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Herstories: Trends and Developments in Women’s and Gender History in Poland

Herstories: Trends and Developments in Women's and Gender History in Poland


Professor Agnieszka Mrozik and Professor Joanna Szewczyk reflect on the importance and perspectives of Women’s and Gender History in Poland.

21.03, 18.00 | Pariser Platz 4A, 10117 Berlin | Registration: https://forms.gle/VDsMQk2mXrYE9nMg9

In recent years, a noticeable shift has occurred in Poland towards narratives told from the perspectives of women and other historically marginalized communities. Various authors of publications, books, or podcasts that incorporate micro-perspectives into their narratives and focus on social issues thus shed light on forgotten heroines and heroes. However, these interests extend beyond academic research.

During the first event of a new lecture series accompanying the “Liberated Twice” exhibition Professor Agnieszka Mrozik and Professor Joanna Szewczyk will reflect on the importance and perspectives of Women’s and Gender History in Poland.

Through an anthropological-cultural and literary lens Joanna Szewczyk´s presentation “The Herstorical Turn in Poland – Perspectives, Tasks and Challenges” will explore the expansion of herstorical narratives and the relationship between memory and space as well as touch upon the promotion of women’s history in various spheres.

Another lecture taking place during this event, entitled “Calling out of silence: Let’s talk about women who designed and implemented emancipation policies in post-World War II Poland” and delivered by Agnieszka Mrozikwill talk about the women – leftist politicians, intellectuals and activists of women’s organizations – who were committed to shaping and implementing the goal of women’s emancipation in Poland after the Second World War. She will discuss both their activities on the domestic stage and in international institutions, offering a fair assessment of their achievements but also – despite best efforts – failures.

Photos:Grzegorz Karkoszka

Our exhibition

Both lectures will be followed and enhanced by an open discussion in which we will reflect together not only on various available methods of restoring women´s past and collective memory of women but also the role that the study of their history can play in contemporary Poland. 

Agnieszka Mrozik is an associate professor of literary studies at the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences. She is affiliated with two research units: The Center for Cultural and Literary Studies of Communism, and the Women’s Archive. She has held fellowships from the Imre Kerész Kolleg in Jena (2017), the Institute for Advanced Study CEU (2018-2019) and the DAAD program at the University of Hamburg (2019). She is the author of Architektki PRL-u: Komunistki, literatura i emancypacja kobiet w powojennej Polsce [Female architects of the Polish People’s Republic: Communist women, literature, and women’s emancipation in postwar Poland] (Wydawnictwo IBL PAN, 2022) and Akuszerki transformacji: Kobiety, literatura i władza w Polsce po 1989 roku [Midwives of the transformation: Women, literature, and power in post-1989 Poland] (Wydawnictwo IBL PAN, 2012). She has co-authored and co-edited several collective volumes, including Reassessing Communism: Concepts, Culture, and Society in Poland, 1944–1989 (CEU Press, 2021), Gender, Generations, and Communism in Central and Eastern Europe and Beyond (Routledge, 2020), and Historical Memory of Central and East European Communism (Routledge, 2018).


Joanna Szewczyk– assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology of Literature and Cultural Studies. She works on literary anthropology, feminist literary criticism, 20th-century historical novel, women’s history, 20th and 21st century literature. Winner of the “Monographs” program of the Foundation for Polish Science, she is the author of Historiography and the Mythology of Womanhood. The Novelism of Theodor Parnicki (2017). She has published in “Ruch Literacki”, “Wielogłos”, “Autobiografia”, “Nowa Dekada Krakowska”, among others.


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