Johana Wyss: Research & CV

De-Imperial Europe: a Resentful Confederation of Vanquished Peoples? Raw and Lapsed Memories of Post-Imperial Minorities

Research Area 1 – Displacements, “Dépaysements” and Discrepancies: People, Knowledge and Practices


Johana Wyss is a researcher at CEFRES and the Institute of Ethnology, the Czech Academy of Sciences since February 2020. Currently she works with Michèle Baussant on the TANDEM project ‘Europe: a Resentful Confederation of Vanquished Peoples? Raw and Lapsed Memories of Post-Imperial (European) Minorities’. She is also a research member of the V4 Network at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle/Saale in relation to her individual postdoctoral project ‘Memory and Commemoration in Czech Silesia’.

Johana completed her doctoral research at the University of Oxford in 2018 with a thesis entitled Silesian Identity: The Interplay of Memory, History and Borders. Where she provided an ethnographic account of contemporary Opavian Silesian identity (or identities) and its negations. In particular, her thesis concerned the question of how Silesian identity is being negotiated by various social actors in and between the town of Opava, inhabited by ‘Císaráci’, and the neighbouring area of Hlučín, inhabited by ‘Prajzáci’. The competing representations of Silesian-ness and competing reconstructions of the past related to it were considered through Gerd Baumann’s theoretical framework of ‘dominant v. demotic discourse’ and Sharon Macdonald’s ‘difficult heritage’.

In the academic year of 2017-18, Johana was a Mellon-Sawyer Postgraduate Fellow, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Within this post, and as a member of an interdisciplinary team, she co-organised Mellon-Sawyer Seminar Series throughout the academic year. The Post-War: Commemoration, Reconstruction, Reconciliation Seminar Series were held jointly at the Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities, the University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes University. A publication based on the Seminar Series named On Commemoration (eds. Gilbert at al., Oxford: Peter Lang) is forthcoming.




  • 2014-2018: University of Oxford, United Kingdom, D.Phil in Social and Cultural Anthropology
  • 2012-2013: University of Amsterdam, Netherlands, MSc in Social and Cultural Anthropology
  • 2008-2012: University of Aberdeen, Scotland, MA joint honours in Anthropology and Sociology


  • Wyss, J. (forthcoming 2020) Stones Do Not Forget: the Symbolic Struggle Between Forgetting and Being Forgotten. In: Gilbert, C. (Ed.) On Commemoration. Oxford: Petr Lang
  • Janak, D. and Wyss, J. (2018) ‘Ernest Gellner’s Habsburg Dilemma’. In Pepe, W. and Subrt, J. (eds.) Mitteleuropa denken: Intellektuelle, Identitäten und Ideen Der Kulturraum Mitteleuropa im 20. und 21. Jahrhundert [Thinking Central Europe: Intellectuals, Identities, and Ideas – The Cultural Space of Central Europe in the 20th and 21st Century]. Cologne: De Gruyter
  • JASO: Laura Pountney and Tomislav Marić, Introducing Anthropology: What Makes Us Human? Cambridge: Polity Press 2015, 330 pp. ISBN 9780745699783

Grants, Scholarships, and Awards

  • 2019/2021 Max Planck Society Scholarship
  • 2017/2018 Mellon-Sawyer Scholarship
  • 2015/2016 Scatcherd European Scholarship Award
  • 2015/2016 Peter Lienhardt and Philip Bagby Research Travel Grant

Workshop Co-organisation

  • The Rest is Silence: Panel-Led Workshop, Oxford, 19 May 2018
  • Music and Memory: Panel-Led Workshop, Oxford, 28 April 2018
  • Gravestone: Panel-Led Workshop: Oxford, 3 March 2018
  • Museums and National Identity: Panel-Led Workshop, Oxford 21 February 2018
  • Conflict and Community: Panel-Led Workshop, Oxford, 11 November 2017
  • Poetry and Life-Writing: Panel-Led Workshop, Oxford, 21 October 2017

Conference Co-organisation

  • Hegemonic Narratives, Oxford, 18 May 2020
  • Post-War: Remembrance, Recollection, Reconciliation, Oxford, 26 May 2018
  • Creativity and Commemoration, Oxford, 10 March 2018

Selected Conference Presentations

  • 2019 Paper Presented: Fighting on the Wrong Side: a Case Study of Non-German Wehrmacht Soldiers and Their Commemoration, Conference: 118th American Anthropology Association, Vancouver, Canada, 20-24 November.
  • 2019 Presented paper: Heritage of Silenced Memories, International Workshop: No Neighbors’ Land, Deutsches Historisches Institute Warschau and the Polish Academy of Science, Warsaw, 23-25 October.
  • 2019 Presented paper: Anthropology of Memory: Past and Future Trajectories, Conference: Epistemologies of Memory, Kings College, London, 12-13 September.
  • 2019 Presented paper: The Tourist Taste: Cooking Identity, Cultural Heritage, and Silesian-ness, Conference: 20th Cambridge Heritage Symposium: Cooking Identities & Tasting Memories: The Heritage of Food, Cambridge Heritage Research Centre, Cambridge, 10-11 May.
  • 2019 Presented paper: National History and Vernacular Memory, Conference: 29th Annual ASEN Conference, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, 27-28 March.
  • 2018 Presented paper: Remembering the Present, EASA Conference: Staying, Moving, Settling, Stockholm University, Sweden, 14-17 August.
  • 2018 Presented paper: A Hundred Years of What?, Conference: Czechoslovakia 100, The British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies, Cardiff University, UK, 11 May.
  • 2018 Presented paper: Contemporary Czech Nationalism, Conference: 28th Annual ASEN Conference, London School of Economics, London, 27-28 March.
  • 2017 Presented paper: Revenge, Silence, Guilt, Reconciliation?, Conference: 2nd Memory Studies Association, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, 14-16 Dec.
  • 2017 Presented paper: Negotiating the Past and Forming the Future, Conference: 116th American Anthropology Association, Marriott Hotel, Washington DC, USA, 29 Nov.-3 Dec.
  • 2016 Presented paper: Performative Identity, Conference: Ambiguity, Charles University, Czech Rep., 30 Sept.-1 Oct.
  • 2016 Presented paper: Negotiating the Past/Negotiating the Present, Conference: Anthropological Legacies and Human Futures, University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy, 20-23 July.
  • 2015 Presented paper: Collective Amnesia as a Solution to Difficult Heritage, Conference: Visual Anthropology and European Cultural Heritage, University of Warsaw, Poland, 21-26 Sept.
  • 2015 Presented paper: Silencing German Memories, Conference: Utopias, Realities, Heritage: Ethnographies for the 21st Century, University of Zagreb, Croatia, 21-25 June.