Paulina Bren received her undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University, her M.A. from the Jackson School for International Studies at the University of Washington, Seattle, and her Ph.D. in Modern European history from New York University.
Her first book, The Greengrocer and His TV: The Culture of Communism after the 1968 Prague Spring (Cornell UP, 2010), 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. Her second book, co-edited with Mary Neuburger, was 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 is currently working on three different projects: a book on New York’s famous 20th century women’s residential hotel, The Barbizon (the backdrop to Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar); a book on British wives in postwar Czechoslovakia at the height of Stalinism; and, with Mary Neuburger, a textbook on 19th and 20th Century Eastern Europe, commissioned by Bloomsbury.
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.