With the televised events of 1989, territories of Eastern and Central Europe that had been marked as impenetrable and inaccessible to the Western gaze exploded into visibility. As the narratives of the Cold War crumbled, new narratives emerged and new geographies were produced on and by American television. Using an understudied archive of American news broadcasts, and tracing their flashes and echoes through travel guides and narratives of return written by Eastern European-Americans, this book explores American ways of seeing and mapping communism’s disintegration and the narratives articulated around post-communist sites and subjects.
"American Representations of Post-Communism provides a valuable close reading of an extensive archive of American media and travel writing sources and the way they interact with each other in their depiction and creation of ‘Eastern Europe’ in transition. Borcila skilfully traces how these representations feed off each other and tautologically produce an Eastern Europe entirely of the American mind. This book is an important inquiry into the Western notion of a homogeneous Eastern Europe, of Balkanist ascriptions, and yet another attestation to the persistence of Cold War legacies in our post-Cold War world." -- Kathleen Starck, University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany
"Original in its conception, exhaustively researched, and incisive in its overall arguments, American Representations of Post-Communism offers a remarkably lucid analysis of the impact and representation of the 1989 anti-communist revolutions and their aftermath on both sides of the Atlantic." -- Marcel Cornis-Pope, Virginia Commonwealth University, USA
Introduction 1. Disintegrating Communism: The Normative Site of the Berlin Wall 2. Accessing the Romanian Revolution: Romania’s Journey from Fringe Zone to Symptomatic Site 3. On-site Encounters and Overexposed Sites: Post-communist Televisual Romania 4. Desiring, Mapping and Naming Eastern Europe: The Discourse of Travel Guides 5. With Different Eyes? Self-Seeing and Mapping in Narratives of Return Conclusions