Associate Members

Roma Sendyka

© Roma Sendyka

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:

Recent publications: 

  • 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.



  • “Bystanders as Visual Subjects: Onlookers, Spectators, Observers, Gawkers in Occupied Poland,” inChristina Morina, Krijn Thijs (eds.), Probing the Limits of Categorization: The Bystander in Holocaust History, New York: Berghahn Books, 2018, 52-71.