Presentation of the Center for Roma Studies (C. R. S.)
The Center for Roma Studies (C.R.S.) aims the research of the language and the culture of Roma communities from Romania and South-Eastern Europe, aspects omitted by the social and economic anthropological research. We think that the Roma cultural pattern has to be analysed on different problematic and methodologic levels, in view of an authentic interdiciplinary approach, avoiding the reducing perspectives.
The actual problem of Roma from Romania is, first of all, an unsolved inheritance of the comunist period, when the forced urbanization destroyed the Roma traditional life style, imposing artificial alternatives, followed by specific formes of adaptation (the phenomenon of “suburbanization”). But, beyond this peripherical culture of the suburban Roma, it has to be studied also the rural Roma culture, very important for the Roma identity. There is no possibility for a real social-economic integration of the Roma communities without a cultural integration, which suppose a preliminary identitary redefinition, with the ethno-anthropological categories.
The Roma cultural studies (linguistical, ethno-anthropological and historical) aims to offer data utilizable in the construction of the Roma cultural identity, in the context of a certain tension between the pression of the local cultural traditions (which are trying to maintain the local specificity) and the political exigency of the globalization (the “Romani” macrocultural pattern, which aims the cultural unification of all Roma people in consideration of the creation of a transfrontaliere nation). The Center for Roma Studies tries to accomplish this role in the fundamental research and focuses on the study of Roma language (in its concrete phenomenology) and culture (with personal local forms), aiming also the creation of a cultural Roma database.
Targets and objects
The Center for Roma Studies aims both the research in the domain of Roma language and culture and the revalutation of the data in the didactic activity.
The researches are made by specialists with different backgrounds (folklore and ethnology, cultural and social anthropology, visual anthropology, linguistics, ethno-musicology, choreology and history) and follow an interdisciplinary approach of Roma culture.
The research has the following main trends/directions:
1. Linguistic and dialectological researches of the Romani language;
2. Ethno-anthropological field researches in rural and urban Roma communities;
3. Historical researches on Roma local communities;
4. The investigation of Roma religiosity (popular religion, the adhesion to the traditional Christian Churches and to the Neoprotestant Cults);
5. The study of the ethnic Roma communities in inter-relation with the other local cultural communities;
6. The creation, on the basis of data drew from ethno-anthropological field researches, of a Roma Anthropological Archives (R.A.A.), with audio documents, video data, texts, multimedia, in Romani, Romanian and Hungarian languages; in the future, we intend to transform the Archives in a database with multiple users.
1. The accomplishing of common projects of regional research (Central, Est and South-Est European) and on European level and the collaboration with similary foreign institutions (bilateral contracts of scientific collaboration with foreign universities and research institutes);
2. A partnership with local communities, central and international institutions, non-governmental organizations dedicated to Roma communities;
3. The organization of courses of Romani language and culture, of Roma history;
4. The organization of seminaries, workshops, trainings, joint researches, symposiums, national and international conferences on different themes focused on Romani language and culture;
5. The achieving of ethno-anthropological foto and video-documentaries;
6. The publishing of scientific papers and the editing of a scientific review;
7. The promotion of the researches and of the didactic activity focused on the Romani language and culture;
8. Scholarships and fellowships of study and documentation for the professors, the researchers and the students specialized in Roma language and culture;
9. The interdisciplinarization frame of the study of Roma traditional and contemporary culture through the collaboration with other faculties, departments and institutes of the “Babeº-Bolyai” University.
The Center for Roma Studies hasn’t a financial sustainement from the “Babeº-Bolyai” University. It uses extrabudgetary financing sources, supporting itself, in the first place/above all, from financial programs of EU, of national and local authorities, of non-governmental organizations (foundations etc.). Another source is represented by donations and grants.
The Center for Roma Studies functions inside the Faculty of Letters, at the level of the Romanian Language Department and that of the Romanian Literature, Theory of Literature and Ethnology Department.
The Center is organized in two sections:
Cultural Roma Studies, with the Roma Anthropological Archives;
Roma Language and Dialectological Studies.
In order to undertake researches in the domain of Roma’s language and culture, we envolve PhD students, MA students and students from the departments of Romanian language and literature (specialization in Romanian Language and Ethnology) and Hungarian language and literature (specialization in Hungarian Language and Ethnology). Each team has a large autonomy in choosing the reasearch themes, and also a financial autonomy according to the obtained budget.
We also intend to colaborate with colleagues from different chairs of our University, from the research centers from Cluj or other universitary centers. As a first step we intend to realize both a better structuration and monitorization of the existent research directions, as well as the promoting of new directions of study (the implementation of the Roma cultural and linguistic studies at the “Babeº-Bolyai" University).