Cionea Publishes Study of Romanian Visual Rhetoric

Ph.D. student Ioana Cionea has recently published a study of visual rhetoric in the formation of post-Communist Romanian national identity. The article appears in Controversia, an international journal dedicated to discussion and democratic revival.

Cionea's essay examines the use of visual rhetoric to promote nationalist discourse in post-Cold War Eastern Europe. Manifestations of ethnic nationalism perpetrated Romania’s political scene following the fall of the communist regime in 1989.  The present article examines the physical transformation of the city of Cluj-Napoca, Romania as a result of the mayor’s decision to incorporate the Romanian national colors into the city’s infrastructure. Kenneth Burke’s concept of identification and Michael Billig’s idea of banal nationalism are employed to explain nationalist symbolism as an essential manifestation of the mayor’s attempt to isolate and alienate the Hungarian minority while escaping the European Union’s monitoring. The case study is a unique example of the relationship between visual rhetoric, the public sphere, and nationalism in contemporary politics.

Citation:  Cionea, I. A. (2007). The banality of nationhood: Visual rhetoric and ethnic nationalism in post-communist Romania. Controversia, 5, 77-92.

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