With a focus on Romania, my research explores how different political regimes mobilize various kinds of expertise to transform urban spaces in line with dominant political visions. Via archival and ethnographic research, I analyze the employment of historic neighborhoods and national museums as political sites of statecraft.

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.