Gatejel, Luminita

Research Associate

Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies, Germany

Romania

Max Weber alumnus

Department of History and Civilization

Cohort(s): 2009/2010

Ph.D. Institution

Berlin School fo Comparative European History, Germany

Biography

I received my first university degree from the University of Cluj-Napoca (Romania) in German and English Philology. After I spent a wonderful Erasmus year at the University of Tübingen in Germany, I decided to continue my studies there and successfully concluded these a few years later with a Master’s degree (Magister Artium) in Modern History and German Literature.
In 2006 I joined the doctoral programme of the Berlin School for Comparative European History at the Free University. As probably the only institution in Germany pursuing comparative historical research as its main field of research, I felt very much at home there with my project that reaches out over three national settings.
My dissertation examines the specific nature of socialist consumerist practices in the Soviet Union, the German Democratic Republic and Romania (1956-1980), focusing on the automobile as one of the most important artefacts in the 20th century.
The overall purpose of the thesis is twofold: to ask what a consumerist perspective adds to our knowledge about “real existing” socialism and to integrate the socialist experience into the broad field of material culture studies. I published some of my findings in edited volumes and in the journal Osteuropa.
As a Max Weber Fellow, I wish to gain some more teaching experience and broaden up my research agenda by venturing into the neighbouring field of welfare policies under state socialism.
My broad research and teaching interest stays with the history of state socialism, with a special emphasis on consumption practices, everyday life and welfare distribution.

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