Dr Lidia Jurek


Lidia Jurek has been a fellow at the Imre Kertész Kolleg since September 2012. She graduated with an M.A. in history from Łódź University in 2006 and received her PhD from the European University Institute in Florence, at the Department of History and Civilization, in 2010. In 2011 she was an intern at the European Commission, Brussels, where she was working for the Active European Remembrance Programme. The programme is supporting projects of historical interest, linked to National Socialism and Stalinism. Additionally, it seeks to organize networking meetings of European organizations, renowned in the field of remembrance.

Research project at the Kolleg

During her fellowship at the Kolleg, Lidia Jurek will be working on the project 'The memory of the Gulag in Eastern Europe: concealment, recuperation, Europeanization'. The common regional experience of living in fantasy realities (Wydra) in the Soviet bloc prevented the trauma of the deportees to Siberia from settling in the official public memory. The project analyses the extent to which this communist policy was successful. It looks at the vicissitudes of the memory of the Gulag: from its prohibition after 1945 and parallel clandestine or émigré commemorations through the 'liberation' of memory in 1989 to the post-EU accession phase. Observing the distinction between professional academic, political, media and witnesses' discourses, often mingled, the project analyses how the memory of the Gulag has been surfacing from its tabooed status to one of the crucial and controversial memory issues of the European Union.

Main areas of research

  • Social and intellectual history of Eastern Europe
  • Cultural transfer
  • Comparative history of nationalism
  • Memory studies

Positions/ Memberships

  • The Polish Studies Association
  • Otwarta Rzeczpospolita