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65 5th Ave, Room 411
New York, NY, 10003
United States

Funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Graduate Institute for Design, Ethnography & Social Thought at the New School incubates advanced transdisciplinary research and practice at the intersection of social theory and design and fosters dialogue on related themes across the university.


Virag Molnar

Virag Molnar is Associate Professor of Sociology at The New School for Social Research. Her research explores the intersections of culture, politics, and social change in Europe, with a special focus on urban culture, the built environment, new communications technologies, and the material culture of radical nationalism.

VIRAG MOLNAR received her Ph.D. from Princeton University and is currently Associate Professor of Sociology at the New School for Social Research. She has written extensively about the relationship between architecture and state formation in socialist and postsocialist Eastern Europe, the post-1989 reconstruction of Berlin, the new housing landscape of postsocialist cities, and the street art scene in New York, Berlin and Budapest.

Virag’s book Building the State Architecture, Politics, and State Formation in Postwar Central Europe (Routledge, 2013) received the 2014 Mary Douglas Prize from the American Sociological Association. 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 at Harvard University and the Humboldt Universität in Berlin. Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the American Academy in Berlin, among others.

At GIDEST, Virag will be exploring the role of material culture in the recent rise of nationalist populism, using Hungary as a case study. She maps the relationship between markets and new forms of nationalism by looking at the manufacturing, product design, and branding of radical nationalist commodities and services in fields including fashion design, heritage tourism, and book publishing.