Transnational Socialist Encounters

This is the webpage of the research project “Transnational Encounters: Romania’s Cultural and Artistic Relations within the State-Socialist World (1950s-1980s)” (PN-III-P1-1.1-TE-2021-0649, financed by the UEFISCDI in the period 2022-2024)

About this project

This project analyzes the cultural and artistic relations between communist Romania and other state-socialist countries between the 1950s and 1980s from the perspective of “cultural transnationalism” or “cultural internationalism” within the State-Socialist world. This approach is relevant because it allows for a better understanding of the role of culture and art in the context of the Cold War (Cultural Cold War studies), which can further increase the broader importance of studying in more detail culture’s and art’s political role in non-democratic configurations. This research focuses on the different types of links established by (cultural) institutions and individuals, and on the role played by the cultural and artistic networks in the establishment of transnational – in some cases even transcontinental – connections during the socialist regimes between the 1950s and 1980s. The analysis will take into account cultural and artistic circulations, exchanges and entanglements between communist Romania, on one hand, and various socialist states from Eastern Europe and beyond, on the other hand.

Research Team

Irina Nastasă Matei PhD, Univ. Lecturer, University of Bucharest ( – project director

PhD in History of the Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj. Author of the monograph ”Educaţie, politică şi propagandă: Studenţi români în Germania nazistă” (Cluj, Editura Şcoala Ardeleană / Bucureşti, Eikon, 2016), and co-author of the volume ”Cultură și propagandă. Institutul Român din Berlin, 1940-1945” (Editura MEGA, Cluj, 2018, with Lucian Nastasă-Kovacs). Fields of research: the Romanian-German relations; transnationalism; academic migration; cultural policies; cultural diplomacy/soft power/propaganda; German studies, Jewish studies, the history of science.

Caterina Preda, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, PolArt, University of Bucharest (;

Caterina Preda holds a PhD in Political Science of the University of Bucharest (2009) and has had several undergraduate and post-graduate scholarships in Europe and South America, as well as postdoctoral fellowships. Associate Professor at the University of Bucharest, Department of Political Science, she teaches ‘Contemporary Latin America’, ‘Art and Politics’, and ‘Cultural memory in Eastern Europe and South America’ courses. She researches the relationship between art and politics in modern dictatorships in South America and Eastern Europe, as well as the art and politics of memory in the two regions. She has published several scientific articles in international peer-reviewed journals, as well as chapters in volumes published by Routledge or Palgrave. She has coordinated several research projects at the University of Bucharest and has worked as part of other research teams.

Irina Cărăbaș PhD, Univ. Lecturer, National University of Art (

Irina Cărăbaş is assistant professor at the Department of Art History and Theory, National University of Arts in Bucharest. She is the author of the book ‘Realismul socialist cu fața spre trecut. Instituții și artiști în România 1944-1953’ (2017)/ ‘Socialist Realism Facing the Past. Institutions and Artists in Romania 1944-1953’ and of several studies concerning the Romanian avant-garde, Constructivism, avant-garde magazines, applied arts, and Socialist Realism published in periodicals and collective volumes.

Alina Popescu, PhD, Associate Lecturer, University of Bucharest (

Alina Popescu has a MA in Sociology and a PhD in Political Science from Paris Ouest Nanterre la Défense University. Her PhD thesis explored the censorship in Romanian cinema during Nicolae Ceausescu’s regime (1965-1989). She is co-editor of „La place du grand frère. Les échanges culturels entre l’Union Soviétique et les démocraties populaires à l’époque communiste” (with Jérôme Bazin, Lucia Dragomir, Studia Politica, FSPUB, Bucharest, 1/2017) and the author of several articles on Romanian cinema, censorship, film archives, cultural exchanges. 



Irina Nastasă Matei

Caterina Preda

Alina Popescu

Irina Cărăbaș



“Dincolo de Cortina de Fier: relațiile culturale și artistice ale României în timpul Războiului Rece” [Beyond the Iron Curtain: the cultural and artistic relations of Romania during the Cold War], Nov. 4th 2022, Institutul de Istorie “Nicolae Iorga” din București)

Participation to International Conferences


Irina Matei presented “The cultural and academic relations between Romania, West-Germany and East-Germany between 1965-1975” at the International Workshop of the project „Taming the European Leviathan”, titled „Across the Nylon Curtain: Cold War Cooperation and Trans-Systemic Exchanges”, Villa Rissen Hamburg (29 Sept.-1 Oct 2022, Hamburg)

Alina Popescu presented “Too Much and Not Enough: An Institutional Paradox of the Censorship of Foreign Films in Communist Romania” at the international conference “Cracks in the Canon. Modernism and Censorship in Eastern Europe” (ULB, Brussels, 5-6 September 2022)




Report 2022

Report 2023

Report 2024


CfP International Conference: The State-Socialist World Turned Global: Cultural Encounters during the Cold War


PolArt, UNIVERSITATEA DIN BUCUREŞTI, Facultatea de Ştiinţe Politice, Calea Plevnei 59, Bucureşti, România

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