UCL Anthropology


Elena Magdalena Craciun

Magdalena Craciun
Email: e.craciun@ucl.ac.uk

Marie Curie Intra-European Fellow (2013-2015)

PhD in Anthropology (2010), University College London
MA (Distinction) in Central European History (2003), Central European University, Budapest
MA in Anthropology (2002), National School of Political and Administrative Sciences, Bucharest
BA in Sociology (2000), University of Bucharest

General interests:

  • Textiles and clothing (material and visual)
  • Islamic fashion and fashion
  • Aesthetics and ethics
  • Authenticity and inauthenticity
  • Brands and fake brands
  • Cultures of consumption
  • Informal economy and transnational networks
  • Socialism and post-socialism
  • Romania, Turkey and Southeast Europe
  • Theoretical understandings of materialisation


I am currently writing about Islamic fashion in Turkey. I conducted 15 months of fieldwork in Istanbul, focusing on the articulation of aesthetics and ethics, economic interests and political agendas in the making of Islamic fashion industry. I previously carried out multi-sited trans-national doctoral research in Romania and Turkey and compared mundane engagements with fake branded garments in places of production, distribution and consumption.



(forthcoming) Islam, Faith and Fashion: The Islamic Fashion Industry in Turkey. London: Bloomsbury [ISBN: 9781474234375 (hardback)]

(2014) Material Culture and Authenticity: Fake Branded Fashion in Europe. London: Bloomsbury.

Journal articles

(2015) 'Bobbles and values: an ethnography of de-bobbling garments in postsocialist urban Romania' Journal of Material Culture, 20 (1).

(2012) 'Rethinking fakes, authenticating selves'. The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 18 (4): 846-863.

(2008) 'Researching fakes, practicing anthropology out of the corner of the eye', Anthropology Matters, 10 (2).

Book chapters

(2010) 'The work of an Istanbulite imitasyoncu'. In Cultures of Commodity Branding, ed. D. Wengrow. Left Coast Press: Walnut Creek, CA. Pp. 87-108.

(2009) 'Trading in fake brands, self-creating as an individual'. In Anthropology and the Individual. A material culture perspective, ed. D. Miller. Berg: Oxford. Pp. 25-36.

(2009) 'Europa, o piaţă faimoasă în România postsocialistă" (Europa, a famous market in post-socialist Romania). In Etnografii urbane. Cotidianul vazut de aproape (Urban Ethnographies. The quotidian, examined closely), ed. V. Mihăilescu. Polirom: Iasi. Pp. 89-134.

(2002) 'La umbra minei: populatia autohtona din Valea Jiului' (In the shadow of the mine: the native population of the Jiu Valley). In Lumea Vaii. Unitatea Minei, Diversitatea Minerilor (The World of the Valley: the Unity of Mine, the Diversity of Miners), Magdalena Craciun, Maria Grecu and Razvan Stan. Paideia: Bucuresti. Pp. 45-64.

Short contributions

(2014) Book Review. D. Miller and S. Woodward (2012) 'Blue Jeans: the art of the ordinary' (University of Chicago Press) Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute.

(2014) Book Review. H. Geismar (2013) 'Treasured possessions: Indigenous Interventions into Cultural and Intellectual Property' (Duke University Press) Social Anthropology.

(2014) Book Review. K. Hart (2013) 'And then we work for God. Rural Sunni Islam in Western Turkey' (Standford University Press) New Perspectives on Turkey.

(2012) 'Research report: Islamic fashion, economy and morality in contemporary Turkey' Heritage Turkey (vol. 2).

(2010) 'Fake branded clothing in postsocialist Romania' In The Berg Encyclopaedia of World Dress and Fashion (East Europe, Russia, Caucasus) ed. D. Bartlett. Berg: Oxford.

(2006) 'Pantalonii si scamele: materialitate infidela' (Trousers and bobbles: the betraying materiality), OMAGIU (3): 34-37.

(2006) 'Europa, cea de lasat in urma' (Europa, the one to leave behind), Dilema Veche 128: 12-4.

Invited Talks

(October 2014) Seminars on Turkey, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

(October 2014) Pitt Rivers Museum Seminars, University of Oxford

(May 2014) Department of Sociology, Koç University, Istanbul

(April 2014) Department of Sociology, Bosphorus University, Istanbul

(November 2013) Department of Sociology, NSPSA, Bucharest

(February 2013) Department of Anthropology, Yeditepe University, Istanbul

(October 2012) Ernest Gellner Talk, the Czech Association of Social Anthropology, Prague

(October 2012) Department of Social Anthropology, University of Pardubice

(January 2010) Seminars on Turkey, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

(November 2009) Research Seminars in Material, Visual and Digital Culture, Department of Anthropology, UCL

Workshops & Conferences

2014 'Anthropology for Sale', Department of Social Anthropology, University of Edinburgh

2014 European Association of Social Anthropologists Meeting, Tallinn

2014 Association of Social Anthropologists Meeting, Edinburgh

2010 American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, New Orleans

2008 European Association of Social Anthropologists Meeting, Ljubljana

2008 'Cultures of Commodity Branding Conference', Institute of Archaeology, University College London

2007 Marie Curie SocAnth Conference, Max Planck Institute of Social Anthropology, Halle, Germany

2006 Marie Curie SocAnth Conference, Babes Bolyai University, Cluj Napoca, Romania