Introducing: Stefan Cristian Ionescu
Stefan Cristian Ionescu is currently a Visiting Researcher at the MPIeR. He has been at the Institute since April and will stay until the end of September.
Dr. Ionescu, welcome to Frankfurt and to our Institute! Where are you from?
S. Ionescu: I am from Bucharest, Romania.
You completed your doctorate in history at Clark University, Massachusetts. What was the topic of your research?
S. Ionescu: I studied law (LLB) at the Bucharest Law School (University of Bucharest) and history and Jewish studies (MA) at Central European University (Budapest, Hungary). I earned my doctoral degree in history at Clark University (Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Department of History) in Worcester, Massachusetts, USA. My doctoral research examined the process of Romanianization (the equivalent of Nazi Aryanization) of Jewish and Roma/Gypsy property in World-War-II Bucharest and was published in 2015 by Palgrave Macmillan (part of its series on the history of genocide) as Jewish Resistance to Romanianization, 1940-1944.
Could you tell us more about your academic career so far?
S. Ionescu: After finishing my PhD (in August 2013), I worked as a visiting lecturer and research associate at Chapman University, USA (2013-2015) and as an adjunct assistant professor of history at Elon University, USA (2015-2016), where I taught courses on the Holocaust and genocide as well as European history. I was also a research fellow at Duke University’s Center for European Studies (2015-2016), a postdoctoral research fellow at the Research Institute of the University of Bucharest (2016), and the Judith B. and Burton P. Resnick Visiting Fellow at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC (2016-2017).
This is your first time in Germany. What are you researching here at the MPIeR?
S. Ionescu: At the Max-Planck-Institute I am working on my book manuscript examining the restitution of Jewish property in post-Holocaust Bucharest, 1944-1950. I am at a stage of advanced writing and revising several completed chapters. This current project is following up on my first book published in 2015.
The Institute offers a lot of different events for researchers. Have you enjoyed them so far?
S. Ionescu: In addition to writing my book manuscript, I am benefiting in several ways from my stay at the MPleR. I presented my current book project in the guest workshop “Law and Diversity - Legal Categories and Identities” organised by Lorena Ossio Bustillos, and I received useful feedback from several participants. I also really enjoyed discussing my current and future projects with other guests and permanent researchers of the MPleR. Moreover, I attended some of the seminars and lectures, like the Common Law Research Seminar, where I heard some interesting ideas about different research topics and methods.
Which book can you recommend as an introduction to your field of research?
S. Ionescu: A good generic book about the issue of restitution and reparations is The Guilt of Nations: Restitution and Negotiating Historical Injustices (2000) by Elazar Barkan
And last but not least, what was the last book you enjoyed in your free time?
S. Ionescu: The Good Soldier Svejk: and His Fortunes in the World War (2005) by Jaroslav Hasek (author), Josef Lada (Illustrator) and Cecil Parrott (Translator, Introduction).