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Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology 
University of Warsaw

Żurawia 4, 00-503 Warsaw
tel. +48 22 55 316 11/ fax. 22 55 316 12

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Dr Karolina Bielenin-Lenczowska

associate professor
Coordinator of Mobility (ERASMUS, CEEPUS, International Visegrad Fund; bilateral agreements)


+48 22 55 31 657

Karolina Bielenin-Lenczowska  is a social anthropologist and linguist, associate professor at the Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology; in 2000-2014 she conducted fieldwork in the Republic of Macedonia, and in 2012-14 in Italy. Her research concentrated on everyday practices of Macedonian-speaking Muslim migrants living in Italy, and focused mostly on religious, food, and language practices as well as on the gendered experience of mobility. Currently she carries out research on practices of cultural heritage of the descendants of Polish migrants in Brazil, focusing on food and language. In 2015/16 she was a post-doc fellow at the Department of Anthropology, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis. She authored a book, Spaghetti with ajvar. Translocal everyday life of Muslims in Macedonia and in Italy (in Polish, Warsaw 2015), was editor of the book Neighbourly Ties in the Face of Conflict: Social and Ethnic Relations in Western Macedonia (in Polish, Warsaw 2009) and has published on Islam, migration, gender and methodology inter alia in the Anthropological Journal of European Cultures, Anthropological Notebooks, Ethnologia Balkanica and Ethnologia Polona. Her main research interests are: migration and mobility, gender studies, social change and cultural heritage.

Area of interest

anthropology of migration / mobility, social relations in multiethnic societies, Balkan studies, Polish Diaspora Studies, cultural heritage


06.2016 – present, Associate Professor, Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Warsaw
12. 2008-06.2016, Assistant Professor,  Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Warsaw
2002-2007, Institute of Polish Language, PhD Student (teaching, research).

Academic degrees
2016 Habilitation, Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Warsaw
2007 PhD (summa cum laude), Institute of Polish Language, University of Warsaw
2004 MA degree (summa cum laude), Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Warsaw.
2002 MA degree, Faculty of Polish Studies, University of Warsaw.

Selected publications

Books and edited volumes
2015 Spaghetti z ajwarem. Translokalna codzienność muzułmanów w Macedonii i we Włoszech (Spaghetii with ajvar. Translocal everyday life of Muslims in Macedonia and in Italy); Warsaw: Warsaw University Press.

2015 (edited book) Anthropology of Continuity and Change. Macedonian Poreche 80 years after Jozef Obrebski rerearch, Warsaw: Slavic Publication Centre.
2013 [edition with David Henig] Being Muslims in the Balkans: Ethnographies of Identity, Politics and Vernacular Islam in South-East Europe, “Anthropological Journal of European Cultures” vol. 22, issue 2.

2009 (edited book) Sąsiedztwo w obliczu konfliktu. Relacje społeczne i etniczne w zachodniej Macedonii – refleksje antropologiczne (Neighbourly relations in the face of conflict. Social and ethnic relations in Western Macedonia – anthropological reflections), Warsaw: DiG.
2008 Rodzina, ród, pokrewieństwo w perspektywie lingwistyczno-antropologicznej (Family, kin and kinship in a perspective of anthropological linguistics), Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Wydziału Polonistyki.

Journal papers and book chapters
2014 The in-between Generation. Immigrants and the Problem of a Dual Sense of Belonging, „Colloquia Humanistica” no 3, p. 37-56.
2014 From pechalbari to iselenici. Migration history of Macedonians, in: Making Europe BottomUp: http://aemi.eu/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/macedonian-history... (access 26.05.2014).

2012 Keeping Feet in two Worlds? Everyday Experiences of Female Migrants from Macedonia to
Italy, in: (ed.) P. Hristov „Migration and Identity. Historical, Cultural and Linguistic Dimensions of Mobility in the Balkans", Sofia: Paradigma, p. 130-141.
2011 Gdzie jest mój teren i kim w nim jestem? Kilka pytań w związku z terenem, wiedzą i etyką antropologa [Where my field is and who am I in it? Several questions about the field, knowlegde and ethics of the anthropologist], in: (ed.) T. Buliński, M. Kairski, Teren w antropologii. Praktyka badawcza we współczesnej antropologii kulturowej, Poznań: Wydawnictwo Naukowe UAM, p. 151-168.

2010  Different models of labour migration in contemporary Macedonia – or what does pečalba mean now? - “Ethnologia Balkanica”, vol. 14, p. 11-26.
2010 Transnarodowość, transterytorialność, ponadpaństwowość? Dylematy terminologiczne badaczki migracji zarobkowej na Bałkanach [Transnationalism, transterritoriality, trans-state? Terminological dilemmas of a researcher of labour migration in the Balkans] - „Kultura i społeczeństwo” 2010, vol. LIV, no 3, p. 209-223.

2009 Visiting of Christian Holy Places by Muslims as a Strategy of Coping With Difference, “Anthropological Notebooks”, vol. XV, no. 3, p. 27-41.
2009 O antropologiczno-kulturowym nurcie w językoznawstwie [On anthropological approach to linguistics], in: „Zanikające granice. Antropologizacja nauki i jej dyskursów”, ed. A. Pomieciński, S. Sikora, Poznań: Wydawnictwo Poznańskie Biblioteka Telgte, p. 245-262.

2008/9 A Female Anthropologist. Knowledge Determined by Gender, “Ethnologia Polona” no. 2930, p. 17-30.
2008 The Construction of Identity in a Multi-Ethnic Community: A Case Study on the Torbeši of Centar Župa Commune, Western Macedonia (FYROM) – “Ethnologia Balkanica”, vol. 12, p. 167181.

2008 Two languages, two nations and two religions. Notes from the field – „Balkan Border Crossings: First Annual of the Konitsa Summer School”, ed. V. Nitsiakos et al., Berlin, p. 278-289.

Research projects

2014-2017  Head of the project „Debates on postsocialism in V4 countries in the global context” project of joint course with teachers from Slovakia, Czech Republic and Hungary; financed by International Visegrad Fund, no: 61300009.

2011-2015 Head of a project of National Center of Science, Poland, “Macedońskie Porecze w 80 lat po badaniach Józefa Obrębskiego. Antropologiczne stadium ciągłości i zmiany” [Macedonian Poreche after 80 years of Jozef Obrebski research. Anthropological study of continuity and change].
No. 2011/01/D/HS3/03583 2010-2013

Head of a project of Department of Scientific Research, Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Poland, “Ponadpaństwowe więzi, relacje społeczne i etniczne w kontekście migracji zarobkowej Macedońskich Muzułmanów z Macedonii do Włoch” [Trans-state ties, social and ethnic relations in the context of labour migration of Macedonian Muslims from Macedonia to Italy] No. N N109 094839

Head of the project of Department of Scientific Research, Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Poland, „Macedończycy i Albańczycy – sąsiedztwo w obliczu konfliktu” [Macedonians and Albanians – neighbourly relations in the face of conflict], No: N10901532/0635.

Ethnographic fieldwork

2000-2014 Republic of Macedonia

2011-2014 Italy

2011-2016 Brazil

Conferences and visiting lectures

 Keynote lecture: Interculturalismo e diaspora: onde é espaço para o dialogo? IV Simpósio internacional de estudos eslavos, UNICENTRO, Campus Irati, 7-9.06.2016

Práticas alimentares como patrimônio cultural IV Simpósio internacional de estudos eslavos, UNICENTRO, Campus Irati, 7-9.06.2016

Macedonian Poreche - between idyllic imaginaries and post-socialist realities. Reflections from an ethnographic revisit, International conference of SIEF (International Society for Ethnology and Folklore), Zagreb 21-25.06.2015.
Save Radika: ecological and political activities of the Macedonian diaspora in Italy, international conference of InASEA: “Cultures of Crisis: Experiencing and Coping With Upheavals and Disasters in Southeast Europe”, Istanbul, 18-21.09.2014.

Turkish coffee in Italy: on comfort food among Macedonian-speaking Muslims in Italy, international conference of EASA: Collaboration, Intimacy & Revolution, Tallin, 31.07.-3.08.2014.
Superdiversity in Post-socialist Context. Mobility in Contemporary Republic of Macedonia and the Construction of Us and The Others, international conference organized by Institute for Research of Superdiversity, University of Birmingham:  Superdiversity: Theory, Method and Practice, Birmingham, 23-25.06.2014.

Migratory Experience from Below: Everyday Life of Macedonian Muslim Women inItaly, international conference of AEMI (The Association of European Migration Institutions), Kraków, 27-28.09.2012.
Ethnographic fieldwork in reality and on-line. Methodological and ethical dilemmas, international conference of InASEA “Southeast European (Post) Modernities”, Ratyzbona, 28.04.-1.05. 2011.

Different models of labour migration in contemporary Macedonia or what does pečalba mean now?, international conference of InASEA “Migration in, from and to Southeastern Europe”, Ankara, 21-24.05.2009.

Awards and Scholarships

Scholarship of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education in Poland for Outstanding Young Scholars 2011-2014.

Scholarship from “Modern University” at University of Warsaw, financed by EU “Human Capital” program for post-docs 2010/11.
Foundation for Polish Science – 2007 and 2008 (scholarship START for young scholars).

Scholarships and fellowships

11.2015-08.2016, Fellow Mundus post-doc fellowship, Federal University of Santa Catarina, research project: Cultural Heritage of Polish-Brazilians in Santa Catarina, Brazil: anthropological approach to language and food practices.

4-8.05.2015, ERASMUS scholarship for teachers, University of Oxford.

31.03-13.04.2014, CEEPUS scholarship for teachers, University of Graz. 16-23.03. 2013 – Erasmus scholarship for teachers, University of Zagreb.

10.06-10.07.2010, fellowship from CEEPUS program for teachers, University of ss. Cyril and Methodius, Skopje.

19-23.09.2010, Erasmus fellowship for teachers, University of St. Kliment Ohridski, Sofia. 2007-2008.

Member of scientific organizations

1. European Association of Social Anthropologists (since 2007)

2. International Association for Southeast European Anthropology (since 2007)