Geneviève Zubrzycki | Nationalism, Philosemitism, and Poland's Jewish Turn

Thursday, February 15, 2024
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
(Pacific)

Encina Hall 2nd floor, William J. Perry Conference Room

Speaker: 
  • Geneviève Zubrzycki, University of Michigan
Nationalism, Philosemitism, and Poland's Jewish Turn

Do citizens' perceptions of parties' multidimensional issue positions shape partisanship? Dassonneville, Fournier and Somer-Topcu use survey data from 11 countries to study this question.

Since the early 2000s, Poland has experienced a remarkable Jewish turn, largely driven by non-Jewish Poles with a passionate new interest in all things Jewish. Klezmer music, Jewish-style restaurants, kosher vodka, and festivals of Jewish culture have become popular, while new museums, memorials, Jewish studies programs, and Holocaust research centers reflect soul-searching about Polish-Jewish relations before, during, and after the Holocaust. Poland's Jewish community is also undergoing a significant revival. Geneviève Zubrzycki examines these processes and asks what it means to try to bring Jewish culture back to life in a country where 3 million Jews were murdered and where only 10,000 now live. 

Drawing on a decade of participant-observation in Jewish and Jewish-related organizations in Poland, a Birthright trip to Israel with young Jewish Poles, and more than a hundred interviews with Jewish and non-Jewish Poles engaged in the Jewish turn, Zubrzycki's book Resurrecting the Jew presents an in-depth look at Jewish life in Poland today. She shows how the revival has been spurred by progressive Poles who want to break the association between Polishness and Catholicism and promote the idea of a multicultural Poland, exploring the limits of performative solidarity and empathetic forms of cultural appropriation.


Geneviève Zubrzycki is the William H. Sewell Jr. Collegiate Professor of Sociology at the University of Michigan, where she directs the Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia, and the Copernicus Center for Polish Studies. A historical and cultural sociologist, she has published widely on nationalism and religion; collective memory, national mythology and the politics of commemoration; and visual culture and materiality. 

Geneviève is the author of the award-winning monographs The Crosses of Auschwitz: Nationalism and Religion in Post-Communist Poland (Chicago 2006), Beheading the Saint: Nationalism, Religion and Secularism in Quebec (Chicago 2016), and Resurrecting the Jew: Nationalism, Philosemitism and Poland’s Jewish Revival (Princeton 2022), and the editor of National Matters: Materiality, Culture and Nationalism (Stanford 2017). In 2021 Zubrzycki was the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship and was awarded the Bronisław Malinowski Prize in the Social Sciences from the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America.

*If you need any disability-related accommodation, please contact Shannon Johnson at sj1874@stanford.edu. Requests should be made by February 8, 2024.