Shoah Memorial, Paris


Aleksandra Szczepan (Poland), PhD student, Jagiellonian University Kraków, ”Post-Holocaust, Post-dependence, Post-memory: Negotiating Jewish Identity in the Post-Communist Central Europe”.

Aleksandra Szczepan is finishing her dissertation on traumatic realism in postwar Polish literature at the Department of Polish Studies of the Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland. Finally, her research will result in a book on relations between realism and trauma in 20th century literature and theory. She graduated from the Interfaculty Individual Studies in the Humanities at the Jagiellonian University with the degree from Polish Studies. She was twice a visiting scholar at the University of Chicago, as well as a fellow of the Holocaust Educational Foundation at the Northwestern University.

Part of her research has been focused on the identity strategies of Jewish-Polish writers after 1989 and possible redefinitions of post-memory in local, Central-European context. During the EHRI fellowship at the Shoah Memorial in Paris, she is planning to examine whether there are common features in the experiences of the second generation of Holocaust survivors, who spent their childhood on the territory of the communist Central Europe (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary) and whose forming practices took place in the new, post-communist (political, economic, social) reality. She is interested in links between post-memory and post-dependence, Jewish 'coming out' after 1989 and influence of anti-Semitism on creating posttraumatic Central-European Jewish identities.