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Paulina Bren Adjunct Associate Professor of International Studies

Paulina Bren teaches in International Studies, Women’s Studies, and Media Studies.  Her book, The Barbizon: The Hotel that Set Women Free, will be published with Simon & Schuster in Spring 2021.  Her previous books include The Greengrocer and His TV: The Culture of Communism after the 1968 Prague Spring (Cornell UP, 2010), which won the Council for European Studies 2012 Book Prize, the Austrian Studies Association 2012 Book Prize, and was shortlisted for the 2011 Vucinich Book Award. She is also co-editor of a collection of essays entitled Communism Unwrapped: Consumption in Cold War Eastern Europe (Oxford UP, 2012).

  • BA, Wesleyan University; MA, University of Washington; PhD, New York University
  • At Vassar since 2007

Contact

Research and Academic Interests

  • 20th Century
  • Gender
  • Cultural History
  • Media

Courses

  • INTL 106. Perspectives on International Studies
  • WMST 130. Introduction to Women’s Studies
  • MEDS 160. Approaches to Media Studies

Photos

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Photo: Adam Patane

Paulina Bren received her undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University, her MA from the Jackson School for International Studies at the University of Washington, Seattle, and her PhD in Modern European history from New York University.

Her book, The Barbizon: The Hotel that Set Women Free, will be published with Simon & Schuster in Spring 2021.  It tells the story of New York’s famous women’s residential hotel, The Barbizon (the backdrop to Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar), and the history of women’s ambition through the 20th Century.  Her next book will be on British women in post-WWII Prague and their personal confrontations with communism.

Her previous books include The Greengrocer and His TV: The Culture of Communism after the 1968 Prague Spring (Cornell UP, 2010), which won the Council for European Studies 2012 Book Prize, the Austrian Studies Association 2012 Book Prize, and was shortlisted for the 2011 Vucinich Book Award. It was also translated into Czech and published by Academia in 2013. She is also co-editor, with Mary Neuburger, of a collection of essays entitled Communism Unwrapped: Consumption in Cold War Eastern Europe (Oxford UP, 2012). In January 2017, she co-organized, with Lisa Kaul, the Poughkeepsie Women’s March Across the Hudson.

Bren has been the recipient of many grants and fellowships, including from the National Endowment for Humanities (NEH), the National Council of East European and Eurasian Research (NCEEER), the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), and the Fulbright-Hays.