If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile

Curriculum vitae

Dr Costanza Curro

Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki

Unioninkatu 33

00170 Helsinki, Finland





Research interests

Post-socialist space; Georgia; Prison; Personhood; Ethnicity; Masculinity; Informal practices; Social anthropology



September 2011 - January 2017: PhD in Social Anthropology. Thesis title: From Tradition to Civility: Georgian Hospitality after the Rose Revolution (2003-2012), School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London (SSEES-UCL).

September 2010 - September 2011: MA in Politics, Security and Integration, SSEES-UCL, London.

October 2006 - June 2009:  Postgraduate degree in European, American and Post-colonial Languages and Literatures - Russian Language and Culture. Ca’ Foscari University, Venice, Italy.

October 2001 - September 2006: Undergraduate degree in Russian and French Language and Literature. Universita’ degli Studi di Genova, Genoa, Italy.


Work Experience:

September 2019-now: Postdoctoral researcher, GulagEchoes Project, Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki, Finland. 

August 2017-July 2019: Researcher, The Legal 500, Legalease, London.

February 2018-October 2018: Maternity leave

February 2015-July 2017: Project coordinator and Research assistant, Global Encyclopaedia of Informality – Global Informality Project, edited by Professor A. Ledeneva and International Board, School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London (SSEES-UCL), London, http://in-formality.com

October 2013-March 2017: Postgraduate Teaching Assistant, SSEES-UCL.


Higher Education Experience:

May 2014-October 2016:Initiator and co-organiser of the UCL-based multidisciplinary project Platform Ukraine.

February 2011 – February 2013: Copy-editor and Research assistant in the publication of:  Ledeneva, A. (2013). Can Russia Modernise? Sistema, Power Networks, and Informal Governance; Ledeneva, A. (2011), ‘Telephone Justice in Russia: An Update’.

October 2008 - October 2009:  Research at the Historical Records Office in Tbilisi, Georgia. Central’nyj Gosudarstvennyj Istoričeskij Archiv Gruzii (CGIAG), 0108 Tbilisi, Georgia.

March 2008 - June 2008: Student exchange between Ca’ Foscari University, Venice, and Ivane Javakhishvili State University (TSU), Tbilisi, Georgia.


Scholarly Publications: 

2020 (accepted – under review). ‘Changing everything fast? Young men’s im-mobility in the streets of Tbilisi’, in Duijzings, G. and Tuvikene, T. (eds) Post-Socialist Streets: Vehicles, Movements and Frictions. Oxford, New York: Berghahn.

2020. ‘Excessive hospitality: Personhood, moral boundaries and domination around the Georgian table’. Journal of Consumer Culture. https://doi.org/10.1177/1469540519891278

2019. ‘Between the public and the private: Socialism, capitalism and street socialisation in Georgia’, in Duncan, P. and Schimpfoessl, E. (eds) Socialism, Capitalism and Alternatives: Critical Area Studies and Global Theories. London: UCL Press: 66-85.

2019. ‘“Supra is not for women”: Gender and social change through patterns of hospitality’, in Ziemer, U. (ed.) Through War and Peace: Women’s Everyday Life and Politics in the South Caucasus. London: Palgrave Macmillan: 43-70.

2018. ‘Birzha’, in Ledeneva, A. (ed.), Global Encyclopaedia of Informality. London: UCL Press.

2018. ‘Telephone Justice’ (with A. Ledeneva and R. Simic-Banovic), in Ledeneva, A. (ed.), Global Encyclopaedia of Informality. London: UCL Press.

2017. ‘From goods to emotions: The transformation of informal practices in the Republic of Georgia’, in Horodnic, I., Rodgers, P., William, C. and Momtazian, L. (eds) The informal economy: Exploring drivers and practices. London: Routledge.

2017. ‘A critical assessment of informal practices as resistance: The case of birzha in Georgia’, Caucasus Survey, 5 (1): 65-84.

2015.Davabirzhaot! Conflicting claims on public space in Tbilisi between transparency and opaqueness’, International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 35(7/8): 497-512.

2014. ‘A “Gift from God”? Georgian hospitality between tradition and pragmatism’, Hospitality & Society, 4(3), 293-310.

2012. ‘National gender norms and transnational identities: Migration experiences of Georgian women in London’, Slovo, 24(2): 114-131.


Other publications:

2016. "Hospitality Bricolage in Times of Change", in Martínez, F. and Agu, M. (eds.) Aesthetics of Repair in Contemporary Georgia. Tartu: Tartu Art Museum.

2015. [Book review] Caldwell, M. L., Klein, J. A. and Jung, Y. (eds.) 2014. Ethical Eating in the Postsocialist and Socialist Word. Oakland: University of California Press. 232 pp. AllegraLab, http://allegralaboratory.net/special-review-ethical-eating-in-the-postsocialist-and-socialist-world-part-3-of-3/

2015. [Book review] Black. R. E. 2012. Porta Palazzo: The Anthropology of an Italian Market. University of Pennsylvania Press, 232 pp. AllegraLab, http://allegralaboratory.net/special-review-section-rachel-black-porta-palazzo-1/



Awards, Honours, and Fellowships:

SSEES Excellence Scholarship: March 2015

UCL Graduate School and SSEES Research Project Fund: November 2012 to March 2017 (fieldwork, conferences, research expenses, external training)

Funds for Women Graduate: July 2012:

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Scholarship: September 2012 to September 2015



Selected Conference Papers and Workshop Presentations:

5 June 2019: Hegemony and care: narratives and practices of masculinity in Georgia, PostPatriarchal Masculinities Conference 2019, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London, UK.

8-10 November 2018: Mobilities and masculinities in the streets of Tbilisi: Negotiating exclusion, risk and personal advancement, Marshrutka Project’s Final Conference “Spatial dynamics of informal and shared mobilities”, Technical University of Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

19 June 2017: Georgian masculinities: Between display and intimacy,Workshop “Beyond Putin: Masculinity in Russia, Eastern Europe and the Caucasus”, University of Bristol, UK.

06 March 2017: A Gift from God? The ambivalence of Georgian hospitality, Invited lecturer at Prof. Ledeneva’s seminars on Informal Practices in Communist and Post-Communist Societies, UCL, London, UK.

6-8 October 2016: Changing Everything Fast? Immobility in the Streets of Tbilisi, International Workshop “The Postsocialist Street: Raising Car Mobility in Comparative Perspectives”, Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies, University of Regensburg, Germany.

2-4 September 2016: The Georgian birzha as an informal economic practice, Marie Curie IAPP Summer School for Shadow Economies in Europe and Beyond: Debating the Causes and Impacts of the Informal Economies, Sofia, Bulgaria.

24 June 2016: ‘Supra is not for women’: Gender and Social Change in Georgia through Patterns of Hospitality, Workshop “Ordinary Times? Everyday Lives and Social Dynamism in the South Caucasus”, University of Winchester, UK.

14-16 December 2015: Between transparency and opaqueness: Birzha in post-revolutionary Georgia (2003-2012), SSEES Centenary Conference “Socialism, Capitalism, and the Alternatives: Lessons from Russia and Eastern Europe”, UCL, London, UK.

4-5 September 2015: Conflicts over Public Space in Tbilisi, 4th ASCN Annual Conference “Protest, Modernisation, Democratisation: Political and Social Dynamics in Post-Soviet Countries”, Ilia State University, Tbilisi, Georgia.

6-7 June 2015: Russia get out! Georgian voices on Ukraine, Platform Ukraine International Conference, SSEES-UCL, London, UK.

9-10 October 2014: Tasty and Healthy: Food Patterns in Tbilisi, Workshop “Consumption and Economic Crises: Postsocialist Experiences”, National Research University, Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia.

15-18 June 2014: Everyday Informal Exchange in Georgia, RSA European Conference “Diverse Regions: Building Resilient Communities and Territories”, Dokuz Eylul University, Izmir, Turkey.

21-23 November 2013: Formal informality? The ambivalences of Georgian hospitality, 2nd ASCN Annual Conference “Informal Practices and Structures in Eastern Europe and Central Asia”, University of Fribourg, Fribourg, Switzerland.



Italian: Native speaker

English: Fluent

Russian: Excellent speaking and comprehension of written texts

Georgian: Very good speaking; good comprehension of written texts

French: Good speaking; very good comprehension of written texts

Czech: Good speaking; good comprehension of written texts




Education/Academic qualification

Social anthropology, PhD, UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies

Award Date: 1 Jun 2017

Political sociology, MA, UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies

Award Date: 1 Sep 2011

Russian Language and Culture, MA, Università di Venezia Ca' Foscari

Award Date: 1 Jun 2009

Foreign Languages and Literatures (Russian and French), BA, Università degli Studi di Genova

Award Date: 1 Sep 2006

Fields of Science

  • 6160 Other humanities
  • Russian and Eurasian Studies
  • 5143 Social and cultural anthropology
  • Identity and belonging
  • Personhood
  • Masculinity
  • Informal practices
  • Gift and exchange
  • Georgia
  • Caucasus
  • Hospitality
  • 519 Social and economic geography
  • Carceral geography
  • Post-socialist space
  • Urban Studies
  • Mobility
  • Neoliberalism
  • Ethnicity
  • 513 Law
  • Prison sociology
  • Council of Europe
  • Prison reforms

International and National Collaboration

Publications and projects within past five years.