Concepts, Culture, and Society in Poland 1944–1989
The thirteen authors of this collective work undertook to articulate matter-of-fact critiques of the dominant narrative about communism in Poland while offering new analyses of the concept, and also examining the manifestations of anticommunism. Approaching communist ideas and practices, programs and their implementations, as an inseparable whole, they examine the issues of emancipation, upward social mobility, and changes in the cultural canon.
The authors refuse to treat communism in Poland in simplistic categories of totalitarianism, absolute evil and Soviet colonization, and similarly refuse to equate communism and fascism. Nor do they adopt the neoliberal view of communism as a project doomed to failure. While wholly exempt from nostalgia, these essays show that beyond oppression and bad governance, communism was also a regime in which people pursued a variety of goals and sincerely attempted to build a better world for themselves.
The book is interdisciplinary and applies the tools of social history, intellectual history, political philosophy, anthropology, literature, cultural studies, and gender studies to provide a nuanced view of the communist regimes in east-central Europe.
About the Authors
Katarzyna Chmielewska, PhD is Assistant Professor at the Institute of Literary Research of PAN, works in the Literature and Contexts Team and in the Centre for Cultural and Literary Studies on Communism. Co-founder of the IBL PAN Centre for Cultural and Literary Studies on Communism. Editor of the series "Communism. Ideas – Discourses – Practices".
Agnieszka Mrozik – PhD in Literary Studies and MA in American Studies. Employed at the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Science since 2008; affiliated with two research teams – Centre for Cultural and Literary Studies of Communism, and the Women's Archive.
Grzegorz Wołowiec – PhD in Literary Studies, Since 1998, he has been employed at IBL PAN, since 2009 he is head of the "Literature and Contexts" Research Team and, since 2011, co-founder and head of the Centre for Cultural and Literary Studies of Communism, IBL PAN.
Other Titles in Marxism & Communism