Irina Nastasă-Matei – Principal Investigator, Romanian team

Irina Nastasă-Matei is a historian and political scientist working on transnational networks of education and science exchange, especially in the context of authoritarian regimes. Author of the monograph Education, politics and propaganda: Romanian students in Nazi Germany (in Romanian, 2016) and co-author of Culture and Propaganda. The Romanian Institute in Berlin, 1940-1945 (in Romanian, 2018), her most recent article is “Transnational Far Right and Nazi Soft Power in Eastern Europe: The Humboldt Fellowships for Romanians” (EEPS, 2021). Her most recent project, funded by UEFISCDI, investigates Romania’s academic and scientific exchanges with other socialist countries during the Cold War. She is Senior Lecturer at the University of Bucharest, Political Science Department.

As part of MEDEP, Irina will analyze the communication of public health messages, especially regarding the production and administration of vaccines, and their instrumentalization as tools of public diplomacy and soft power by the Romanian communist regime. She will also investigate public health discourses, especially the use of the argument of epidemiological threat, in connexion with the Roma minority, in the context of Bucharest’s urban development and systematization during the communist period.