Alexandra Gruian

Alexandra Gruian

Profile

Previous studies:

2012-2014 - M.A. in Gender Studies, National University of Political Science and Administrative Studies;

2009-2012 – B.A. in Communication and Public Relations, National University of Political Science and Administrative Studies;

Previous activities:

2014 – present: Vicepresident of Filia Center for Curricular Development and Gender Studies – NGO (Centrul Filia pentru Dezvoltare Curriculara si Studii de Gen);

2013 – present: Contributor for Strada FM online magazine, held by The Romanian Group for the Defence of Human Rights – NGO (Grupul Român pentru Ap?rarea Drepturilor Omului);

2012 - 2014: Communication Manager for Opera Nights Festival, a DevART Cultural Association Production.

What motivated me to undertake PhD study?

After entering the realm of gender studies, my whole approach to academic activity changed: it was much more than a passion, it became part of my identity, a new way of seeing and knowing the world. I wanted to enhance the possibilities that were thus opened to me, so I applied for a PhD program that would allow me to further my knowledge in one of the domains of gender studies that had caught most of my attention: sexuality and reproduction. I do not see the work I do now only professionally, but also as part of my becoming an intellectually and spiritually enriched human being

What makes me passionate about my subject?

I believe sexuality and reproduction have been at the basis of human organisation, socially, politically, culturally. Talking about these issues opens up extremely diverse areas of inquiry, from personal identity to global reproductive markets. It is about talking with and about persons, as well as observing the big picture of structural arrangements. As sexuality and reproduction have been some of the most regulated behaviours in societies, the dynamics in their understanding and acceptance unravels some of individuals’ and societies’ most intimate undepinnings.

What are my plans once I have completed my PhD?

I hope my PhD will be my first step into a researching career, in an academic environment or in other organisations tackling my areas of focus: sexuality and reproduction.

Research interests

This research focuses on ova flows in Romania, a country that has become renowned in scholarly literature for its many ova providers. Many academics refer to ova flows as ova donation or trafficking, however this distinction is too clear-cut and needs nuancing. I intend to investigate the stages of ova movement – from women’s bodies to research laboratories and IVF clinics – as well as how different parties involved construct it as legitimate or illegitimate. I am also interested in bringing the women providing ova to the forefront, giving them the chance to express the ways in which they understand ova movement and its empowering potential. In the end, my research will bring light into the complex ways in which market, state and personal interests intersect and shape human tissue movements, as well as the less visible ways in which donation and commercialization are articulated in a post-communist context.