Carnegie Mellon University

Emanuela Grama

Emanuela Grama

Associate Professor & Director of Global Studies (GS)

  • Baker Hall 238-A
  • 412-268-3285


Emanuela Grama specializes in the history of 20th century Central and Eastern Europe, with a focus on urban politics, processes of state-making, property, memory and cultural change in 20th and 21st century Romania. She received her PhD from the Interdisciplinary Program in Anthropology and History of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She has conducted extensive archival and ethnographic research in different locations in Romania, and has published on a range of topics, including 1) the politics of archaeology and nationalism under socialism 2) urban planning, state-making and material practices, 3) petitions, intertextuality, and citizenship in socialism, and 4) plagiarism in post-socialism.

She is also a recipient of fellowships from the Wenner GrenFoundation For Anthropological Research (dissertation research grant), the American Council for Learned Societies (dissertation writing grant), and the Max Weber Postdoctoral Program of the European University Institute, Florence, Italy. 

Her first book, Socialist Heritage: The Politics of Past and Place in Romania (Indiana University Press, 2019) is the winner of the 2020 Ed Hewett book prize, offered by the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies for "an outstanding monograph on the political economy of Russia, Eurasia and/or Eastern Europe." The book traces the transformation of a central district of Bucharest, the Old Town, from a socially and ethnically diverse place in the early 20th century, into an epitome of national history under socialism, and then, starting in the 2000s, into the historic center of a European capital. An archival and ethnographic research of the changing meanings of the Old Town reveals the fundamentally dual nature of heritage: behind every search for the essence of an idealized past lie strategies of differentiation that can lead to further marginalization and exclusion.

Her second book manuscript in progress is a historical and anthropological study of property restitution, ethnic rights, and Europeanization, with a focus on the multiethnic region of Transylvania, Romania.  




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




Book Chapters

  • “Property Puzzles and Political Zigzags in an Ambivalent State: The Shifting Value of the Ethnic Germans in Communist Romania.” In No Neighbours’ Land: Postwar Europe in a New Comparative Perspective, edited by Małgorzata Łukianow, Sabine Rutar, and Anna Wylegała. Forthcoming with Palgrave.

Working Papers

  • “Impenetrable Plans and Porous Expertise: Building a Socialist Bucharest, Reconstructing Its Past (1958-1968).” EUI Working Papers (2012)
  • An earlier version of this paper appeared in French as “Plans impénétrables et expertise poreuse: construire un Bucarest socialiste, reconstruire son passé (1953-1968), » Études Balkaniques 2010/1 (n° 17) : 147-165.


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
  • Introduction to Anthropology
  • “Unwanted”: Refugees, Stateless People, and International Migration
  • Methods and Theory in Historical Studies (Graduate Seminar)

Department Member Since: 2013