Skip to Content

Search: {{$root.lsaSearchQuery.q}}, Page {{$}}

Copernicus Fellowships, Recent Awardees

Copernicus Fellowships are awarded to incoming doctoral or master’s level students expecting to focus graduate work on Polish Studies who has been nominated by the student’s department.


Joanna (Jana) Mazurkiewicz is pursuing a PhD in Slavic languages and literatures. She comes to U-M from the University of Wrocław to explore Yiddish theatre, following the publication of her M.A. thesis, “Death or Resurrection? Contemporary Yiddish Theatre in Europe.”


Alena Aniskiewicz is a first-year doctoral student in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures. She completed an MA in the University of Chicago’s Masters Program in the Humanities, and her thesis explored themes of mobility, travel, and memory as expressed in popular music. While her research interests are quite broad, Alena plans to focus on late 20th century Polish popular culture. She is interested in the ways in which humor, absurdity, and the strange were employed creatively in response to the realities of life in the communist state. Alena spent the last two years living in Kraków, studying Polish and conducting an exhaustive survey of the city’s cafes. She very much is looking forward to returning to Poland in the course of her research. She holds a BA in history and a minor in musicology from the University of Michigan.

Rebecca Dulemba is a first-year student in the REES MA program. Her research focuses on the formation of and mainstreaming of extremist social formations, particularly political parties, in Central and Southeast Europe and the role of cultural memory and religion in these groups. She is interested in the ways that visual culture and youth culture intersect with politics and extremism. Rebecca has studied and researched in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland. She has a BA in Slavic and East European Studies from Ohio State University.


Katie Wroblewski is a first-year doctoral student in history. Her research looks at liberalism, migration, and citizenship in Eastern Europe and the United States. In particular, she is interested in the global intellectual networks that influenced ideas about nationalism, law, and educational policy in Poland and the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She approaches the study of Polish-American history as a transnational topic, and her work deals with the process of emigration and immigration and the way we define the boundaries of Polish history. She holds graduate degrees in education (MA, University of Michigan); law (JD, Indiana University); and history (MA, Indiana University). She has a BA in history from the University of Michigan.

Barbara Zukowski, a PhD student in comparative literature, works on the dynamics of reception and its influence on political discourses in Poland and the Anglophone literary marketplaces. She studies poetry through the lens of cognitive science and cognitive psychology, examining how patterns of words create an experience and give rise to different emotional responses or concepts in the reader. Barbara received a Fulbright grant in 2008-09 to study poetry and poetics at Jagiellonian University, and received a BA in Slavic languages and literature from Northwestern University.


Natalie Smolenski, a PhD candidate in anthropology and history, grew up in Texas in a family of Polish immigrants. At an early age she developed an interest the Arabic language, Arabic culture, and Islam. She completed a BA in Middle Eastern studies at Brown University in 2007. She has spent two years in Cairo, first as a study abroad student at the American University in Cairo and then, after graduation, as a Fulbright Fellow studying Arabic full-time at the Center for Arabic Study Abroad. Building on her Polish background and interest in Islamic studies, she plans to pursue study of comparative religious anthropology and history at U-M, focusing on Sunni Islam in Egypt and Catholicism in Poland.

Anna Topolska is a doctoral student in the PhD program in history. Born in Poland, she earned an MA at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan. From 2007-09, she was a Garstka Fellow in the Department of History at the University of Notre Dame, where she worked on war photography from the Balkan conflict in 1990s. While at U-M, she expects to undertake a comparative project exploring the use of visual representations of World War II during post-war regime change. In particular, she intends to compare Poland, which transformed from (generally speaking) a pre-war democracy into a Communist regime, with Italy, which transformed from a Fascist state into democracy. She will analyze how visual sources from war were used in these countries, how World War II was commemorated in the iconosphere, and how the political and social context influenced the construction of collective visual memories.


Jodi Grieg, PhD Slavic


Jessica Zychowicz, PhD Slavic