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Dr. Erica Lehrer

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Canada Research Chair in Post-Conflict Memory, Ethnography, and Museology (Tier 2)
Department of History/Department of Sociology and Anthropology (joint appointment), Faculty of Arts and Science

Centre for Ethnographic Research and Exhibition in the Aftermath of Violence


Originally from Lexington, Massachusetts, Dr. Erica Lehrer completed a B.A. with honours in Anthropology at Grinnell College in Iowa. She then earned a Certificate in Museum Studies and an M.A. in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Michigan, where she also attained her Ph.D. in Anthropology. In 2007, following postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Illinois (Program for Research in the Humanities) and the University of Washington (Hazel D. Cole Fellowship), she became a faculty member at Concordia in both the Department of History and the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. Dr. Lehrer was awarded a major CFI grant for the establishment of a research centre called the "Centre for Ethnographic Research and Exhibition in the Aftermath of Violence."

Dr. Lehrer's research looks at cultural practices and products that attempt to apprehend, represent, or come to terms with mass violence and its aftermath — from the stories told in theoretical and creative texts to films, monuments, exhibitions and the 'happenings' of everyday life. She is currently in the process of completing a book manuscript titled Remaking Memory: How Jews and Poles are Salvaging Jewish Heritage in Poland (and reconceiving national belonging along the way), based on ethnographic fieldwork in Poland, Israel, and the United States. She is also engaged in a number of related public projects of cultural interpretation, translation, dialogue, and exchange. In collaboration with Hannah Smotrich, a graphic designer and Assistant Professor at the School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan, Dr. Lehrer is currently working on a project called "conversationmaps."

Although a new scholar, Dr. Lehrer is continuing to build upon an impressive list of achievements that includes:

  • Publishing articles in the journal Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry, and in the 2007 volume Imaginary Neighbors: Mediating Polish-Jewish Relations after the Holocaust. (Eds.) Dorota Glowacka and Joanna Zylinska. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
  • Translating from Polish to English the book Difficult Questions in Polish-Jewish Dialogue. Kozlowski, Maciej, Andrzej Folwarczny, and Michal Bilewicz, Eds. Warsaw, Poland: Jacek Santorski & Co., 2006.
  • Receiving the Graduate Student Paper Prize from the American Anthropological Association Society for Humanistic Anthropology for her conference paper titled "In Praise of 'Passing': Vicarious Jewish Identity in Post-Holocaust, Post-Communist Poland" (2004).
  • Receiving the Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award (based on student evaluations) for the Department of Anthropology, University of Michigan (2003).
  • Holding a graduate fellowship at the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities (2002).
  • Being invited to present her work at institutions including the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of Chicago, the University of Michigan, New York University, the University of Washington, the University of Illinois, Queen's University, and Humboldt University in Berlin.
  • Having her research supported by bodies such as the Fulbright Program, the International Research and Exchanges Board, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
  • Receiving an Honorable Mention for the Emerging Scholar’s Award from the University of Michigan’s Institute for the Humanities in 2008.


Concordia University