The Queen of the Damned: Vampires and Knights in British and Romanian Culture

20th Nov 2018, 2:00pm - 6:00pm

Creative Edge

In 2018 Romania is celebrating the centenary of the Great Union that saw the modern Romanian state take shape at the end of World War One. An important role in the diplomatic negotiations during and after the war was played by Queen Marie (born Marie of Edinburgh), the wife of King Ferdinand of Romania and Queen Victoria’s granddaughter. A British woman at the head of an Eastern European country was slightly unusual for the time, but the Romanian people embraced her and Marie strived to help, modernise and promote her adopted country. The love Romanians have for Queen Marie is evident in the numerous accounts, many of a rather mythical and fictional character, that exist about her life and personality. Her heart now rests at Bran Castle (of Dracula fame) in Transylvania, which accentuates the aura that surrounds her life story.

This event celebrates the links between Romania and the United Kingdom, through an exhibition of the role of Romanian women in World War One that features Queen Marie’s prominent role, a series of short academic talks, and a screening of the Romanian feature film The Rest is Silence (Nae Caranfil, 2007).

The overarching theme of the event is fact and fiction in historical representation. Queen Marie is a key figure in Romanian history, but representations of her life have taken a fictional turn, despite many historical accounts, including her own celebrated diaries. Vampires and knights, on the other hand, are largely fictionalised presences in history, who, nevertheless, have come to embody some historical truth. The Rest is Silence tells the story of the making of the first ever Romanian feature film in 1912, that included many visual recreations of the Romanian Independence War of 1877. Nae Caranfil is one of the precursors of the Romanian New Wave in cinema and one of the directors that bridge more traditional forms of film-making with the realism and minimalism typical of the Romanian New Wave.

Programme

  • Coffee on arrival
  • Opening of the photographic exhibition
  • Short talks. Presenters include Prof Matthew Pateman (Edge Hill University) on the appeal of vampires in popular culture, and Prof Raluca Radulescu (Bangor University) on The King and the Knight in Western and Eastern Medieval Cultures
  • Film screening (with a very short introduction) of The Rest is Silence (Nae Caranfil, 2007, 114 minutes)
  • Food and drink

With the kind support of the Romanian Cultural Institute. Speakers at the event will include  Andreea Berechet, Romanian Consul in Manchester and Viorel Raducanescu, Romanian Honorary Consul and Head of the Diplomatic Corps in Liverpool.

For further information please contact Ruxandra Trandafoiu: trandar@edgehill.ac.uk