Dr Jan Lanicek

Senior Lecturer (Modern European and Jewish History)
PhD (Southampton); MA (Soton); MA (Olomouc); PhDr. (Prague)
School of Humanities & Languages


+61 2 9385 1497
364 Morven Brown
Fields: European History (excl. British, Classical Greek and Roman), Jewish Studies

I joined the School of Humanities in July 2012 as a postdoctoral fellow in Jewish history. My postdoctoral project analyses the existence of the Jewish minority question in the region between Germany and the Soviet Union in the interwar period (The Jewish Minority Question in the ‘New Europe’ during the 1930s). The minorities question and international guarantees securing the peaceful existence of minorities were fundamental issues shaping interwar European politics. In contrast with previous work, this project evaluates how the Jewish minority question in East-Central Europe was perceived and constructed by regimes in the ‘New Europe’ (Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland and Romania), various Jewish ideological groups and in the international community. I analyse and contextualise this array of interplaying perspectives through the prism of the international construction of the Jewish minority question. In my research I employ divergent methodological strategies to document inter-ethnic relations in East-Central Europe and analyse the social and cultural construction of the ‘otherness’ of the Jews by the involved actors. The core of this project centres on the period between 1933 and 1939. Whilst previous authors have dealt with the situation in Nazi Germany and the refugee crisis, I specifically address the ways in which the international community treated the Jewish question in the East-Central European region in the framework of the minority treaties signed in 1919. Dealing with the prelude to the Holocaust, the project offers a fresh perspective on bystanders’ responses to the persecution of the Jews during the 1930s. Contemporary societies are riddled with issues pertaining to the coexistence of multicultural communities. Using the paradigm of the situation in interwar East-Central Europe, this project will provide challenging conclusions for contemporary western societies and their treatment of the divergent cultures among them.

I was born in the Czech Republic, where I completed my graduate studies at Palacky University in Olomouc (2006). I moved to the United Kingdom and in 2011 received a Ph.D. from the Department of History and the Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish/non-Jewish relations, University of Southampton. My dissertation ‘The Czechoslovak Government-in-Exile and the Jews during World War 2 (1938-1948)’ is now under book contract with Palgrave Macmillan (Czechs, Slovaks and the Jews, 1938-1948: Beyond Idealization and Condemnation). In 2011-12, I worked as a Prins Foundation postdoctoral research fellow at the Center for Jewish History in New York. In my research I focus on modern Jewish history, in particular Jewish/non-Jewish relations in East-Central Europe during the 1930s and 1940s.


Jan Láníček, Czechs, Slovaks and the Jews, 1938-48: Beyond Idealisation and Condemnation (Palgrave: 2013).

Co-edited with Dr James Jordan, Governments-in-Exile and the Jews during the Second World War (Vallentine Mitchell, 2013).


Teaching and Supervision

Session 1 2017: ARTS2285 The Holocaust: Origins, Implementation, Aftermath

ARTS2785 Europe between the Wars

Session 2 2017: ARTS1782 Contemporary Europe in Crisis

Honours and prizes

Saul Kagan Postdoctoral Fellow in Advanced Shoah Studies, Cohort VII (2014-15)

Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture Fellowship

Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism Scholarship

Honorary Fellow of the Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish/non-Jewish Relations, University of Southampton

Engagement and Professional contributions

Vicepresident (NSW) Australian Association for Jewish Studies

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