POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews
Ruth Meltzer Fellowship

Research Topic

East European Jews, Health, Race, and Citizenship, 1830-1930


Sofiya Grachova researches science and the history of interethnic relations in modern Eastern Europe. Most recently, she has embarked upon a project examining the history of racial anthropology in Ukraine. She has held, among others, a Max Weber Postdoctoral Fellowship at the European University Institute, a GEOP Postdoctoral Fellowship at the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, a research fellowship at the German Historical Institute, and a Herzog Ernst Fellowship at the Gotha Research Center of the University of Erfurt. As a Katz Center fellow, she plans to finish her monograph, East European Jews, Health, Race & Citizenship, 1830–1930.

Grachova received her PhD in history from Harvard University in 2014. While in graduate school, she explored nineteenth- and twentieth-century Jewish medical anthropology in Russia.

Selected publications

  • “Ukrainian-Jewish History Writing, 1880–1917: From an Empire toward a (Multi-)National State” (Jewish Culture and History, forthcoming) 
  • “Between History and Nature: Mendelism and the Concept of Jewish ‘Race’ in Russian Medicine, 1900–1930” (Max Weber Working Papers, European University Institute, 2015)



Posing new questions about the theories, institutions, and paradigms shaping the study of nature, and about the cultural and religious consequences that emerge from such study.