Alexandra Ilina

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ICUB Young Researchers Grantee

October 2022 - September 2023

Alexandra Ilina is a lecturer at the French Department (University of Bucharest) since 2018 and an associated researcher at the Centre Régional Francophone D'Études Avancées En Sciences Sociales (CEREFREA Villa Noël). She received her PhD in 2016 from the University of Bucharest and Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3 with a thesis concerning text-image relationships in the manuscripts of the Prose Tristan, a 13th century romance. In 2019-2020, she was a fellow at the New Europe College. Her main interests are the Arthurian legend and Tristan legends, the rewritings of Ovid in the French Middle Ages and medievalism.

Alexandra is also conducting a research and translation workshop, called Reverdie, where we translate medieval texts, like Le lai de Narcisse and Le lai de l’Ombre by Jean Renart which will be published with Polirom. 

Romanian filmstrips known as diafilms are a pivotal part of the visual culture designed for educational and ideological purposes. Despite their importance, they are an understudied and less known part of the country’s recent cultural heritage. The present project aims at filling this gap by investigating the literary nature of diafilms, a majority of which were based on fictional literature and were illustrated by book illustrators.

The main objectives of the project are to digitize the diafilms, produced between 1950 and 1989, in order to conserve and study them, to examine the relationship between diafilms and literature, in order to see on what literary sources the diafilms were based on and how they were reworked in the new medium, and, finally, to examine the relationship between book illustration and diafilm iconography, as many of the artists which illustrated these filmstrips were professional book illustrators. This project aims to show how Romanian diafilms contributed to and were influenced by the cultural agenda, from 1950 and until 1989, following their relationship with literature, while also focusing on their unique, performative dimension that involved an active spectator-performer.

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