Socialist Heritage
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Focusing on Romania from 1945 to 2016, Socialist Heritage explores the socialist state's attempt to create its own heritage, as well as the legacy of that project. Contrary to arguments that the socialist regimes of Central and Eastern Europe aimed to erase the pre-war history of the socialist cities, Emanuela Grama shows that the communist state in Romania sought to exploit the past for its own benefit. 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. Under socialism, politicians and professionals used the district's historic buildings, especially the ruins of a medieval palace discovered in the 1950s, to emphasize the city's Romanian past and erase its ethnically diverse history. Since the collapse of socialism, the cultural and economic value of the Old Town has become highly contested. Bucharest's middle class has regarded the district as a site of tempting transgressions. Its poor residents have decried their semi-decrepit homes, while entrepreneurs and politicians have viewed it as a source of easy money. Such arguments point to recent negotiations about the meanings of class, political participation, and ethnic and economic belonging in today's Romania. Grama's rich historical and ethnographic research reveals the fundamentally dual nature of heritage: every search for an idealized past relies on strategies of differentiation that can lead to further marginalization and exclusion.



1. Tensed Urban Visions: Making Bucharest into a Socialist Capital

2. Matters of State: Archaeology, Materiality, and State-Making

3. Time-Travelling Houses and Histories Made Invisible

4. Lipstick and Lined Pockets: Strategic Devaluation and Postsocialist Wealth

5. Displacements: Property, Privatization, and Precarity in a Europeanizing City






Publié par
Date de parution 01 décembre 2019
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9780253044815
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 3 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0037€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


Michael Herzfeld, Melissa L. Caldwell, and Deborah Reed-Danahay, editors

This book is a publication of
Indiana University Press
Office of Scholarly Publishing
Herman B Wells Library 350
1320 East 10th Street
Bloomington, Indiana 47405 USA
2019 by Emanuela Grama
All rights reserved
No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of the American National Standard for Information Sciences-Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z39.48-1992.
Manufactured in the United States of America
Cataloging information is available from the Library of Congress.
ISBN 978-0-253-04479-2 (hdbk.)
ISBN 978-0-253-04480-8 (pbk.)
ISBN 978-0-253-04483-9 (web PDF)
1 2 3 4 5 23 22 21 20 19
To Geoff
and in loving memory of my grandparents
A Note on Sources
List of Abbreviations and Short Names
1 Tensed Urban Visions: Making Bucharest into a Socialist Capital
2 Matters of State: Archaeology, Materiality, and State Making
3 Time-Traveling Houses and Histories Made Invisible
4 Lipstick and Lined Pockets: Strategic Devaluation and Postsocialist Wealth
5 Displacements: Property, Privatization, and Precarity in a Europeanizing City
B OOKS HAVE STARTED AS PALIMPSESTS: LAYERS ON LAYERS of meaning, forming a map of connections and influences that go back in time. This book is a palimpsest as well. It began as two chapters of my dissertation, written while in the anthropology and history doctoral program at the University of Michigan. I am grateful for the mentorship I received from my doctoral committee. Katherine Verdery sent me notes of encouragement while I was doing fieldwork, read and commented on several drafts of my dissertation, and most importantly taught me that one should always aim high and never settle for less. Her outstanding scholarship has been exemplary. My gratitude also goes to Gillian Feeley-Harnik, for showing me that the key to almost everything is first to wonder and then to take thousands of notes. Ever since grad school, I have not ceased to be inspired and humbled by Gillian s originality, astuteness, and kindness. The late Fernando Coronil asked me, Why heritage? -making me pause and seek to understand what is my own Romania. His keen intellect, warmth, and politically engaged scholarship is sorely missed. Brian Porter, Krisztina Feh rv ry, Alaina Lemon, Stuart Kirsch, David Cohen, Kathleen Canning, and Michelle Mitchell offered me advice and encouragement at different stages of my graduate studies.
Ann Arbor was truly a home for me in so many ways. I enjoyed the vibrant intellectual atmosphere of graduate school and the sense of shared fellowship, especially with friends and colleagues like Ania Cichopek, Kim Strozewski, Britt Halvorson, Henrike Floruschbosch, Oana Mateescu, Daniel L ea, Luciana Aen oaie, Laura Brown, Chandra Bhimull, Maria Perez, Doug Rogers, Genese Sodikoff, Josh Reno, Laura Heinemann and Chris Weber, Sara and Josh First, Emil Kerenji, Edin Hajdarpasic, Alice Weinreb, Yasmeen Hanoosh, and Susanne Unger.
Part of the research for this book was carried out with the generous support of the following institutions: the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX), through a 2005-6 IARO fellowship funded by the US Department of State s Title VIII Program; the Wenner-Gren Foundation, through a 2006 Individual Doctoral Research Grant; and the Institute for Advanced Studies New Europe College (Bucharest, Romania), through a 2007-8 Europe research fellowship funded by the Volkswagen Foundation. In addition, I benefited from research grants from the Center for Russian and Eastern European Studies, Center for European Studies, Rackham Graduate School, Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies, and Doctoral Program in Anthropology and History, all at the University of Michigan. A 2008-9 Fellowship for East European Studies from the American Council of Learned Societies provided support for dissertation writing. During the summers of 2015 and 2016, I conducted additional fieldwork and archival research in Bucharest with the support of a Falk research grant and a Berkman grant, both from Carnegie Mellon University. These grants also enabled me to spend some time at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, where I consulted the collection of two major Romanian dailies between 1990 and 2015, in both microfilm and paper. I thank especially Arlene Balkansky, reference specialist of the periodicals section, for her help.
I am especially grateful to the people I met in the buildings and streets of the Old Town in summer 2016, who were willing to share their stories and woes with me (and whose names I changed for purposes of anonymity). I also greatly benefited from the insights and expertise of other interlocutors I met in Bucharest, especially (in alphabetical order) tefan B lciu, Alexandru Beldiman, Maria Berza, erban Cantacuzino, Mariana Celac, Liviu Chelcea, Peter Derer, Nicolae Lascu, Mioara Lujanschi, Vera Marin, Dan Mohanu, Anca Oroveanu, Andrei Pippidi, Andrei Ple u, Corina Popa, Irina Popescu-Criveanu, erban Popescu-Criveanu, C t lina Preda, Irina Prodan, Gabriel Simion, Teresa Sinigalia, Bogdan Suditu, and Aurelian Tri cu. I am also thankful for the professionalism and kind help of many archivists at the National Archives in Bucharest (ANIC), as well as of archivist Iuliu erban of the National Institute for Patrimony. As a Europa fellow between October 2007 and June 2008, I relished being part of the community of New Europe College (NEC), the institution that Andrei Ple u, Anca Oroveanu, and Marina Hasna have transformed into an intellectual and human oasis in the midst of a turbulent Bucharest. I also thank Carmen Popescu and my peers of the 2007-8 Europa fellowship cohort for their warm collegiality and critical comments on my work in progress.
The chance of being one of the 2011-12 Max Weber postdoctoral fellows at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, was a multilayered gift. I thank Pavel Kolar for his mentorship; Ramon Marimon, the then director of the program, for his support and flexibility; and especially those friends who made a world of difference to me: Sheila Neder Cezeretti, Karin de Vries, and Dan Lee. As a visiting assistant professor in the history department at Oberlin College, I received strategic advice from my colleagues, especially Len Smith, Annemarie Samartino, Steven Volk, and Emer O Dwyer, as well as Erika Hoffman-Dilloway and Crystal Biruk in anthropology. Starting with 2013, being part of the history department at Carnegie Mellon University has been a privilege. My colleagues Paul Eiss, Lisa Tetrault, Michal Friedman, and Wendy Goldman read different parts of this manuscript and gave critical comments. Other colleagues such as Caroline Acker, Judith Schachter and Albrecht Funk, Kate Lynch, Don Sutton, John Soluri, Joe Trotter, Noah Theriault, and Chris Phillips offered encouragement and listened to arguments in progress. Donna Harsch, my department head, relieved me of teaching responsibilities for one semester so that I could focus exclusively on revisions.
In summer 2018, when health reasons prevented me from traveling, I benefited from Narcis Tulbure s unique generosity. He went to the archives in Bucharest several times to request files and sent me digital copies. Archaeologist Florin Curta of the University of Florida shared his wide expertise and resources, especially invaluable information about the first excavations at the Old Court. Nick Falk of Urbed, London, sent me key materials about the British team s proposal for the Old Town.
At different stages of this book, Irina Livezeanu, Ania Cichopek-Gajraj, and Josh Reno read and offered feedback on three separate chapters. Britt Halvorson generously shared her insights by reading and commenting on this manuscript. Paul Sager copyedited some of the chapter drafts, and Amberle Sherman copyedited a draft of chapter 5 . Alex Iacob, Norihiro Haruta, and Alexandru Stoicescu kindly allowed me to use some of their photographs of the Old Town. Daniella Collins created four beautiful maps. At the last minute, R zvan Voinea, Sarah Andrews, and, indirectly, Miriam Putnam-Perez helped me retrieve three important images. Maria M nescu, editor in chief of Arhitectura journal, and Ileana Tureanu, president of the Romanian Union of Architects, granted me permission to use some of the visual material published in the journal. tefan B lciu, manager of Institutul Na ional al Patrimoniului, and Adrian Majuru, manager of the Bucharest Municipality Museum, allowed me to use photos from the archives and journals of these institutions. My deepest thanks!
At Indiana University Press, I am grateful to Jennika Baines for her kind and constant support of this project, as well as to Allison Chaplin, Rachel Rosolina, and Leigh McLennon for guiding this book through the production process. I would also like to thank the two anonymous readers for their invaluable suggestions on an earlier draft of this book, as well as Joyce Li, who copyedited the final manuscript.
Throughout the years, I was lucky to enjoy the friendship of an extraordinary group of people. Since my arrival in Pittsburgh in 2013, I have valued the wonderful company of friends such as Michal Friedman, Paul Eiss, Lisa Tetrault, Andreea Ritivoi, Katja Wezel, Laura Brown, Heath Cabot, Anna Phillips, Lau

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