Anna Cichopek-Gajraj earned her Ph.D. in History from the University
of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 2008 and has an M.A. in History from the
Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Poland. Before joining ASU in
August 2011, she was a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University
of Western Ontario in London, Canada and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the
European University Institute in Florence, Italy. She has received
numerous grants and fellowships from the United States Holocaust
Memorial Museum in Washington DC, the YIVO Institute, and the Memorial
Foundation for Jewish Culture in New York, among others. She has
served as Director for Poland for John J. Hartman's non-profit
Foundation of Remembrance and Reconciliation for the restoration of
Jewish heritage in Poland. She is also a recipient of the
2016 Shofar Zakhor Award
by the Phoenix Holocaust Survivors'
for exhibiting and carrying the
work of Holocaust education, Holocaust remembrance, and community interaction.
Her fields of expertise include modern East European history (in
particular Poland and Czechoslovakia/Slovakia), modern Jewish history,
history of modern Poland and Polish/Jewish relations, Holocaust and
post-Holocaust studies, history of antisemitism, comparative and
social history, and theories of ethnicity, violence, and nationalism.
Her book, Beyond Violence: Jewish Survivors in Poland and Slovakia
in 1944-1948 (Cambridge University Press, 2014), is a
comparative study of the non-Jewish/Jewish relations in Poland and
Slovakia after the Second World War. In her book, she tells a story of
Holocaust survivors returning to “no-home” and their
encounters with post-war social realities. By focusing on the daily
efforts of Polish and Slovak Jews to rebuild their lives, she
investigates the limits of belonging to national/ethnic communities in
Eastern Europe after the Holocaust. The book received the 2015 Barbara
Heldt Prize honorable mention for the best book by a woman in
Slavic/Eastern European/Eurasian Studies by Association for Women in
Slavic Studies (AWSS).
Her M.A. thesis on the pogrom in Cracow in August 1945 was awarded
the Jan Józef Lipski Prize for the Best M.A. Thesis in Poland
as well as the Special Prize by the United States Holocaust Memorial
Museum for the best M.A. Thesis in Jewish Studies in Poland. The
thesis was published as a book in 2000 [in Polish]. She also
contributed to Contested Memories: Poles and Jews during the
Holocaust and its Aftermath (Zimmerman, 2003) – a
collection of essays by leading scholars in the field of Polish-Jewish
history. She has her articles and reviews published in
Shofar, East European Jewish Affairs, and AJS
Review, among others.
Key research interest: belonging and identity in
modern Polish-Jewish history, Jewish/non-Jewish relations in 20th
century Poland, postwar ethnic violence (pogroms).
Recent research: postwar comparative and social
history of Jewish survivors in Poland and Slovakia (including everyday
life and return to “normality,” reconstruction and
rebuilding, identity and citizenship, property restitution, and violence).
Current new research: Polish-Jewish immigration to
post-1945 US, assimilation and identity, antisemitism in 20th century Poland.