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  • Virag Molnar

    Associate Professor of Sociology


    Office Location
    D - 6 East 16th Street

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    Virag Molnar


    Virág Molnár received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Princeton University and is currently Associate Professor of Sociology at the New School for Social Research. Her research explores the intersections of culture, politics, social change and knowledge production with special focus on urban culture and transformations of the built environment. She has written about the relationship between architecture and state formation in socialist and postsocialist Eastern Europe, the post-1989 reconstruction of Berlin, and the new housing landscape of postsocialist cities.

    Her book, Building the State: Architecture, Politics and State Formation in Postwar Central Europe, has been published by Routledge and received the Mary Douglas Prize for the Best Book in the Sociology of Culture from the American Sociological Association in 2014. Her work has also appeared in the American Sociological Review, Annual Review of Sociology, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, and Urban Studies. She has been a visiting fellow at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies and the Department of Sociology at Harvard University and at the Humboldt University in Berlin. Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and by a Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship.

    She is currently examining the impact of new communications technologies on the urban public sphere through a comparative study of the street art scene in New York, Berlin and Budapest; the politics of urban rodent control; and the rise of radical populism in contemporary Hungary.

    CV, 2015

    Degrees Held

    PhD 2005, Princeton University

    Recent Publications


    2013 - Building the State: Architecture, Politics and State Formation in Postwar Central Europe. Architext Series. Abingdon, UK and New York: Routledge

    • Mary Douglas Prize for Best Book in the Sociology of Culture, American Sociological Association, 2014 

    Book chapters and peer-reviewed journal articles:

    2017 - “Street Art and the Changing Urban Public Sphere” Public Culture 29 (2): 385-414.

    2017 - “Review of David Halle and Elizabeth Tiso, New York’s New Edge: Contemporary Art, the High Line, and Urban Megaprojects on the Far West Side.” Contemporary Sociology 46(1):78-80

    2017 - “The Mythical Power of Everyday Objects: the Material Culture of Radical Nationalism in Postsocialist Hungary” pp.147-170 in National Matters: Materiality, Culture, and Nationalism, edited by Geneviève Zubrzycki Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press

    2016 - "The Power of Things: Material Culture as Political Resource." Qualitative Sociology, 39 (2): 205-210

    2016 - "Civil Society, Radicalism and the Rediscovery of Mythic Nationalism.” Nations and Nationalism, 22 (1): 165-185

    2014 - "Reframing Public Space Through Digital Mobilization: Flash Mobs and Contemporary Urban Youth Culture.” Space and Culture, 17 (1): 43-58

    2012 - “Collective Memory Meets Organizational Identity: Remembering to Forget in a Firm’s Rhetorical History.” Academy of Management Journal 55 (3): 515-540 (with Michel Anteby)

    2010 -  “The Cultural Production of Locality: Reclaiming the ‘European City’ in Post-Wall Berlin.” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 34 (2): 281-309

    Performances and Appearances

    Recent talks:

    "The Toolkit of Nationalist Populism in Contemporary Hungary: Symbols, Objects, and New Media", Council for European Studies Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, April 14-16, 2016

    “The Symbolic Economies of Postsocialist Nationalism”, Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, November 4, 2015

    Research Interests

    Urban sociology, comparative historical sociology, sociology of culture and knowledge, economic sociology, political sociology, Eastern Europe

    Awards And Honors

    American Academy in Berlin, 2017

    ACLS Fellowship, 2016

    Mary Douglas Prize for Best Book, Sociology of Culture Section, American Sociological Association, 2014

    EURIAS Junior Fellowship to the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study, Wassenaar, 2012

    Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship for Experienced Researchers, 2011

    ASA/NSF Fund for the Advancement of the Discipline Award, "The Great Budapest Rat Massacre: A Case Study in Urban Public Health", 2007 

    Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship, 2006

    Current Courses

    Fund. of Urban Sociology
    GSOC 6226, Fall 2022

    Ind Senior Project
    LSOC 4990, Fall 2022

    Independent Study
    LSOC 3950, Fall 2022

    Independent Study
    GSOC 6990, Fall 2022

    Urban Sociology
    LSOC 2850, Fall 2022

    Future Courses

    Independent Study
    LSOC 3950, Spring 2023

    Independent Study
    GSOC 6990, Spring 2023

    Past Courses

    Independent Study
    LSOC 3950, Spring 2022

    Independent Study
    GSOC 6990, Spring 2022

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