Historia Universitatis Iassiensis 11, 105–124

Petronela Podovei | Academic Dialogue in the World of Monologue. The Scientific Correspondence of the Anthropologist Olga Necrasov

Abstract. The academic school of Iași is related to names that contributed signifi¬cantly to the development of science in our country, regardless of the political or social changes that the University went through. Olga Necrasov falls in this category. She was the specialist who developed and elevated Romanian anthro¬pology to the standards of the great European anthropology schools. Her academic portrait, teaching, and research activity are the subject of the present paper that focuses on the relation with foreign academia in a period in which the cultural activity was on close surveillance. Olga Necrasov had a rich collaboration with academics from communist Europe and beyond, as, for example, the one with Ilse Schwidetzky from the Federal Republic of Germany, with whom she established a connection before the establishment of the communist regime. Although Olga Necrasov’s studies bear the mark of German anthropology, through the focus on the morphological description of society, the two didn’t work together to develop a study, as was the case with other foreign researchers. Although her professional ascension was based on scientific merits, it was rather fulminant for the period. Responsible for the diffusion of the soviet scientific press and graduate of several “party schools”, Necrasov was promoted from Associate Professor to Professor in only two years (1957-1959), in a spe¬cialization that posed numerous issues of ideological fidelity. Professor Necrasov studied anthropology by following the model of the first German and French schools, which focused on physical anthropology. The soviet approach, that opposed interdisciplinary studies, adopted by Necrasov, did not have a true echo in her studies. In this context, two legitimate questions arise: was Olga Necrasov a sympathizer of the regime? Or the Communist Party was just an instrument Olga Necrasov used for social ascension?