alexandru Ioan Cuza University Press, 2016.

Conference proceedings after 1990 (selected)

- “American Studies in Romania”, International Conference American Studies:Cross-Cultural Communication in the East European Context, Fulbright Commission, 20-22 May 1991, Dubrovnik, Croatia.

 - “A Cross-Cultural Response to Saul Bellow’s The Dean’s December”, International Conference American Literature for Non-American Readers, Rockefeller Centre, 3-7 June 1992, Bellagio, Italy.

- “Shakespeare in Post-revolutionary Romania: The Great Directors Are Back Home”, International Conference Shakespeare and the New Europe, Sofia University, 30 May-3 June 1993, Bunkya, Bulgaria.

- “The Female Body in Karen Malpede’s The End of the War and US”, The First National Conference of the Romanian Society for British and American Studies, Babeş-Bolyai University of Cluj, 2-4 June 1994, Cluj.

- “Centre and Margin in Adrienne Kennedy’s The Owl Answers”, International Conference From Margin to Centre, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, 28-30 October 1996, Iaşi.

- “Hamlet at the Craiova National Theatre”, Twenty-Eighth International Shakespeare Conference, British Shakespeare Association, 24-28 August 1998, Stratford-upon Avon, Great Britain.

- “Mihai Mănuţiu’s Richard III: Inwardness Rendered Visible”, International Conference Four Centuries of Shakespeare in Europe, University of Murcia, 18-20 November 1999, Murcia, Spain.

- “Teaching Drama in Universities”. International Conference Literature Anti-Conference (keynote speech), Ovidius University, 26-30 October 2000, Constanţa.

- “Angels in America – A Play about Queering of America (and much more) on Broadway and in Bucharest”. International Conference Living in beteen and on Boarders, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, 21-24 March 2001, Iaşi.

- “The Jew as Character in American Drama”. International Conference America in/from Romania, University of Bucharest, 15-17 February 2001, Bucharest.

- “Bodily Inscriptions: Gender, Race and Power Politics in Silviu Purcărete’s Staging of Titus Andronicus”. International Conference Shakespeare and European Politics, University of Utrecht, 4-7 December 2003, Utrecht, the Netherlands.

- “Romania and the Holocaust”, International Conference Eastern Europe: History and Heritage, University of Salisbury, 16-24 September 2003, Salisbury, U.S.A.

- “The Irish Americans of O’Neill’s Plays”. International Conference Our America: People, Places Times, University of Bucharest, 5-7 February 2004, Bucharest.

- “Edward Albee’s Plays: Exploring the Tragic and the Limits of the Human Condition”. International Conference Cultural Matrix Reloaded (keynote speech), 8-10 October, 2004, Galaţi.

-  “Literary into Cultural Studies: The Case of the American Studies”. International Conference Messages, Sages and Ages (keynote speech), 19-20 November 2004, Suceava.

- “Shakespeare’s King Lear – Bond’s Lear: A Comparative Study. International Conference Mapping the Future: Permanence and Change, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, 23-26 March, 2005, Iaşi.

- “Performance as keyword”. International Conference The Fellowship of the Rings. Dunărea de Jos University, 20-23 October 2005, Galaţi.

- “Stratiges of Power: Richard II and Richard III on the Romanian Stage”. International Conference Shakespeare in Europe: History and Memory (keynote speech), University of Crakow, 17-20 November 2005, Crakow, Poland.

- “Queer Theatre”. International Conference Old/New Spaces in Transition, University of Bucharest, 4-6 February 2006, Bucharest.

- “Two Hispanic Voices: Maria Irene Fornes and Cherrie Moraga”. International Conference Constructions of Identity III (keynote speech), Babeş Bolyai University, 8-10 April 2006, Cluj-Napoca.

- “Reconfiguring History in the Plays of Susan-Lori Parks”. International Conference The Sense of America: Histories into Texts. University of Bucharest, 22-25 May 2007, Bucharest.

- “The Merchant of Venice: Two Early Translations into Romanian”. International Conference Translation : Betrayal or Creative Statement? University of Bucharest, 11-12 September 2008, Bucharest.

- “The Historical Subject in the Plays of Joan Schenkar and Susan Lori-Parks”. International Conference Identity, Alterity, Hybridity (IDAH), Dunărea de Jos University, 14-16 May 2009, Galaţi.

- “Art Spiegelman’s Maus: The Experience of Growing Up as a Child of Survivors”. International Conference Expressions of the Self: Autobiography and Its Avatars. Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, 24-26 September 2009, Iaşi.

- “Can Cultural Studies Replace Literary Studies in the New Curricula?” International Conference Language, Culture and Change: Higher Education between Tradition and Innovation (keynote speech), Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, 5-7 April 2010, Iaşi.

- “Ophelia’s Madness and Death in Four Stage Productions”, ESRA Worldwide “Hamlet” in Performance and Translation, 26-27 April 2010, Craiova.

- “War Trauma in Karen Malpede’s Plays”, International Conference Wounded Bodies – Wounded Minds: The Intersection of Memory and Identity. Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, 6-10 April 2011, Iaşi.

- “Who Are to Be Blamed? The Tanacu Case on Page, Stage and Screen”. International Conference Adaptation Unbounded: New Directions, New Agendas. Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, 31 October-2 November 2013, Iaşi.

- “Bucharest Under Communist Dictatorship: Saul Bellow’s The Dean’s December”. International Conference Going East: Travel and Intercultural Communication. Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, 1-2 June 2015, Iaşi.

- “Gender and Dramatic Discourse”. 1st International Conference on Discourse and Communicative Interaction (keynote speech). Alexandru Ioan Cuza Uiversity, 27-28 May 2016, Iaşi.

- “Re-contextualizing and Re-adapting Macbeth in Mihai Mănuţiu’s Staging at the National Theatre of Iaşi”. International Conference Re-Reading, Re-Writing, Re-Contextualizing Shakespeare. Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, 27-29 October 2016, Iaşi.

- “The Jew as a Test to Define a Multicultural World in Hannif Kureishi’s We’re Not Jews and Oscar Hujuelos’s A Simple Havana Melody”. International Conference Embracing Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Through English. Alexandru Ioan Cuza University and Chernivtsi University, 12-14 October 2017, Iaşi and Chernivtsi.

- “Ways in Which Historical Events and Political Decisions Collide with Personal Histories in Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi’s Autobiographical Graphic Narrative”. International ConferenceFrom Runes to the New Media and Digital Books. Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, 30-31 May 2019, Iaşi.

Projects and Grants

 - member of the Entrance project (1996-1998) financed by the British Council;

- member of the PNCDI II Project, Sistem integrat de asistare pentru pacineţii cu afecţiuni neuromotorii (Integrated Assistant System for the Patients with Severe Neuromotor Disabilities) financed by the National Centre of Programme Management (10 October 2008-12 December 2010).

- recipient of grants (as the result of national competitions of projects) from ANCS (National Authority for Scientific Research) for organizing the international conferences Shakespeare and Europe: Nation(s) and Boundaries (2007) and Wounded Bodies – Wounded Minds:The Intersection of Memory and Identity (2011).

- recipient of grants from the State Department of U.S.A., Public Affairs Section, for projects envisaging the development of MA and BA programs in American Studies at Alexandru Ioan Cuza University (2000, 2001, 2009) and for the project Library Collection Development for the American Studies Center (2008, 2011).

- TEMPUS grant for teaching a course on Shakespeare at the Theatre Institute within the University of Amsterdam (October-December 1993).

- grant from Forschungsinstitut fur Geistes und Sozialwissenschaften of University of Siegen for teaching feminist drama and for doing research in the field of gender studies (April-September 1997).

Other responsibilities

Administrative positions within Alexandru Ioan Cuza University:

- Head of the English Department (1995-2012);

- Member in the Council of the Faculty of Letters (1991-2012);

- Member in the Senate of the University (2004-2012);

Responsibilities within the Department of English:

- Director of the Center for (Inter)cultural and (Inter)lingual Research (2006-2012):

- Supervisor of the MA and BA programs in American Studies (from their beginning till 2012);

- president of the organizing committee of conferences: From Margin to Centre (28-30 October 1996); Living in between and on Borders (21-24 March 2001); Tradition, Modernity and Postmodernity (27-29 March 2003); Mapping the Future: Permanence and Change (23-26 March 2005); Shakespeare and Europe: Nation(s) and Boundaries (14-17 November 2007); Expression of the Self: Autobiography and Its Avatars (24-26 September 2009); Wounded Bodies – Wounded Minds: The Intersections of Memory and Identity (6-10 April 2011).

- member in the organizing committee of conferences: Adaptation Unbounded: New Directions, New Agendas (31 October – 2 November 2013); Going East. Travel and Intercultural Communication (1-2 June 2015); Re-Reading, Re-Writing, Re-Contextualizing Shakespeare (27-29 October 2016).

Affiliations

- The European Society for the Study of English;

- The Romanian Society of British and American Studies;

- The Romanian Association for American Studies (member in its board, 2006-2008);

- European Shakespeare Research Association;

- The Romanian Association of Theatre Critics;

- The International Association of Theatre Critics;

Extended CV (in Romanian)

Curriculum Vitae Odette Blumenfeld