The article maps Romania’s involvement with the International Theatre Institute during its first decade of membership. The argument revolves around a number of East–West convergence high points such as the 1959 Helsinki Congress or the 1964 Bucharest Symposium. It analyzes the connections developed by Romanian theatre specialists within the framework provided by iti, the specialized networks they helped create and the domestic impact of these interactions. The article examines the multifaceted Romanian involvement with these projects in national and international context. It begins in 1956, Romania’s first participation at the Dramatic Art Festival in Paris, the forerunner of iti’s Theatre of Nations Festival. It closes the arc of the story with the 1969 international symposium on training young theatre directors. The article shows that soon after joining iti ranks, Romanian theatre artist were propelled into the international limelight and were recognized by their Western peers. It advances the idea that East European theatre practitioners had a role in shaping their respective community of knowledge as much as their Western counterparts did.
State socialist experts were at the center of Eastern Europe’s internationalization from the mid-1950s until 1989. They acted as intermediaries between their states and other national, regional, and international environments. The contributions integrate national milieus within broader frameworks mostly circumscribed by inter- and nongovernmental specialized organizations (the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe; the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization; International Theater Institute, or the un Commission on Population and Development). The issue is an innovative initiative to identify within four fields (economy, demography, theatre, and historical studies) state socialist experts’ contributions to international debates and institution building. We argue that these groups were fundamentally characterized by their transnational dynamism. The resultant forms of mobility and transfer resituate specific systems of knowledge production from Eastern Europe within the larger story of postwar globalization. The collection also includes an anthropological study about the internationalization trajectories of lower-ranked professionals and the resilience of their expertise ethics after 1989. Socialist experts’ mobilities can be circumscribed at the intersection of multiple phenomena that defined the postwar: national settings’ impact on inter- and supra-state interactions; Cold War politics; the tribulations of international organizations; and global trends determined by the accelerating interconnectedness of the world and decolonization. Our findings de-center established narratives about the Cold War and they show how representatives from the East participated in and sometimes determined the conditions of Europeanizing and globalizing trends in their respective fields within particular organizations.