Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena

Dr Joanna Wawrzyniak

Fellow Joanna Wawrzyniak

September 2013 - August 2014
Mail: wawrzyniakj(at)

Joanna Wawrzyniak has been a fellow at the Kolleg from September 2013 until August 2014. Since 2008 she has been assistant professor at the Institute of Sociology, University of Warsaw. In 2012-2013 she was a junior fellow at the School of History of the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies. Since 2011, with Malgorzata Pakier, she has run the project Genealogies of Memory in Central Europe at the European Network Remembrance and Solidarity. She was also a founder and the first head of the Social Memory Laboratory at the Institute Sociology, UW. She defended her doctoral dissertation in sociology (University of Warsaw, 2007) and obtained two MAs: in history (UW, 1999) and in political science (Central European University, 2000). In 2001 she was a visiting fellow at New School for Social Research in New York. She collaborates closely with KARTA Centre and History Meeting House in Warsaw. She has received several prizes and research grants in Poland.

Research project at the Kolleg

Historicizing memory in the suburb of Europe

My project is an intellectual archeology of Polish humanities and social sciences in the twentieth century. I am asking how and why 'semi-peripheral' scholars before and after WWII conceptualized issues which today appear under the fashionable rubric of 'memory studies'. While researching their lives and writings, I am able to discuss the Atlantic-Western European myopia (the canons of memory studies hardly leave any room to ideas born east of Germany), but also to document more general patterns of Central Eastern European intellectual life from the outbreak of the century toward its end. This includes the extent of these scholars' dependence on French, Anglo-Saxon and German influences, as well as the ways they reacted to the specific historical circumstances, such as the stateless nation-building process in the nineteenth century, two world wars, communist seizure and loss of power, and finally, the recently accelerating process of academic integration with the global market of ideas. This is a several years long project, which I hope to finish with my own monograph, as well as with a co-edited book, several articles and the edition of the archival sources.

Main areas of research

  •     memory studies
  •     intelellectual history
  •     biographical research and oral history
  •     social history
  •     ecoonomic sociology

Funktionen und Mitgliedschaften

  •     Institute of Sociology, University of Warsaw, adiunkt (assistant professor)
  •     Polish Sociological Association, member
  •     Polish Oral History Association, member of the audit committee
  •     Stan Rzeczy. Teoria Spoleczna. Europa Srodkowa-Wschodnia (The State of Things. Social Theory and Central Eastern Europe), journal, thematic editor


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).