Professor Golopentia's areas of specialization include 20th-century literature and culture, Francophone Studies (Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, U.S.), 17th-20th century theater, critical theory, semiotics, and philosophy of language. She is the author of, among others, Les Voies de la pragmatique (1988) and co-author (with M. Martinez Thomas) of Voir les didascalies (1994). Currently Prof. Golopentia is working on a book entitled Histoires de dires.
My research is mostly devoted to 20th-century French literature, language, and culture as well as to French Theater (in all centuries). My approach is founded in literary, linguistic and semiotic pragmatics. An anthropological and sociological dimension also complements and often interacts with my analysis of French works, primarily due to my Romanian research. Thus, I have studied dialogical structures in French Theater and novels, Francophone language behavior in New England (specifically dealing with Franco-Americans), and magical Romanian love poetry. I am currently developing a site entitled Romanian Love Charms with help from the Brown Scholarly Technology Group.
Rather than presenting a general overview of my research, I have given some excerpts of my yearly accomplishments. They can show the rhythm and focus of my research in a more natural way.
In 1997, I published
Desire Machines: A Romanian Love Charms Database
. The volume consists of an introduction followed by the first pragmatic anthology of love charms ever published. Romanian love charms were chosen because of their exuberant lyricism (contrasting, for example, with the advanced disintegration of the French charms). In the introduction, love charms are (a) compared with psychotherapeutical practices and computer programs, (b) defined as elementary desire machines in which hardware (magic objects, magic substances, magic plants, etc.) combines with software (magic formulas, magic physical actions) to serve a strictly defined purpose, (c) viewed as natural examples of what computer specialists call hypertexts, within the larger semiotic perspective of human dialogic creativity and "soft" natural expertise, and (d) discussed as a typical example of female creativity, reflecting a female semantic universe centered around female identity, occupations, values and actions. The structure of the
Romanian Love Charm Database
is then presented and discussed in detail, together with the methodological implications of devising databases for other types of magical literature, as well as for all intricately articulated texts that resemble charm scenarios (such as theatrical plays, film scripts, technical directions) for the use of new industrial products, medical prescriptions, cooking recipes, official ceremonial protocols, and game rules. The anthology is comprised of 119 charm scenarios (in both Romanian and English translation) that are regrouped according to twelve pragmatic functions. Ten of the charm scenarios are published here for the first time. The volume paves the way for other love charm databases and anthologies. It represents a seminal transdisciplinary work which combines cultural anthropology, semiotics, women studies, computer studies and pragmatics in order to better account for the archaic articulation between love, magic, health, and fate in a female Weltanschauung.
In the same year, I published a chapter entitled "Lire les atlas: le lexique de l'action dans trois atlas du domaine d'oïl" in the volume
Vitalité des parlers de l'Ouest et du Canada francophone
, edited by Francis Manzano. In it, I distinguish between linguistic atlases whose macrostructure is centered upon action (i.e., atlases of "doing," such as the atlas of Ile de France/Orléanais, ALIFO) and atlases centered upon reference (i.e., atlases of "being," such as the atlas of Champagne/Brie, ALCB. I also introduce the distinction between polyphonic atlases (pragmatically transparent) in which the dialogue researcher/witness is still available-- a perfect example being the Atlas Linguistique et Ethnographique de la Bretagne Romane, de l'Anjou et du Maine-- and synthetic atlases (pragmatically opaque) such as ALIFO and ALCB.
Three other chapters were also published at this time. One was devoted to the analysis of Carné's film
Les visiteurs du soir
and its traces in a text by Duras. In it, I develop a methodology that allows one to establish the filmic ethymology of a literary text or, on another plane, to go from the intensity of the character's gaze (as shown in the film or in Duras' narrative) to the intense public reception of Les Visiteurs in occupied France. The second, entitled "Jeux didascaliques et espaces mentaux" appeared in the volume
Le Je(u) didascalique
, edited by Monique Martinez. In it, I introduce the distinction between dialogic and didascalic games, and establish the didascalic games as games by means of which the playwright opens and closes successively different mental spaces. I also compare didascalic games played by the dramatic author with those of the director (Copeau, for example, rewriting Molière's didascalies in
Les fourberies de Scapin
) and with those of the author-and-director (Duras, writing and staging
La Musica Deuxième
). The third chapter, published in the volume
Français du Canada Français de France
(edited by Marie-Rose Simoni-Aurembou), examines the special case in which speaking French has ceased to be a definitive feature of the Franco-American identity in New England.
Also in 1997, I finalized the volume
Lucid Revival: The French Theater of the Eighties
, which was sent to publishers during the Spring semester 1998 after a translation revision. I also finished the first draft of the volume
Ouvertures et clôtures théâtrales
(co-authored) by the end of 1998. In addition, the volume of critical essays
(Grave Appraisals) was sent for publication during the Spring semester 1998.
In 1997 I was also a keynote speaker at the international colloquium "Le Je(u) didascalique" (Université Toulouse Le Mirail, France) and gave two other invited lectures in Bellême (France), at the international coloquium "Français du CanadaFrançais de France" organized by the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and in New York. I also read a paper on genetic criticism and Theater at a Franco-Hispanic Workshop on Editing Manuscripts.
During this year I published three consistent studies dealing with theatrical and linguistic pragmatics. The first continues the book that I had written on scenic indications in 1994 by exploring the various ways in which directors supplement (at times contradict or reduce) the playwrights' didascalies, thus becoming co-authors in the open process of text/play production. My other publications discuss the relation between language and identity in connection with marginal communities of French speakers: those of the Franco-Americans in New England and of the vanishing peasants in contemporary France. I also wrote three articles that represent further explorations in the fields of the history and future of pragmatics. These include an article on sociologist Caillois' and literary critic Paulhan's contribution to the Collège de Sociologie, an article on ethnomusicologist Constantin Brailoiu's migration from fieldwork methodology toward a sociology and a pragmatics of popular music all over the world, and an article on approaching virtual texts via genetic criticism.
Together with seven smaller articles and one book review (listed in my CV), I also gave three lectures, most notably a invited talk for the Unión Latina at the Romance Languages and Linguistic Communities in the United States. I strongly believe that this encounter will have an important impact on the ways in which we adapt our teaching of French language, literature, and culture to the different instructional settings that are characteristic for the US, as well as for the many different student populations in this country.
During 2000, I also edited two massive books that focus on important aspects of my native Romanian culture, and, in doing so, paid an existential as well as a cultural debt. Here, I will especially point to the second edited collection (
Ultima carte (The Last Book
), which is an exhaustive publication of documents that I found in the secret Archives of the Romanian Securitate concerning my father's detention and death as a political prisoner. In the Introduction as well as in the notes, comments and appendix, I discuss the ways in which such texts can be interpreted and their special status as texts written under torture, and address what they can teach us now about freedom and life.
Finally, I also co-authored a book on didascalies, that was translated into Spanish and appeared in 2001 with a prestigious publishing house on Theater in Spain.
I completed three books, two of which were partially funded by grants from the Romanian Department of Culture. The first
Chemarea mâinilor negative /The Call of the Negative Hands
examines those films and texts by Duras that attest to the way in which intense reception of a work of art (such as the "negative hands" that appear in prehistoric caves of France/Spain, Molière's Impromptu de Versailles, or Carné's Occupation film
Les Visiteurs du soir
) transforms it into the secret core of a new creation that is difficult to ascertain not only for the critic, but for the creator herself. This book contains a number of theoretical contributions to literary (or film) pragmatics, especially dealing with "cold" vs. "hot" reception and their formal correlates. I would connect it with an article on Sylvie Germain (also published in 2002), in which I examine the moving force behind Germain's writing.
My other two publications were sociological books I edited: a massive volume by A. Golopentia and another on female charm-makers as personalities in a traditional Romanian village of the thirties. Because these authors, as well as the discipline of sociology, were practically suppressed in Romania for many years, editing these texts was a professional duty I felt happy to fulfill.
Finally, I wrote four articles on the pragmatic approach to language/linguistics, in which I examined new ways of reading geolinguistic atlases and for defining the cultural identity of Franco-Americans in New-England, Romanian immigrants to the U.S., or Romanian minorities in Europe.
In addition, in 2002 I was also at work preparing a book on the cultural identity of the Franco-Americans in New England. I spent the spring semester transcribing interviews and accumulating bibliographical information. I also took pleasure in giving invited lectures and interviews on the two books that have already appeared and on the "Carter emigrants" of the eighties, in reference to a special category of Romanian emigrants, among whom I situate myself.
During my sabbatical I concentrated my efforts on a book examining the cultural identity of the Franco-Americans in New England. In the Fall semester 2002, I transcribed interviews and accumulated bibliographical information, while in the Spring 2003 I partially wrote two chapters, one dedicated to the parameters by which we define the cultural identity of a community, and the other presenting a number of Franco-American plays that have a polemic approach to the troubling issue of an unclear if not vanishing identity.
I gave a consistent number of lectures at the Centre National de la Recherché Scientifique (CNRS) and Sorbonne IV in France, at the Linguistic Institute of the Romanian Academy, and at The Transatlantic Project/Wayland Collegium. Specifically, these lectures dealt with the pragmatics of magic poetry, theater, and dialogue as well as with using informatic means to enhance our research and understanding in these domains. These lectures have been or will be published, and I hope they will lead to futher international cooperation in the future. During this year, I also enjoyed being invited to write entries on Benveniste, Caillois, Duras and Sollers for the
Companion to Modern French Thought
In 2003, I also edited a book by Stefania Cristescu, dealing with female charm-makers as outstanding social and imaginary personalities in a traditional Romanian village of the thirties. Another editing project was my work on the first volume of a series entitled
The Epistolary Rhapsody
(over 600 p., from A to Crainic). This volume, which contained letters received or written by Anton Golopentia between 1923 and 1949, gives a fascinating image of life in Romania and in Europe in between WWI and WWII. It combines letters by first-rank sociologists, demographers, anthropologists, or writers, with letters by young students, peasants, soldiers, and family that were addressed at various moments to sociologist and demographer A.G. The architectonics of this volume raised problems similar to those faced by novelists when they write large synthetic works aimed at summarizing a period. Meanwhile the contents of the letters made me better understand the pragmatics of the epistolary dialogue, on which I plan to write an extended study.
During this year, I approached the subject of 20th-century French culture through a number of different works concerning E. Benveniste, Roger Caillois and Philippe Sollers. These pieces emerged from my work with the prestigious
Encyclopedia of Modern French Thought
, a study on the correspondence between Roger Caillois and Jean Paulhan about the avant-garde Collège de Sociologie, a study (and lecture) exploring the way in which being a sociologist and coming from a Francophile culture combined and/or conflicted in the careers of several young specialists of the 1930s, and a study of the fluctuations between the Romanian and the French cultural personas of Ionesco (entitled "Ionescu, Ionesco, Ionescu "). Together with Monique Martinez, I also initiated a project of electronic indexation for theatrical plays called DRAMA, for which I received a summer grant from the French University of Toulouse Le Mirail. The result of the project, which will be brought to technical completion by a graduate student at the University of Toulouse Le Mirail, will allow actors, directors and theater professors to affect a number of current operations on theatrical plays of their choice. To devise DRAMA we mainly worked on plays by Beckett and Sinisterra.
In 2004, I also published two books, one self-authored (
Learn to Sing, My Mother Said
) and the other an edited edition (
The Epistolary Rhapsody
, vol. I), while working on another volume entitled
Romanians Beyond the River Bug
. All three volumes are what I call "polyphonic volumes" that give voice to diversified groups such as women poets in a traditional Romanian village of the 1980s, intellectuals of various professions between WWI and WWII, and sociologists, demographers, and historians trying to account for the Romanians living in Ukraine since the 18th-century). All raise the problem of memory stratification (my research on female lyricism was conducted between 1970 and 1980; the letters in vol. I of the Epistolary Rhapsody were written between 1920s and 1950; and the Romanians in Ukraine were studied by scholars since the 19th- century and by a team of Romanian specialists in 19411943). The last volume raises the problem of conflicting points of view since it contains the research of specialists who were later put to prison, detainee declarations and reports by Securitate officers, as well as the memories and studies of the surviving researchers of the 1940s written fifty years later. Thus, while the substance of these books belongs to Romanian and Ukrainian cultures, their structure manifests and expands my theoretical interests in the pragmatics of culture and in the methods one can use to account for this cultural moment/setting and for intercultural relations.
Stemming from my interest in cultural pragmatics were two studies and an invited lecture on the typology of love charms written in connection with the work of a Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique team (LanguesMusiquesSociétés) in Paris and with a European group of researchers led by Jonathan Roper. These studies paved the way for an updating my database on Love Charms and putting it on the Web. For this project, I received a 2004/2005 Scholarly Technology Group (STG) Faculty Grant). I am currently engaged in this work, gathering unpublished material in various archives of oral literature.
I have also published various articles on the American university (taking Brown University as an example, particularly with respect to the "Creative Writing" Program and Robert Coover's role in its development) in the prestigious review
(Century XXI). While cruising on the Danube with Brown Alumni, I also gave two lectures on the "Folklore of the Danube" and on the "Quests of Romanian Culture." All in all, my research in the pragmatics of culture was intensely connected with the quests of colleagues and teams in France, Romania, the U.S., and England and was focused on the encounters between French, Romanian, and Ukrainean cultures.
Continuing my interest in theatre theory and criticism, I gave a lecture on Moliere's
L'Impromptu de Versailles
(on the occasion of its presentation by the Trinity Rep Company) and I published a study on several unexpected ways to close a play in contemporary French Theater. The following week, I was invited to give a lecture on Jasmina Reza's theatrical endings in Canada at the University of Northwestern Ontario and another lecture on the theatrical Impromptu, viewed as a specifically French and Francophone development. During the summer, with the help of an Office for the Vice President for Research (OVPR) grant, I worked at the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, accumulating a consistent bibliography for a book on Le Théâtre de la Belle Epoque. I have by now, in draft form, two chapters (on Feydeau and on Claudel) as well as parts of the one on Renard and hope to conclude the work on the volume at the end of 2006.
I also published a consistent study on the cultural encounter between French and Romanian sociologists at a moment (between WWI and WWII) when sociology experienced a prestigious, though strongly divergent development in the two countries. This is part of a new interest in Eastern European Francophilia that I share with a number of colleagues in the U.S.
In a Colloquium dedicated to our colleague Inge Wimmers, I presented a paper on the multiple challenges one encounters when trying to translate oral texts. In the same pragmatic vein, I published an article on local variation at the level of speech acts based on my previous fieldwork in Maramuresh, Romania. I also gave a lecture and wrote an essay on "The Merry Cemetery of Sapantsa" with the occasion of an exhibition of photographs by Peter Kayafas at the Romanian Cultural Institute in New York.
My research also included the continued devlopment of large-scale projects, such as the site of Magic Poetry (Romanian Love Charms) that I am developing with STG help, in addition to proof-reading and indexing a book on the Romanians between the rivers Bug and Dnestr. I also wrote essays for a special New York issue of the prestigious
review and for a volume on the communist fifties in Romania.
Current Grants (2004)
Grant awarded by the University Toulouse Le Mirail (Toulouse, France) for the Project DRAMA/Electronic Indexation for Theatrical Plays aimed at actors, directors, and Theater professors (I initiated this Project, and worked on it with Monique Martinez at the University Toulouse-Le-Mirail during the month of July 2004).
Summer grant for an Undergraduate Teaching and Research Assistantship (UTRA) to prepare an undergraduate course on French Avant-gardes (I will be teaching it in the Spring semester 2005).
Scholarly Technology Group Faculty Grant for putting on the Web an updated version of the Magic Poetry Database (20042005).
Office of the Brown Vice-President for Research Promotion (OVRP) grant for 2005 funding travel to France in connection with writing the volume Le Théâtre de la Belle Époque.
French Government Grant to the Laboratoire d'Anthropologie sociale, Section de Sémiotique, Paris, France (May/December 1968). Research Associate at the Research Center for the Language Sciences, Bloomington, Indiana (September 1969/ June 1970). Fellowship Grant from the American Council of Learned Societies to attend the Linguistic Society of America's Linguistic Institute at Columbus, Ohio (June/ August 1979). Visiting Fellow at the Ohio State University (Summer Quarter 1970). Visiting Fellow at the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics, Cornell University, Ithaca NY (September 1980/ January 1981). Fellow at the Brown University Center for Research on Semiotics, Providence RI (October 1980/1983). Award from the Brown University Council for International Studies to support research work in France (June 24/September 2, 1983). Grant from the Faculty Development Account to help support a research assistant in translating with me a collection of lyrical songs in preparation for the volume Songs of the Women from Breb (1984). Grant from the Office of the Provost, Brown University, to organize the IXth Convention of the American Romanian Academy of Arts and Sciences (1984). Faculty Development Grant to help defray expenses associated with research on love charms and orality in France (1987). Invitation to discuss possibilities of cooperation (love charms data base, pragmatics) with the Laboratoire de langues et civilisations à tradition orale LACITOLP 3121, CNRS, Paris, France, and with the Centre de recherches méditerranéennes sur les ethnotextes, l'histoire orale et les parlers régionaux GRECO, CNRS, Université de Provence, Aix-en-Provence, France (June 1989). Summer Research Grant at the Hoover Institution for War Revolution and Peace, Stanford, CA (Summer 1989). Incentive grant for Equinoxes from the Alliance Française of Rhode Island (1995); publication grant from the Faculty Development Fund, Brown University (1995). Undergraduate Teaching and Assistantships Summer Grant (Summer 1999, for a UTRA research assistant; research project "Women Playwrights in Contemporary France"); Grant from the Romanian Department of Culture to publish the volume Chemarea mâinilor negative /The Call of the Negative Hands/, Bucharest: Editura Cartea Româneasca, 2002; Grant from the Romanian Department of Culture to publish the volume
. Sociologie, Bucharest: Editura Enciclopedica, 2002.
Diploma of Merit of the University of Bucharest (1961).
Annual Prize of the Romanian Society for Romance Linguistics (1966).
Lilly Post-Doctoral Teaching Award for preparing and teaching Special Themes and Topics course "Insiders and Outsiders" at Brown University (19831984).
Fellow, Wayland Collegium at Brown (1992).
Diploma of Merit "Dimitrie Gusti" from the General Consulate of Romania in New York "for a valuable contribution to promoting American-Romanian cultural exchange" (1995).
Diploma of Honorary Member of the Linguistic Institute "Iorgu IordanA. Rosetti" (Bucharest, Romanian Academy, March 10, 1999).
Included in the 5+366 Romanian Writers Agenda for the year 2000 (Bucharest: Romanian Cultural Foundation Editing Press).
Prize of the Romanian Cultural Foundation for the Year 2000 (awarded in Bucharest on January 22, 2001 at the Romanian Athenaeum, in the presence of the President of Romania and of the Prime-Minister of Romania "for a steady contribution to the affirmation of the Romanian cultural identity"). See: George Serban, "Membru Literart XXI laureat al Fundatiei Culturale Romane pe anul 2001",
(2001), nr. 56/4748 (MayJune), p. 23.
Certificat d'Appréciation présenté à Sanda Golopentia /Certificate of Appreciation presented to S.G./, Club RichelieuWoonsocket, 28 January 2002.
Annual Prize of the Gheorghe Ursu Foundation for editing the volume A. Golopentia,
Ultima carte /The Last Book
, (awarded in Bucharest on 8 February 2002).
Annual Prize of the Copy.Ro Foundation, awarded for editing the volume A. Golopentia,
Ultima carte /The Last Book
, awarded in Bucharest on December 19, 2002.
President of the Modern Language Association's (MLA) Romanian Studies Discussion Group, (19901991). President of the Romanian Studies Association of America, an MLA Allied Organization (19901991). Vice-President, Linguistic Society of Romania (19781979). Vice-President of the RSAA (19871989). Member of the Board: Société Roumaine de Linguistique Romane (19711972); Linguistic Society of Romania (19741978); Romanian Group for Semiotics (19761979). Member of the Executive Committee, International Association for Semiotic Studies (19791984). Representative to the MLA Delegate Assembly for the Division on Prose Fiction (January 1986December 1988). Member of the Executive Committee, MLA Romanian Studies Discussion Group, (19871991). Chair, LiterArtXXI. International Association of Romanian Writers and Artists (19942001). Nominated "Friend of the Conference" (Purdue Annual Conference on Romance Languages, Literature & Film).
Elected Member, American Romanian Academy of Arts and Sciences (1981).
Executive Board, ARA (19881995).
Elected Member, LiterArt XXI- Voices Across Nations. International Association of Romanian Writers and Artists (1996). Member of the Board, LiterArtXXI (1996present, 2005).
Elected Member of the Association of the Romanian Writers (September 1999present, 2005).
Professional Women's Advisory Board, American Biographical Institute, 2003.
Membership Professional Societies:
Romanian Society for Romance Linguistics (1964/1980). International Society for Phonetic Sciences (1965/1971). ATALA (1968/1970). International Society for the Study of Symbols (1970/1973). Linguistic Society of Romania (1972/1980). Romanian Group for Semiotics (1976/1979). International Association for Semiotics Studies (1979/present). LSA (1969/1970; 1980/1983). MLA (1981/present). Romanian Studies Association of America (1982/present). The Society for Romanian Studies (1982/present). Association des Amis de Pontigny-Cerisy (1985/present). The Southern Comparative Literature Association (1992/present). AAASS (1992). Société de linguistique romane (1998).