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
(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


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

Holmgren, B. “Settlling for the Real Hollywood: Russians in Studio-Era American Film.” In American Artists From the Russian Empire, edited by Yevgenia Petrova, 97–115. The State Russian Museum & The Foundation for International Arts and Education, 2008.

Holmgren, B. “Evgeniia Ginzburg.” In Yivo Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe, edited by Gershon D. Hundert. Yale UP, 2008.

Holmgren, B. “Nadezhda Mandel’shtam.” In Dictionary of Literary Biography: Russian Prose Writers After World War II, edited by Christine Rydel, 302:164–71. Thomson Gale, 2008.

Holmgren, B. “Fiction and the Acting Life: The Memoir of Helena Modjeska.” In Real Stories, Imagined Realities: Fictionality and Non-Fictionality in Literary Constructs and Historical Contexts, edited by Markku Lehtimaki, Simo Leisti, and Marja Rytkonen, 343-57. Tampere University Press, 2007.

Holmgren, B. “Public women, parochial stage: The actress in late nineteenth-century Poland.” In Poles Apart: Women in Modern Polish Culture, 11–35, 2006.

Holmgren, B. “Five short articles – "Nadezhda Mandelstam," "Liudmila Petrushevskaia," "GUM," "Lidiia Ruslanova," "Red Army Chorus".” In THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF CONTEMPORARY RUSSIAN CULTURE, edited by Karen Evans-Romaine, Helena Goscilo, and Tatiana Smorodinskaya. Routledge UP, 2006.

Holmgren, B. “W domu u Sienkiewicza.” In Polonistyka Po Amerykansku: Badania Nad Literature Polska W Ameryce Polnocnej (1990-2005), edited by Halina Filipowicz, Andrzej Karcz, and Tamara Trojanowska, 301–15. Wydawnictwo, Warsaw, Poland: Instytut Badan Literackich PAN, 2005.

Holmgren, B. “Imitation of Life: A Russian Guest in the Polish Regimental Family.” In Polish Encounters/Russian Identity, edited by David Ransel and Bozena Shallcross, 37–49. Indiana University Press, 2005.

Holmgren, B. “America, America: Scouting the Routes of Translation.” In Living in Translation: Polish Writers in America, edited by Halina Stephan, 29–43. Rodopi Press, 2003.

Holmgren, B. “Emigre-zation: American Picture Books and Russian Artists.” In KAZAAM! SPLAT! PLOOF! The American Impact on European Culture Since 1945, edited by Sabrina Ramet and Gordana Crnkovic, 219–33. Rowman and Littlefield, 2003.


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.

Holmgren, B. “Introduction.” Russian Memoir: History and Literature, December 1, 2003.

Gheith, J., and B. Holmgren. “Art and prostokvasha: Avdot'ia panaeva's work,” December 1, 2003, 128–44.

Holmgren, B. “Nadezhda Mandel'shtam and her american interlocutors.” Russian Review 61, no. 4 (January 1, 2002): 531–34. Full Text

Holmgren, B. “Virility and Gentility: How Sienkiewicz and Modjeska Redeemed America.” Polish Review XLVI, no. 3 (2001): 283–96.

Holmgren, B. “Patronized saints: The cult of the artist in Poland's illustrated weekly.” East European Politics and Societies 10, no. 3 (January 1, 1996): 416–37. Full Text