SAN MARCOS – Valentina Glajar, a professor of German in the Department of Modern Languages at Texas State University, has been named an American Council of Learned Societies Fellow.
Glajar is the first ACLS Fellow named at Texas State. She is among 81 fellowship awardees in the United States and United Kingdom out of a pool of more than 1,100 applicants.
The fellowship, which includes a $70,000 stipend, will support Glajar as she researches and writes The Afterlife of Files: Herta Müller’s Story of Surveillance. The monograph will reconstruct Nobel Laureate Herta Müller’s story of surveillance by communist Romania’s secret police.
It will include detailed analyses of her secret police file, the file of her former husband, writer Richard Wagner, as well as informer and cadre files. Each chapter will present a multilayered story that is recorded in the secret police files.
The files that intersect and overlap with Müller’s own presents a precarious collage of life stories during the Cold War.
Intricate and particular, the stories illuminate the blurred boundary between victims and perpetrators in a society ripe with fear, suspicion and misinformation.
“Instead of looking at these files as historical resources for understanding the background of Müller’s texts, my book proposes to reverse our perspective and treat the files themselves as primary sources in order to recreate her story of surveillance,” Glajar said. “This study will also contribute to the larger discussion of everyday life behind the Iron Curtain. In this intrusive culture of surveillance, surviving the system often meant a certain degree of entanglement for victims, collaborators and bystanders alike.”
Glajar is the author of The German Legacy in East Central Europe (Camden House, 2004), coeditor (with Jeanine Teodorescu) of Local History, Transnational Memory in the Romanian Holocaust (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) and (with Domnica Radulescu) of “Gypsies” in European Literature and Culture (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008) and Vampirettes, Wretches, and Amazons: Western Representations of East European Women (East European Monographs; Columbia University Press, 2004).
She also translated (with André Lefevere) the Nobel Laureate Herta Müller’s novel Traveling on One Leg (Northwestern University Press, 1998; 2010).
With Bettina Brandt she coedited Herta Müller: Politics and Aesthetics (University of Nebraska Press, 2013).
Her latest books, coedited with Alison Lewis and Corina L. Petrescu, are Secret Police Files from the Eastern Bloc: Between Surveillance and Life Writing (Camden House, 2016) and Cold War Spy Stories from Eastern Europe (University of Nebraska Press, 2019).
Since its founding, ACLS has provided the humanities and related social sciences with leadership, opportunities for innovation, and national and international representation.
All ACLS awards are made through rigorous peer review by appointed committees of scholars from throughout the United States and, in some programs, abroad.
ACLS fellowships and grants are awarded to individual scholars for excellence in research in the humanities and related social sciences.