Research

I am interested in how politics become materialized, and how particular materials and things become imbued with political meaning. I am particularly interested in the shape such processes have taken in post-war Central and Eastern Europe, with a focus on urban politics, processes of state-making, property, memory, and cultural change in Romania.

My award-winning book, Socialist Heritage: The Politics of Past and Place in Romania (Indiana University Press, 2019), analyzes the relationship between heritage, state-formation, and nationalism in communist and postcommunist Romania from 1945 until the late 2010s.

Manuk Inn, a 18th century building restored in 1972, following a state-sponsored attempt to transform the Old Town district into a historic center displaying an allegedly Romanian architectural style. Photo by Emanuela Grama.

I am currently working on my second monograph, Born-Again Europeans: Memory as Capital and Ethnicity as Property in Transylvania. The book explores the de-nationalization and Europeanization of ethnicity in Transylvania through memory-work and property restitution.

Baroque house in Sibiu/Hermannstadt, Transylvania. Photo by Emanuela Grama, May 25, 2016.