The Post-Communist Afterlife of Dissidents: The Case of Herta Müller

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter


This chapter explores the role of the dissident intellectual in the post-dictatorship era. More specifically, it looks at the reaction in the Romanian cultural press and in the daily newspapers to the awarding of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Literature to Herta Müller, a Romanian-born German writer. Müller is known for her anti-Communist stance as well as her critique of those Romanian political and intellectual elites judged too shy in distancing themselves from the Communist past. I would suggest that the ambivalent attitude of the media towards Müller’s prize reflects the hesitation of both the public and elite to critically engage with the recent past. The effectiveness of Müller’s intransigent attitude is also questioned, that is, more broadly, whether former anti-Communist dissidents are still in a position to mobilize interest and reaction in the aftermath of authoritarian regimes.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • History and Archaeology


  • Post-communism, Herta Müller, dissidents, media analysis, Romania, Nobel Prize in Litterature, anti-communism, collective memory
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationImagining Mass Dictatorships: The Individual and the Masses in Literature and Cinema
EditorsMichael Schoenhals, Karin Sarsenov
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Print)9781137330680
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: European studies (LURS00017)

Related research output

Michael Schoenhals (ed.) & Karin Sarsenov (ed.), 2013, Palgrave Macmillan. 328 p. (Mass Dictatorship in the 20th Century; vol. #5 in book series "Mass Dictatorship in the 20th Century")

Research output: Book/ReportAnthology (editor)

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