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The Romanian Cultural Institute in New York and Bard College Celebrate the 75th Birthday of Internationally Acclaimed Writer Norman Manea with Two-Day Symposium in New York City, June 27 to 28

Participants Include Leon Botstein, Paul Bailey, Robert Boyers, Jonathan Brent, Joseph Cuomo, Luca Formenton, Reginald Gibbons, Edward Hirsch, Edward Kanterian, Silviu Lupescu, Valerie Miles, Carmen Muşat, Maria Nadotti, Francine Prose, Bogdan-Alexa

Jennifer Wai-Lan Huang

NEW YORK, N.Y.—The Romanian Cultural Institute in New York and Bard College will present Norman Manea: A Celebration, a tribute to Norman Manea, Francis Flournoy Professor in European Studies and Culture and writer in residence at Bard College. The Romanian writer is a leading contemporary figure in international literature and culture. This intellectually rewarding celebration of Manea’s life and work will bring together editors, publishers, dedicated scholars, friends, colleagues, and collaborators from throughout the world to honor the 75th birthday of one of the most remarkable writers of our time. The two-day symposium will take place from June 27 to 28, 2011 at The Bard Graduate Center Lecture Hall, 38 West 86th Street in New York City. All events are free and open to the public. Registration is required. Please contact or (212) 687-0180 to register. Visit for details.

Introduced by Bard President Leon Botstein and hosted by Corina Şuteu, director of the Romanian Cultural Institute in New York, the event includes presentations, panel discussions, and a documentary film, all covering the trajectory of Manea’s life and exploring the aesthetic and ethical dimensions of his literary work before and after his exile from Romania in 1986. Participants include Paul Bailey, Robert Boyers, Jonathan Brent, Joseph Cuomo, Luca Formenton, Reginald Gibbons, Edward Hirsch, Edward Kanterian, Silviu Lupescu, Valerie Miles, Carmen Musat, Maria Nadotti, Bogdan-Alexandru Stănescu, and Francine Prose, among others. Norman Manea will make a special appearance.

Acclaimed Romanian émigré writer Norman Manea has been a member of the Bard faculty since 1989 and is the author of 22 volumes of fiction and essays. Among numerous honors, he has received the United States MacArthur and Guggenheim fellowships, The National Jewish Book Award and the Literary Lion Medal by the State Library of New York, has been awarded Italy’s International Nonino Prize for Literature, and been elected a member of the Berlin Academy of Art. His memoir The Hooligan’s Return received France’s Prix Médicis Étranger in 2006. In 2007, he was awarded the Order of Cultural Merit by the President of Romania and in 2008 received honorary degrees in literature from the University of Bucharest and Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj, Romania. In 2009, the French Ministry of Culture conferred the most prestigious title of Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres on him. His work has been translated into 20 languages. He lives with his wife in New York City.




June 27–28, 2011

The Bard Graduate Center Lecture Hall

38 West 86th Street

New York, NY 10024


Program Schedule

The symposium is hosted by Corina Şuteu, Director of the Romanian Cultural Institute in New York.


Monday, June 27

3 p.m.–4 p.m. REGISTRATION


Leon Botstein, President, Bard College

Silviu Lupescu, Director, Polirom Publishing House, Iaşi, Romania



“Thinking About Norman Manea”

Robert Boyers, Tisch Professor of Arts and Letter at Skidmore College, founder and editor of Salmagundi quarterly, USA

4:50 p.m.–7 p.m.  PANEL CONTRIBUTIONS

Brief introduction by moderator Carmen Muşat, Associate Professor, Romanian Literature Department, University of Bucharest & Editor-in-Chief of Observator cultural weekly, Romania

 “A Multiplicity of Selves: An Appreciation of Norman Manea”

Joseph Cuomo, Founding Director, Queens College Evening Readings, CUNY, USA

 “The Way from Trickster to Titan, and Backwards, in Norman Manea’s Novel and Essay”

Bogdan-Alexandru Stănescu, Editorial director of Polirom Publishing House, Romania

 “The Imagination of Norman Manea”

Reginald Gibbons, Professor of English, Classics, Spanish & Portuguese, Northwestern University, Chicago, USA

 “The Hooligan’s Return”

Francine Prose, writer, Visiting Professor of Literature, Bard College, USA



Cellist Sophie Shao performs Johann Sebastian Bach: Suite No. 6 in D Major, BWV 1012

Special guest Ion Caramitru reads from The Hooligan’s Return

Followed by a Reception


Tuesday, June 28



Luca Formenton, Publisher, Il Saggiatore, Milan, Italy



Brief introduction by poet and critic Edward Hirsch, President, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, NYC, who will moderate the panel

 “What Norman Manea Has Taught Me About Romania”

Paul Bailey, writer and broadcaster; Senior Researcher in Creative Writing at Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Kingstone University London, UK

 “On Expressing the Nightmare: Paul Celan and Norman Manea”

Edward Kanterian, Lecturer in Philosophy, Trinity College, Oxford, UK

 “Norman Manea: An Eight o’clock Dream”

Valerie Miles, Publishing Director of Duomo Ediciones, Barcelona, Spain

 “Publishing Norman Manea in 1980s America”

Jonathan Brent, Executive Director, YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, NYC; Visiting Alger Hiss Professor of History and Literature, Bard College, USA

 “The Hooligan’s Lesson in the Globalized World”

Maria Nadotti, journalist, essayist and translator, Milan, Italy



“Variations to a Portrait: Norman Manea in dialogue with Robert Boyers”
(A premiere presentation of a video produced by Bard College and RCINY,

Creative Producer: Ioana Uricaru)


6:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m. SPECIAL APPEARANCE

Norman Manea in conversation with the audience


Moderated by Corina Şuteu

Concluded with a glass of wine




Since 1860, Bard College, located in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, has maintained a commitment to liberal arts and sciences education. The College offers the bachelor of arts degree with majors in more than 50 academic programs in four divisions: Arts; Languages and Literature; Science, Mathematics, and Computing; and Social Studies; as well as graduate degrees in fine arts; curatorial studies; the history of the decorative arts, design, and culture; environmental policy; teaching; vocal arts; and conducting. In addition, it offers a dual-degree program in which students receive a B.S. in economics and finance and a B.A. in another academic field. The Bard College Conservatory of Music offers a dual-degree program earning students a bachelor’s degree in music and a B.A. in a field other than music. Bard has developed a new vision of the liberal arts college as a central body surrounded by significant institutes and programs that strengthen its curriculum. For more information, visit or e-mail



The Romanian Cultural Institute in New York (RCINY) aims to promote Romanian culture throughout the U.S. and internationally, and to build sustainable, creative partnerships among American and Romanian cultural organizations. The Institute acts as a catalyst and proponent of initiatives across artistic fields, striving to foster understanding, cultural diplomacy, and scholarly discourse by enriching public perspectives of contemporary Romanian culture. RCINY is currently the president of the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) network in New York City. For the past five years, RCINY has been an active promoter of Romanian literature in translation, and has developed a series of landmark projects involving leading Romanian-American artists and intellectual figures. For more information, visit or e-mail



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This event was last updated on 06-16-2011