Valer Simion Cosma Valer Simion Cosma (b. 1986), has a phd in history at Babes-Bolyai University from Cluj, which emphasizes the role of priests in a peasant’s world from Ardeal in 19th century. At the moment he works at “Research Innovation Foundation” as an advanced researcher in a program called “Political Clientelism: a comprehensive frame for measuring electoral irregularities”, which is financed by UEFISCDI, grant PN-III-P4-ID-PCE-2016-094, and coordinated by the univ. Prof. dr. Isabela Mareș (Columbia University). For two years (2015-2017), he’s been a researcher in the project “East-West”.  Vernacular religion on the boundary of Eastern and Western Chritianity: continuity, changes and interactions ((Seventh Framework Programme – ”Ideas” Specific programme – European Research Council) hosted by Ethnographic Institute of Hungarian Academy of Sciences from Budapest, Hungary. Founder of Center for the Study of Modernity and the Rural World (2016), founder of projects such as Telciu Summer Conference (2012) and Telciu Summer School (2016). Coordinator of three volumes released at the firsts editions of Telciu Summer Conference Valer also published a series of studies in the collective volumes and specialty magazines from Romania and abroad. His interests are the modernization of the rural world, history and the sociology of rural elites, the religiosity of the peasants, vernacular religion and the relation between modernity/ coloniality and religion in Eastern Europe, political economy, nationalism, populism and the political clientelism. Besides his academic work, he also contributed to the research and making of documentary films such as: Disco is Dead (2017) and artistic performances (ÜBUNG IN TRAUER/EXERCISE IN MOURNING by Maria Magdalena Ludewig & Guests, at Kampnagel – Internationales Zentrum für Schönere Künste, Hamburg, 2017), about the contemporary rural world. In 2017, together with Ágota Ábrán, coordinated the issue “Postsocialist rural world” from (the magazine) Gazeta de Arta Politica.


Theodor Constantiniu (born 1986) is a PhD candidate at „Gheorghe Dima” Music Academy, Cluj-Napoca, Romania. With an initial background as a violinist, he devotes his postgraduate studies to theoretical research (musicology and ethnomusicology). At the moment, he is trying to maintain a fragile equilibrium between science (computational musicology), humanities (the social and political context in which the Romanian ethnomusicology developed) and music performance (jazz/improvised music). As a music critic, he writes for Romanian cultural magazines such as Tribuna, Steaua or Cultura. He also covers the Romanian jazz scene in his blog ( He is a contributing author at Liga Oamenilor de Cultură Bonțideni from the first days of this site. Over the years, he participated within several national and international conferences and parts of his research has been published in various academic journals and collective volumes.

Claudiu-Lorand Maxim (b. 1991) is a theatre producer and cultural manager. In 2013 and 2014 he graduated from the Theatre and Television Faculty (Department of Theatre Production) alongside the History and Philosophy Faculty (Department of Philosophy) of the Babeș-Bolyai University of Cluj Napoca. In 2016, he gained his Master’s degree in Performing Arts and Film from the same university. He is a founding member of the Reciproca Association (founded in 2014). From 2015, he is the initiator and director of the Focus Atelier workshop and debate platform, with two editions till date. From the same year, he has been manager of the Troc Educational Theatre Network, organised by the Reciproca Association in partnership with the Replika Educational Theatre Centre and the Reactor Creation and Experiment. He worked as a Theatre Producer for the Romedin Project, organised by the Desire Foundation and the Tranzit Foundation; as an Assistant Producer at the 8th edition of the Temps D’Images International Festival, Cluj-Napoca; and as a resident producer at the RAP – Residences, Workshops, Publics project in 2015, organised by the National Dance Centre Bucharest and the ColectivA Association. He is the producer of shows such as 9 din 10/9 out of 10 and Poker directed by Leta Popescu, shows co-produced by the Reciproca Association and the Reactor Creation and Experiment Space.

Projects coordinator:

Anastasia Oprea completed her Bachelor studies in International Relations and European Studies at the Letters Faculty, University of Bucharest, in 2008. She attended a Master in Conflict and Crisis Management at the Babeș-Bolyai and in 2013 obtained an MSc in African studies from the ISCTE – University Institute of Lisbon. Since 2015 she is pursuing a PhD in International Relations and Conflict Resolution at the Economics School of the University of Coimbra. Her research project is focused on (un)doing European citizenship through every day practices, the empirical part of her thesis being centered on European eco-village communities. She first came to Telciu in 2017, when she attended the Telciu Summer School as a participant. Subsequently, she obtained a fellowship at the Center, which allowed her to develop her communication and project management skills in the following years.

Board of Directors

Manuela Boatcă is Professor of Sociology with a focus on macrosociology at the Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, Germany. She was Visiting Professor at IUPERJ, Rio de Janeiro in 2007/08 and Professor of Sociology of Global Inequalities at the Latin American Institute of the Freie Universität Berlin from 2012 to 2015. Her work on world-systems analysis, postcolonial and decolonial perspectives, gender in modernity/coloniality and the geopolitics of knowledge in Eastern Europe and Latin America has appeared in the Journal of World-Systems Research, Cultural Studies, South Atlantic Quarterly, Political Power and Social Theory, Berliner Journal für Soziologie, Österreichische Zeitschrift für Soziologie, Zeitschrift für Weltgeschichte and Theory, Culture and Society.She is author of Global Inequalities beyond Occidentalism, Ashgate 2015 and co-editor (with E. Gutiérrez Rodríguez and S. Costa) of Decolonizing European Sociology. Transdisciplinary Approaches, Ashgate 2010 and of Handbuch Entwicklungsforschung (with K. Fischer and G. Hauck), Springer 2015.

Ovidiu Ţichindeleanu (b.1976). Philosopher, translator and culture theorist living in Chişinău, writing on critical social theory, decolonial thought, new materialisms, Eastern Europe and the cultural history of postcommunism. Studied philosophy in Cluj-Napoca, Strasbourg and Binghamton. PhD in Philosophy, Binghamton University (2009). Editor of the biannual of critical theory and contemporary arts IDEA arts + society and collections coordinator of IDEA publishing house, Cluj, Romania. Co-founder and editor of the independent journal Philosophy & Stuff (1997-2000). Co-founder of the independent platforms Indymedia Romania (2004), (2010) and LeftEast International (2012). Former member of the working group for the integration of Central and Eastern European Countries in the European Social Forum (2006); organizer of the Eastern Europe – Global South Initiative (WSF Tunis 2013). Member in the Board of Directors of El Taller International, an international NGO dedicated to conceiving and organizing non-retributive forms of social justice, such as the International Courts of Women. From 2012 teaches at the Decolonial School of the Roosevelt Institute, Middelburg, Netherlands and since 2016 he teaches at Telciu Summer School, Romania. Translator into Romanian of works by Silvia Federici, Sylvia Marcos, Walter Mignolo, Arturo Escobar, Immanuel Wallerstein, Ivan Illich, Giles Deleuze, Peter Sloterdijk. Author of Romanian Revolution Televised (with K. Petrovszky, IDEA, 2009); co-editor (with V. Ernu, C. Şiulea, C. Rogozanu) of The Anticommunist Illusion (Cartier 2008). In 2016 he published „Contracultură. Rudimente de filosofie critică”(Idea).

Cornel Ban is the author of ten peer-reviewed articles on economic policy strategies in Southern Europe, Eastern Europe and Latin America, professionals and economic policy, the politics of IMF fiscal policy advice and European financial crisis management. His most recent book was published by Oxford University Press and deals with the local adaptation and crisis resilience of global economic paradigms in Spain and Romania. Dr. Ban also co-edited special issues on the IMF, the BRICS and shadow banking for leading journals such as Review of International Political Economy, Journal of Common Market and Governance. At Boston University he also serves as the co-director of the Global Economic Governance Initiative.  Currently, he is Reader in International Economy at City University of London (UK) and Visiting Associate Professor at Copenhagen School of Business. Dr. Ban was born and raised a few kilometers away from Telciu.

Alina Branda is a university lecturer at the European Studies Faculty, Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, where she lectures is cultural anthropology, European ethnology, ethnicity, interethnic relations, multiculturalism, and cultural pluralism. Between 2008 and 2012 she completed her academic activities with managerial duties at the Inter- and Multicultural Studies Institute of Babeş-Bolyai University. She is the beneficiary of numerous fundings and research stages conducted abroad, as well as having a rich academic activity in studies, conference and symposium participations, and research projects. She is the member of the following national and international societies: International Society for Ethnology and Folklore, The International Association for Southeast European Anthropology, the Romanian Society for Cultural Anthropology, European Association of Social Anthropologists. Together with Valer Simion Cosma and Theodor Constantiniu, she is foundr of the Center for the Study of Modernity and the Rural World.

Norbert Petrovici is a university lecturer at the Faculty of Sociology and Social Work Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca. His research focuses social theory, urban/rural sociology, urban planning, gender studies, social anthropology, spatial planning and sustainable development.  In 2018 he published „Zona Urbană. O economie politică a socialismului românesc”, Tact, Cluj Napoca. He is founding member of the Center for the Study of Modernity and the Rural World. Member in several activist networks which plead for spacial justice and a right for a decent life for all inhabitants of cities.


Ion Matei Costinescu is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Sociology and Social Work, University of Bucharest. His research interests include the modern history of Southeastern Europe, questions of modernity/modernization, and nationalism in a comparative perspective. Matei has considerable teaching experience and his published work includes articles in Sfera Politicii and Sociologie Romȃnească. He is currently working on a dissertation analyzing the alternative rural modernity elaborated and inserted into the interwar Romanian social structure by the Bucharest Sociological School.

Bogdan Vătavu (b. 1986) librarian at “Octavian Goga” Cluj County Library, graduate of Babeş-Bolyai University, the Faculty of History and Philosophy. My academic interests revolve around social history in general, with a marked interest in the history of crime. I have published several articles in scientific journals on such topics as banditry and brigandage in the early modern Romanian provinces and I currently prepare a PhD thesis on the same topic.

George Iordăchescu (b. 1990) is a doctoral researcher since 2015 at IMT School for Advanced Studies, Lucca, Italy, in the Department of Analysis and Management of Cultural Heritage where he is completing a Ph.D. thesis on political ecology of wild nature in Eastern Europe. His research interests span from environmental humanities to critical studies of museology including but not limited to ecotourism, forest commons, protected areas and commodification of nature, neoliberal conservation and market environmentalism, ecocriticism and green cultural studies. He is member of ESEH– European Society for Environmental History, EASA– European Association of Social Anthropologists, IASC– International Association for the Study of Comons, EURHO– European Rural History Organization and FLARE– Forests and Livelihood, Assesment, Research, Engagement.

Adina Mocanu received her PhD in Humanities from University of Barcelona, in 2017 . She completed two masters programs: MA in Romanian studies at Craiova University, Romania and MA in Construction and Representation of Cultural Identity” at Barcelona University, Spain. She is interested in gender studies, feminism,political theory, childhood studies and Comparative Literature. She is also editor of the cultural Romanian review Prăvălia culturală.

Andrei-Sorin Herța (b. 1988 in Romuli, just a few kilometres near Telciu), I am a PhD candidate at Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca with a thesis on political ecology of nature conservation and sustainable development. I hold an MA degree in Applied Anthropology at the same university with a dissertation discussing the concept of workplace resistance based on an ethnographic study. My research interests revolve around two major fields, environmental anthropology and anthropology of work. As a PhD student of Faculty of Sociology and Social Work I taught between 2015 and 2018 the seminars Work Management and Introduction to Anthropology. Since 2014 I am a member of the Sociolink group. Currently, besides doctoral research, I am a member of an interdisciplinary research team in a project focusing on rural entrepreneurship and its relationships with local government. My specific research interests are related to rural world, local knowledge, protected areas, forest exploitation, nature tourism, ethnography of science and the theory of the Anthropocene.

Adrian Rista (n. 1981 la Arad) is a lawyer with a more than ten years’ experience working with several NGOs, being interested in social economy, mobility, and human rights. He coordinated campaigns for the rights of cyclists in Bucharest and was a visiting lecturer at the „Vasile Goldiș” Vest University of Arad. He came to Telciu the first time in 2016, irreversibly and irrevocably connecting to this locality and the projects run by this center, a member of which he became recently.

Vlad Emilian Gheorghiu was born and raised in Iernut, County Mures, and has been a resident of Bucharest for the past 15 years. He attended the courses of the “Tudor Vianu” National College of Informatics, Bucharest, specializing in informatics. He graduated in 2006 from the Faculty of Management, specializing in Project Management within the Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies, and in 2017 from the Anthropology Master’s Programme within the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, Buvharest. He has been working as a web designer and programmer for nearly 15 years and is involved in event organisation for over 10 years.

Andreea Aștilean (b. 1996) is a college student at the Babeș-Bolyai university, where she’s been studying sociology since 2015. Her research topic centers on the urbanization of the post-socialist cities in Cluj-Napoca. She will graduate in June 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology.   After graduation, Andreea plans to continue her master’s degree in human resources. Her research interests include LGBTQ+ communities, gender studies, anthropology, religion and history.

Pati Murg (b. 1995 in Jiu Valley) is a 3rd year student studying sociology at the Faculty of Sociology and Social Work in Cluj-Napoca. At the moment she is working very hard on her final dissertation about the aesthetics of kitsch in Romania and has an interest in political theater. Member of the Contrasens podcast, which focuses on subjects from the social sciences field and has the main goal of bringing academic ideas to a broad audience, in a public space. She is interested in visual anthropology, differences between “high culture” and “low culture” in the cultural industry, feminism and social politics.

Alexandru Irimescu, (born in 1986, Vatra Dornei), jurist, the graduate of the Babeș-Bolyai University, the Law Faculty from Cluj-Napoca (2009). My intellectual interests are linked to the protection of children’s rights, to the (re)defining of the concept of “family”, the the legal status of ownership and property, to the accession rules for the State Aid in forestry sector, to the legal qualification of the coin and currency, in all its appearances, to the influence of technical and scientific progress on law, to the terms of the established relations between the people and the state, to the decentralization of the activities in the public sector and the concept of “e-government”, to the trans-boundary fiscal and economic criminal activities, and others. At the present moment, I am an MA student of the “Private Law Institutions” Master of the Babeș-Bolyai University, the Law Faculty from Cluj-Napoca.