Professor Odette BLUMENFELD

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.

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