Ewa Stanczyk

junior fellow
EURIAS cohort 2014/2015
discipline Cultural Studies
Adjunct Assistant Professor in Polish Studies, Trinity College Dublin

Research project

Children of World War II: Representation and Commemoration in Poland


This project analyses collective memory of children – the forgotten victims of World War II – in the context of memory politics of both communist and post-communist Poland. The study focuses on state-sponsored and nonofficial initiatives which centre on urban spaces, educational and school projects, and museum exhibitions dedicated to the memory of young victims of World War II. The overall aim of this project is to explore the differences in practices remembrance in the two periods of Polish history and the associated construction of national identity both pre- and post-1989. By applying the groundbreaking concepts drawn from memory studies to the Polish context and by looking at a variety of commemorative practices in Poland, this project demythologises the conventional notion of children as unsuspecting observers of war and poses broader questions about the shifting cultural perceptions of childhood. Whilst acknowledging the historical and cultural significance of children, it also contributes to the discussion on national identity with which these representations are inextricably bound up. More generally, this study constitutes an important voice in the ongoing debate on the appropriation, sublimation and manipulation of the memory of World War II in post-1945 Europe and the resulting myths which shape the new European order and affect contemporary identities, at both national and supra-national levels. The project is interdisciplinary in scope and straddles the fields of cultural studies, contemporary history, anthropology and political science. Drawing on and explicating complex narratives surrounding Poland’s disputed memories, it tracks the ways in which post-war representations of children evolve into battlefields of memory, acquiring new meanings and adapting their functions to new political conditions. The study tells a fascinating story of Polish nation building, politics of remembrance, and also, vitally, rapidly changing post-communist society. 



Ewa Stańczyk is Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies at Trinity College Dublin, and prior to that she held the position of Thomas Brown Assistant Professor in Polish Studies at the same department. She holds a Ph.D in Polish Studies from the University of Manchester and has taught Polish language and area studies at universities in the UK and Ireland. She has parallel interests in Polish and East European cultural studies, contemporary history and anthropology.


Selected publications


‘Women Cross Borders: Economic Migration in Contemporary Italian and Polish Comic Books’ , with P. Nappi, Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, forthcoming.


‘The Absent Jewish Child: Photography and Holocaust Commemoration in Poland’, Journal of Modern Jewish Studies, vol. 13, no. 3, 2014, pp. 360-380.


‘Commemorating Young Victims of World War II: the Forgotten Children’s Camp in Litzmannstadt/Łódź’, East European Politics and Societies, vol. 28, no. 3, 2014, pp. 614-638.


‘’Long Live Poland!’: Representing the Past in Polish Comic Books’, Modern Language Review, vol. 109, no. 1, 2014, pp. 186-206.


‘Remaking National Identity: Two Contested Monuments in Post-Communist Poland’, Central Europe, vol. 11, no. 2, 2013, pp. 126-141.


‘Caught between Germany and Russia: Memory and National Identity in Poland’s Right-Wing Media post-2004’, Slavonic and East European Review, vol. 91, no. 2, 2013, pp. 289-316.


Contact Zone Identities in the Poetry of Jerzy Harasymowicz. A Postcolonial Analysis, Peter Lang, Oxford/Bern/Berlin/Brussels/Frankfurt/New York/Vienna, 2012.



senior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2011/2012
Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS-KNAW)
discipline Literature
junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2015/2016
Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS-KNAW)
discipline Political Science
junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2012/2013
Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS-KNAW)
discipline Political Science
junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2016/2017
Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS-KNAW)
discipline Social Anthropology