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Anca Baicoianu

Anca Baicoianu holds a PhD in Literary Theory from the University of Bucharest with a dissertation on Strategies of Identity (Re)Construction in Postcolonial and Postcommunist Literatures. Her published works focus mainly on the processes of identity construction embedded in postcolonial and postcommunist literatures, and on the relationships between history, memory and fiction in contemporary literature and visual arts. She currently works as Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Bucharest and the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme in Paris.

Grounds for Comparison: The Postcolonial and the Post-Soviet

Abstract:
In the last few years, the postcolonial-postcommunist connection gained momentum in the East-Central European studies and related fields, largely as a result of the attempts to translate a specific historical and cultural experience into one of the most widespread theoretical idioms in contemporary academia. In doing so, scholars with various backgrounds interrogate the limits of an increasingly canonical discipline and join in its critical revaluations by measuring colonialism and its aftermath against other systems of domination.

This paper aims to explore the grounds for comparison between postcolonial and post-Soviet realities, hence addressing the issue of regional identity within the broader context of transnationalism and globalization. Building upon my PhD dissertation on Strategies of Identity (Re)Construction in Postcolonial and Postcommunist Literatures, it focuses on the interest groups and audiences involved in the shaping of this particular research field while at the same time discussing the relevance of the postcommunist perspective in reviving the debate around the conceptual inventory, methodological tools, and main assumptions of various theories of postcoloniality.