Interview with Adrian Grama--December 28, 2016

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Interview with Adrian Grama--December 28, 2016
Adrian Grama (Interviewee)
Holly Case (Interviewer)
Date Created
Interview with Adrian Grama, advanced Ph.D. student in History at the Central European University in Budapest. Interview conducted in Vienna, Austria on December 28, 2016. Grama has recently completed his dissertation titled “Labouring Along: Industrial Workers and the Making of Postwar Romania, 1944-1958.” He is also associate editor for the European Review of History. Interview Themes 00:00 Introduction 00:47 How Grama defines his field: the social history of the Romanian economy 02:41 Evolution of Grama’s dissertation topic 05:07 On making the switch from Political Science to History 08:53 On cutting the “labor question” out of the title 11:01 Most revelatory moments during the writing of the dissertation (on the importance of the Second World War and the postwar economic transition, austerity as an experience Romania shared with many other countries) 16:08 On how a history cannot be limited to one country 17:00 Implications of comparing Romania to France and/or Germany 18:58 Why the idea of a “post-war” as a clear historical conjuncture is absent from the historiography East-Central Europe (importance of engaging in periodization) 21:31 What happens to ideology when one compares East and West? 23:56 To what extent did the conditions of the global market allow for genuinely different policy options after the Second World War? 27:10 Ethnographic/social anthropological approach versus classical social history 32:03 On the applications of the word “populism” 35:15 Grama’s working-class family history and how it influenced his perspective 38:35 Family interpretations of the socialist experience that Grama grew up with 45:04 Grama as part of a group of young leftists in Romania whose interest in history is about understanding the present 47:45 On the aspects of the past that seem most relevant for understanding the present (“history is not a morality tale”) 53:37 On the intellectual environment at CEU 55:44 Romanian politics and how it is different from that of Hungary and Poland (explaining the absence of a far right in Romania) 1:04:05 On Romanian intellectuals’ disdain for the common people 1:05:49 Is there a political valence to nationalism studies? 1:09:18 On whether we can move on from the study of nationalism or not 1:11:00 Memorable political moments/events in Grama’s own life 1:15:05 Manifestations of hope and disappointment Grama has witnessed 1:18:03 Books and scholars that have had a strong influence on Grama (Stephen Kotkin’s Magnetic Mountain) 1:23:20 On training people to write history 1:26:50 What Grama is reading now and his next project
Economic history


"Interview with Adrian Grama--December 28, 2016" (2016). East-Central Europe Past and Present. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library.



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    This blog features interviews with scholars of East-Central and Southeastern Europe (including the Ottoman Empire and Turkey), Russia and the Soviet Union in which they offer their views on the past, present and future of the region. It also includes ...