ZOOM SEMINAR: Polish Post-war Linguistics between East and West: From the Legacy of the late Russian Empire, to Marxism, Structuralism, and Post-structuralism in the Context of a Semi-peripheral Autonomy

  • Date: –16:00
  • Location: Via Zoom
  • Lecturer: Tomasz Zarycki, Johan Peter Falck Fellow, SCAS, and Professor of Sociology, University of Warsaw
  • Website
  • Organiser: Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS)
  • Contact person: Klas Holm
  • Seminarium

Tomasz Zarycki, Johan Peter Falck Fellow at SCAS and Professor of Sociology at the University of Warsaw will present a comprehensive and tentative overview of the evolution of Polish linguistics (as well as selected developments of the Polish literary studies) after 1945. The seminar will be followed by a Q&A.

In my talk, I will present a comprehensive and tentative overview of the evolution of Polish linguistics (as well as selected developments of the Polish literary studies) after 1945. It will rely on field-based analysis inspired by Pierre Bourdieu and attempt to contribute to the development of the studies on the international circulation of ideas inspired by the same school. I will thus adopt a transnational perspective on the given field of social sciences trying to contextualise intellectual developments in Poland both in relation to international trends in linguistics, but also in relation to the political field’s evolution as well as to other disciplines of social sciences. By referring to dependence theories, Poland will be seen as a peripheral country, more specifically as an interface-periphery, that is a space under overlapping influences of two parallel centers: the Soviet and the Western ones.

The primary focus of the talk will be on the post-war era, which is mostly the communist period. However, I will also point to much earlier legacies of the Polish linguistics that influenced its post-war development, including these from the pre-1914 times, particularly from the Russian Empire. I will demonstrate how despite the restrictions of the communist regime, Polish linguistics and literary studies were able to retain a degree of autonomy, which was changing, but overall remained on levels much higher than in most countries of the communist block. I will briefly discuss how in the context of that autonomy some of the key theoretical paradigms have been receiving, interpreted, and developed in Poland. In particular, Marxism, Structuralism, and Post-structuralism. Even if enjoying more freedom, in particular in the intellectual dimension, Polish linguistics was, however, not able to develop its own school with global recognition comparable to one enjoyed by the so-called Tartu-Moscow school or the Prague School of linguistics. In my presentation, I will attempt to offer some explanations of this lack of effectiveness.

For more information and the Zoom link, please see the enclosed PDF file or  http://www.swedishcollegium.se/subfolders/Events.html

Additional information