Dr. Gruia Bădescu

Raum: Bischofsvilla 25 (Zentrum für Kulturwissenschaftliche Forschung)

Otto Adam Strasse 5, 78467 Konstanz

E-Mail: gruia.badescu@uni-konstanz.de

Sprechstunde: Montag, 15:00 - 16:00 Uhr (online) oder nach Vereinbarung


  • Urban and architectural history and theory
  • Post-war reconstruction: urban reconstruction, refugees and IDPs;
  • Dealing with the past after war and dictatorship, memory, transitional justice;
  • The relationship between urban/spatial reconfigurations and political transitions
  • Southeastern Europe; relations to the Middle East and the Southern Cone of Latin America

Akademischer Werdegang


PhD, University of Cambridge (2018)

MSc, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) (2009)

BA, Middlebury College, Vermont, USA (2007)

Johannes Guttenberg Universität, Mainz, Germany, semester exchange at Historisches Seminar (2006)

Institut d’Etudes Politiques („Sciences-Po”), Paris, France, semester exchange  (2005-2006)

Beruflicher Werdegang

Universität Konstanz

Research Fellow, Zukunftskolleg (Institute for Advanced Studies) (since July 2020)

Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow, Jan and Aleida Assmann research group (since December 2019 )

Balzan Prize Research Fellow, Jan and Aleida Assmann research group, Institute of Advanced Studies  (October 2018- October 2019)

University of Oxford

Research Associate, School of Geography, (December 2016- December 2018)

Departmental Lecturer, School of Geography and Stipendiary Lecturer in Human Geography, St John’s College, Christ Church (September 2015- December 2016)

National School of Political Science and Public Administration, Bucharest

Visiting Lecturer, Department of Political Science (October 2017-June 2018; March-June 2019)

Centre for Advanced Studies on Southeastern Europe, University of Rijeka

Research Fellow (March 2017-July 2017)

New Europe College

Researcher, project “Politics and policies of heritage-making in post-colonial and post-socialist contexts”, (October 2016- September 2017)

Zuschüsse, Stipendien und Auszeichnungen

Zukunftskolleg Fellowship, University of Konstanz, for project “Urban Imaginaries and Political Change: Modernity, cosmopolitanism and spatial reconfigurations”, July 2020-

Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship for project “Architecture, urban space and new memory practices: Syncretic place-making and cosmopolitan imaginaries in the European city”  (December 2019- December 2021)

Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK) -LABEX Les Passés dans le present (France) joint research grant “The Criminalisation of Dictatorial Pasts in Europe and Latin America in Global Perspective”, project team member (2016-2018)

Award for Best Doctoral Paper on topic concerning Europe at the Convention of the Association of American Geographers, Chicago (2015)

Centre for Refugee and IDPs Studies (CESI), University of Sarajevo: Visiting Scholar- (August 2013, June-September 2014)

Centre for South-East European Studies, University of Graz, Visiting Doctoral Fellow (February-June 2014)

Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Scholarship for MA and PhD studies (5 years of funding at LSE and the University of Cambridge)

National Geographic Society, Young Explorer Grant to research role of architectural reconstruction in post-war reconciliation: a Study of Sarajevo and Beirut (2008-2010)

The J. Roland Illick Prize for Outstanding Achievement  in Geography, Middlebury College (2007)

Rheinland Pfalz Scholarship, awarded by the state of Rhineland Palatinate for students from American universities (2006)

William H. and Patricia Kleh Scholarship, Middlebury College (2003-2007)

Konferenzen, Workshops & Orginisation öffentlicher Veranstaltungen (Auswahl)

Who has the ’right to speak’ in memory-work? Online workshop organized under the framework of the Memory Lab (January 2021)

Urban Change and Memory Summer Seminar- organised by the Balzan Research Group at the University of Konstanz (18-25 August 2019)

Cities and Regions in Flux after Border Change: Reconfiguring the frontier, reshaping memory and visualizing change in twentieth century Europe, conference, principal coordinator,  Rijeka, Croatia  (10-12 July 2019)

Critical Human Rights and Memory Inaugural Workshop. Dublin (6-7 February 2019).

Building Bridges: Linking Memories of Past Dictatorships in Europe through Museums and Memorial Sites, symposium co-organizer, University of Bucharest (3-5 December 2018)

Architects, reconstruction, and responsibility, workshop organizerMansion Zoqaq al Blat, Beirut (6 November 2017)

Reluctant Heritage: Revisiting Museums and Memory Sites in Central and Eastern Europe in a Transnational Perspective conference co-organizer, CEREFREA Villa Noël Bucharest, (4-5 November 2016)

City in Transitions: Spaces of Confusion, Places of Hope, International Network of Urban Research and Action (INURA) 2016 international conference and retreat, organizing team,  Bucharest and Sibiel (3-11 September 2016)

Heritage-making, Uses and Museumification of the Past in Relationship to Nation-building summer school co-convener, French Institute of Anatolian Studies (IFEA), Istanbul, Turkey (26 June- 9 July 2016)

Places of Amnesia: Interdisciplinary perspectives on forgotten pasts conference, co-convener, University of Cambridge, April 2016

Places of Amnesia lecture series co-convener, Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), University of Cambridge (September 2014-May 2015)

Metamorphoses of the Contemporary City International Graduate Symposium convener, Cambridge (September 2014)

LSE Cities Sarajevo Urban Design Workshop coordinator, a partnership of the LSE Cities Programme, the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Sarajevo, CESI Sarajevo, (May 2014)

City Seminar co-convener, Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), University of Cambridge (September 2011-September 2013)

“Métamorphoses urbaines: Mosaïques du pouvoir et de la mémoire” conference co-convener, Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Bucharest (May 2013)

LSE Cities Bucharest Urban Design Workshop coordinator, a partnership of the LSE Cities Programme, the Faculty of Political Sciences at the University of Bucharest, the Chamber of Architects in Romania, (March 2013)

Invited Talks (Selection)

Patchwork urbanities: Imaginations of modernity and heritage in rebuilding German cities. “After War: New Architectural Landscapes and Public Spaces of Ruined Cities” talk series, Berlin, March 10th 2021.

Transnational Memory Spaces- Comparative, Entangled Perspectives on the Latin American Southern Cone and Southeastern Europe, SNSPA Bucharest, Romania, January 18th, 2021.

Architecture and ‘coming to terms with the past’: Post-war reconstruction in Belgrade and Sarajevo. University of Cambridge, UK, January 22nd, 2019.

Espacio urbano y memoria de la dictadura. Universidad Andrés Bello, Concepción, Chile, September 11th, 2018

The Post-Socialist City: Perspectives from Bucharest. University College London, January 12th, 2018.

Reconfiguraciones espaciales y memoria de la dictadura: Memoria urbana y sitios de violencia política entre Europa del Este y el Cono Sur, Museo de la Memoria y Derechos Humanos, Santiago, Chile, March 10th, 2017.

Spatializing transitional justice? Memorializing sites of violence in the former Yugoslavia, Socio-Legal Talks, University of Oxford, November 12th, 2015.

Urban memoryscapes: space and memory in the post-conflict city, LSE Cities workshop, February 18th, 2015

Keynote Lecture ‘European Perspectives on Public Space’ at The 6th European‐Chinese Cultural Dialogue “Public Spaces –EU And China Sharing Perspectives”, EUNIC, October 17th 2014.

Post-war reconstruction and coming to terms with the past in Belgrade and Sarajevo after the Second World War. La Cattolica University of Milan, June 5th 2014. 

Post Socialist Urban Imaginations: Bucharest. Union of Architects of Armenia, Yerevan, March 2013.

Post-Socialist Urbanism: Insights from Bucharest. London School of Economics and Political Science, March 10th 2011.

Lehre (Auswahl)

Universität Konstanz

Cities and War: Destruction and Reconstruction in Twentieth Century Europe (BA/MA 2020-2021)

The Empire in the City:  Habsburg and Ottoman urban worlds and their aftermath (co-taught with Andreas Guidi, 2021)

National School for Political and Administrative Studies (SNSPA) Bucharest, Masters of Anthropology, visiting lecturer, (2016-)

Territory and the Politics of Space

European Identities: Approaching Diversity and Conflict

Graduate dissertation supervising

University of Oxford ( 2015- 2016- departmental lecturer; visiting lecturer 2018, 2019, 2021)

Lectures for undergraduate and graduate modules, including for Space, Place and Society  (Final Honour School), human geography tutorials, and  ‘Urban Development in the Global South’ for MSc in Sustainable Urban Development

Graduate dissertation supervising

University of Cambridge (2012- 2015)

Lectures for  BA course Divided Cities: The Politics of Mapping and Design; Tutorials for BA courses Urban Issues Today; Studies in Urban Planning and Design; Islamic Architecture; Gardens and Landscapes.                        

Dissertation supervision for undergraduate students



‘Architectural Reconfigurations and Urban Remaking After Ruptures: Interrogating Frontier Urbanism in Rijeka/Fiume’ (2021). Central European Horizons, 2(1), S. 43-70.

‘Rewritten in stone: imperial heritage in the sacred place of the nation’ (2020), Cultural Studies,  34 (5), S. 707-729.  https://doi.org/10.1080/09502386.2020.1780283

‘Traces of Empire: Architectural Heritage, Imperial Memory and Post-War Reconstruction in Sarajevo and Beirut’ (2019). History and Anthropology, 30 (4), S. 366-38. https://doi.org/10.1080/02757206.2019.1617708 

‘Entangled Islands of Memory: Actors and Circulations of Site Memorialisation Practice Between the Latin American Southern Cone and Central and Eastern Europe’ (2019). Global Society, 33 (3), S. 1-18. https://doi.org/10.1080/13600826.2019.1598946 

‘Making Sense of Ruins: Architectural Reconstruction and Collective Memory in Belgrade’ (2019) Nationalities Papers, S. 182-197. https://doi.org/10.1017/nps.2018.42 

‘Between Repair and Humiliation: Religious Buildings, Memorials, and Identity Politics in Post-war Sarajevo’ (2019) Journal of Religion & Society, 19, S. 19-37.

‘“Achieved without Ambiguity?”: Memorializing Victimhood in Belgrade after the 1999 NATO Bombing’ (2016) Memories and Narratives of the 1999 NATO Bombing (special issue) Südosteuropa. Journal for Policy and Society, 64(4), S. 500-519. https://doi.org/10.1515/soeu-2016-0044 

‘(Post) colonial Encounters in the Post-Socialist City: Reshaping Urban Space in Sarajevo’ (2016) Post-socialist Cities (Special Issue). Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography, 98 (4), S. 321-329. https://doi.org/10.1111/geob.12107

‘Dwelling in the Post-War City: Urban Reconstruction and Home-Making in Sarajevo’ (2015) Revue d’études comparatives Est-Ouest46(04), S. 35-60. https://doi.org/10.4074/s0338059915004027

‘Beyond the Green Line: Sustainability and Beirut's post-war reconstruction’, Development (2011) 54(3), S. 358–367. https://doi.org/10.1057/dev.2011.53

‘Nation-Building and Empire: The Case of Soviet Moldova’ (2009) Geopolitica, Nr. 29, 5/2009.

Herausgegebene Bände

`Synchronous Pasts: Transforming heritage in the former Yugoslavia´ (with Britt Baillie and Francesco Mazzucchelli), Palgrave Macmillan (under contract, forthcoming 2021).

Aufsätze (Auswahl)

‘The modernist abject: Ruins of socialism, reconstruction, and populist politics in Belgrade and Sarajevo’ (2021), in Jody Jensen, (ed.), Memory and Populist Politics in Southeastern Europe. Abingdon: Routledge.

‘Cosmopolitan Heritage? Post-War Reconstruction and Urban Imaginaries in Sarajevo and Beirut’ (2021) in Marco Folin and Heleni Porfyriou (eds.) Multi-ethnic Cities in the Mediterranean World, 19th -20th Centuries. Controversial Heritage and Divided Memories, Abingdon: Routledge, S. 121-138.

‘Transnational place-making after political violence: Agencies and practices of site memorialization in the Latin American Southern Cone’ (2020) in Aline Sierp and Jenny Wüstenberg (eds), Agency in Transnational Memory Politics. New York: Berghahn, S. 155-179.

 ‘Urban Monuments and the Spatialization of National Ideologies’ (with Vjeran Pavlaković) (2019).  In Zlatan Krajina and Deborah Stevenson (eds.) The Routledge Companion to Urban Media and Communication. Abingdon: Routledge, S. 67-80.

‘Post-War Reconstruction in Contested Cities: Comparing Urban Outcomes in Sarajevo and Beirut’. In Jonathan Rock-Rokem and Camilo Boano (eds.) (2017) Urban Geopolitics: Rethinking Planning in Contested Cities. London: Routledge, S. 17-32.

‘Justice, transition, mémoire: Les universités et les enjeux du passé dictatorial dans la société roumaine’ (2016) in Mohsen El Khouni, Mouldi Guessoumi, Mohamed-Salah Omri (eds.). University and Society in the Context of Arab Revolutions and New Humanism. Tunis: En Toutes Lettres, S. 115-131.

‘City Makers, Urban Reconstruction and Coming to Terms with the Past in Sarajevo’ (2014) In Kotzen, Bronwyn and Sofia Garcia (ed.) Reconstructing Sarajevo: Negotiating Socio-political Complexity. London: LSE Cities.

‘Politics, Architecture and Identity in Rebuilding West Germany’ s Cities after the Second World War’ (2011) In Olga Fejtová et al, eds. Europäische Großstädte zwischen dem Ende des Weltkriegs und des Kalten Kriegs (1945-1989) (Documenta pragensia 30) Prague: Scriptorium, S. 85-133.

  ‘Introduction: Nationalism between 1770 and 1880’ (with Guntram Herb) (2008) in Guntram Herb and David Kaplan (eds.) Nations and Nationalism: A Global Historical Overview. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC Clio, xvii-xx.

‘Nationalism between 1880 and 1945’ (with Guntram Herb) (2008) in Guntram Herb and David Kaplan (eds.) Nations and Nationalism: A Global Historical Overview. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC Clio, Vol. 2, xvii-xx.