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SRS awards three prizes: the annual Graduate Student Essay Prize, the biennial Book Award, and the biennial Keith Hitchins Dissertation Prize.


2023 Book Prize

The Book Prize Committee – Camelia Crăciun, Raluca Grosescu, and Cristian Cercel (chair) – agreed unanimously to award the prize to Svetlana Suveica for her Post-Imperial Encounters: Transnational Designs of Bessarabia in Paris and Elsewhere 1917-1922 (De Gruyter Oldenbourg, 2022). Suveica’s impressive monograph brings up new perspectives on the incorporation of Bessarabia to Romania at the end of the First World War, decidedly moving away from teleological accounts centred on the nationalist ideology underlying narratives about the formation of Greater Romania. Drawing on a meticulous research in archives in nine countries, Suveica brings to the fore previously unexplored stances and positions with respect to Bessarabia’s future in the context of the demise of the Russian Empire. The scope of the theoretical apparatus she employs is as broad as her engagement with primary and secondary sources in five languages. Post-Imperial Encounters does a great job in showing the contingent and situational character of belonging and of identities of ethnopolitical actors, in relationship with political processes unfolding in a time of radical uncertainty. In dealing at length with Russian and Bessarabian émigrés, Suveica implicitly invites the field of Romanian Studies to expand its own area of interest towards an engagement with previously neglected actors.

The committee has also decided to award two Honourable Mentions. One Honourable Mention goes to Constanța Vintilă, for her Changing Subjects, Moving Objects: Status, Mobility, and Social Transformation in Southeastern Europe, 1700-1850 (Brill Schöningh 2022)A captivating and fascinating read, Vintilă’s book masterfully reconstructs biographies and their trans-border trajectories. In doing this, she explores how eighteenth-and nineteenth-century people defined themselves and were defined by others as well as the place of material culture and consumption within such definitions. Her microhistories of mobility show the entanglements linking the Principalities of Moldova and Wallachia with the Ottoman, Russian, and Habsburg Empires.

Another Honourable Mention goes to Grant T. Harward’s Romania’s Holy War: Soldiers, Motivation, and the Holocaust (Cornell University Press, 2021). Harward’s book provides a fresh and necessary perspective on Romanian participation in the Second World War and on the role played by soldiers in the Romanian Army in the Holocaust. He shows the soldiers’ motivation to take part in anti-Jewish massacres to have been the result of a firm ideological ground consisting of antisemitism, anticommunism, nationalism, fascism, and religion. Thus, Harward links Romanian military history, a field overly parochial and in dire need to be shaken up, with Holocaust history, as well as with the emerging field of perpetrator studies. Romania’s Holy War undoes long perpetuated myths about the Romanian Army and should lead to a serious and critical conversation about Romania’s military in the past and in the present. 

2023 Graduate Student Essay Prize

The Fifteenth Annual Graduate Student Essay Prize 2023 is awarded to Ecaterina Vlad, MA, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, for her fascinating exploration of the work of artist Geta Brătescu in “Geta Brătescu: Subversive Practices.” In elegant prose, Vlad provides an insightful analysis of Brătescu’s artistic production in the 1970s and 1980s, treating film and collage as primary sources that occupy a unique space between modernism and postmodernism. Vlad takes us on a journey to show how Brătescu uses the “visual language of both movements” to express shared experiences of repression and surveillance in Ceaușescu’s Romania.  

An Honorable Mention is awarded to Emőke Gondos, MA, Central European University, for the paper “Neoliberal techno-fantasies in a post-socialist city,” chapter one of her MA thesis titled “’This job saved me:’ The Subjectivity and Imaginary of Cluj IT.” Her valuable contribution is based on empirical research on the IT sector in the city of Cluj-Napoca.  

Student Essay Prize Committee (Aleksandra Djurić Milovanović, Iemima Ploscariu, Valentina Glajar)

2022 Keith Hitchins Dissertation Prize

Co-winners: Cosmin Koszor-Codrea (Oxford Brookes University) and Rucsandra Pop (Bucharest University)

2022 Graduate Student Essay Prize

Winner: Leah Valtin-Erwin (Indiana University Bloomington)

Honorable Mention: Irina Nicorici (Rutgers University)

2021 Book Prize

Winner: Roxana-Talida Roman, The Edge of Europe – Heritage, Landscape and Conflict Archaeology: First World War Material Culture in Romanian Conflictual Landscapes (Oxford: Bar Publishing, 2020).

Honorable Mentions: Péter Berta, Materializing Difference: Consumer Culture, Politics, and Ethnicity among Romanian Roma (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2019), and Călin Cotoi, Inventing the Social in Romania, 1848–1914: Networks and Laboratories of Knowledge (Paderborn, Germany: Ferdinand Schoeningh, 2020).

2021 Graduate Student Essay Prize

Winner: Alexandra Ciocănel (University of Manchester)

Honorable Mention: Iemima Ploscariu (Dublin City University)

2020 Graduate Student Essay Prize

Winner: Cosmin Koszor Codrea (Oxford Brookes University)

Honorable Mention: Cosmin Tudor Minea (University of Birmingham)

2019 Book Prize

Winner: Bruce O’Neill, The Space of Boredom: Homelessness in the Slowing Global Order (Duke University Press, 2017).

Honorable Mention: Irina Marin, Peasant Violence and Antisemitism in Early Twentieth-Century Eastern Europe (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018).

2019 Graduate Student Essay Prize

Winner: Adela Hîncu (Central European University)

Honorable Mention: Elena Radu

2018 Graduate Student Essay Prize

Winner: Alexandra Chiriac (University of St. Andrews)

Honorable Mentions: Nicoleta Simonia Minciu, Iemima Ploscariu (Dublin City University), and Matthew Signer (Stanford University)

2017 Book Prize

Winner: Roland Clark, Holy Legionary Youth: Fascist Activism in Interwar Romania (Cornell University Press, 2015).

Honorable Mentions: Virginia Hill and Gabriela Alboiu, Verb Movement and Clause Structure in Old Romanian (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), Dennis Deletant, British Clandestine Activities in Romania During the Second World War (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), and Ştefan Ionescu, Jewish Resistance to Romanianization (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016).

2017 Graduate Student Essay Prize

Winner: Dana Mureşan

Special Mentions: Kathryn Grow Allen (University of Buffalo), Alin Rus (University of Massachusetts, Amherst) and Karin Steinbrueck (Northwestern University)

2016 Graduate Student Essay Prize

No prize awarded.

2015 Book Prize

Winner: Sean Cotter, Literary Translation and the Idea of a Minor Romania (Rochester, 2014).

Honorable Mention: Moshe Idel, Mircea Eliade: From Magic to Myth (Peter Lang, 2013).

2015 Graduate Student Essay Prize

Winner: Matei Costinescu (University of Bucharest)

Honorable Mentions: Madalina Vereş (University of Pittsburgh) and Zsuzsanna Magdo (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

2014 Graduate Student Essay Prize

Winner: Roxana Cazan (Indiana University, Bloomington)

2013 Book Prize

Winner: Gail Kligman and Katherine Verdery, Peasants under Siege: the Collectivization of Romanian Agriculture, 1949-1962 (Princeton University Press, 2011).

2013 Graduate Student Essay Prize

Winner: Florin Poenaru (Central European University)

2012 Graduate Student Essay Prize

Winner: Jonathan Stillo (City University of New York)

2011 Book Prize

Winner: Tom Gallagher, Romania and the European Union: How the Weak Vanquished the Strong (Manchester University Press, 2009)

2011 Graduate Student Essay Prize

Winner: Cristina Onose (University of Toronto)

2010 Graduate Student Essay Prize

Winner: Anca Mandru (University of Illinois)

2009 Graduate Student Essay Prize

Winner: Roland Clark (University of Pittsburgh)