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Laurie Koloski is an Associate Professor of History at the College of William & Mary at Williamsburg, Virginia. She received her BA in Russian and East European Studies from the University of Michigan, an MA from Yale University, and a PhD in History from Stanford University. She also holds certificates
from the Center for Polish Language and Culture in the World at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland, where she studied between 1982 and 1985.
Her teaching interests include modern Europe, communism and socialism, historical interpretation, world history since 1000, and material culture. Her research centers on post-1945 Poland, and she is completing a monograph titled Seeing Beyond the State: Kraków, Culture, and the Remaking of Poland, 1945-1955, to be published by University of North Carolina Press. It explores cultural production in early postwar Poland, tracing individuals’ abilities to “see beyond the state” and forge their own cultural, social, and even political paths in spite of state officials’ efforts to push them toward narrow and even oppressive “socialist” identities and practices.
She has led groups of students on study abroad programs in the Czech Republic and Poland, and between 2006 and 2010 she served as director of William & Mary’s Reves Center for International Studies, which oversees study abroad and international student/scholar programs and supports a range of on-campus international activities and overseas partnerships. As director, she helped launch new cross-disciplinary faculty-led research projects, a global film festival, and the College’s joint undergraduate degree programs with St Andrews University in Scotland.