Associate Members

Erica Lehrer

© Erica Lehrer

I am a Professor in the Departments of History and Sociology-Anthropology at Concordia University in Montreal, where I am also Founding Director of the Curating and Public Scholarship Lab (CaPSL), a space that supports scholars and students in curatorial thinking and translating their research into exhibition form to engage diverse publics on contentious social issues.

I specialize in critical museum, heritage, and memory studies, and currently lead two overlapping grant-funded research projects, the international Thinking Through the Museum research network, and the Montreal-focused Beyond Museum Walls. My ethnographic field research and curating have focused on silences and opportunities relating to the treatment of Jewish material culture in Polish ethnographic museums, and I am increasingly considering the intersection of the post-Holocaust and post-colonial in museums in the region. From 2020 I am a co-investigator (with Roma Sendyka and Magdalena Waligórska) on the DFG-NCN project (Beethoven Classic program): Polish Folk Art and the Holocaust: Perpetrator – Victim – Bystander Memory Transactions in the Polish German Context, a continuation of the Awkward Objects of Genocide project funded by the Horizon 2020 grant Transmitting Contentious Cultural Heritages with the Arts: From Intervention to Co-Production (TRACES, 2016–2019).

Recent publications

(For a comprehensive list, click here)

“Material Kin: ‘Communities of implication’ in post-colonial, post-Holocaust Polish ethnographic collections.” In (Eds.) Jonas Tinius and Margareta von Oswald, Across Anthropology: Convergences through Museums, Colonial Legacies, and the Curatorial. (Leuven University Press), 2020: pp. 283-316.

“Making space for Jewish culture in Polish ‘folk’ and ‘ethnographic’ museums: Curating social diversity after ethnic cleansing” (with Monika Murzyn-Kupisz). Museum Worlds: Advances in Research, 2019, pp. 82-108.

“Arts of Witness or Awkward Objects? Vernacular art as a source base for ‘bystander’ Holocaust memory in Poland” (with Roma Sendyka).  Special issue of Holocaust Studies: Disputed Holocaust Memory in Poland. (Eds.) Larry Ray and Sławomir Kaprlski.” Vol. 25, Issue 3, 2019, pp. 300-328.

Curatorial Dreams: Critics Imagine Exhibitions (with Shelley Butler). McGill-Queens Press, 2016.