Laura Demeter

Research Area 2, Research Area 4

Stay at EEGA: September 2019 – February 2020

Research project: Authoritarian Regimes and their Involvement in the Global Heritage Project during the Cold War

Dr. Laura Demeter’s current research focus is on cultural heritage preservation in authoritarian regimes. Her academic interest includes heritage preservation in state socialism, normative frameworks, mechanisms of heritage evaluation, and the role of international organisations. She holds a PhD in the field of Management and Development of Cultural Heritage, from the IMT School of Advanced Studies Lucca, in Italy (2017). Her dissertation Picking up the Pieces from the Communist Past: Transitional Heritage after 1989 in Germany and Romania discusses the heritage-making process in context of regime change, with a focus on communist regimes in Romania and Germany.
Until recently Laura held a research associate position at the IOS Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies in Regensburg (Germany) and University of Bucharest (Romania). She has previously collaborated with heritage organisations such as the Prince’s Regeneration Trust, in London and Transylvania Trust, in Cluj-Napoca. She has extensive experience as an independent expert for the evaluation of EU and CoE funded projects in culture, writing proposals for UNESCO World Heritage Sites nomination and project management assistance in the field of heritage preservation. She has published articles in international peer-reviewed journals such as International Journal of Heritage Studies, ICOM International Conference: Museums and Politics, book chapters and policy recommendations.

During her stay at EEGA, Laura prepares a grant application for a third-party funding of the project ‚Authoritarian Regimes and the Global Heritage Project during the Cold War’.
The proposed project aims to address the contribution of the socialist regimes prior to 1989 to shaping the global heritage project promoted by UNESCO and its advisory bodies. The transnational potential of the research will be explored by questioning, in addition to the European socialist countries, the contribution of the Asian and African socialist countries – to be defined – to the global heritage project.