prof. dr hab. Justyna Olko

prof. dr hab. Justyna Olko

Who am I?

I am a professor at the Faculty of “Artes Liberales” at the University of Warsaw and director of its Center for Research and Practice in Cultural Continuity, an international center created in 2018 together with SOAS (University of London), Leiden University, University of Groningen and Max Planck Institute. I received the first European Research Council grant for humanities in Poland (Europe and America in Contact 2012-2017) and then the Consolidator Grants for the project Multilingual worlds – neglected histories (2021-2026). I am the first female researcher in Poland to have received two ERC grants.  I am the member of the Polish National Science Center Council (2018-2022) and in 2020 I became a winner of the Falling Walls Science Breakthrough of the Year in social sciences and humanities for “Breaking the walls between Academy and local communities in favour of linguistic diversity”.

What are my academic interests?

I specialize in ethnohistory, sociolinguistics, contact linguistics, language endangerment and revitalization as well as decolonizing research practices, with a special focus on Nahua language and culture. I am also involved in different programs and activities focusing on the revitalization of endangered languages, in close collaboration with researchers and activists from Europe and beyond. 

What do I teach?

I have been teaching the Nahuatl language at the University of Warsaw since 2020 and I have established the first permanent multi-level academic program for teaching this language. I have also extensively taught on Indigenous cultures in the Americas, cross-cultural exchange, language and culture contact, Mesoamerican ethnohistory, colonization, language revitalization and decolonizing approaches to studying linguistic-cultural heritage.


I believe my long-term experience in carrying out multidisciplinary research, combining research with socially engaged activities and the synergy between research and teaching can be of special interest for ISSC.