About us

The Center for Research and Practice in Cultural Continuity, located in the University of Warsaw’s Faculty of “Artes Liberales,” is a centre of academic excellence for conducting transdisciplinary research on culture and language, focusing in particular on cultural-linguistic continuity and survival.

It has been established by the University of Warsaw along with its institutional partners: the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) of the University of London, Universiteit Leiden (Faculty of Archaeology), the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig and the University of Groningen (Campus Fryslân), all of whom are represented on the Centre’s Scientific Council. 

The Center follows the tenets of the Trust Code. A Global Code of Conduct for Equitable Research Partnerships (doi: 10.48508/GCC/2018.05), developed by an EU initiative to prevent the export of unethical research practices to low- and middle-income countries. The Code was adopted unanimously on May 31, 2021.

A fundamental premise for the creation of the Center is the need to carry out cutting-edge international team-based projects that transcend the boundaries of disciplines and foster creative collaboration between academia, society and non-academic partners.

Center’s activities combine and enrich academic work with engaged, self-reflective research dealing with oppressed and discriminated minority and Indigenous communities, seeking ways to channeling research results into the empowerment of individuals and groups. We foster theoretical and practical approaches to decolonizing, participatory research in Indigenous communities and focus on ways of implementing those decolonizing methodologies in the areas of ethnohistory, sociolinguistics and language revitalization. Over the last several years of our research and closely related socially-engaged activities outside the academy, we have developed an open-minded posture toward traditional/Indigenous ways of generating and processing knowledge as a way to enrich mainstream methodology and research practices. The methodological innovation of our work has successfully transcended (also at the level of fieldwork practices) the notion of ‘informants,’ seeking new, non-patronizing forms of collaboration with speakers of indigenous and minority languages and ways to promote their empowerment as agents in the process of research, which is crucial for the cultural survival and epistemological autonomy of their communities. The members of the Center have been actively and deeply engaged in designing, implementing and carrying out many practical activities and programs outside the academy in a number of Indigenous communities in Europe and the Americas.

Our endeavors have been recognized and supported since 2015 by the European Commission through the award of a capacity-building grant within the Horizon 2020 Twinning Program for the project, Engaged humanities in Europe: Capacity building for participatory research in linguistic-cultural heritage (2016-2018; www.enghum.al.uw.edu.pl); this line of research and activities continue and are expanded through subsequent grants, including Minority Languages, Major Opportunities. Collaborative Research, Community Engagement and Innovative Educational Tools (www.coling.al.uw.edu.pl), MSCA-RISE-Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research and the Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) Program, Horizon 2020 (2018-2021) and other ongoing research projects.


Centre’s Scientific Council 2022-2025 :

Dr. Matt Coler, the representative of the University of Groningen

Dr. Heidi Colleran, the representative of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

Prof. Maarten Jansen, the representative of the Leiden University

prof. Justyn Olko, Director of the Center (Chair)

Prof. Agnieszka Otwinowska-Kasztelanic, the representative of the Rector of University of Warsaw

Prof. Julia Sallabank, the representative of the SOAS University of London

Prof. Robert Sucharski, Dean of the Faculty of “Artes Liberales” University of  Warsaw 


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