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Dr Diana Georgescu
UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies
16 Taviton St
Tel: 020 7679 5821 (internal 25821)
Dr Diana Georgescu profile picture
  • Lecturer in Transnational/Comparative Southeast European Studies

My academic and biographical trajectory is inextricably tied to the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and the renewed scholarly interest in the region’s history, culture, and society. I grew up in Romania and I pursued the interdisciplinary study of Eastern and Southeastern Europe in postgraduate programmes in Europe and the United States. I earned my doctoral degree in History at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Before beginning at UCL SSEES in September 2015, I returned to Europe as a Max Weber Postdoctoral Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence. My academic career spans not only continents, but also disciplines. The turn to history and the social sciences began with my exploration of gender and national regimes in Eastern European history in post-graduate programmes in Gender Studies at the Central European University in Budapest. This shift followed an early training in literary, cultural, and film studies at the Faculty of Foreign Languages of the University of Bucharest. 

My archival and oral history research in Romania, the US, and the UK has been supported by grants from the U.S. Fulbright Programme, Max Weber Programme at the European University Institute, the Council for European Studies at Columbia University, the Social Science Research Council, New York, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC, and the New Europe College in Bucharest.


Research Summary

I am a historian of modern Eastern and Southeastern Europe. My research focuses on the socialist and post-socialist periods, spanning interdisciplinary domains such as the transnational history of childhood and youth, memory studies and oral history, travel and consumption, gender history, and comparative nationalism. My current book project, ‘Ceaușescu’s Children: The Making and Unmaking of Romania’s Last Socialist Generation (1965-2010), explores the remembered experiences, institutional structures and ideological constructions of socialist childhood and citizenship in Ceaușescu’s Romania in order to throw light on the social formation of socialist subjectivities and the nature of their relation with the socialist state beyond dichotomous representations in terms of 'resistance' and 'conformism.' Juxtaposing official representations of socialist childhood and nationhood against personal recollections, the book investigates the role of children as both objects of state efforts to raise loyal socialist citizens and as agents in their own right. 

My research has found expression in articles on socialist childhood and citizenship in late socialism, post-socialist memory regimes, gendered representations of national and European identity, post-communist film, national identity and travel writing, and the teaching of regional history in post-socialist Eastern Europe.

My most recent research project explores international youth exchanges during the late Cold War, aiming to contribute to the literature on transnational flows of people, ideas, and ideologies in the contemporary world. Starting inquiry from the boom in international youth exchanges in Nicolae Ceauşescu’s Romania, the book will examine how youth exchanges expanded beyond the Soviet Bloc to include collaborations with Western European and so-called “Third World” countries in Africa, Asia, or Latin America. This project joins a growing literature on the deployment of “soft power” during the Cold War, positioning itself at the intersection of research on socialist youth and works on travel and tourism. 

Teaching Summary

I teach a variety of classes at UCL’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies:

SEHI3012/9012 Life Writing: Memory and Identity in Twentieth Century Europe (BA)

SEHI7008 The Balkans from Empires to Nation-States (BA) 

SESS0050 The Crisis of 1989 and the New Global Revolutions

SEHI1004 Frontiers of History (BA)

SEESGE13: All Quiet on the Eastern Front: Culture, Politics and Everyday Life in Central & Eastern Europe from Stalin to Present

I welcome applications from research students who want to pursue topics in modern Eastern European history, particularly socialist and post-socialist studies, histories of childhood and youth, transnational histories of the Cold War, leisure and consumption, or gender and nationalism.

Current PhD students

Owen Howells Ottin, Commemorating dictators in a democratic era: Inherited nostalgia, historical revisionism, and cultural purpose in the commemoration of pre-Communist dictators


Sarah Elizabeth Moore, Forging national identity: the role of history, memorials and experiences in Bosnian and Serb identities.

Academic Background
2015   Doctor University of Illinois Urbana/Campaign
2015   Post Doctoral Qualification European University Institute, Florence
2004   Master of Philosophy Central European University
2003   Master of Arts Central European University
2001   Master of Arts Universitatea din Bucuresti
1999   Bachelor of Arts Universitatea din Bucuresti
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