Dr Anna Wylegała

Curriculum Vitae

Anna Wylegała is a fellow at the Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena from April to August 2013. She is assistant professor at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology at the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw. Prior to her appointment as assistant professor in 2013, she was a PhD student at the Graduate School for Social Research (Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw). Her PhD thesis was a comparative study of social memory in places of mass displacement in Poland and Ukraine. In 2009 she was the Petro Jacyk Visiting Fellow at Toronto University. She worked for the Oral History programme of the KARTA Center in Warsaw from 2006 to 2012 and continues to cooperate closely with the Center.

Research project at the Kolleg

During her stay in Jena, Anna Wylegała will work on her post-doctoral project entitled “The social anthropology of filling the void: Poland and Ukraine after World War II”. The project introduces the concept of “social emptiness”, a phenomenon that arose in Central and Eastern Europe during and immediately after the war as a result of ethnic cleansing on a massive scale, Soviet “economic reforms”, displacement, and population transfers. Focusing on the subjective sphere of social practices and relationships, the project aims to investigate processes of replacing the missing elements in local communities: class/social groups (expropriated and deported gentry and landowners), ethnic groups (murdered or deported Jews, Poles, Ukrainians), and professional groups (e.g. shoemakers or pharmacists). Thus the analysis will focus on property changes, economic dysfunctions, changes in social and cultural practices, and changes in neighbourhood and personal relationships. Based first and foremost on various types of ego documents (including oral testimonies) and archival sources, the project will compare attempts to fill the void in several local communities (villages and small towns) in Poland and Ukraine.

Main areas of research 

  • Social and biographical memory, 
  • Narrative analysis, 
  • Holocaust studies,
  • Displacement and migration in postwar Eastern Europe in comparative social perspective

Positions and Memberships

  • Assistant professor at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw (since 2013)
  • Documentarian for the Oral History programme of the KARTA Center in Warsaw (2006-2012)
  • Member of the Polish Oral History Association since 2009