Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena

Dominika Michalak

PhD student

funded by the German-Polish Academic Foundation

Mail michalakd(at)

Dominika Michalak is a sociologist of culture and education and a graduate of the Institute of Sociology at the University of Warsaw. She has been working on her dissertation at that institute since 2009 (supervisor: Dr Małgorzata Jacyno). Michalak investigates academic cultures in the humanities, reconstructing different kinds of ethos, paideia and literary practices. She is, moreover, trying to learn what it means to be a humanities scholar in today's Poland. In 2013 Michalak started to work as an assistant researcher at the Institute of Book and Readership of the National Library of Poland.

Research project

Scholarship and Community in the Humanities: Three Case Studies of Polish Academic Communities
This project focuses on the social construction of academic traditions. Taking its cue, on the one hand, from studies of disciplinary cultures and, on the other, from inquiries into the question of university autonomy, the project aims to describe the tensions between purely academic goals and the external pressures to which scholarly communities are subject. The study focuses on the following aspects of tradition construction: ethos, paideia and publishing practices. It covers three case studies of academic communities in different disciplines and organized in accordance with different university models: the Faculty of Psychology (University of Warsaw); the Institute of Polish Culture (University of Warsaw); and the Institute of Classical Philology (Jagiellonian University). The main research methods applied here are: in-depth interviews with scholars; content analysis of documents in which a particular academic ethos is expressed; and bibliographical analyses.

Main areas of research

  • Social construction of academic traditions
  • Academic ethos and educational ideals in the humanities
  • The humanities and national culture
  • Local manifestations of global changes in the academic world


Olga Dawidowicz-Chymkowska, Dominika Michalak: Społeczny zasięg książki w Polsce w 2012 r.


Edited Volumes

Tomasz Kukołowicz, Stanisław Maksymowicz, Dominika Michalak, Paula Płukarska, Piotr Kowalski, Paweł Kłobukowskim (eds.): Po co nam socjologia? Warszawa: Instytut Socjologii UW, Fundacja na Rzecz Warsztatów Analiz Socjologicznych, 2009



The Trouble with Recognition, in: Ewa Nowicka (ed.), The Politics of Culture: Perspectives of Stateless Nationalities and Ethnic Groups, Warszawa: WUW 2012, 307-318

Trzy krytyki modnego rozumu, in: Sławomir Buryła/Lidia Gąsowska/Danuta Ossowska (eds.), Mody w kulturze i literaturze popularnej, Kraków: Universitas 2012, 15-36

Trzecia droga Marthy Nussbaum (to be published in Studia Socjologiczne) 



Taneczna terapia doktora Eliasa (a review of the Polish edition of The Civilising Process by Norbert Elias)¸ Literatura na Świecie 498-499 (1-2) 2013: 404-409

Antropolog wylatuje o zmierzchu (recenzja Po fakcie Clifforda Geerza), Literatura na Świecie 492-493 (7-8) 2012: 432-436

Być jak Richard Rorty (a review of the Polish edition of 'The Future of Religion' by Santiago Zabala, Gianni Vattimo and Richard Rorty), Literatura na Świecie 476-477 (3-4) 2011: 420-424

Płeć według Butler (a review of the Polish edition of Gender Trouble by Judith Butler), Literatura na Świecie 468-469 (7-8) 2010: 386-390