Institute News

Ioanida Costache Awarded 2019-2020 Breslauer, Rutman and Anderson Research Fellowship

Ioanida Costache, a PhD Candidate in Music at Stanford University, has been awarded the 2019-2020 Breslauer, Rutman and Anderson Research Fellowship at the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research. Costache will be in residence at the Center for one month in January 2020 to conduct research in the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive for her dissertation entitled “Sounding Romani Sonic-Subjectivity: Counterhistory, Identity Formation and Affect in Romanian-Roma Music.”

During her residence, Costache will use the Visual History Archive to unearth narratives and songs of Roma survivors of the Holocaust housed in the archive. Between 1942 and 1945, more than 25,000 Romanian Roma were deported from Romania, and only 11,000 of them survived. While many of them are memorialized through Romani songs, music also serves as a vehicle for transmitting histories and narratives that counter those propagated by Romanian officials at the time, highlighting the humanity of Romani subjects. In her research, Costache examines how music helps facilitate the cultivation and transmission of Romani memories of the Holocaust. She plans to complete a picture of Romani Roma experiences of genocide and their memories of it by consulting the rich Visual History Archive collection of Roma survivor testimonies, musical performances, photographs and artifacts.

Costache earned her BA in Music (magna cum laude) from Amherst College. Her thesis on Gustav Mahler’s musical ontology in Das Lied von der Erde won the Mishkin Prize for best senior thesis on a musical topic. Her work has recently been published in Critical Romani Studies, and she is the recipient of a number of fellowships and grants, including ASEEES Dissertation Research Grant and Fullbright U.S. Student Program Research Grant to Romania. 

The Breslauer, Rutman, and Anderson Research Fellowship is awarded annually to an outstanding advanced-standing Ph.D. candidate from any discipline for dissertation research focused on testimony from the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive and other unique USC research resources. The fellowship enables the recipient to spend one month in residence at the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research during the academic year and to deliver a public lecture about his or her research.