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Post-Cold War Gender Performances in Central and Eastern European Film

Joseph Schlegel,  ‘Post-Cold War Gender Performances in Central and Eastern European Film.” In Dissertation Reviews, April 6, 2015

“Rossa successfully creates anxieties in the reader/viewer that effect a positive contribution towards the elaboration of gender performance in contemporary global society. The written dissertation and associated video installation renegotiate the history of Bulgarian, Czechoslovakian, Russian, and Soviet film through the lens of gender performance. Her perspective as both artist and researcher allows Rossa to investigate both the personal and political dynamics at work in film production. Rossa’s approach to the question of gender performance in rhetoric and propaganda provides a useful framework for understanding Cold War and post-Cold War social structures and intercultural biases. As a result, the project subjects the expectations and biases of viewers to a rigorously developed investigative reevaluation of cultural norms and subjective ideas.

Rossa’s fresh outlook renegotiates the boundaries of gender and sexuality, patriarchal structures and history, and technology and humanity. Three pages of acknowledgments (pp. vi-viii) highlight the amount of work and collaboration involved in this significant undertaking. The final result is a substantial artistic production in its own right, which reappraises and reintegrates previous cultural experiences into the present moment. The complete filmography that accompanies the dissertation (pp. 151-157) demonstrates a wealth of source material readymade for the application of Rossa’s techniques and insights. Rossa’s attention to this project will be sure to resonate throughout her future artistic work, thereby renewing its effect on future viewers and readers.”

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