Beth Holmgren
Professor of Polish and Russian Studies

Beth Holmgren, Professor of Polish Studies and Russian Studies, has published widely on Polish literature, theater, popular culture, and film; Russian literature, film, and women's studies; and Russian and Polish artists and performers in the North American diaspora. Her scholarship and work in the field have won multiple national awards. Recent scholarship focuses on Polish Jewish cultural history of the interwar period, Polish film from the 1930s until the current day, and 21st-century Polish reportage (often translated as literary journalism). Her most recent book, Warsaw is My Country (2018), is a cultural biography of Krystyna Bierzynska, an acculturated Jewish Varsovian who survived the Holocaust and served as a 16-year-old orderly in the 1944 Warsaw Uprising; Warsaw is My Country is designed to be used as a course text for any teacher covering Holocaust studies and World War II in Europe. Holmgren is currently working with Professor Helena Goscilo (Ohio State University) on a book about the reflorescence and ever more diverse themes of Polish film in this century. Slated to be published sometime in 2021, Polish Cinema Today: A Bold New Era in Film  has been written for film scholars and students in general as well as cinephiles.

In addition to her continuing work on sundry editorial boards of book series and journals, Holmgren served as President of the Association of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies in 2008 (the largest organization in the Slavic field outside the region itself), during which period she helped oversee the Association's move to a new, financially less exorbitant location and the hiring of several new staff members. Holmgren served as President of the Association for Women in Slavic Studies for the 2003-2005 term; AWSS has been a major resource for female scholar/teachers' career development, access to publication venues, and celebrating women's achievement. At Duke, Holmgren is proud to hold secondary appointments in Theater Studies and Gender/Sexuality/Feminist Studies, and to serve as a core faculty member for Jewish Studies.  For her updated curriculum vitae. see her site at She will try to keep this site updated as well.

Current Research Interests

Literary journalism and history in Eastern Europe, film history and analysis, theater history and performer biography, Polish Jewish studies, Holocaust studies

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Some information on this profile has been compiled automatically from Duke databases and external sources. (Our About page explains how this works.) If you see a problem with the information, please write to Scholars@Duke and let us know. We will reply promptly.