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  • 1.
    Zavatti, Francesco
    Södertörn University, School of Historical and Contemporary Studies, History. Södertörn University, Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), Baltic & East European Graduate School (BEEGS).
    [A review of] Alexandru Ofrim, Strădi vechi din Bucureştiul de azi2015In: Diacronie. Studi di storia Contemporanea, ISSN 2038-0925, Vol. 22, no 2Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 2.
    Zavatti, Francesco
    Södertörn University, School of Historical and Contemporary Studies, History. Södertörn University, Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), Baltic & East European Graduate School (BEEGS).
    [A review of] Keith Hitchins, A Concise History of Romania2015In: Diacronie. Studi di storia Contemporanea, ISSN 2038-0925, Vol. 22, no 2Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 3.
    Zavatti, Francesco
    Södertörn University, School of Historical and Contemporary Studies, History. Södertörn University, Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), Baltic & East European Graduate School (BEEGS).
    [A review of] Liliana Corobca, Controlul cărţii. Censura literaturii în regimul comunist din România2015In: Diacronie. Studi di storia Contemporanea, ISSN 2038-0925, Vol. 22, no 2Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 4.
    Zavatti, Francesco
    Södertörn University, School of Historical and Contemporary Studies, History. Södertörn University, Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), Baltic & East European Graduate School (BEEGS).
    [A review of] Lucian Boia, Suveranii României. Monarhia, o soluţie2015In: Diacronie. Studi di storia Contemporanea, ISSN 2038-0925, Vol. 22, no 2Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 5.
    Zavatti, Francesco
    Södertörn University, School of Historical and Contemporary Studies, History. Södertörn University, Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), Baltic & East European Graduate School (BEEGS).
    [A review of] Melinda Mitu, Sorin Mitu, Ungurii despre români. Naşterea unei imagini etnice2015In: Diacronie. Studi di storia Contemporanea, ISSN 2038-0925, Vol. 22, no 2Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 6.
    Zavatti, Francesco
    Södertörn University, School of Historical and Contemporary Studies, History. Södertörn University, Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), Baltic & East European Graduate School (BEEGS).
    [A review of] Ruxandra Cesereanu, Panopticum. Eseu despre tortură în secolul XX2015In: Diacronie. Studi di storia Contemporanea, ISSN 2038-0925, Vol. 22, no 2Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 7.
    Zavatti, Francesco
    Södertörn University, School of Historical and Contemporary Studies, History. Södertörn University, Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), Baltic & East European Graduate School (BEEGS).
    [A review of] Ştefan Bosomitu, Miron Constantinescu. O biografie2015In: Diacronie. Studi di storia Contemporanea, ISSN 2038-0925, Vol. 22, no 2Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 8.
    Zavatti, Francesco
    Södertörn University, School of Historical and Contemporary Studies, History. Södertörn University, Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), Baltic & East European Graduate School (BEEGS).
    Beyond the iron curtain of historiography, between party canon and scholarly standard: A theoretical and methodological approach to the analysis of East European national-communist historiographies: the case of Romania2014In: Diacronie, ISSN 2038-0925, Vol. 3, no 19, 5- p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The article aims at elaborating a new theoretical framework and a new methodology in order to identify the location of history discipline endorsed by the East European communist regimes between scholarly production and propaganda. The case study considered is the historiography produced by the History Institute of the Romanian Communist Party (Isisp) during the Ceausescu regime (1965-1989). This highly ideological, but still polymorphic historiography is placed into the context of the 19th and 20th centuries’ professionalization of history in Europe. Since historiography has been the main mean to develop nationalist messages, this paper is also a contribution to the study of nationalism. Since history-writing is a myth-breaker but also a (national) myths-maker, the theory considers that the Isisp historians were elaborating an academic, scholarly standard while performing the mandatory metanarrative canon imposed by the communist Party, creating a double-set of coherence, for the party and for their own profession. The theory implies also a methodology of analysis which integrates the study of the history-writings, considered in diachronical perspective, together with the collective biographies of Isisp and of its historians.

  • 9.
    Zavatti, Francesco
    Södertörn University, School of Historical and Contemporary Studies, History. Södertörn University, Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), Baltic & East European Graduate School (BEEGS).
    Comunisti per Caso: Regime e Consenso in Romania durante e dopo la Guerra Fredda2014 (ed. 1st)Book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    At the end of the Second World War, Stalin forged the communist regimes in Eastern Europe as satellites of Soviet Union. After ten hard years of Soviet Stalinism, with the changings introduced by the 20th Congress of the CPSU, the leaderships of satellites' communist parties risked to be overthrown by their internal rivals. In Romania, in 1956, Party Secretary Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej converted Romania into a Stalinist system guided by Romanians: the Romanian receipe in order to prevent the change included the recovery of the national elite and intellectuals previously ostracized. While presenting itself as communist, the regime increasingly used nationalism for the creation of domestic consensus in anti-Soviet function. Nicolae Ceausescu, came to power in 1965, continued this strategy and led it to its climax, expanding dramatically the propaganda machine, that flooded into the everyday life of the Romanians. In particular, it was the discourse on national history that was manipulated and falsified for mere political needs, and declined in each type of cultural product, both in the academic literature as well as in popular literature and the arts. This book narrates how Romanian culture was subservient to the maintenance of a political system for over forty years and the consequences of this forced regimentation after the demolition of the Berlin Wall.

  • 10.
    Zavatti, Francesco
    Södertörn University, School of Gender, Culture and History, History. Södertörn University, Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), Baltic & East European Graduate School (BEEGS). University of Modena & Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.
    Forma Stalinista, Contenuto Nazionale. Il Nazional-Comunismo Romeno: [Stalinist Form, National Content. Romanian National-Communism]2012In: IL Ponte, ISSN 0032-423X, Vol. LXVIII, no 5-6, 127-144 p.Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The essay aims at understanding the nationalist characters present in the cultural discourse of Romanian national-communism by the multilayered analysis of i) communist regime cultural politics, which developed the discourse on the nation in a Marxist-Leninist framework; ii) the keywords around which Romanian public discourse was build since the beginning of modernity until the instauration of communist regime; iii) the marginality of Marxism-Leninism and othe workers' movement in Romania since the 19th century until the communist takeover.

  • 11.
    Zavatti, Francesco
    Södertörn University, School of Historical and Contemporary Studies, History. Södertörn University, Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), Baltic & East European Graduate School (BEEGS).
    Fusing the Horizons: A Criticism of Archival Sources and Oral and Written Accounts in the Study of the History of the Historiography of Communist Romania2015In: Archiva Moldaviae, ISSN 2067-3930, Vol. VII, 255-274 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article is a contribution to the understanding of the bias and limitations that different kind of sources offer to the researcher in the contemporary history. Specifically, the study addresses how the researcher poses him/herself in front of the problems generated by different kinds of source materials, acknowledging Hans-Georg Gadamer’s Truth and Method, and proposes how to deal with the different kind of narratives proposed by the sources. The specific field of investigation chosen for this study is the history of historiography under communism, and specifically of the History Institute of the Romanian Communism Party, a central party institution for history-writing existing in Romania between 1951 and 1990. The researcher has at his/her disposition different typologies of sources for this study, first of all the archival sources conserved at the National Archives of Romania (the archive of the Institute, the funds of the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party, the familial fund of the Institute’s director, Ion Popescu-Puţuri), and the funds present at the National Council for the Study of the Securitate Archives on the Institute’s historians. The article demonstrates, relying on a consolidated tradition of historical methodology, that these sources offer several limitations: they already offer a narrative, they are incomplete, and they have been subject to manipulation. A second resource for the historian are the memoires of the historians of the communist period, working at the Institute or in similar institutions. This second kind of sources, analysed trough the instruments offered by memory studies and post-colonial studies, is considerate as biased for numerous reasons: they were written after 1989, in some cases with an apologetic or justificatory intent; the researcher cannot easily distinguish information from the affection of memory, which is generated by the collective and vernacular memory that has been created after 1989. The authors of these autobiographies have imagined and framed the materials of their memory according to the discourses elaborated by a series of social frameworks (and networks) in which they lived, including the national one, and they contributed with their memories to the forging of a new image of the networks in which they are inserted. A third kind of sources is offered by the methodology of oral history, namely interviews with former historians of the Institute. In this case, the advantage for the researcher to create ad hoc sources for the purposes of the study is counterbalanced by the limitations of these sources, which are the same as for the autobiographies, with the addition of the performative aspect that is contextual within the interview. The article concludes that no source can claim the status of “truth”. Therefore, the distance between different typologies of sources result to be shortened. In conclusion, the researcher has only partially the possibility to obviate the bias offered by the sources with a strong research question. The researcher’s only possibility to establish a new narrative on a topic is to merge the horizon and the research questions and expectations with the narrative presented by the sources, as explained by Gadamer.

  • 12.
    Zavatti, Francesco
    Södertörn University, School of Historical and Contemporary Studies, History. Södertörn University, Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), Baltic & East European Graduate School (BEEGS).
    La latinità nel Novecento romeno. I dibattiti intellettuali interbellici e le politiche culturali comuniste2014In: Sulle spalle degli antichi: Eredità classica e costruzione delle identità nazionali nel Novecento / [ed] Jacopo Bassi, Gianluca Canè, Milan: Edizioni Unicopli, 2014, 85-100 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Romania: land of conquest by Romans, Huns, Turks, last outpost of Christendom in Eastern Europe, part of the Eastern front during the 20th century wars, a Soviet satellite and, finally, member of the European Union and of NATO. Romania has always been subject to different ideas of identity meant to define its essence: latinity or dacianism? Europe or authochthonism? The essay aims at analysing the debate regarding the ethnogenesis of the Romanian people since its origin in the 17th century, through the debates of the 19th century and the interwar period and, finally, analysing the debate between latinity and dacianism during the Ceauşescu regime in the light of the cultural politics of the regime and of the debate between different factions of intellectuals.

  • 13.
    Zavatti, Francesco
    Södertörn University, School of Historical and Contemporary Studies, History. Södertörn University, Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), Baltic & East European Graduate School (BEEGS).
    Romans, Dacians, Thracians, Slavs,or Pelasgians?: A history of the debate on the ethnogenesis of the Romanian people since 17th century until the computer age2014In: Cadernos do Tempo Presente, ISSN 2179-2143, no 17, 41-54 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Romania: land of conquest by Romans, Huns, Turks, last outpost of Christendom in Eastern Europe, part of the Eastern front during the 20th century wars, a Soviet satellite and, finally, member of the European Union and of NATO. Romania has always been subject to different ideas of identity meant to define its essence: latinity or dacianism? Europe or authochthonism? The essay aims at analysing the debate regarding the ethnogenesis of the Romanian people since its origin in the 17th century, through the debates of the 19th century and the interwar period and, finally, analysing the debate between latinity and dacianism during the Ceauşescu regime in the light of the cultural politics of the regime and of the debate between different factions of intellectuals.

  • 14.
    Zavatti, Francesco
    Södertörn University, School of Gender, Culture and History, History. Södertörn University, Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), Baltic & East European Graduate School (BEEGS).
    Servire l'Ideologia: Storiografia e Nazionalismo nella Romania di Ceausescu [To Serve the Ideology: Historiography and Nationalism in Ceausescu's Romania]2011In: Annale dell'Istituto per la storia della Resistenza e della società contemporanea in provincia di Modena, Vol. I, no 1, 44-51 p.Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The Modena History Institute, in the timespam 1969-1989, recevied regularly monographs and reviews published by the ISISP, the History Institute of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Romania. The essay aims at explaining Romanian national-communist cultural politics by the analysis of historical discourse contained in the Romanian monographs and reviews stored by the "Romanian fund" at the Modena History Institute.

  • 15.
    Zavatti, Francesco
    Södertörn University, School of Historical and Contemporary Studies, History. Södertörn University, Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), Baltic & East European Graduate School (BEEGS).
    Writing History in a Propaganda Institute: Political Power and Network Dynamics in Communist Romania2016Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In 1990, the Institute for Historical and Socio-Political Studies of the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party was closed, since the Party was dissolved by the Romanian Revolution. Similar institutions had existed in all countries belonging to the Soviet bloc. This Institute was founded in 1951 under the name of the Party History Institute, and modelled on the Marx-Lenin-Engels Institute in Moscow. Since then, it served the Communist Party in producing thousands of books and journals on the history of the Party and of Romania, following Party orders. Previous research has portrayed the Institute as a loyal executioner of the Party’s will, negating the agency of its history-writers in influencing the duties of the Institute. However, the recent opening of the Institute’s archive has shown that a number of internal and previously obscured dynamics impacted on its activities. This book is dedicated to the study of the Party History Institute, of the history-writers employed there, and of the narratives they produced. By studying the history-writers and their host institution, this study re-contextualizes the historiography produced under Communist rule by analysing the actual conditions under which it was written: the interrelation between dynamics of control and the struggle for resources, power and positions play a fundamental role in this history. This is the first scholarly inquiry about a highly controversial institute that struggled in order to follow the constantly shifting Party narrative canon, while competing formaterial resources with rival Party and academic institutions. The main actors in this study are the history-writers: Party veterans, young propagandists and educated historians, in conflicting networks and groups, struggled in order to gain access to the limited resources and positions provided by the Party, and in order to survive the political changes imposed by the leadership. By doing so they succeed, on many occasions, to influence the activities of the Institute.

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