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Publication Date



UM campus only

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


International Studies (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Roger Kanet - Committee Chair

Second Committee Member

Ambler H. Moss - Committee Member

Third Committee Member

Mazen Labban - Committee Member

Fourth Committee Member

Hasmet M. Uluorta - Committee Member

Fifth Committee Member

Ruth Reitan - Mentor


This research aims to make evident the importance of films serving as a relevant arena for political struggles within a society, struggles that concern highly important concepts such as the nation and the state. This goal is accomplished by building upon the theory of cinematic nationhood and using the method of relational constructivism combined with insight from Lacanian psychoanalytic theory. The research regards films as forms of communication as well as forms of fantasy. The case this research focuses on is Romania. The case was selected because for a certain period of time the myths of nation and state had been strongly embedded-or nested-- within the social contexts-or commonplaces--specific to Marxism, namely work, equality, and the bourgeois enemy, followed by a swift and radical social discourse change that triggered changes within the topography of commonplaces. The films analyzed represent these changes in order to understand the specific ways in which the myth of nation and state are reflected within films produced during radical economic, social, and political transformations. This research reveals that, despite the social, economic, and political upheavals from the pre- to post-transition eras, the underlying national structure of fantasy remained remarkably unchanged, while the nation and the state changed their social relevance with changes in their position occupied within the structure of fantasy.


Work; The Other; Nationalism; Space; Fundamental Myth; Feminism; Nationalism; State; Communism; Visual Culture; Masochism; Capitalism; Market Economy; Transition; Social Order; Democracy; Female Ideal; Social Authority; Worker