Nume: RADVAN Laurentiu

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

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

Proiect: From the ”Saxon burg” to the Romanian ”valley târg”. An examination of the historiographic discourse on Medieval towns in the Romanian area (18th-20th centuries)

Date de contact

Scurta prezentare a profilului

I am Doctor of Humanities, in the field of History (since 2003) with the paper "Towns in Wallachia Until the End of the 16th Century". Since 2009, I am Associate Professor at the Faculty of History of the „Al. I. Cuza” University of Iaşi; currently holding the following courses: Medieval Europe (5th to 10th century); Urban structures and institutions in the Middle Ages; also Master courses. My main field of interest is urban history. Up to now, I have published three works and over 15 articles on this subject, with other studies due for publication. On December 19, 2006, my paper Oraşele din Ţara Românească până la sfârşitul secolului al XVI-lea received the Romanian Academy Award (for 2004). I was involved in three research grants focused on the history of medieval towns. I also take interest in editing historical sources and the study of paleography. Ever since 1998, I have been a member of the Commission for the History of Towns in Romania of the Romanian Academy. Since 2008, I represent Romania in The International Commission for the History of Towns. In the last decade, I attended several international conferences (Zagreb 2006, Leeds 2007, Luxembourg 2009, Amsterdam 2010). In 2008, I won a Fulbright grant which allowed me to do research at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, USA.

From the ”Saxon burg” to the Romanian ”valley târg”. An examination of the historiographic discourse on Medieval towns in the Romanian area (18th-20th centuries) - project summary

This project seeks to undertake a critical approach to historiographic discourse on Medieval towns in the Romanian area. Such research is the first of its kind, since there are only few valuable recent studies that would target the vast historiographic corpus in Romania, especially where the 20th century is concerned. We focus on analyzing the type of discourse promoted in one part of historical literature in the last two centuries, but also on how attempts were made, especially in Communist times (but with post-1989 echoes as well), to build an urban identity on grounds that were less scientific, and more ideological in nature. The main focus of our project is the area that the Romanian Principalities covered in the Middle Ages, and not so much Transylvania, but without leaving the latter aside. The first part of the project title contains, not by accident, the phrase ”From the ‘Saxon burg’ to the Romanian ‘valley târg’”. The “Saxon burg” and the “valley târg” are references to two major trends in interpretation that are characteristic of urban historiography, trends which bore upon and divided the standpoints taken by historians. Further on, we showed that, to explain the mechanisms that underlie these interpretations, we need to reach out to aspects that are of an ideological order. Due to the vastness of the topic, this project seeks to analyze first of all the historiographic discourse specific to various periods in history. This research will open on a brief insight into later chronicles, to outline how pre-modern scholars viewed towns. After that, we will attempt to link the nationalist discourse and the destructive attitude of the Communist regime towards Medieval and pre-modern centres in towns, following up with a study that would address this issue as well (Giurescu, Panaitescu and others).

Relevant works

  • At Europe's Borders: Medieval Towns in the Romanian Principalities, translated by Valentin Cîrdei, Leiden, Boston, Brill, 2010, 613+XXX p. ISBN 978-900-418-010-9.
  • O istorie a Europei de Apus în Evul Mediu. De la Imperiul Roman târziu la marile descoperiri geografice (sec. V-XVI), [A History of Western Europe in the Middle Ages. From the Roman Empire to the Great Geographic Discoveries]. With Al.-F. Platon and B.-P. Maleon, Iaşi, Editura Polirom, 2010, 552 p. ISBN 978-973-46-1595-7.
  • Oraşul din spaţiul românesc între Orient şi Occident. Tranziţia de la medievalitate la modernitate, [The Town in the Romanian Area between East and West. The Passage from Medieval to Modern Times] (Iaşi: Editura Universităţii „Al. I. Cuza”, 2007), 362 p. ISBN 978-973-703-268-3.
  • Civilizaţia urbană din spaţiul românesc in secolele XVI-XVIII. Studii şi documente , [Urban Civilization in the Romanian Area between the 16th and the 18th Century] (Iaşi: Editura Universităţii „Al. I. Cuza”, Iaşi, 2006), 272 pp.+17 images. ISBN 978-973-703-149-5, 973-703-149-0.
  • Oraşele din Ţara Românească până la sfârşitul secolului al XVI-lea, lea [Towns in Wallachia until the End of the 16th Century] (Iaşi: Editura Universităţii „Al. I. Cuza”, 2004), 596 pp. ISBN 973-703-047-8.