Maria Bucur

John W. Hill Chair of East European History and Professor, Department of History

Department of History

IU; IU Bloomington

Full Biography

My research and teaching interests focus on European history in the modern period, especially social and cultural developments in Eastern Europe, with a special interest in Romania (geographically) and gender (thematically). I began my intellectual journey by investigating the ways in which cultural producers and social policy makers tried to engineer the future during the first half of the twentieth century. This led to the publication of my first book, Eugenics and Modernization in Interwar Romania. Subsequently I moved on to examine how various local communities and official state institutions in Eastern Europe tried to engineer the past, by constructing representations of wartime violence through monuments and commemorative processes, in Heroes and Victims. I've also published a number of essays on eugenics, philanthropy, the cultural history of the Great War, commemorations of World War II, and gender and war.  My book Gendering Modernism:  A Historical Reappraisal of the Cannon (2017), offers a provocative synthesis about the revolutionary and not so revolutionary aspects of modernism in terms of gender norms. My next monograph, The Century of Women:  How Women Changed the World in the Twentieth Century (2018), challenges the broad syntheses of this century from a feminist humanist perspective. The Birth of Democratic Citizenship:  Women and Power in Modern Romania (co-authored with Mihaela Miroiu, 2018) traces the self-understanding and practices of women from various generations across the twentieth century around the concept of citizen. In my most recent monograph, The Nation's Gratitude: World War I and Citizenship Rights in Interwar Romania (2022), I analyze the radical transformation in citizenship rights during that period through legislation, policies, and grass roots activism among the veterans, widows, and orphans of World War I.  My current research project focuses on developing a platform for the study of the history of disabilities in Eastern Europe. I have taught courses on the idea of Europe, film and history, memory and war, gender in Modern Europe, comparative feminisms, as well as communism in Europe. 

Honors and Awards

  • NCEEER Research Grant (2020)
  • Honorary Doctorate, National University for Political Science and Public Administration, Bucharest (2018)
  • Woodrow Wilson Center Fellowship (1995, 2015)
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Research Grant (2001, 2009, 2020)
  • Indiana University Trustees Teaching Award (2006, 2019)
  • Indiana Univesity, New Frontiers Grant (2016)
  • Multidisciplinary Development Grant, Indiana University (2004)
  • Indiana University Outstanding Junior Faculty Award (2002)
  • Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Grant (1999)
  • I.R.E.X. Resident Research Grant (1995)
  • A.A.U.W. Dissertation Writing Grant (1995)

Research Interests

  • Gender
  • Citizenship
  • War and memory
  • Eastern Europe
  • history of disabilities


  • Ph.D. at University of Illinois, 1996

Courses Taught

  • The Century of Women (undergraduate)
  • Transnational Feminist Debates (undergraduate)
  • Gender Violence in Transnational Perspective (undergraduate)
  • Marxism and Gender (graduate)
  • Gender and the Radica Right in Europe (graduate)
  • Global Feminisms (graduate)
  • Eastern Europe under Communism (undergraduate/graduate)
  • The Idea of Europe (undergraduate)
  • Eastern Europe in the Twentieth Century (undergraduate/graduate)
  • Nationalism in the Balkans, 1804-1920 (undergraduate/graduate)
  • Women, Men, and Society in Modern Europe (undergraduate)
  • Opposition, Survival, and Resistance in Communist Eastern Europe (undergraduate and graduate)
  • Problems in East European Historiography: Graduate Colloquium
  • Cultural History: Graduate Seminar
  • Cultural History: Memory and Culture (graduate)
  • Gender in Modern Europe (graduate and undergraduate)
  • Introduction to Historiography (graduate)
  • International Feminist Debates (undergraduate)




  • The Nation’s Gratitude: War and Citizenship in Romania after World War I. London: Routledge, 2022.
  • The Birth of Democratic Citizenship:  Women and Power in Modern Romania, with Mihaela Miroiu. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2018.
  • The Century of Women: How Women Transformed the World in the Twentieth Century. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2018.
  • The Global West, co-author with Frank Kidner et al., 3rd ed. Belmont, CA: Cengage, 2018.
  • Gendering Modernism:  A Historical Reappraisal of the Canon, London:  Bloomsbury Academic, 2017.
  • Heroes and Victims. Remembering War in Twentieth Century Romania, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009.
  •  [Co-edited with Nancy M. Wingfield] Gender and War in Twentieth-Century Eastern Europe. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006.
  • Eugenics and Modernization in Interwar Romania. Series in Russian and East European Studies. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2002. Translated into Romanian as as Eugenie si modernizare in Romania interbelictr. Raluca Popa. Iasi: Polirom, 2005.
  • [Co-edited with Mihaela Miroiu] Patriarhat si emancipare in istoria gindirii politice romanesti [Patriarchy and Emancipation in the History of Romanian Political Thought]. Iasi: Polirom, 2002.
  • [Co-edited with Nancy Wingfield] Staging the Past: The Politics of Commemoration in Habsburg Central Europe, 1848 to the Present. 1Central European Studies Series. West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press, 2001.


  • “Feminism in Europe and Russia,” in Bonnie Smith and Nova Robinson, eds., Routledge Global History of Feminism. London: Routledge, 2022.
  • “The Balkans,” in Barton C. Hacker and Margaret Vining, eds., Cutting a New Pattern: Uniformed Women in the Great War.  Washington, D.C., Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, 2020.