Carnegie Mellon University

Emanuela Grama

Emanuela Grama

Assistant Professor

  • Baker Hall 238-A
  • 412-268-3285


My first book manuscript, Socialist Heritage: History, Place and Belonging in 20th century Romania (currently under review) focuses on a central district of Bucharest, the Old Town, and multiple political functions that the district has had at different moments in time, in the long arc from the beginning of the socialist regime until the current period, ten years after Romania’s integration into the European Union. The multiple lives of the Old Town reveal the political employment of the concepts of "the center" and "the margin" in the process of state-making under socialism and postsocialism. The transformation of some sites into heritage, accompanied by the denial of heritage quality to others, were methods of spatialization of political power pursued by both the socialist and postsocialist regimes. I explore how the centrality and marginality were spatially produced to sustain distinct political ideologies and accompanying property regimes, and how local actors adopted, adapted, or upended such neat spatial dichotomies. Despite the constant efforts of the postsocialist politicians to deny their links to the former regime and use a cookie-cut periodization to separate the communist past from the postcommunist present, such spatial practices signal crucial links between the two polities.

My second book manuscript in progress, Born-Again Europeans: Property, Ethnicity, and Imperial Nostalgia in Transylvania, draws on my research interest in the relationship between politics and materiality to inquire into the de-nationalization and Europeanization of ethnicity through memory-work and property restitution.


Ph.D.: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2010


Books & Articles

  • Socialist Heritage: History, Place, and Belonging in 20th century Romania (under review)
  • “Impenetrable Plans and Porous Expertise: Building a Socialist Bucharest, Reconstructing Its Past (1958-1968).” EUI Working Papers, Max Weber Programme 2012
  • “Letters, Plans, and Walls: Architects, Archeologists, and Institutional Politics in Bucharest of the 1960s.” Anthropology of East Europe Review 57, 2: 56-67
  • “Work, State, and the Linguistic Construction of ‘Self’ in Romania of the 1950s and 1960s. (A Case Study).” Romanian Journal of Society and Politics 5, 2: 38-64
  • “Networking Texts and Persons: Politics of Plagiarism in Postsocialist Romania.” Romanian Journal of Society and Politics 4, 2: 148-173

Book Reviews

  • Kiran Klaus Patel (ed.). The Cultural Politics of Europe: European Capitals of Culture and European Union since the 1980s (Routledge/UACES Contemporary European Studies). London: Routledge, 2013. Commissioned by Journal of Cold War Studies. In press.
  • Virág Molnár. Building the State. Architecture, Politics and State Formation in Post-War Central Europe. London & New York: Routledge, 2013. Commissioned by Europe-Asia Studies. In press.
  • Narcis Tulbure, Money, Values and Change in Post-Socialist Romania. Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh, 2013. Commissioned by

Courses Taught

  • Global Studies Capstone Research Seminar
  • Introduction to Science and Technology Studies
  • Social and Political Change in 20th century Central and Eastern Europe
  • Politics of Science and Technology during the Cold War (Freshman Seminar)
  • The Politics and Culture of Memory
  • Methods and Theory in Historical Studies (Graduate Level)

Department Member Since: 2013