Sofia Dyak

historian, researcher (2007-2010), director of the Center and the head of the Foundation in Ukraine (2010-present).

Holds a BA in history from the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, an MA in history from the Central European University in Budapest, and a PhD in sociology from the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences (Warsaw). Her dissertation “(Re)imagined Cityscapes: Lviv and Wrocław after the Second World War” compared the postwar history of integration of two Central European cities, Lwów/Lviv and Breslau/Wrocław.

Dr. Dyak was a fellow of the German Historical Institute in Warsaw, the Gerda Henkel Foundation, the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, the Historical Dialogue and Accountability Program at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights of Columbia University, and the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute. In 2019-2023 she is a senior research fellow at the Center for Contemporary History in Potsdam. In 2021 she joined the Board of Directors of the Ukrainian-Jewish Encounter initiative.

Dr. Dyak’s research interests include post-war urban recovery and transformation in Eastern Europe, heritage infrastructures and practices in socialist cities, and their legacies. She is preparing a manuscript with the preliminary title “New Lives in Old Cities: Postwar Lviv and the Power of Accommodation.” Her new projects address two topics. One of her recent projects looks at the management and infrastructures of “local turn” in Soviet Ukraine during the late Socialism period, including twenty-six volumes “The History Cities and Villages of U[krainian]SSR” and the network of local history museums. Another looks at urban professionals from the areas incorporated into the Soviet and socialist realm after 1945 who were involved in infrastructural projects across Africa and Asia and how their individual and professional trajectories developed after involvement in such projects.

Another area of her work is public history. She curated exhibitions and educational projects related to rethinking the past, especially in urban public spaces.

Her teaching includes seminars on public history at the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv and Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in Kyiv, course “Cities and Culture in the Cities” (with Dr. Bohdan Shumylovych) at the Ukrainian Catholic University. In 2010-2017 she was a co-curator (with Dr. Iryna Matsevko) of summer schools on Jewish history and culture at the Center for Urban History.

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Documents (1)

Letter of Evhenia Kraidman to Lazar Kaganovich
A letter of sixth-grader Evgenia Kraidman to Lazar Kaganovich with a request to allow her to return to Lviv from Kazakhstan after World War II. Comment and bibliographical details are coming...
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Related syllabi (1)

This seminar explores ideas and practices of heritage in Eastern and Central Europe between 1945 and now. The course is designed as a set of five meetings, which will include short lecture introductions, seminar discussions, and at the end – practical workshop. Our meetings will be about discussing the texts, addressing cases you will read about or already know. Thіs the seminar will be our common effort in reading, asking questions and searching for answers. Therefore it is crucial that you will read assigned parts of selected texts and also consult texts from the recommended reading list. While reading assigned texts, please keep a short track of your ideas and formulate several questions...