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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 Katarzyna Waszczyńska

assistant professor


+48 22 55 31 657

Area of interest

ethnography of Polish regions; ethic, national and religious minorities living in Poland; identity issues in Eastern Europe, nation-building processes; area of reseach: Central-East Europe: Belarus, Poland


Since 2004 I have been an assistant professor at the Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, Section of Ethnic and Transcultural Studies. My research interests focus on ethnic and identity issues in Central and Eastern Europe. In 2004 I completed my PhD on this topic and my dissertation was titled Postaci tożsamości narodowej. Wizerunek Białorusinów końca XX wieku na podstawie badań z Mińska i okolic (Dimensions of National Identity. An Image of Belarusians at the End of 20th Century Based on Fieldwork in the Minsk Region). Currently, I am not conducting my research in Belarus but I am following events in this country and publications about it; I attend conferences on Belarusian issues. Recently, I have become interested in Slovakia, in particular in constructing the image of the Slovakian nation in united Europe and in the promotion of regional culture, multiethnic issues and perception of the past (e.g., of Czechoslovakia).
An important element of my scholarly research is the issue of local communities and perception of regional culture (I focus mainly on Poland). Activities of local governments, in particular using regional heritage to promote the region and build regional identity, constitute the most important form of contemporary regional activity. I have examined those phenomena in the course of my fieldwork conducted in the Kurpie region, the Poboże region (north Masovia) and the Suwałki region. In this context, I would like to mention a research project started in 2008, titled Miniatury etnograficzne. Kolekcja Kurpiowskiej Kultury Materialnej w Lelisie (Ethnographic Miniatures: A Collection of Material Culture in Lelis, the Ostrołęka region). I am realising this project together with ethnology students. The aim is to catalogue and describe items of Kurpie material culture stored in the Ethnographic Centre in Lelis. I expect to finish this work in 2011.

I teach courses which focus on ethnography of Polish regions, ethic, national and religious minorities living in Poland, identity issues in Eastern Europe (nation-building processes in Belarus, Ukraine, and the European part of Russia). Furthermore, since 1995 I have been dedicated to teaching students how to conduct ethnographic fieldwork, within a course called Practicum in Field Ethnography. In the past I worked with four groups of students (2 years with each group) on identity related issues in Belarus. In the academic year 2008-2009, I started working with a new group of students within Practicum in Field Ethnography titled Monografia północno-zachodniej Suwalszczyzny — okolice Przerośli i Filipowa (A Monograph of the North-West Suwałki Region: Przerośl and Filipów).

Selected publications

"Kto to jest szlachcic, czyli o obrazie szlachcica w oczach współczesnych mieszkańców pogranicza litewsko-białoruskiego” (Who Is the Nobleman: on an Image of the Nobleman as Seen by Contemporary Inhabitants of the Lithuanian-Belarusian Borderland. Etnografia Polska, vol. XL, no.1-2, 1996, pp. 155-187.
"Tożsamość mieszkańców pogranicza polsko-białoruskiego, rejon Puszczy Białowieskiej” (Identity of Inhabitants of the Lithuanian-Belarusian Borderland, the Białowieża Forest, Region). In : Ich małe ojczyzny. Lokalność, korzenie i tożsamość w warunkach przemian, eds. M. Trojan, Wrocław 2003, pp. 465-476.
"The Eastern Orthodox Faith, Catholicism, and the Uniate Faith — Selected Aspects of Religion in the republic of Belarus.” In: Between Tradition and Postmodernity. Polish Ethnography at the Turn of the Millennium, eds. L. Mróz, Z. Sokolewicz, Warsaw 2003, pp. 183-198.
"Obraz Białorusi i Białorusinów w wybranych artykułach i notatkach prasowych pochodzących z polskiej prasy, z lat 1996-2002” (An Image of Belarus and Belarusians in Selected Articles Published in Polish Press) online.
"Wizerunek Białorusinów końca XX wieku, czyli o białoruskiej tożsamości narodowej. Analiza wypowiedzi mieszkańców Mińska i okolic” (An Image of Belarusians of the End of 20th Century: On Belarusian National Identity. An Analysis of Statements of the Minsk Region Inhabitants), Studia Białorutenistyczne, no. 2, 2008, pp. 143-179.