I am a professor at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, in the Department of Anthropology of Literature and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Polish Studies. I am a co-founder and founding director of the Research Center for Memory Cultures. Focusing on bystanders’ policies of memory I cooperate with museum panels, artists and curators addressing difficult pasts.
I specialize in cultural theory, visual culture studies, and memory studies. My current work focuses on abandoned, clandestine “non-sites of memory” in Eastern Europe, visual approaches to genocide representation and bystanders’ memory.
I led a team of post-doctoral scholars working on a research project Uncommemorated Genocide Sites and their Impact on Collective Memory, Cultural Identity, Ethical Attitudes, and Intercultural Relations in Contemporary Poland (NCN-founded, 2016–20). In 2016-2019 I was a PI in the team (Erica Lehrer, Magdalena Zych, Wojciech Wilczyk) in the Awkward Objects of Genocide project under the auspices of the grant Transmitting Contentious Cultural Heritages with the Arts: From Intervention to Co-Production (TRACES, 2016–2019). I am a co-PI (with Magdalena Waligórska) in DFG-NCN project (2020-2023) in a follow-up project: Polish Folk Art and the Holocaust: Perpetrator – Victim – Bystander Memory Transactions in the Polish German Context.
From 2020 I cooperate with the CARMAH team in the project Challenging Populist Truth-Making in Europe. The Role of Museums in a Digital, Post-Truth‘ European Society. I am co-researcher in the projects: Thinking Through the Museum: A Partnership Approach to Curating Difficult Knowledge in Public (SSHRC, 2021-2028, PI: Erica Lehrer) and in the Bystanding and the Holocaust in Europe. Experiences, Ramifications, Representations, 1933 to the present (PI: Christina Morina, 2021-2026).
I was awarded by Kościuszko Foundation, Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation, ERSTE Stiftung, DAAD and European Holocaust Research Infrastructure. In 2011 I was a visiting scholar at the University of Chicago, in 2022 at the Humboldt University.
More information: https://sites.google.com/site/romasendyka/
- Poza obozem. Nie-miejsca pamięci. Próba rozpoznania[Beyond Camps: Non-sites of Memory], IBL – Polish Academy of Science, Warsaw 2021.
- (with Erica Lehrer) “Arts of Witness? Vernacular Art as a Source Base for ‘Bystander’ Holocaust Memory in Poland.” Holocaust Studies: A Journal of Culture and History, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1080/17504902.2019.1567667
- “Sites That Haunt: Affects and Non-Sites of Memory,” transl. by J. Croft. East European Politics and Societies (awarded) 2016, issue 4, 687 – 702. https://doi.org/10.1177/0888325416658950
- “Bystanders as Visual Subjects: Onlookers, Spectators, Observers, Gawkers in Occupied Poland,” in: Christina Morina, Krijn Thijs (eds.), Probing the Limits of Categorization: The Bystander in Holocaust History, New York: Berghahn Books, 2018, 52-71.