Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena

Dr Joanna Wawrzyniak

Fellow Joanna Wawrzyniak

Leutragraben 1 | 07743 Jena
Fon + 49 (0) 3641 9 440 54
Mail wawrzyniakj(at)

Joanna Wawrzyniak has been an assistant professor at the Institute of Sociology of the University of Warsaw since 2008. Wawrzyniak received there her PhD in sociology in 2007. She also holds MA degrees in history from the University of Warsaw and political sciences from Central European University in Budapest. She has published extensively on collective and individual memory and social history in Poland. Currently, she a leader of Work Package on City Museums and Multiple Colonial Pasts within the frames of the ECHOES project funded by H2020 and of two national research grants on transformation of work and on history of sociology in Poland, funded by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education. She was a visiting fellow in number of international institutions including the New School for Social Research, the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies, the Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena, and the Herder Institute in Marburg.

Research project at the Kolleg

From 'Protracted Transition' to 'Negotiated Colonization': Remembering (Post)Socialist Industry in Poland

My project reconstructs bottom-top perspectives on changing work relations in Poland and contextualizes them in transnational history. In particular, it asks how the taking over of state-owned-enterprises by transnational corporations affected lives, worldviews, and memories of (post)socialist workforce. At the same time, it puts forward the post-socialist zone as a case study in moral economy within globalizing industry. The sources include over 130 narrative biographical interviews with employees of twelve flagship Polish socialist enterprises acquired by foreign capital in the 1990s. The project outcomes are planned as an edited collection of interviews, a monograph and journal articles. At the Kolleg, I concentrate on reviewing the recent literature and formulating the frame of the monograph.

Main areas of research

  • collective memory and public history
  • biographical memory and oral history
  • sociology and history of work and organizations
  • intellectual history

Positions and memberships

  • International Sociological Association (member of research committees on History of Sociology and Sociology of Work)
  • Memory Studies Association (member of Advisory Board)
  • Polish Oral History Association (member)
  • Polish Sociological Association (member)
  • External Examiner for European Studies and International Studies at Aarhus University Member of Management Committee of COST Action New Exploratory Phase in Research on East European Cultures of Dissent
  • Member of editorial boards of Acta Poloniae Historica and Stan Rzeczy
  • Conceptual co-coordinator of Genealogies of Memory in Central and Eastern Europe at European Network Remembrance and Solidarity


Z. Bogumił, J. Wawrzyniak, T. Buchen, and C. Ganzer, Enemy on Display: The Second World War in Eastern European Museums (New York-Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2015 [2017PB]).

J. Wawrzyniak, ZBoWiD i pamięć drugiej wojny światowej: 1949-1969 (Warszawa: Trio, 2009). Revised edition in English as: J. Wawrzyniak, Veterans, Victims, and Memory: The Politics of the Second World War in Communist Poland, transl. by Simon Lewis (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang Edition, 2015).

J. Wawrzyniak [Kochanowicz], Związek Młodzieży Polskiej w terenie. Stalinowska próba modernizacji opornej rzeczywistości (Warszawa: Trio, 2000).

Edited volumes

M. Pakier and J. Wawrzyniak (eds), Memory and Change in Europe: Eastern Perspectives, co-edited with M. Pakier, with foreword by J. K. Olick (New York-Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2016 [2018PB]), pp. 373.

K. Kończal and J. Wawrzyniak (eds), Pojęcia: Wędrowcy i Włóczędzy. Special issue of Stan Rzeczy 10, 1 (2016), pp. 492.

K. Kończal and J. Wawrzyniak (eds), Stefan Czarnowski. Listy do Henri Huberta i Marcela Maussa (1905-1937)/Lettres à Henri Hubert et à Marcel Mauss (1905-1937), transl. by F. Rogalski and D. Thiriet (Warszawa: Oficyna Naukowa, 2015), pp. 442.

J. Wawrzyniak and M. Pakier (eds), 'Memory Studies in Eastern Europe: Key Issues and Future Perspectives'-special issue of Polish Sociological Review 183, 3 (2013).

A. Grupińska and J. Wawrzyniak, Buntownicy. Polskie lata 70. i 80 (Warszawa: Świat Książki, 2011), pp. 519.

M. Bucholc, S. Mandes, T. Szawiel and J. Wawrzyniak (eds), Polska po 20 latach wolności (Warszawa: WUW, 2009), pp. 605.


F. Laczó and J. Wawrzyniak, 'Memories of 1989 in Europe between Hope, Dismay, and Neglect'. East European Politics, Societies and Cultures 31, 3 (2017). Introduction to special section of EEPS co-edited with F. Laczó.

K. Kończal and J. Wawrzyniak, 'Provincializing Memory Studies: Polish Approaches into Past and Present'. Memory Studies. First published date: January-25-2017. doi: 10.1177/1750698016688238.

M. Jastrząb and J. Wawrzyniak, 'On Two Modernities of the Polish Automotive Industry: The Case of Fabryka Samochodów Osobowych and Its Staff (1948-2011)', Acta Poloniae Historica 115 (on Multiple Modernities of State Socialism) (2017): 37-70.

K. Mikołajewska-Zając and J. Wawrzyniak, 'Nostalgia jako narzędzie krytyki transformacji: Mit dobrego właściciela w opowieściach pracowników fabrycznych' [Nostalgia as a Tool for Criticism of Economic Transformation: Myth of Benevolent Owner in Workers' Life Stories]. Przegląd Socjologii Jakościowej 12, 2 (2016): 36-54.

J. Wawrzyniak, 'History and Memory: The Social Frames of Contemporary Polish Historiography'. Acta Poloniae Historica 103 (2011): 127-146.

D. Thiriet and J. Wawrzyniak, 'Stefan Czarnowski. L'héritage polonaise d'Henri Hubert'. In: L. Olivier (ed.), La mémoire et le temps. L'oeuvre transdisciplinaire d'Henri Hubert (1872-1927) (Paris: Démopolis, 2018).

J. Wawrzyniak 'Über den Zusammenhang von Gedächtnis und soziologischer Vorstellungskraft', transl. By P. O. Loew. In: H. H. Hahn, R. Traba, M. Górny and K. Kończal (eds), Deutsch-polnische Erinnerungsorte (vol. 4) (Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöning, 2013).


Review of Gerd Sebald and Jatin Wagle (eds), Theorizing Social Memories: Concepts and Contexts (Abingdon-New York: Routledge, 2016), Memory Studies (2017).

Review of Kinga Pozniak, Nowa Huta: Generations of Change in a Model Socialist Town (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2014), Slavic Review (2016).

Review of Alexander Etkind, Rory Finnin et al, Remembering Katyn (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2012), Stan Rzeczy 5 (2013).

Review of Machteld Venken, Straddling the Iron Curtain: Immigrants, Immigrant Organisations, War Memories (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang Verlag, 2011), Acta Poloniae Historica 106 (2012).

Review of Polish edition of Tom Segev, Seventh million, transl. B. Gadomska (Warszawa: PWN 2012), Zagłada Żydów. Studia i Materiały 8 (2012).

Joint review of Philipp Ther, Die dunkle Seite der Nationalstaaten. Ethnische Säuberungen im modern Europa, Göttingen 2011 (Polish edition 2012, trans. T. Gabiś); Timothy Snyder, Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin, New York 2010 (Polish edition 2011, trans. B. Pietrzyk); and Marcin Zaremba, Wielka trwoga. Polska 1944-1947. Ludowa reakcja na kryzys, Kraków 2012, Roczniki Dziejów Społecznych i Gospodarczych 72 (2012).