Dr. Joanna Wawrzyniak

Curriculum Vitae


Joanna Wawrzyniak is 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