22 Mar

Marginalized (not only) in Times of Lockdown

In recent months, culture and the arts have suffered severely under pandemic-related restrictions. While artists, freelancers, independent projects, and even publicly funded cultural institutions are struggling for economic survival, we easily overlook the fact that—also in “normal times”—the autonomy of culture is increasingly being called into question. With respect to the immediate effects of this …
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15 Mar

Crimes without Punishments and Damaged Collective Identities

The lecture will briefly present the circumstances of the massacre committed in the town of Dvor during the Croatian Army’s Operation Storm, which crushed the secessionist Serb Republic of Krajina. In the early afternoon of August 8, 1995, nine (possibly ten) mentally ill and handicapped people were executed in Dvor’s primary school, where they had …
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01 Mar

The Sociological Truth of Fiction: The Post-Communist Novel as Social Theory of Normalization in Czechoslovakia

Social scientists often refer to literary fiction as a source of inspiration, social understanding, and deep insights into the “Zeitgeist” or “episteme”. In passing, they often subsume literature into conceptual frameworks, approaching it as “fictional” data to be translated or converted into “factual” scholarly discourse. This presentation will try to develop an epistemological-theoretical model which …
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08 Feb

Whose Story? Which Sacrifice?

Sacrifice may be a topic of intense philosophical-theological academic debate, but it is also the everyday experience of millions of ordinary people. Scholarly reflection on sacrifice has produced an ambiguous discourse which stretches across numerous disciplines from anthropology, to religious and social studies, to ethics. Sacrifice has of course developed within the religious-cultic context and …
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17 Dec

Junior Visiting Fellows’ Conference

[Download the Program as PDF] Morning Session Moderator: Iryna Sklokina 10:00–10:40 Monstrous Europe. Opicinus de Canistris and the Collective Body of Late Medieval Christianity Michał Pospiszyl Adjunct of Philosophy and Cultural Studies, Institute of Political Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences Discussant: Tomasz Rakowski (University of Warsaw) 10:40–11:20 Borderlands and the Central Europe of the 21st …
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14 Dec

Language Policies in Multilingual Countries: Western and Non-Western Approaches

My presentation will be based on the nearly completed Ukrainian-language book that examines the varieties of language policy in a number of Western and non-Western multilingual countries, looking not only at those with official bi- or multilingualism but also at those promoting one dominant language. The book seeks to describe and explain their successes and …
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07 Dec

Belarusian Protests: In Search of Democracy, or the Restructuring of State Institutions

For more than 100 days in Minsk, citizens’ protests against the authorities, which falsified the results of the last presidential elections, have not subsided. Forms of suppression unprecedented in Europe – violence and brutality against protesters – have forced many citizens to reconsider their attitude to what is happening. If initially the protest was inspired …
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30 Nov

“Blame-Games” and “Blame Avoidance”

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world both dramatically and irrevocably. For months, politics and media have focused on COVID-19 and the countless facets of its impact of ever more uncertainty and insecurity in our lives. Following Zygmunt Bauman’s Liquid Fear (2006) and Wodak’s The Politics of Fear (2021), it has become evident that a …
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23 Nov

Mental Illness as a Cultural and Societal Phenomenon

The collapse of communism in the CEE region 30 years ago was the start of a long-term process of sociopolitical change, in which a major transformation of the mental health system was expected. Unfortunately, this transformation is not yet complete. For example, in Poland people with severe mental illnesses and disabilities are treated in large …
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16 Nov

The Stage of Pre-solidarity

My experimental study may reveal elements of recent Polish social history omitted in local knowledge-production. I will focus on enthusiastic building, social deeds, vernacular creativity, and various stages of pre-solidarity in Poland since late socialism. I will discuss the flipside of late socialist modernization in Poland, and its trajectory after 1989, considered as both intimate, …
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