Dr Anca Mandru

Dr Anca Mandru

Department of History
Visiting scholar

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

My geographical areas of expertise include Eastern Europe, modern Europe and Russia/Soviet Union. I am interested in comparative socialisms and nationalisms, cultural history and the history of science. 


  • BA (History, minor in English) – American University in Bulgaria
  • MA (Central European History) – Central European University, Budapest
  • PhD (Eastern European History) - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


While initially trained in math and sciences, I found my way to History at a small liberal-arts college in Bulgaria. I then moved on to pursue an MA in Central European History in Budapest, where I learned to look at Central and Eastern Europe as the legacy and space of intersection of the Russian, Habsburg and Ottoman empires. At the University of Illinois, I complemented this specialty by training as historian of modern Europe and Russian and Soviet history. There I designed and taught courses on comparative postwar(s) and modern European intellectual history, and I served as editorial assistant for the journal Slavic Review.


I am currently transforming my PhD thesis into a book while working on additional journal articles. My 2019 thesis, ‘Socialism of Sentiment:' Culture, Progress and Community in the Early Romanian Left (1870-1914), documents and analyzes the previously contested presence of an indigenous socialist movement in Romania prior to World War One. I argue that a strictly political and institutional history of socialism obscures the emergence of an influential leftist tradition, particularly visible in the fields of literary criticism and the popularization of science. My research has been funded by the American Social Science Research Council, the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities and the Dan David Prize Fellowship.