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Barbara Milewski

Associate Professor of Music



  2. Phone: (610) 328-8238
  3. Lang Music Building 402

Barbara Milewski is Associate Professor of Music in the Department of Music and Dance at Swarthmore College.  She earned an AB from Bowdoin College, an MA from SUNY Stony Brook and a PhD from Princeton University. A Polish music specialist, she has lectured extensively on Chopin and folk music, Polish musical memory, and music of the concentration camps. Her scholarship has appeared in 19th-century Music, Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry, 19th-century Music Review, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and in the volume Dislocated Memories: Jews, Music, and Postwar German Culture, ed. by Tina Frühauf and Lily Hirsch. With Bret Werb she produced an annotated compact disc of archival recordings, Aleksander Kulisiewicz: Ballads and Broadsides. Her translations of Polish songs for that recording, as well as for Thomas Pasatieri's song cycle Letter to Warsaw, and Paul Schoenfield's Camp Songs, have brought wider attention to the remarkable repertoire of topical songs created in the Nazi camps. Most recently she was a contributor to the BBC's The Documentary  podcast, "Songs from the Depths of Hell" narrated by presenter Alan Dein.

Her work has been generously supported by fellowships and prizes awarded by NEH, Fulbright, the American Musicological Society, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the U.S. Department of Defense, the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America, and the Kosciuszko Foundation. She is also the recipient of a Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award. In 2015, a prestigious Pew Center for Arts and Heritage Grant funded collaboration with Theater scholar Allen Kuharski to bring Michał Zadara’s acclaimed work, Chopin Without Piano, to Swarthmore, Philadelphia and Boston for its North American premiere. (

This year her essay, "Hidden in Plain View: The Music of Holocaust Survival in Poland’s First Postwar Feature Film," which is the first full-length treatment of the music of Forbidden Songs (1947), will appear in Music, Memory, Nostalgia and Trauma in European Cinema after the Second World War. She is currently completing  a book-length study provisionally titled Musical Mementos from the Nazi Concentration Camps. You can find Milewski’s CV and published work at


Camp Mementos from Krystyna Zywulska: The Making of a Satiri

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