Washington and Lee University Romance Languages Professor Domnica Radulescu has co-authored a book titled "Gypsies" in European Literature and Culture (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008). It traces representations of Gypsies that have become prevalent in the European imagination and culture, and that have influenced the perceptions of Roma in Eastern and Western European societies.
"This is a topic that I have been interested in for quite a while," says Radulescu. "It's a fascinating topic and it's not been covered before in this kind of complete sustained way of going throughout centuries of different European cultures and literatures. So it's a very unique collection in that sense."
"We examined how marginalized groups such as 'gypsies' have been represented, compared to their actual social realities, and how those two are connected. Also, the ways in which these representations have fallen under either idealizing patterns or demonizing patterns, for example the passionate gypsy woman or the baby thief. There have been some representations that are more sensitive to actual realities, and the book does deal with some of those."
Radulescu has been a member of the faculty at W&L since 1992. She received her B.A. from Loyola University of Chicago, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.