Re-enacting the past: the translation of performativity in oral history interviews


  • Diana Painca Universite Libre de Bruxelles



Translation Studies, Oral History, communism, performativity, estudios de traducción, historia oral, comunismo, performatividad


This article explores the connection between Translation Studies and Oral History on Romanian communism. Inspired by Portelli’s theoretical framework, it aims to address the problems posed by the translation of performativity from Romanian into English. To this end, transcribed historical interviews are extracted from two main books on the era: Memorial of pain: darkness and light (Hossu Longin, 2013) and The Survivors: testimonies from Romania’s communist prisons (Ştef, 2014).  


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Author Biography

Diana Painca, Universite Libre de Bruxelles

Diana Painca obtained her doctorate in “Languages, Letters and Translation” (Université Libre de Bruxelles, 2020). Her pioneering research connected Translation Studies with Oral History on communism. Some of her publications include Characteristics of Orality in Translation: Repetitions in Oral History Interviews on Romanian Communism (FJRS, 2017), Rise like a Phoenix’: Communist Mythology and Rock music (The Annals of Bucharest University, 2018), Giving the past a voice: oral history in translation (Peter Lang, forthcoming). She was one of the editors of the volumes Poétiques, Mythes et Croyances (EME Éditions 2019) and Royauté(s): entre historicité et imaginaire (EME Éditions). Diana Painca presented her work at conferences in Belgium, Portugal, Spain, Romania and the United Kingdom. She was a Recognised Student at the University of Oxford (research stay funded by the “Ratiu Family Foundation” Grant). 


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