Tudor  Balinisteanu Author of Evaluating Organization Development
FEATURED AUTHOR

Tudor Balinisteanu

Research Fellow
University of Suceava

Inspired by Pater's writing, Tudor believes that art is a means of giving the highest quality to the passing moments of lived experience. Throughout his work he has focused on the performativity of literary texts, exploring it first through the lens of feminist theory and then through analyses of modern political aesthetics, This led to his engagement with dance arts and a growing interest in neuroarts research. He regards Yeats's mysticism and Joyce's laughter as anchoring poles of inner life.

Biography

Tudor Balinisteanu completed his undergraduate studies in his native town of Suceava, Romania. He interrupted his studies on the BA course in English to do voluntary work as an activist against the proliferation of nuclear weapons with For Mother Earth (Belgium), advocating in favour sustainable communities with the European Youth for Action (EYFA Amsterdam), becoming eventually involved as a long-term volunteer with the Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation in the Wicklow mountains in Ireland which was strongly focused on North-South reconciliation throughout the nineties. It was there that he developed a strong interest in Irish culture. Upon returning to Romania he completed his undergrad studies and proceeded to do an MA in Irish Studies in the vibrant Romanian city of Cluj. This inspired him to develop doctoral research at University of Glasgow, where he obtained his PhD in English Literature with a thesis entitled Narrative, Social Myth, and Reality in Contemporary Scottish and Irish Women’s Writing. Kennedy, Lochhead, Bourke, Ní Dhuibhne, and Carr, also published as a monograph with CSP (2009). Finding the concept of social myth intriguing and fruitful for analyses of the performativity of literary texts, he obtained postdoctoral funding from the Romanian National Research Council for a project which examined Georges Sorel's concept of social myth and explored its value for analyses of modernist writing and poetic philosophies, focused on W. B. Yeats and James Joyce. This work led to the publication of two monographs with Palgrave: Religion and Aesthetic Experience in Joyce and Yeats (2015) and Violence, Narrative and Myth in Joyce and Yeats: Subjective Identity and Anarcho-Syndicalist Traditions (2013). While working on these projects, Tudor undertook a programme of field research in Paraguay, Gabon, and India to find out what social myths might be found in the cultures of these countries. These explorations led to new understandings of the relations between art, lived experience, and social identities. In Paraguay he visited Nueva Australia to find traces of the nineteenth-century Australian settlers, which led to writing eventually developed into a chapter included in his Routledge monograph, Modern Political Aesthetics from Romantic to Modernist Literature: Choreographies of Social Performance. In Africa he learned about the role of the arts, especially dance, in engendering the experience of togetherness, and about its social value. This inspired Tudor to return to Africa to train as a dancer by completing a dance training course (Axis Syllabus) in Benin. The insight gained inspired his approach to the concept of choreographies of social performance which he further explored as author of concept for the 45 minutes dance performance entitled Tabularasa, choreographed by Natalie Cohen assisted by Momo Sanno and Emma Damarise Ste. Marie with 10 dancers from Egypt, Romania, USA, Canada, Colombia, and Finland. In India, he renewed his interest in the works of Mircea Eliade and the value of myth and religious beliefs. This gave momentum to his interest in redeveloping some of his undergrad concerns with the latter, leading to a published paper on Romanian folklore and an invited, philosophical chapter on myth and literature.

In many ways Tudor's first monograph with Routledge represents a synthesis of his entire training and research, and a stepping stone to new exciting projects linked to neuroarts, health and wellbeing, and philosophies of embodiment. Questions about the role of the arts in determining our sensual and bodily engagement with the material and social worlds we inhabit remain a major concern of his work, in a framework of thought in which empathy and love are regarded as the central emotions of human beings and, if you will, the reasons why we live, or the purpose of the lives we have been given, whether by nature, gods or goddesses, or, indeed, our mothers.

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    Monographs:
    1. Modern Political Aesthetics from Romantic to Modernist Literature: Choreographies of Social Performance, Routledge Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Literature (New York: Routledge, 2018).
    2. Religion and Aesthetic Experience in Joyce and Yeats (Houndmills: Palgrave, 2015).
    3. Violence, Narrative and Myth in Joyce and Yeats: Subjective Identity and Anarcho-Syndicalist Traditions (Houndmills: Palgrave, 2013).
    4. Narrative, Social Myth, and Reality in Contemporary Scottish and Irish Women’s Writing. Kennedy, Lochhead, Bourke, Ní Dhuibhne, and Carr (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009).

    Articles in Journals:
    1. “Romanian Folklore and Literary Representations of Vampires”, Folklore, 127:2 (2016), pp. 150-172.
    2. “Spellbinding Stories: Gender Theory and Georges Sorel’s Concept of Social Myth”, Critique: Journal of Socialist Theory, 42:1 (2014), pp. 107-126.
    3. “Goddess Cults in Techno-Worlds: Tank Girl and the Borg Queen”, Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, 28:1 (2012), pp. 5-24.
    4. “The Phallic Construction of Social Reality and Relationships in A. L. Kennedy’s Short Stories”, Papers on Language & Literature, 47:2 (2011), pp. 196-223.
    5. “Tangled Up in Blue. Liz Lochhead’s Grimm Sisters Tales”, Marvels & Tales: Journal of Fairy-Tale Studies, 23: 2 (2009), pp. 325-52.
    6. “Elements of the Eden Myth in A. L. Kennedy’s ‘Original Bliss’”, Journal of Gender Studies, 18: 3 (2009), pp. 261-76. Impact factor 0.604.
    7. “States of Fancy. The Role of Fantasy and Narrative in Constructing Social Worlds”, Angelaki, 13: 3 (2008), pp. 1-16.
    8. “The Land of Witch’s Heart’s Desire. Ontological Flickers in Marina Carr’s By the Bog of Cats…”, Irish Feminist Review, 3 (2007), pp. 81-96.
    9. “Otherworldly Women and Neurotic Fairies. The Cultural Construction of Women in Angela Bourke’s Writing”, Irish University Review, 37: 2 (2007), pp. 492-516.
    10. “My Words Should Catch Your Words: Myth, Writing and Social Ritual in A.L. Kennedy’s Everything You Need”, International Review of Scottish Studies, 32 (2007), pp. 55-78.
    11. “The Cyborg Goddess. Social Myths of Women as Goddesses of Technologized Otherworlds”, Feminist Studies, 33: 2 (2007), pp. 394-423. Impact factor 0.520.
    12. “The Spectator’s Pleasure: Yeats’s ‘Long-legged Fly’”, The International Fiction Review, 32: 1&2 (2005), pp. 11-20.
    13. “Meaning and Significance in Beckett’s The Unnamable”, Applied Semiotics / Sémiotique appliqué, 5:13 (2003), pp. 167-75.
    14. “The Queen Figure in Irish Culture”, Gender Studies, 2:2 (2003), pp. 69-82.

    Chapters in Books:
    15. “The Persephone Figure in Eavan Boland’s ‘The Pomegranate’ and Liz Lochhead’s ‘Lucy’s Diary’” in From Word to Canvas: Appropriations of Myth in Women’s Aesthetic Production, eds. V. G. Julie Rajan and Sanja Bahun-Radunović (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009), pp. 23-49.
    16. “Dreaming Brokenly of Deaths by Fire. Deconstructions of Social Myths in A. L. Kennedy’s Night Geometry and the Garscadden Trains” in Beyond the Anchoring Grounds: More Cross-currents in Irish and Scottish Studies, eds. Shane Alcobia-Murphy et al. (Belfast: Queen’s University Belfast, 2005), pp. 9-19.
    Accepted: “Myth” in The Palgrave Handbook of Philosophy and Literature, eds. Barry Stoker and Michael Mack (Palgrave).

    Reviews:
    17. Review of Coleridge and Kantian Ideas in England, 1796-1817: Coleridge’s Responses to German Philosophy. By Monika Class. London: Bloomsbury, 2012. xiv + 245pp. $120.00, Comparative Literature Studies, 53:1 (2016), online: pp. e-8-e-12.

    Other types of outcomes:
    18. Author of concept, Tabularasa (contemporary dance performance), first performed at Auditorium Joseph Schmidt, University of Suceava, 24 September 2017.

Personal Interests

    Tudor enjoys travelling because it is a form of embodied experience of dwelling on the shape and contours of things, their inscape, while becoming acquainted with the rich mindscapes of us, human beings. For similar reasons he likes multimedia tech which gives sound and depth to our emotions and somatic experience of vibration (he owns a large collection of CDs and a smaller one of vinyls which, he hopes, will be further enlarged with new and interesting items). And he likes all the shades of expression which can be glimpsed in the eyes of people, for which reason he occasionally draws or writes poetry.

Websites

Books

Featured Title
 Featured Title - Modern Political Aesthetics from Romantic to Modernist Literature - 1st Edition book cover

Articles

Folklore

“Romanian Folklore and Literary Representations of Vampires”


Published: Jul 07, 2016 by Folklore
Authors: Tudor Balinisteanu
Subjects: Literature, Area Studies

This article presents nineteenth-century Romanian folklore about vampire-like creatures which is analysed in reference to two literary representations of the vampire Dracula. I argue that the folklore tradition establishes a body-oriented perspective, conducive to a feminist analysis of the role of vampire creatures in socializing the otherness of nature echoed in the sexualized powerful female body.

Critique: Journal of Socialist Theory

“Spellbinding Stories: Gender Theory and Georges Sorel’s Concept of Social Myth”


Published: May 29, 2014 by Critique: Journal of Socialist Theory
Authors: Tudor Balinisteanu
Subjects: Literature, Philosophy, Gender & Intersectionality Studies

This paper explores the potential of Georges Sorel’s concept of social myth for contemporary feminist theory that focuses on performativity. It therefore represents not a historical analysis of Sorel’s concept, but an attempt to adapt it to contemporary contexts. This effort of updating possible uses of Sorelian theory in feminist contexts hinges on the interest shared by Sorelian and gender theory in the performative and normative aspects of narrative.

Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion

“Goddess Cults in Techno-Worlds: Tank Girl and the Borg Queen”


Published: May 01, 2012 by Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion
Authors: Tudor Balinisteanu
Subjects: Gender & Intersectionality Studies, Art & Visual Culture

In this essay, I examine elements of the Goddess ethos in science fiction through comparing the eponymous character of the comic book series Tank Girl, a punk Goddess, with the Borg Queen character of the film Star Trek: First Contact, a cyborg Goddess. I argue that Tank Girl offers opportunities for integrating a Goddess ethos with a vision of a heteroglossic cyborg-like body politic.

Papers on Language & Literature

“The Phallic Construction of Social Reality and Relationships in A. L. Kennedy’s Short Stories”


Published: May 01, 2011 by Papers on Language & Literature
Authors: Tudor Balinisteanu
Subjects: Literature, Gender & Intersectionality Studies

In this paper, I focus on examples of Kennedy’s writing that explore various discourses as vehicles of social myths. These discourses define the realm of signification as a masculine domain and stake claims on women’s personal, physiological and social space. In engaging with these discourses, Kennedy’s narrators explore possibilities of recreating the ethos of the myths whence they derive authority.

Journal of Gender Studies

“Elements of the Eden Myth in A. L. Kennedy’s ‘Original Bliss’”


Published: Sep 21, 2009 by Journal of Gender Studies
Authors: Tudor Balinisteanu
Subjects: Literature, Religion, Gender & Intersectionality Studies

This article analyses the relationship between texts and social reality in the context of feminist theory. I argue that the story of A.L. Kennedy's ‘Original bliss’ (first published by Cape in 1997) offers an investigation of a woman's subjection through various discourses and practices deriving, however deviously, from the myth of Adam and Eve. Kennedy's narrator is concerned with how the ‘original sin’ becomes, through various ways of fantasising it, a marker of the female body.

Marvels & Tales: Journal of Fairy-Tale Studies

“Tangled Up in Blue. Liz Lochhead’s Grimm Sisters Tales”


Published: May 01, 2009 by Marvels & Tales: Journal of Fairy-Tale Studies
Authors: Tudor Balinisteanu
Subjects: Literature, Gender & Intersectionality Studies

In this paper I focus on how Lochhead deals with male-generated narrating agency in fairy-tale representations of women, and on Lochhead’s critical view of the class and gender hierarchies this agency engenders. Lochhead’s writing engages with larger cultural systems, myths, and ideologies whose power is reflected in Scottish contexts. The result is a multifaceted critique of the power of male curators of the cultural heritage to control women’s voices.

Angelaki

“States of Fancy. The Role of Fantasy and Narrative in Constructing Social Worlds”


Published: Jan 08, 2009 by Angelaki
Authors: Tudor Balinisteanu
Subjects: Literature, Philosophy

This argument analyses the concepts of deixis and heteroglossia using Jacques Derrida’s and Judith Butler’s theories of citationality. The subjective identity one acquires through discourse is governed by the power of deixis which points to iterable prescriptive models. However, despite losing autonomy through being signified as subjects, readers/audiences can exercise agency through discourse by manipulating the power of deixis.

Irish Feminist Review

“The Land of Witch’s Heart’s Desire. Ontological Flickers in Marina Carr’s By the Bog of Cats…”


Published: Dec 01, 2007 by Irish Feminist Review
Authors: Tudor Balinisteanu
Subjects: Literature, Philosophy

Marina Carr’s play ‘By the Bog of Cats…’ depicts the characters’ struggle to settle ontological domains through competing definitions of ‘home’, as ideas of belonging are rendered in superimposed discursive registers used to express tenuous intersections of mythic realities. I explore this idea of ‘home’ in ways that offer insight into how social reality is shaped through the materialization of conflicting fantasies tributary to various myths.

Irish University Review

“Otherworldly Women and Neurotic Fairies. The Cultural Construction of Women in Angela Bourke’s Writing”


Published: Nov 01, 2007 by Irish University Review
Authors: Tudor Balinisteanu
Subjects: History, Literature, Gender & Intersectionality Studies

This essay is concerned with the relationship between stories and social reality in Angela Bourke’s writing. I analyse the interconnections between Bourke’s work as a cultural historian and as an author of short stories in order to show that her assessment of the social value of the disciplining effects of narratives emphasizes that the texture of physical bodies and landscapes is imbricated with the textures of a community’s body-social or official body politic.

International Review of Scottish Studies

“My Words Should Catch Your Words: Myth, Writing and Social Ritual in A.L. Kennedy’s Everything You Need”


Published: Jun 01, 2007 by International Review of Scottish Studies
Authors: Tudor Balinisteanu
Subjects: Literature

The essay uses an interdisciplinary framework to discuss literary constructions of women in Kennedy’s Everything You Need. The narrative functions as platform for an experience of dialogical subjectivity in the creation of which various social myths are challenged. In order to investigate aspects of this experience I rely on the concept of narrating as used by Genette: the event of producing narrative action.

Feminist Studies

“The Cyborg Goddess. Social Myths of Women as Goddesses of Technologized Otherworlds”


Published: Jun 01, 2007 by Feminist Studies
Authors: Tudor Balinisteanu
Subjects: Film and Video, Media and Cultural Studies, Gender & Intersectionality Studies, Art & Visual Culture

In this essay, I propose an analysis of the portrayal of relationships between nature and culture in figurations of femininity and masculinity in popular culture, focusing on the cyborg figure deployed in the Star Trek film First Contact. I examine the ways in which the representation of the Borg Queen figure both legitimates and subverts social models based on male-generated visions of progress.

The International Fiction Review

“The Spectator’s Pleasure: Yeats’s ‘Long-legged Fly’”


Published: May 01, 2005 by The International Fiction Review
Authors: Tudor Balinisteanu
Subjects: Literature

This paper proposes an analysis of Yeats's poem "Long-legged Fly" based on the idea that the self is a space wherein imagination's drives inscribe ideographic realities of desire. I argue that the re-presentation of such inscriptions in the presence of signs and symbols masks the absence of objective reality. Given that the sign is a landmark of memory, I explore how remembering gives a pleasure that is anchored both in the reality effect of signs' presence and in the imaginary.

Applied Semiotics / Sémiotique appliqué

“Meaning and Significance in Beckett’s The Unnamable”


Published: May 01, 2003 by Applied Semiotics / Sémiotique appliqué
Authors: Tudor Balinisteanu
Subjects: Literature, Philosophy

In this paper paper I argue that Samuel Beckett's The Unnamable may be seen as an attempt to acquire meaning from a literary event which is rooted in a negotiation between two different realms, that of the inner being and that of outer contexts, which, although essentially opposed, must converge in order to produce that literary event. The Unnamable is thus the expression of an interaction between the two realms and it is, accordingly, metaphorically and metonymically ordered as discourse.

gender studies

“The Queen Figure in Irish Culture”


Published: May 01, 2003 by gender studies
Authors: Tudor Balinisteanu
Subjects: Literature, Gender & Intersectionality Studies

This essay is concerned with the Queen figure and its presence in various forms in Irish culture. I argue in favour of regarding the myth of the Queen as a manifestation of a certain cultural perspective and mental structure inherent to the Irish, perhaps to the whole culture rooted in the Celtic tradition. The Queen myth is thus revealed as an instance of organising nature (non-human) into culture (human), a perspective based on the works of Claude-Lèvi Strauss.

Photos

Videos

Tabularasa (contemporary dance performance)

Published: Jun 28, 2018

Tabularasa, Bucharest, 29/09/2017. Complementing Modern Political Aesthetics from Romantic to Modernist Literature (Routledge 2018) the performance illustrates concepts from Bruno Latour's philosophy, especially "traditional subject" and "articulated body". Choreographers&Dancers: Natalie Cohen, Momo Sanno, Emma Ste. Marie, Nelson Torres, Diego Sarmiento, Falciony Cruz, Elina Valtonen, Hend Elbalouty, Samar Abdellatif, Russell Ramirez Project Concept&Coordination: Tudor Balinisteanu

Tabularasa performance at the Suceava Mediaeval Fortress (27 September 2017)

Published: Dec 27, 2016

This amateur footage is from the Tabularasa version performed within the Suceava mediaeval fortress. Involving the public and heritage structures, it is different from theatre versions (discussed in Modern Political Aesthetics from Romantic to Modernist Literature). Choreographers&Dancers: Natalie Cohen, Momo Sanno, Emma Ste. Marie, Nelson Torres, Diego Sarmiento, Falciony Cruz, Elina Valtonen, Hend Elbalouty, Samar Abdellatif, Russell Ramirez Project Concept&Coordination: Tudor Balinisteanu

Tabularasa ad

Published: Dec 23, 2016

Promotional clip of the contemporary dance performance Tabularasa (45 mins). The piece is discussed in my monograph, Modern Political Aesthetics from Romantic to Modernist Literature (Routledge). The clip was filmed and edited by Mihai Cucu. Tabularasa Choreographers & Dancers: Natalie Cohen, Momo Sanno, Emma Ste. Marie, Nelson Torres, Diego Sarmiento, Falciony Cruz, Elina Valtonen, Hend Elbalouty, Samar Abdellatif, Russell Ramirez Project Concept & Coordination: Tudor Balinisteanu

Read excerpt from a forthcoming chapter on myth and literature

Published: Dec 15, 2016

This is a read excerpt from a chapter on myth and literature, forthcoming in The Palgrave Handbook of Philosophy and Literature, eds. Barry Stoker and Michael Mack. The publication of the Handbook, originally planned for late 2017 (as mentioned in the clip), has been delayed.