Article ID: CBB631038986

Radio Waves, Memories, and the Politics of Everyday Life in Socialist Romania: The Case of Radio Free Europe (2019)


During the communist era, Radio Free Europe (RFE) was Romania's favorite radio station. This paper analyzes the role of RFE in everyday life in the strictly controlled Romanian communist state by looking at the broadcasts of RFE's Romanian Department, their audience, and their impact. Drawing largely on the RFE archives at the Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives (OSA) and the former secret police files at the National Council for the Study of the Securitate Archives (CNSAS), it investigates how radio waves mediated and channeled information while preparing people to embrace political and cultural change. The paper focuses on the circulation of knowledge, media confluences, and human agency. The rituals that developed around the secrecy which governed the listening process, the personal requests, attitudes, and opinions expressed in letters to RFE, and oral and written testimonies, coupled with the disproportionate and, at times, extreme reactions of the communist state, together reveal the carving out of individual spaces that allowed for the preservation of the “self” during Nicolae Ceausescu's dictatorship. At such critical historical moments, the connection became visible. Through an analysis of recent media representations in which RFE figures, such as Cold Waves, this study also looks at how RFE shaped personal memories of communist times.

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Article István Rév (2019) Neither Objective nor Subjective. Centaurus: International Magazine of the History of Mathematics, Science, and Technology (pp. 143-152). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Arceneaux, Noah
Bronfman, Alejandra
Casillas, Dolores Inés
Cummings, Richard H.
Johns, Adrian
Jones, Steve
Cold War History
Centaurus: International Magazine of the History of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
British Journal for the History of Science
Culture Machine
Technology and Culture
The Journal of Transport History
Oxford University Press
University of Minnesota Press
Cambridge University Press
MIT Press
New York University Press
Methods of communication; media
Technology and society
Technology and culture
Cold War
Broadcasting, radio and television
Smith, John Maynard
Time Periods
20th century, late
21st century
20th century, early
19th century
20th century
United States
Great Britain
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

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