I have been a qualified researcher for over 8 years in Ethnology/Anthropology at the Institute of Ethnography and Folklore “Constantin Brailoiu” from the Romanian Academy (Bucharest, Romania). During this time, I have accumulated extensive experience in ethnographic field research and as a publisher, using qualitative methods such as participant observation, interviews, oral history, personal narratives, autoethnography, content and media analysis, audio and video documentation. My constant interest is focused on the anthropology of death and dying, in relation to medical anthropology, anthropology of old age, modern mythology and contemporary rites, food and culinary socio-cultural practices, imaginary of space, collective memory and oral history.
I grew up in a village from Southern Romania, in the communist era of Nicolae Ceausescu's dictatorship. My double status – as an insider of a small village and as an outsider as well due to my moving since 15 years old – made me use in my Bachelor project the concept of "anthropology at home‟, the methods of participant observation and autoethnography in contexts other than those traditionally applied. I used my own memories as an actor in the funeral rituals as a child, and also the stories and rituals recorded during the research regarding the beliefs in returning of dead souls ("strigoi‟) in the larger context of system of kinship, traditional medicine and bio-medical diagnosis.
In 2012, I married a New Zealand citizen and moved to NZ, where I’ve been working as a teaching assistant in sociology at the University of Canterbury. My academic interest changed a bit along with my personal life especially influenced by my experience as a healthcare assistant in an end-of-life facility, and I became interested in Western representations, attitudes and practices related to old age, end-of-life and palliative care. Following my own experience, I decided to dedicate my research interest to improve the quality of life of those living its end or with life-limiting conditions.
I strongly sustain and try to put in practice interdisciplinary approaches, supported by intensive ethnographic information. I am passionate about documentary movie making and I passionately love field researches, embroidering and mountaineering. And, OF COURSE, dogs!
Anthropology of death and dying
Anthropology of ageing
Bonding at the very end: Emerging personhood during end-of-life and palliative care through Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT)
Research Funding and Grants
Elphinstone scholarship, School of Social Sciences, University of Aberdeen