Sophie Straube, M.A.


Graduiertenschule für Ost- und Südosteuropastudien
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Maria-Theresia-Straße 21
D-81675 München
Tel.: +49 (0)89 / 2180 - 1375 (Mi, Do)

Doctoral Project

Transformation of the Diaspora. Poland, Political Emigration and American Polonia 1989-2004

The political upheaval of 1989 confronted the countries of Central and Eastern Europe with the challenge of redefining their relationship with post-war political emigrants. In the Polish case, the cross-border need for communication also extended to the so-called "Polonia" - the descendants community of older emigrant generations who had participated in the resistance against the republican Poland. For the nascent Third Polish Republic, the exile issue was therefore part of a broader diaspora-political reorientation, which yet has received little attention as part of Polish transformation history.

The dissertation project follows the communication process between Poland and the exiled and Polonia elites in the USA as a central location of the Polish Diaspora question 1989. The transition from the decades-long confrontation to a relationship of mutual recognition in the form of the three-way constellation Poland - Emigracja - Polonia was by no means uncontroversial. The focus of interest is therefore the interaction of the various perspectives in their influence on the post-socialist form of the Polish and foreign-Polish relationship.

Curriculum Vitae

Born in Weilheim i. OB. 2004-2007 bachelor's degree in German-French Studies at the Universities of Regensburg and Clermont-Ferrand II. 2007-2010 master's programme East-West-Studies at the University of Regensburg with the subjects history of Eastern and Southeastern Europe, Comparative Literture and Comparative Cultural Studies (scholar of the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes). Master thesis about , Masterarbeit zum Thema „The Polish War of Independence and the German Solidarity Movement of the Vormärz in the German-Polish Discourse on Europe: Opportunities for a Transnational Place of Remembrance?“ (honored with the 1st prize of the Consulate General of the Republic in Poland in Munich 2010). Since October 2010 doctorate about "Promotion zum Thema „Poland and the US Polonia around 1989: Discourses on Nation and Diaspora“ (promoted by the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation, 2012 research fellowship of the DHI Warsaw).

Positions, Assignments and Memberships


Hambach 1832: Historisches Ereignis und deutsch-polnisches Freundschaftssymbol / Hambach 1832: Wydarzenie historyczne i polsko-niemiecki symbol przyjani, in: DIALOG 101 (2012), S. 38-41 / 42-45.



"Transformation der Diaspora. Polens 'Diaspora'-Frage 1989 und das amerikanische Exil- und Polonia-Milieu" (Kolloquium des Aleksander-Brückner-Zentrums für Polenstudien, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Halle, Januar 2016).


"Poland's Transition to Democracy and the Diaspora Issue: Re-negotiating the 'Transterritorial Polish Nation'" (ASEEES 46th Annual Convention, San Antonio, USA, November 2014).


"Vom Mauerblümchen zum Versöhnungsstar. Hambachs Karriere als deutsch-polnisches Freundschaftssymbol" (21. Jahrestagung der Deutsch-Polnischen Gesellschaft Bundesverband, Schloß Hambach, Hambach, November 2012).

Vorstellung des Promotionsprojektes (Lehrstuhl für Geschichte Ost- und Südosteuropas, LMU München, München, Juni 2012).

"Polen und die US-amerikanische Polonia seit 1989: Diskurse über Nation und Diaspora im Schatten der Transformation" (20. Tagung Junger Osteuropa-Experten "Jenseits der Transformation", Akademie für Politische Bildung Tutzing, Tutzing, Juni 2012).

Vorstellung des Promotionsprojektes (DHI Warschau, Warschau, März 2012).