Karolina Kolpak is a PhD candidate specializing in modern history of Eastern Europe and Russia, with a focus on late nineteenth and early twentieth century Poland and Polish-Jewish relations. Her work engages histories of nationalism and empire; antisemitism and fascism; transnational networks and exchanges; civil society and democracy; childhood and minority histories.
Karolina’s dissertation examines the pedagogical and (social) hygiene movements in the city of Warsaw between 1880 and 1939. It explores a broadly defined leftist milieu of Polish and Jewish pedagogues, doctors, social activists and intellectuals, and their ideological and practical activity on behalf of children (particularly children of the urban poor). This work aims to illustrate an area of Polish-Jewish cooperation as well as to place the story of Warsaw into a broader, western narrative.
Karolina holds a B.A. from DePaul University in Chicago, where she graduated summa cum laude in History and International Studies with a minor in German Studies. Prior to graduate school, she was a tour guide and assistant in archival work at the Polish Museum of America in Chicago.
At Yale, Karolina has co-founded and coordinated the interdisciplinary Memory Studies in Modern Europe working group, which hosted the Resistance and Collaboration in Occupied Europe conference in 2018. During Fall 2020, Karolina is teaching a history seminar entitled The Jewish Metropolis: Warsaw before the Holocaust.
Born in Poland, Karolina has lived in the United States for most of her life. She is currently in Warsaw, Poland.