Prof. Dr. Simon Lewis

Juniorprofessor für Kulturwissenschaft/Kulturgeschichte Ost- und Ostmitteleuropas



Tel.: +49 (0)421 / 218 67275

Büro: GW2, Raum: B 2.360


Universität Bremen
Fachbereich 08 - Sozialwissenschaften 
Institut für Europastudien
Universitätsboulevard 13 
28359 Bremen

Sprechstunden: ab Wintersemester 2023/2024
Mittwochs 14.00-15.00
bzw. n.V. per E-Mail


Academic Employment


University of Bremen, Institute of European Studies
Associate Professor of Eastern and East-Central European Cultural History
University of Potsdam, Department of Slavonic Studies
Postdoctoral Research Fellow (DFG "Eigene Stelle")
Freie Universität Berlin, Institute for East European Studies / Centre for Area Studies
DRS-POINT Postdoctoral Research Fellow
University of Warsaw, Social Memory Laboratory/Institute of Sociology
Visiting Fellow
University of Oxford, Faculty of History, Research Assistant on the project
The Jagiellonians: Dynasty, Memory and Identity in Central Europe




University of Cambridge, King’s College

PhD Slavonic Studies


Polish Academy of Sciences, Centre for Social Studies at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology
(degree awarded jointly with Lancaster University)
MA Culture, Media and Society (with Distinction)


University of Oxford, St. Catherine’s College
BA (Hons) Russian and Linguistics (II.1)




Belarus - Alternative Visions: Nation, Memory and Cosmopolitanism (New York–London: Routledge, 2019).

Remembering Katyn, co-authored with Alexander Etkind, Rory Finnin, Uilleam Blacker, Julie Fedor, Maria Mälksoo and Matilda Mroz (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2012).

Edited Volumes

Multicultural Commonwealth: Poland-Lithuania and its Afterlives, co-edited with Stanley Bill (Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh University Press, 2023).

Regions of Memory: Transnational Formations, co-edited with Jeffrey Olick, Joanna Wawrzyniak, Małgorzata Pakier (Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2022).

Journal Special Section

“Poland’s Wars of Symbols,”co-editedwith Magdalena Waligórska, East European Politics and Societies: and Cultures 33, no. 2 (2019).

Journal Articles

"East is East? Polish Orientalism in the Early Nineteenth Century," Central Europe 19, no. 2 (2022): 135-52. Open Access.

‘“Tear Down These Prison Walls!” Verses of Defiance in the Belarusian Revolution,” Slavic Review 80, no. 2 (2021): 15–26. Open Access.

"Border Trouble: Ethnopolitics and Cosmopolitan Memory in Recent Polish Cinema," East European Politics and Societies: and Cultures 33, no. 2 (2019): 522-49

"Introduction: Poland's Wars of Symbols," co-authored with Magdalena Waligorska, East European Politics and Societies: and Cultures 33, no. 2 (2019):423-34

“Overcoming Hegemonic Martyrdom: The Afterlife of Khatyn in Belarusian Memory,” Journal of Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society, 1, no. 2 (2015): 367–401.

“‘Official Nationality’ and the Dissidence of Memory in Belarus: A Comparative Analysis of Two Films,” Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema 5, no. 3 (2011): 371–87
*Awarded the Zora Kipel Article Prize in Belarusian Studies (2012); runner-up in Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema postgraduate article competition (2011).

Book Chapters

“Introduction: Diverse Histories and Contested Memories,” co-authored with Stanley Bill, in Multicultural Commonwealth: Poland-Lithuania and its Afterlives, ed. Stanley Bill and Simon Lewis (Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh University Press, 2023), 3–26.

"Polish-Belarusian Encounters and the Divided Legacy of the Commonwealth,” in Multicultural Commonwealth: Poland-Lithuania and its Afterlives, ed. Stanley Bill and Simon Lewis (Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh University Press, 2023), 220–40.

“Introduction: Regions of Memory in Theory,” co-authored with Joanna Wawrzyniak, in Regions of Memory: Transnational Formations, ed. Simon Lewis, Jeffrey K. Olick, Joanna Wawryzniak, and Małgorzata Pakier (Cham: Palgrave MacMillan, 2022), 1–16. Open Access.

"Eine üppige Ernte: Die polnischen Wurzeln des Belarusischen Gedächtnisses,” trans. Agnieszka Wierzcholska, in Heu auf dem Asphalt. Topoi Belarussischer Selbstverortungen, ed. Yaraslava Ananka, Heinrich Kirschbaum, and Magdalena Marszałek (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2021), 41–60.

"Cosmopolitanism as Subculture in the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth,” in Identities In-Between in East-Central Europe, ed. Jan Fellerer, Robert Pyrah, and Marius Turda (New York and London: Routledge, 2019), 149-69.

“The Jagiellonians in Belarus: a Gradual Release of Memory,” in Remembering the Jagiellonians, ed.Natalia Nowakowska (New York—London: Routledge, 2018), 162–82.

“The Partisan Republic: Colonial Myths and Memory Wars in Belarus,” in War and Memory in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, ed. Julie Fedor, Markku Kangaspuro, Jussi Lassila, and Tatiana Zhurzhenko(New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), 371–96 (Open Access).
*Translated into Russian as “Partizanskaia respublika: kolonial'nye mify i voina za pamiat' v Belarusi,” with a new conclusion, in Novoe Literaturnoe Obozrenie 166, 6/2020.

“Introduction: War and Memory in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus,” co-authored with Julie Fedor and Tatiana Zhurzhenko, in War and Memory in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, ed. Julie Fedor, Markku Kangaspuro, Jussi Lassila, and Tatiana Zhurzhenko(New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), 1–40. Open Access.
*Translated into Ukrainian (Ukraina Moderna, online 2 February 2018), Russian (Neprikosnovenny Zapas, 119 (2018): 114–41), and Belarusian (Bielaruski Histaryčny Ahliad, 25 (2018): 85-122).

“Towards Cosmopolitan Mourning: Belarusian Literature between History and Politics,” in Memory and Theory in Eastern Europe, ed. Uilleam Blacker, Alexander Etkind, and Julie Fedor  (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), 195–216.

Book Reviews

Piotr Twardzisz, Defining ‘Eastern Europe’: A Semantic Inquiry into Political Terminology (Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), Slavonic and Eastern European Review, 100, no. 3 (2022), 589 –91.

Zuzanna Bogumił and Małgorzata Głowacka-Grajper, Milieux de mémoire in Late Modernity: Local Communities, Religion and Historical Politics (Berlin-Bern-Bruxelles-New York-Oxford-Warszawa-Wien: Peter Lang, 2019), Memory Studies 13, no. 6 (2020): 1352–55.

Arnold McMillin, Spring Shoots: Young Belarusian Poets in the Early Twenty-First Century (Cambridge: MHRA, 2015), Modern Language Review 112, no. 3 (2017): 787–88.

Per Anders Rudling, The Rise and Fall of Belarusian Nationalism, 1906-1931 (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015), Slavonic and East European Journal 59, no. 4 (2015): 657–58.


“Wołyń: towards memory dialogue between Poland and Ukraine,” openDemocracy, 27 October 2016:

“Vozmozhna li belorusskaia pamiat' o Katyni?” (article, in Russian), Novaia Europa, 24 April 2013:

“Culture War in Belarus,” openDemocracy, 5 April 2013:


Anna Wylegała, Displaced Memories: Remembering and Forgetting in Post-war Poland and Ukraine (Frankfurt-am-Main: Peter Lang, 2019); originally Przesiedlenia a pamięć. Studium (nie)pamięci społecznej na przykładzie ukraińskiej Galicji i polskich "ziem odzyskanych" (Toruń: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Uniwersytetu Mikołaja Kopernika, 2014).

Joanna Wawrzyniak, Veterans, Victims and Memory. The Politics of the Second World War in Communist Poland (Frankfurt-am-Main: Peter Lang, 2015); originally ZBoWiD i pamięć drugiej wojny światowej 1949-1969 (Warszawa: Trio, 2009).

Kornelia Kończal and Joanna Wawrzyniak, “Provincializing memory studies: Polish approaches in the past and present,” Memory Studies, published online 25 Jan 2017, DOI:; originally: “Polskie badania pamięcioznawcze: tradycje, koncepcje, (nie)ciągłości,” Kultura i Społeczeństwo 55, no. 4 (2011): 11–63.

Mariusz Maszkiewicz (ed.), Belarus: Towards a United Europe (Wrocław: Jan Nowak-Jeziorański College of Eastern Europe, 2009).


Invited contribution to scholarly “conversation” hosted by the Centre for Geopolitics at the University of Cambridge on “Cancelling VE Day: What are the potential obstacles and opportunities for states using historical memory as soft power in the Covid-19 era?”: (May 2020).

“Mezhdunarodnaia konferentsiia ‘Teoriia i pamiat' v vostochnoi Evrope’” [conference review], Novoe Literaturnoe Obozrenie, 114 (2012),

“Belarus Report: Presidential Election and Memory War,” Eastern European Memory Studies, 3 (2011), 19-20.

Research Interests

Cultures and Literatures of Central and Eastern Europe, esp. Belarusian, Polish and Russian

Memory Studies

Literary and cultural theory

Postcolonialism and postcoloniality

Multiculturalism and cosmopolitanism

Protest cultures in Central and Eastern Europe

Major Awards/Grants
2018-2021DFG (German Research Foundation) "Eigene Stelle" - Individual Research Grant
(ended early due to appointment to professorship at University of Bremen)
2016-2018Dahlem Research School POINT Fellowship
Research Grant co-funded by the DFG (German Research Foundation) and the European Commission
2010-2014Arts and Humanities Research Council - Full Doctoral Scholarship


Einführung in die Kulturgeschichte Europas (lecture, BA Integrated European Studies, 1. Semester)

Introduction to Cultural Studies: Definitions, Theories, Approaches (lecture, BA Integrated European Studies, 2. Semester)

Culture and its Media: Words, Images, Actions (seminar, BA Integrated European Studies, 2. Semester)

Europe and its Colonialisms: Theory and Practice, Memory and Forgetting (seminar, BA Integrated European Studies, 3. Semester)

Politik in Europa aus interdisziplinärer Perspektive: Werte, Erinnerungen und Interessen (seminar, BA Integrated European Studies, 3. Semester, with Arndt Wonka)

Belarus. Language, Culture, Memory (seminar, BA Integrated European Studies, 4. Semester, with Iryna Kashtalian and Maryna Antaniuk-Prouteau)

What is Post-Socialism? Culture, Identity and Society in Eastern and East-Central Europe after 1989/1991 (seminar, BA Integrated European Studies, General Studies)

New University in Exile Consortium, Liaison Officer for University of Bremen

Young Universities for the Future of Europe (YUFE), selection committee member (student recruitment). 


Mentor and contact for scholars-at-risk, Phillip Schwartz-Initiative of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation / Akademisches Netzwerk Osteuropa - akno e.V.

2021-Bremen-Belarus Solidarity Committee, Working Group for Higher Education, Co-Coordinator


Co-Chair, Polish Memory Studies Group, Regional Group of the Memory Studies Association

Polish Memory Studies Group best monograph/article prize – jury member (2020, 2021, 2022, 2023)