Nume: CHIPER Mihai

Tema: Discurs literar-artistic şi construcţie identitară în secolele XVI-XX

Partener: Academia Română, Filiala Iaşi Institutul de Istorie A.D. Xenopol, Iaşi

Proiect: The Mythical Iaşi: Nostalgia, History and Cultural Memory (1859-1940).

Date de contact:


Graduated in History at the AL. I Cuza University, Iasi in 1997, I have been a researcher for the Cultural History Department of the A. D. Xenopol Historical Institute Iasi since 2002.

I presented my doctorate thesis in 2009 with the topic “The 1848 Revolution in the Romanian Culture. The Revolutionary Memory in the Second Half of the 19thCentury”, a project possible with a grant offered by the National University Research Council (CNCSIS). Currently, I am developing my scientific activity with two major projects: the CNCSIS post-doc grant: “A Society in Pursuit of Honour. Duel and Masculinity in the Romanian Public Sphere (1859-1918)”, a theme hardly ever studied by the Romanian historiography and which I became drawn to while working on my doctorate thesis, as well the topic for my second grant POSDRU “The Mythical Iaşi: Nostalgia, History and Cultural Memory (1859-1940)”.

Together with Liviu Bratescu, I have edited the volume of studies entitled “Romanian Conservatism. Its origins, Evolutions and Perspectives” (2008). My present topics of study are: cultural codes in the modern era, commemorative strategies in the modern era, a history of emotions, masculinity etc.

In parallel to my research activity I have also been a reporter, followed by a chief editor post for the National Events department for the Monitorul newspaper (1997-2002), now “Ziarul de Iasi”(2002-2010). As a reporter, I was awarded the Biggest Prize for the “The Young Journalist of the Year” competition (2000) offered by the Freedom House Foundation and the Romanian Publishing Group.

The Mythical Iaşi: Nostalgia, History and Cultural Memory (1859-1940).

The purpose of this approach is to analyse the cultural discourse referring to the images and representations of the decline reflected in notes, memories, evocations, memoirs, diaries, journalism, political discourse, fiction books, etc. We have in view the genesis and proliferation of the tropes on the decline of Moldavia’s capital city. Our starting presumption is that, under the pressure of the fervent nationalism and administrative centralism, the valve through which they were directed, the reservations and frustrations related to the status loss for the city of Iasi were put together not in a platform of separatist ideas or in an emphasised regionalism, unacceptable for they would have questioned directly the act of the Union, but in a refined, soft form, accepted by the political community and by the elites. These latter were deploring the decline of the city “of the present”, just a shadow of the former capital now, insisting upon the glorious past.

The idea of progress is a distinct feature of the modern mind, being intensely used in the Unionist programmes or imaginary of Iasi. Obviously, the manifestations of nostalgia represented the other face of the teleology of progress. We therefore follow the modalities by which the mise-en-scène of nostalgia was constructed to emphasise the anguished perspectives of the present, canalizing a major part of the intellectual energy to the elites, by means of the political discourse, memoirs, journalism, diaries, and literature. In order to compare the historical realities in relation to which nostalgia is drawn up, we follow the typology of the impressions transmitted by the foreign travellers and their utilization in the scholars’ critical discourse. Out of the numerous evoked texts and images, we are interested in the particularities that gained the forefront, in the moment when they were invoked, in when and why they were rediscovered

Relevant studies publised in the same area of research

  • Concurrent Memories, Competitive Groups and Specific Historiographic Interpretation, in Annals of the Al. I. Cuza University, Iasi, 2004, p. 132-151.
  • Commemorations and Forgetting of 1848 Revolution up to the XXth Century, in Political Culture and Cultural Poolitics in Modern Romania (ed. by Alexandru Zub, Adrian Cioflanca) Iasi, Al.I.Cuza University Press, 2005, p. 83-97.
  • The Memory of Barricades. 1848 in A Comparative Context, in Studia Politica. Romanian Political Science Review, Bucuresti, vol. VIII, nr. 4, 2008, p. 793-833.
  • Cultural Codes of Duelling in Modern Romanian Society, in Romantism and modernity, Atitudes, Reassessments, Debates, (ed. By Andi Mihalache, Alexandru Istrate), Iași, Al.I.Cuza University Press, 2009, p. 455-506.
  • Honor and Death in the Militarist Discourse in Romania (1859-1918), in Annales Universitatis Apulensis. Series Historica. Special Issues, Cluj Napoca, Accent, 2010, p. 62-84.