26th ENCATC Congress

Bucharest, Romania

Vintilă Mihăilescu

Head of the Sociology Department at the Political Sciences Faculty, National School of Political Science and Public Administration and Member in the Scientific Council at INCFC, Romania

In 1974 he graduated from the University of Bucharest with a master's degree in psychology. Between 1974 and 1978 he worked as a researcher at the National Institute of Gerontology. Between 1979 and 1991 he was a researcher at the Center for Anthropological Researches of the Romanian Academy, where he eventually headed the department of cultural anthropology. In 1991 he became a lecturer at the Faculty of Sociology, Psychology and Pedagogy of the University of Bucharest. He obtained a six-month grant from the "Mission du Patrimoine Ethnologique de France", and he was the founding director of the Social Observatory of the Bucharest University. In 1993, he earned a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Bucharest.

Since 1995, Mihăilescu has held a chair as a professor in the department of sociology. In 1997 he became head of the master program in anthropology at Bucharest University, Director of the Bucharest Rural Observatory, PHARE Rural Development Project, and director of a World Bank/CNCSU project on community development. Since 1998 he regularly writes for the cultural weekly magazine Dilema, and in 2000 he became full professor at the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration. He is head of the master program in anthropology at National University of Political Studies and Public Administration. In 2005, he became the Director of the Museum of the Romanian Peasant.

Mihăilescu is considered a leading cultural anthropologist in Romania. His major anthropological work was presented in Fascinaţia Diferenţei (The Fascination of Difference), which is a synthesis of more than 20 years of practical research in a Romanian village. The book is a testimony of the efforts of conserving and saving the rural tradition of the Romanian village, preventing it from losing its identity, and it also offers many tools for anthropological understanding and research.