Luminita-Anda Mandache

About Luminita-Anda Mandache

I was born in a little town at the Romanian border with Bulgaria, on the coast of the Black Sea. This is where I attended high school before going to Bucharest to continue my studies with a BA in Communications and Public Relations.  I then worked for one year as a journalist specialized in education and the NGO sector and started an MA which was supposed to respond to my curiosity of the study of image. How much of an image do we really read by a simple look? But nor journalism, nor the image theory were to give me an answer. So I considered anthropology as an option. Once I started the MA in Anthropology at Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium), identities, gifts, exchange replaced the Image I was looking for. Convinced that the Europeans where “individualistic” and the Latin Americans were not (as my short experience as an Erasmus exchange student in Germany thought me), I wrote a research proposal on a tangential topic, obtained a research grant from the Belgian Cooperation Universitaire pour le Development and went to search the reality of things, by myself, in Santiago de Chile. The six months spent in Chile brought me the deep conviction that anthropology and Latin America are what really make me happy. I spent six months trying to understand the hidden logic of Santiago’s biggest and oldest marketplace and I finally discovered my way. I am now on the same road, which will hopefully lead me to the feeling that I am useful through applied anthropology and that all emotional and material investment in my education until now will not have a selfish finality. 

Selected Publications

Mandache L., 2014, Book review “Dance lest we all fall down: breaking cycles of poverty in Brazil and beyond (second edition), Margaret Wilson”, Transforming Anthropology, Volume 22, Issue 22

Mandache L., Mihailescu M., and Chatziaristerideou M., 2012, “A glocal testament: the case of the Rizario Foundation,” Anthropology, Ethnography and Comparative Folklore in the Balkans, Vol. 3.

In the media: Articles in Old Dilemma (Romanian weekly journal of culture – ro. Dilema Veche), Critic Atac (Romania),Partenaire Villages Roumains (Belgium) and Revue Projet (in print, France)

Courses Taught

Fall 2014: Teaching Assistant, Associate 1 Course ANTH160- section E: Patterns in Prehistory (Prof. Daniela Triadan)

Spring 2014: Teaching Assistant, Associate I Course ANTH150B1-section E: Many ways of being human (Prof. Susan Shaw); Teaching Assistant, Associate I Course ANTH331: Development Anthropology (Prof. Timothy Finan)

Fall 2013: Teaching Assistant, Associate I Course ANTH150B1-section 001D: Many ways of being human (Prof. Thomas Park)

Spring 2013: Teaching Assistant, Associate I Course CLAS329: Art History of the Cinema (Prof. David Soren)

Fall 2012: Teaching Assistant, Associate I Course ANTH310: Culture and the Individual (Prof. Mark Nichter)

Areas of Study

Latin America (Brazil), Europe


Fall 2013


Jun-Jul 2013


Sept 2010–Feb 2011

Research Assistant, BARA; Research topics: poverty, violence, Northeastern Brazil, social inclusion policies; Project coordinator: Prof. Timothy Finan, Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology, University of Arizona

Pre-thesis Fieldwork on the fishing colony of Raposa, Maranhão State and Banco de Palmas - the social currency bank of Palmas, Fortaleza, Céara State, Brazil

MA Thesis Fieldwork: “Un mundo sin máscaras y sin cuestionamientos. A microsocial ethnography of the marketplace La Vega Cental de Santiago,” Santiago de Chile. Keywords: Chile, marketplace, informal work, local economy

Jul–Aug 2010

Research project “A glocal testament or about the co-existence of Pre-Modernity, Modernity and Post-Modernity in Monodendri in the year of 2010,” The Rizario Foundation Case for the 5th Konista International Summer School, Anthropology, Ethnography and Comparative Folklore in the Balkans, Konitsa

Keywords: modernity, post-modernity, local-global, globalization, Greece

May 2010

Research project “For all the gold in the world” in the Romanian mining village Rosia Montana, Université Catholique de Louvain and West University of Timisoara. Keywords : environment, nature, mine, natural heritage

Result: the documentary movie We are here – Nous sommes ici (selected for the 2011 Documentary Film Festival Humains en Sociétés,Belgium) 


Research Interests

Economic antropology, local (community) currencies, alternative economies, development


Dr. Timothy Finan

Dr. James Greenberg

Dr. Mamadou Baro

Luminita-Anda Mandache's picture


M.A. in Anthropology, University of Louvain, Belgium

B.A. in Communication and Public Relations, National School of Political and Administrative Studies, Bucharest, Romania