UCL Anthropology


Razvan Nicolescu

E-mail: r.nicolescu@ucl.ac.uk


I am a digital anthropologist with research interest in the social impact of new technologies on political economy, governance, informality, ideology, social and economic inequality, social norms, consumption, and feelings. In a larger perspective, I work on the relation between science and society from both epistemological and empirical perspectives. Trained both in Telecommunications and Anthropology, I am Research Associate at the Department of Anthropology at University College London as part of the Why We Post research project funded by the ERC. I am the author of Social Media in Southeast Italy: Crafting Ideals (2016, UCL Press) and co-author of How the World Changed Social Media (2016, UCL Press). Since 2016 Razvan is the Editorial Assistant of the Journal of Material Culture.
I am interested in the region of Europe, in particular the South and East of Europe and the Balkans.


PhD in Anthropology
University College London, Anthropology (2008-13)

MA in Material and Visual Culture (distinction)
University College London, Anthropology (2007-8)

MA in Anthropology and Social Development
National School for Administrative and Political Studies, Bucharest (2003-5)

MSc in New Systems for Telecommunications
University Polytechnic of Bucharest (1999-2000)

BSc in Telecommunications
University Polytechnic of Bucharest (1994-9)



2016. Social Media Use in Southeast Italy: Crafting Ideals. London: UCL Press. ISBN: 978-1-910634-73-8.

2016. with Daniel Miller et. al. How the World Changed Social Media. London: UCL Press. ISBN: 978-1-910634-48-6.

Articles and Book Chapters (Selected)

2016. with Tom McDonald and Jolynna Sinanan. 'Small Places Turned Inside-out: Social Networking in Small Communities.' In Genevieve Bell et al, eds., The Routledge Companion to Digital Ethnography. London: Routledge, p. 89-101. ISBN: 978-1138940918.

2014. 'The Normativity of Boredom: Communication Media among Romanian Teenagers.' In Anne Line Dalsgård, Martin Demant Frederiksen, Susanne Højlund, and Lotte Meinert, eds., Time Objectified: Ethnographies of Youth and Temporality, pp. 139-152. Philadelphia (PA): Temple University Press. ISBN: 9781439910665.

2011. 'Material Culture as Ethnography: Value, Work and Modernity in Rural Romania.' In Studia Sociologia, 56(2): 123-35.

2011. 'Solid Houses and Distant Homes: The Morality of Domestic Space in Southeast Romania.' In Martor, The National Museum of the Romanian Peasant Anthropology Review, Vol. 16, pp: 69-79.

2010. 'Telefonul mobil. Adolescenţi mobilizaţi' (The Cell Phone. Mobilized Teenagers). In Vintilă Mihăilescu, ed., Etnografii urbane. Cotidianul văzut de aproape. ('Urban Ethnographies. Close-up to Everyday Life'), pp. 173-208. Iaşi: Polirom.ISBN: 978-973-46-1574-2.

Other Dissemination Work

In 2015 I have co-written and produced the free MOOC course Why We Post: The Anthropology of Social Media that is currently taught three times a year on FutureLearn.


2006. Co-author of 'Living Professions' (7') and 'Portrait'' (12'). Produced by University of Bucharest and The National Museum of the Romanian Peasant.

Research Experience

July 2016 - Present Research Associate, Department of Computing, Imperial College London.
Position is part of the technical lead of Harnessing Economic Value stream, PETRAS IoT Research Hub.

2012-2015 Research Associate, Department of Anthropology, University College London.
Position was part of the Why We Post Project funded by the European Research Council.

Teaching Experience

2013-16 Teaching Assistant, Department of Anthropology, University College London.
I lectured and taught at both undergraduate and postgraduate level courses including: 'Introduction to Social Anthropology,' 'Researching the Social World,' 'The Anthropology of Social Media' "Anthropology of Media and Mass Consumption,' "Mass Consumption and Design.'

Consultancy Experience

2008-15 Project based consultancy for Renault France, JKR, Y&R and YPN.

Professional Memberships

Centre for Digital Anthropology at UCL
European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA)
Romanian Society for Social and Cultural Anthropology (SASC)

Scholarships (Selected)

2015 UCL Octagon Small Grants Fund, UCL
2009-11  Graduate Research Scholarship, UCL
2008-9  Central Research Fund Grant, University of London
2008-9  Graduate Research Bursary in Anthropology, Department of Anthropology, UCL
2007  Studentship, The Romanian Cultural Centre, UK