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Frankee Lyons

Graduate Student


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Frankee Lyons is a Ph.D. Candidate in Modern Eastern European history working with Małgorzata Fidelis and Keely Stauter-Halsted. Her project examines perceptions of Jewish belonging and participation in early communist state-building in Poland, focusing on the post-Stalinist Thaw and “Gomułka aliyah” period (1954-1960).

During the 2019-2020 academic year, Lyons was a Fulbright grantee and Title VIII Fellow in Warsaw, Poland. In past years, she completed intensive Polish language training with funding from the Title VIII Program for Research and Training on Eastern Europe and the Independent States of the Former Soviet Union. In 2018, Lyons was an Auschwitz Jewish Center Fellow.

Currently Lyons is based in Warsaw, Poland in affiliation with the Institute of Political Studies at the Polish Academy of Sciences. She is a 2020 JDC Archives Fellow.


Selected Publications

“A Window Into 1950s Polish Jewish Life,” Museum of Jewish Heritage & Auschwitz Jewish Center, 24 October 2019

Notable Honors

2020, JDC Archives Nathan & Sarah Chesin Fellowship, JDC Archives

2019, IIE Fulbright U.S. Student Research Grant, U.S. Department of State

2019, Title VIII Research & Language Fellowship, U.S. Department of State

2019, PROM EU International Scholarship, Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange

2018, Polish Resistance (AK) Foundation Scholarship, UIC Department of History

2018, Auschwitz Jewish Center Fellowship, Auschwitz Jewish Center in Oświęcim, Poland

2018, Portable Title VIII Fellowship, U.S. Department of State

2017, Portable Title VIII Fellowship, U.S. Department of State

2016, Polish Resistance (AK) Foundation Scholarship, UIC Department of History

2016, University Fellowship, UIC Graduate College


2018 Master of Arts in History, University of Illinois at Chicago
2015 Bachelor of Arts in History, The George Washington University

Teaching assistantships:
HIST 234: History of Poland
HIST 101: Western Civilization since 1648
HIST 213: Europe, 1815 – 1914
HIST 235: Rise and Fall of Communism in Eastern Europe

Professional Memberships

Association for Slavic, East European & Eurasian Studies (ASEEES)

Association for Jewish Studies (AJS)

Selected Presentations

[upcoming December 2020] Panelist & session co-organizer, Association for Jewish Studies Annual Conference, Session: Jews in Communist Poland, 1947-1968,” Presentation: “A Chance to Start Anew: Jews in the Second Repatriation, 1956-1960

Guest Lecturer, Fulbright Open Lecture Series, Medical University of Warsaw, Poland, October 25, 2019, “Jewish Belonging and the Polish Road to Socialism, 1953-60”

Presenter, Seventh World Congress on Polish Studies, University of Gdańsk, Poland, June 14-16, 2019, “Youth, Yiddish, and the ‘Zionist’ Threat: Global Jewish Connection and Commemoration, Warsaw 1955”

Presenter, Loyola History Graduate Student Conference, Chicago, Illinois, November 3, 2018, “Jewish Youth at the Fifth World Festival of Youth and Students”

Participant, Russian and East European Jewish Cultures Junior Scholars Workshop , University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, May 21-22, 2018, “Jewish Youth at the Fifth World Festival of Youth and Students"

Research Currently in Progress

Research Interests:
Modern Eastern Europe; history of Poland; modern Jewish history; history of communism; post-war and Cold War Europe; migration, exile, diaspora.