2008–09 Yetta and Jacob Gelman Fellow Ms. Cristina Bejan
Cristina Bejan received an M.A. in modern history from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom and a B.A. cum laude in philosophy from Northwestern University. During her fellowship at the Museum she was a Ph.D. candidate in modern history at the University of Oxford. For her Yetta and Jacob Gelman Fellowship on the Holocaust in Romania, Ms. Bejan conducted research for her dissertation project, “The Appeal of Fascism to the Young Generation of Interwar Romania.”
Ms. Bejan is the recipient of several awards and fellowships, including a 2007-2008 Fulbright Scholarship to Romania where she was a visiting Ph.D. student at the University of Bucharest, a Rhodes Scholarship from 2004 to 2007 at the University of Oxford, and a Romanian Cultural Institute Grant for Foreign Researchers. Ms. Bejan is the author of several articles including “The Paradox of the Young Generation in Interwar Romania” in SLOVO Journal of Russian, Eurasian and East European Affairs (2006) and “A Kantian Proposal for Newly Free Romania” in International Review: Revue de sciences politiques, University of Craiova, Romania (2005). She has presented her research at numerous international conferences and is an active member of the Romanian-Moldovan Studies Graduate Research Group based at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London. In addition to English, Ms. Bejan is fluent in German and Romanian and has additional skills in French, Hungarian, and Russian.
During her tenure at the Center, Ms. Bejan explored the activities and ideological transformation of a group of Romanian intellectuals (known as the “Young Generation” or “Generation 1927”) in 1930s Bucharest. From various ethnic and religious backgrounds, the members of this elite group of friends were educated abroad and claimed to be “universal men” and philosophers, but by 1934 many started to become vocal sympathizers of the fascist Iron Guard. Ms. Bejan compared the diverse paths taken by these Romanians before, during and after they chose between a spiritual and political path of terror and a strictly academic or artistic path to cultural greatness. Ms. Bejan worked closely with the Museum’s files on the Romanian Ministry of the Interior and works written by Radu Ioanid, Zigu Ornea, and Leon Volovici, among others. She also utilized the Museum’s secondary sources and other archival collections, as well as holdings at the Library of Congress.