UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)

Dr Diana Georgescu

Dr Diana Georgescu

Lecturer in Transnational/Comparative Southeast European Studies



Joined UCL
1st Sep 2015

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), integrates a cultural and social history of socialist childhood and citizenship in Ceaușescu’s Romania with an ethnography of the generational dynamics of post-socialist memory. 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. The larger theoretical thrust of the book is to revisit dominant representations of the social formation of socialist subjectivity and the nature of its relation with the socialist state beyond dichotomous terms of “resistance” and “conformism.” 

Over the past several years, my research found expression in a series of articles on 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 book/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 taught a variety of classes in modern European and world history at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. At the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, I designed and taught an advanced undergraduate course in twentieth century world history and survey courses in modern European history. Expanding my experience to include post-graduate teaching and mentorship, I recently co-taught a Ph.D. seminar titled “Resistance in Modern Europe” with Professor Pavel Kolar at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. 

 I currently teach the following courses at  UCL’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies:

SEHI1004 Frontiers of History (BA)

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

SEHI1001 Seminars in History (BA)

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


University of Illinois Urbana/Campaign
Dr, History | 2015
European University Institute, Florence
POSTDOC, History | 2015
Central European University
M.Phil, Gender studies | 2004
Central European University
MA, Gender studies | 2003
Universitatea din Bucuresti
MA, American studies | 2001
Universitatea din Bucuresti
BA, Foreign Languages and Literature | 1999


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 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.