Beth Holmgren

Beth Holmgren

Professor of Polish and Russian Studies

External address: 
316 Languages Building, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 
Box 90259, Durham, NC 27708-0259
Phone: 
(919) 660-3140

Beth Holmgren, a full 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 recent scholarship focuses on Polish Jewish cultural history of the interwar period.  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. Holmgren was elected President of the Association of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies in 2008 (this is the largest organization in the Slavic field outside the region) and elected President of the Association for Women in Slavic Studies for the 2003-2005 term.  She is currently finishing her second stint as chair of Duke's Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies (2010-2015, 2016-2019).  Holmgren holds secondary appointments in Theater Studies and Gender/Sexuality/Feminist Studies. She is listed as a core faculty member for Jewish Studies.  For her updated curriculum vitae. see her site at academia.edu.

Education

  • Ph.D., Harvard University 1987
  • B.A., Grinnell College 1975

Holmgren, B. Warsaw Is My Country The Story of Krystyna Bierzynska, 1928-1945.: Jews of Poland, February 20, 2018.

Holmgren, B. Starring Madame Modjeska: On Tour in Poland and America.: Indiana University Press, November 10, 2011.

Goscilo, H, and Holmgren, B. Poles apart: Women in modern Polish culture. January 1, 2006.

The Russian Memoir. Ed. Holmgren, Beth, .: Northwestern University Press, November 19, 2003.

Вербицкая, А, and Holmgren, B. Keys to Happiness A Novel.: Indiana University Press, 1999.

Holmgren, B. Rewriting Capitalism.: University of Pittsburgh Pre, December 15, 1998.

Goscilo, H, and Holmgren, B. Russia--women--culture.: Indiana University Press, 1996.

Holmgren, B. Women's Works in Stalin's Time.: Indiana University Press, January 1, 1993.

Holmgren, B. "The Cabaret Song: Its Multi-Ethnic Pedigree and Transnational Adventures, 1919-1968." Being Poland A New History of Polish Literature and Culture since 1918. Ed. Trojanowska, T, Nizynska, J and Czaplinski, P.: University of Toronto Press. October 30, 2018. (Essay)

Holmgren, B. "From the legs up: The rise and retreat of the chorus girl in interwar Poland." Transgressive Women in Modern Russian and East European Cultures: From the Bad to the Blasphemous. January 1, 2016. 13-29. Full Text

Holmgren, B. "Russia on their mind: How hollywood pictured the Soviet front." Americans Experience Russia: Encountering the Enigma, 1917 to the Present. December 1, 2013. 105-123. Full Text

Holmgren, B. "The Polish Actress Unbound: Tales of Modrzejewska/Modjeska." The Other in Polish Theater and Drama. Ed. Johnston, B and Cioffi, K.: Slavica Publishers. 2010. 57-77.

Holmgren, B. "Jean de Reszke." POLISH-AMERICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE: AN ENCYCLOPEDIA. Ed. Pula, J. 2009.

Holmgren, B. "Edouard de Reszke." POLISH-AMERICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE: AN ENCYCLOPEDIA. Ed. Pula, J. 2009.

Holmgren, B. "Ne-natural’naia shkola:Semeistvo Tal'nikovykh Panaevoi." Trava: Punkty. Ed. Ushakin, S and Trofimova, E.: Novoe Literaturnoe Obozrenie. 2009. 45-72.

Holmgren, B. "Aristocrats and Working Girls: Towards a History of Russian Emigre Women in the United States"." MAPPING THE FEMININE: RUSSIAN WOMEN AND CULTURAL DIFFERENCE. Ed. Hoogenboom, H, Nepomnyashchy, C and Reyfman, I. 2008. 231-47..

Holmgren, B. "Settlling for the Real Hollywood: Russians in Studio-Era American Film." American Artists From the Russian Empire. Ed. Petrova, Y.: The State Russian Museum & The Foundation for International Arts and Education. 2008. 97-115.

Holmgren, B. "Evgeniia Ginzburg." Yivo Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe. Ed. Hundert, GD.: Yale UP. 2008.

Pages

Holmgren, B. ""Cabaret Identity: How Best to Play a Jew or Pass as a Gentile in Wartime Poland"." Journal of Jewish Identities July 2014.Issue 7, number 2 (July 2014): 15-33. Open Access Copy

Holmgren, B. "The Lives of Secret Others." East European Film Bulletin (August 2013). (Essay)

Holmgren, B. "Acting Out: Qui pro Quo in the Context of Interwar Warsaw." East European Politics and Societies 27.2 (May 1, 2013): 205-223. Full Text Open Access Copy

Blobaum, R, Holmgren, B, and Wampuszyc, E. "Warsaw 2013." East European Politics and Societies 27.2 (May 1, 2013): 185-186. Full Text

Holmgren, B. "Toward an Understanding of Gendered Agency in Contemporary Russia." Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 38.3 (March 2013): 535-542. Full Text Open Access Copy

Holmgren, B. "The art of playing patriot: The polish stardom of Helena Modjeska." Theatre Journal 62.3 (October 1, 2010): 349-371. (Review) Open Access Copy

Holmgren, B. "War, Women, and Song: The Case of Hanka Ordonowna." Aspasia: the International Yearbook of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern European Women’S and Gender History 2 (2010): 139-54.

Holmgren, B. "Taking Stock, Screening History: Twenty Years of Women’s Studies at AAASS." Newsnet of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies 49 (January 2009): 1-4.

Pages

Holmgren, B. "Jerzy Jurandot." Ed. Sandru, C and Koropeckyj, R. Literary Encyclopedia (2017). (Essay)

Pages

Cabaret Warsaw: Yiddish and Polish Hits of the 1920s and 1930s. Curator. https://www.amazon.com/Cabaret-Warsaw-Yiddish-Polish-1920s/dp/B00MJDCY7I/ref=sr_... (2012)

Abstract

Cabaret Warsaw: Yiddish- and Polish-Language Hits of the 1920s and 1930s. In collaboration with Jane Peppler, a professional musician and literary translator from Yiddish, researched, performed, and produced a collection of 20 representative songs from the literary cabarets and kleynkunst revi-teatrs of interwar Warsaw, the capital of both Polish and Yiddish-language culture between the two world wars. CD produced with funding from Duke University’s Collaborative Arts Development Grant. June 2012. Concert given in Bryan Center, June 2, 2012. Second concert given at Southern Conference for Slavic Studies, Greensboro, NC, March 22, 2013.

Twenty Years Forward: Modern Russian Feminism. Producer, Writer. https://www.amazon.com/Russian-Feminism-Twenty-Years-Forward/dp/0253354315/ref=s... (2009)

Abstract

35-minute documentary written and produced by Beth Holmgren and filmed and edited by Igor Sopronenko, Signature Media Productions LLC. This film focuses on the collaboration between Russian and American scholars and activists and its genesis of Russian women's studies on both sides of the ocean. TWENTY YEARS FORWARD pieces together the history of this collaboration and assesses its consequences through interviews with 18 different subjects.

Selected Grants

"Twenty Years Forward: The Contents and Discontents of Modern Russian Feminism," A Documentary awarded by Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2008 to 2009