“Babes-Bolyai” University Cluj-Napoca
Faculty of Letters
Department of English Language and Literature
Phone: +0040 (264) 53-48-89; +0040(264)42-35-29

Field of research: Humanities (Modern and Contemporary British Literature)

Director: Professor Sanda Berce, PhD (Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Letters, University “Babes-Bolyai”, Cluj-Napoca, Romania)

Prof. SANDA BERCE, PhD, director of CSCBN, president of the scientific board of CSCBN.
Dr. PETRONIA POPA PETRAR, executive director of CSCBN, member of the scientific board of CSCBN.
Dr. ELENA PĂCURAR, scientific secretary of CSCBN.
Dr. CARMEN BORBÉLY, member of the scientific board of CSCBN.
Dr. ERIKA MIHÁLYCSA-BANIASZ, member of the scientific board of CSCBN.

Rationale: The British contemporary novel is seen as a particular expression of the long tradition in the literature of English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh cultural background. With its search for new, genuine, epic formulae in the globalizing modernity, the British contemporary novel has gained an increasing influence on readers all over the world because this novel employs tradition as a source of modernity and theme and narrative strategy as generative mechanism.

The Research Centre was founded in 2006, with members of the academic staff, the doctoral students of the Department of English Language and Literature who have had years of experience in teaching English Literature, Theory of Literature, Criticism and Cultural Studies and in doing research work about British contemporary literature.

The research programme aims at exploring the following aspects:

  • The narratological imaginary of the contemporary British novel in its double dimension (cognitive and communicative);
  • The radical changes in the function of literature during the last decades, from the aesthetic and cognitive to the communicative function and to social interaction;
  • The branching novelistic interactions, from the level of intersubjectivity as represented in the novel towards the analysis of certain competitive forms of discursive manifestation: literature and other forms of communication such as the visual arts, media or IT (e-communication).
  • The Research Area covers: (1) the relation between tradition as source and vector of the narrative field in the British contemporary novel, (2) the evolution of the literary canon, (3) a survey of the transformations in the contemporary narratological imaginary.
  • The analysis and evolution of the contemporary British novel aims at establishing:
  • The axiological concern for form and the cognitive essence of the value judgment that generates debates on validity, truthfulness and confrontation with the literary text
  • The configuration of a model for the dynamics of critical evaluation, which appears in a self-determining context
  • The development of the contemporary British novel following the essential changes in the roles of literature in the last decade, from the aesthetic and cognitive ones, to those of communication and social interaction by means of novel forms that parallel visual arts, the media and the Internet

The research work aims at:

  • Studying the relationship between tradition (literary canon), modernity (anti-canonic tendencies) and the changes which have occurred so far in the contemporary narratological imaginary as well as about probable and possible exchange of patterns (models), themes and strategies with other European contemporary novels;
  • Defining the axiological concern for form and for the aesthetic value of the literary text in the contemporary world;
  • Establishing a configuration of the dynamics of the British contemporary novel with regard to the profound changes in the function of literature which have occurred in the last decades, from the aesthetic and cognitive function to the communicative and social interaction and the emergence of new forms of expression meant to compete with the visual arts, media and more elaborate ways of electronic communication.
  • Passing information and knowledge from research to teaching the undergraduate, MA and Ph.D students of the Department.
  • The creation and management of a database concerning the research topics of the BA and MA dissertations, from the year 2000 to the present.
  • The correlation between the syllabuses of Special courses, Practical courses focusing on literary analyses and interpretations with the Main Stream courses centred upon modern and contemporary literature.

Research groups: The research centre is organized in six research groups for the six important approaches of the British novel. The members of the research groups organize debates/discussions in group work. Each group will examine one of the following topics:

  • the British contemporary novel and the literary canon; tradition and modernity;
  • themes and mentalities: context and recontextualization;
  • Intertextuality: literary memory;
    Narrative and culture: narrative and history; narrative and (auto)biography; narrative and politics; narrative and society;
  • Identity and representation in modernity: the representation of individual and collective identity in the recent British novel;
  • Discursive interferences: the British contemporary novel, media and film, the Internet.

Group work: Their work is presented in the Department Seminars (organized every second month). Students are also required to participate in the term workshop of the Centre (Heterotopia) with guests from outside the Research Centre and/or members from the other departments of the Faculty of Letters.

Courses: The Main Stream courses, Special/Optional Courses and the Practical Courses in the field of Contemporary British Literature, organized with the undergraduate and MA students of the Department of English Language and Literature are used by the members of the teaching staff (members of the Research Centre) to transfer knowledge and to develop research skills with the students.

Knowledge is also addressed to the graduate students who attend the MA Programs of the Department of English Language and Literature (British Cultural Studies and Irish Studies).

Members of the Research Unit:
Professor Virgil Stanciu, Ph.D., Honorary member
Professor Sanda Berce, Ph.D., director
Reader Carmen Veronica Borbely, Ph.D.
Lecturer Petronia Popa Petrar, Ph.D.
Lecturer Elena Pacurar, Ph.D.
Lecturer Erika Mihalycsa-Baniasz, Ph.D.
Reader Rareș Moldovan, Ph.D.
Reader Liliana Pop, Ph.D.
Reader Alina Preda, Ph.D.
Lecturer Roxana Mihele, Ph.D.
Reader Horea Poenar, Ph.D.
Lecturer Daniel Darvay, Ph.D.
Reader Ramona Hosu, Ph.D.
Lecturer Julia Vallasec, Ph.D.
Călina Părău, Doctoral student
Cristina Popescu, Doctoral student
Orsolya-Noemi Szucs, Doctoral student
Agota Marton, Doctoral student
Diana Melnic, MA Student
Vlad Melnic, MA Student
Diana Dupu, MA Student