Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena

Professor Agnieszka Jagodzińska

Fellow Imre Kertész Kolleg Professor Agnieszka Jagodzińska

February - July 2019

Agnieszka Jagodzińska has been Deputy Director of Taube Department of Jewish Studies (The University of Wrocław) since 2016 and Assistant Professor there since 2007. Recently, she was Visitng Professor at the Chair of Polish History and Culture at Hebrew University in Jerusalem (2018) and a fellow at the Institute for the History of Polish Jewry at Tel Aviv University (2014, 2015). She received her habilitation in 2018 and her PhD in 2006 from the University of Wrocław. She also studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the University College of London. Agnieszka Jagodzińska has published extensively in Polish and English on various aspects of cultural history of Jews in Poland in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Research project at the Kolleg

Corsets and holy books. Advertisements in the Jewish press in the early 20th century

The project explores changing cultural and social norms of the East-European Jews analyzed through consumer culture. Consumers’ choices defined Jews culturally and socially no less than the language which they spoke, the political organizations to which they belonged or the religious traditions which they observed (or stopped observing). I intend to reconstruct these social and cultural norms through an analysis of advertisements and press announcements as displayed in three titles of the Jewish press in the beginning of the 20th century: „Izraelita” published in Polish, „Ha-Tsefira” in Hebrew and „Haynt” in Yiddish. Each of these periodicals was directed to a different sector of the Jewish community.

The questions posed by this project include: According to the advertisements, what were the standards of life to which Jews aspired? What can these aspirations tell us about them? Was there a universal paradigm of social respectability and attractiveness characteristic of the Jewish press across geographic, political, and cultural boundaries? How was this respectability and attractiveness constructed? How much were the Jewish press ads rooted in the standards of advertisement of the European non-Jewish press? How did the cultural and social standards of the various Jewish newspapers in Eastern Europe differ between themselves? How Jewish were these standards? What kind of changes of Jewish life are reflected in the press announcements? And last but not least, what are the value and limitations of press advertisements as a historical source?


Main areas of research

  • cultural history of Jews in Poland in the 19th and early 20th centuries
  • Jewish press and visual culture
  • acculturation and integration of Polish Jews
  • Jewish universalism
  • conversion and Christian missions to the Jews
  • Jewish ego-documents

Positions and memberships

  • Deputy Director of Taube Department of Jewish Studies, The University of Wrocław
  • Polish Association of Jewish Studies (member)
  • European Association of Jewish Studies (member)
  • „Studia Judaica” Journal of Polish Association of Jewish Studies (member of the Editorial Board)


Agnieszka Jagodzińska, „Duszozbawcy”? Misje i literatura Londyńskiego Towarzystwa Krzewienia Chrześcijaństwa wśród Żydów w latach 1809–1939 [Missions and literature of the London Society for Promoting Christianity among the Jews] (Kraków–Budapeszt: Wydawnictwo Austeria, 2017).

Agnieszka Jagodzińska,Pomiędzy. Akulturacja Żydów Warszawy w drugiej połowie XIX wieku  [In-between. Acculturation of Warsaw Jews in the second half of the 19th century] (Wrocław: Wydawnictwo UWr, 2008).


Edited volumes

Agnieszka Jagodzińska and Marcin Wodziński, eds, „Izraelita” 1866–1915. Wybór źródeł [Polish-Jewish weekly “Izraelita”. Critical edition of primary sources] (Kraków–Budapeszt: Wydawnictwo Austeria, 2015).

Agnieszka Jagodzińska, ed., Ludwik Zamenhof wobec „kwestii żydowskiej”. Wybór źródeł [Ludwik Zamenhof and the “Jewish question”. Critical edition of primary sources] Kraków–Budapeszt: Wydawnictwo Austeria, 2012).

Agnieszka Jagodzińska, ed., W poszukiwaniu religii doskonałej? Konwersja a Żydzi [Conversion and the Jews] (Wrocław: Wydawnictwo UWr, 2012).


Agnieszka Jagodzińska, ‘"For Zion’s Sake I Will Not Rest”. The London Society for Promoting Christianity among the Jews and its 19th-Century Missionary Periodicals’, Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture 82, no. 2 (2013): 381–387.

Agnieszka Jagodzińska,‘The London Society and its Missions to the Polish Jews, 1821–1855: The Gospel and Politics’, in The Politics of Nineteenth-Century Missionary Periodicals, edited by Felicity Jenszand Hanna Acke (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2013): 151–165.

Agnieszka Jagodzińska, ‘Overcoming the Signs of Other. Visual Acculturation in the Second Half of the 19th Century in the Kingdom of Poland’, Polin. Studies in Polish Jewry 24 (2012): 71–94.

Agnieszka Jagodzińska, ‘Kaddish for Angels. Re-inventing of Funeral Rituals and Cemetery Space in the 19th century Jewish Warsaw’, Jewish Cultural Studies 3 (2011): 265–289.

Agnieszka Jagodzińska, ‘Does History Have a Sex? On Gender, Sources and Jewish Acculturation in the Kingdom of Poland’, Gal-Ed 22 (2010): 67–87.

Agnieszka Jagodzińska,‘My Name, My Enemy: Progressive Jews and the Question of Name Changing in the Kingdom of Poland in the Second Half of the 19th Century, Jews in Russia and Eastern Europe no. 1 (2006): 31–59.

Agnieszka Jagodzińska, ‘The Importance of Being Beautiful. Warsaw Jews and Their Aesthetic Declarations in the Second Half of the 19th Century’, Pinkas. Annual of the Culture and History of East European Jewry 1 (2006): 76–96.



review of Ellie R. Schainker, Confessions of the Shtetl: Converts from Judaism in Imperial Russia 1817-1906 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2017) in Studia Judaica 20, no. 2 (2017): 398-403.

review of Yaacov Deutsch, Judaism in Christian Eyes. Ethnographic Descriptions of Jews and Judaism in Early Modern Europe (New York–Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), in Kwartalnik Historii Żydów no. 1 (2014): 257–260.

review of Paweł Maciejko, The Mixed Multitude. Jacob Frank and the Frankist Movement, 1755–1816 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011) in Studia Judaica 15, no. 1-2 (2012): 252–256.

review of Andreas Künzli, L.L. Zamenhof (18591917): Esperanto, Hillelismus (Homaranismus) und die „jüdische Fragein Ost- und Westeuropa(Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2011) in AJS Review 35, no. 2 (2011): 444–447.

review of Theodore R. Weeks, From Assimilation to Antisemitism. The “Jewish Question” in Poland, 1850–1914 (Northern Illinois: Northern Illinois University Press 2006), in East European Jewish Affairs 37, no. 2 (2007): 257–259.


The full list of publications can be found on the website of the University of Wrocław