Iwona Kurz (1972) – Professor in the Section for Film and Visual Culture; historian of Polish modernity. Her main fields of interest are the history of modern Polish culture from the visual perspective, anthropology of body and gender, anthropology and history of visual culture. Since 2016 Director of the Institute, in 2012–2016 Deputy Director of the Institute, and before the Head of the Section for Film and Visual Culture (2006–2014).
She teaches courses devoted to the anthropology of visual culture, history of 19th-century culture, history of 20th-century culture, and author courses titled From photography to Facebook. Modern subject and visual media, Memory of Auschwitz, Photo-identity. Body and memory in visual culture (M.A. and B.A. seminar), the workshop Media in culture, a critical writing workshop.
She is the author of Twarze w tłumie [Faces in the Crowd. Views of the Heroes of Collective Imagination in Polish Culture 1955–1969] (2005), which won the Bolesław Michałek Award for the best film studies book in 2005; and was short-listed for the Nike Literary Award in 2005. She is also the co-author of Obyczaje polskie. Wiek XX w krótkich hasłach [Polish Customs. 20th Century in Short Entries] (2008), editor of Film i historia. Antologia [Film and History. Anthology] (2008), which received the Rector of the University of Warsaw Prize, and Return to the Archives thematic issue of „Kultura Współczesna” (Contemporary Culture, no 4/2011); co-editor of readers Antropologia ciała [Anthropology of the Body] (2008) and Antropologia kultury wizualnej [Anthropology of Visual Culture] (2012), editor and co-translator of Jonathan Crary’s Suspension of Perception (2009). She is also a co-author of schoolbook for high schools Człowiek w kulturze [Man in culture] (2006).
In 1994–2008 she was a member of a team organising „Animacja Kultury” – a curriculum of studies in culture animation – and coordinating international projects in this field financed by EU programme „Leonardo da Vinci”: ANIMA (1998–2001), ANIMUS (2001–2004) and ANIMATOR (2006–2008). Co-editor and co-author of publications on culture animation and participation: Culture Animation (2002), Now! Culture animation (2008), Locally: culture animation and community arts (2008). She is a participant of the Citizens of Culture movement.
Since 2013 she leads the research project „Visual Culture in Poland: Language, Concepts, Meta-pictures” (NCN, OPUS program, 2012/05/B/HS2/03985). The main aim of the project is an „archeologic” reflection on seeing and its practices in Polish culture since the end of the 19th century till nowadays. She is also a co-leader of project „Creation and Analysis of Sources in Performance Arts” (NPRH, 11H 11 017080) and participates in projects devoted to research on 19th-century expositions and memory of Holocaust.
In 2013-2020 she was a co-editor of the academic journal „View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture” (pismowidok.org). She regularly publishes popular articles on visual arts in „Dwutygodnik.com”, „Kino” and „View”.
She is currently working on a book devoted to the visual forms of memory of Auschwitz.