Regional fields

Eastern Europe

Thematic fields

ethics, social change, economic anthropology, urban anthropology, post-socialism, social science methodologies


Romania, Moldova, work, morality, citizenship, migration

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After studying the philosophy of social sciences at the University of Paris IV-Sorbonne and earning a PhD in social anthropology from the University of Cambridge (2002), Monica Heintz was a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle, Germany, before joining the University of Paris West Nanterre La Défense and the LESC in 2005. Since 2009 she has been a junior member of the Institut universitaire de France.

Her research examines the epistemological foundations and research methods of so-called “moral” discourse and practices, through an ethnographic approach to research topics as diverse as work ethics in Romania (1998-2002), moral and religious education in the Republic of Moldova (2003-2007), the stigmatisation resulting from different forms of civic engagement in the case of temporary workers from Eastern Europe (head of the ECONET project “Stigmatisation and Migration” 2007-2009) and theatrical representations of evil in France (since 2009). These case studies led Monica Heintz to examine the premises of the development of an anthropology of moral values and to explore possibilities for an interdisciplinary approach to moral deviance (lies, desires) in collaboration with cognitive science specialists.

She is currently pursuing her interest in the history and philosophy of social anthropology by coordinating projects on European anthropological traditions and on the management of temporality in the “participant observation” method and in biographical stories.

Principal publications

  • 2009 ed., The anthropology of moralities (Oxford, Berghahn).
  • 2008 ed., Weak state, uncertain citizenship: Moldova (Berlin, Peter Lang).
  • 2007 ed., Stat slab, cetatenie incerta. Studii despre Republica Moldova (Bucureşti, Curtea Veche).
  • 2006, «Be European, recycle yourself»: the changing work ethic in Romania (Berlin, LIT Verlag) [Halle series in the anthropology of Eurasia, 12].
  • 2006 eds (with D. Kaneff), State borders and local boundaries: the case of Bessarabia [special issue], The Anthropology of East Europe Review, 24 (1): 6-65.
  • 2005, Etica muncii la românii de azi (Work Ethic in Contemporary Romania) (Bucureşti, Curtea Veche) [2nd edition 2006, «Romania Literara» first book award].


Publications available at the Éric-de-Dampierre library

Bibliography [english]

CV [english]

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Mis à jour le 16 January 2014

Maître de conférences, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, Département d’ethnologie, de préhistoire et d’ethnomusicologie
[Associate Professor/Senior Lecturer]