Monthly Publications Update, June 2019, PSA/H-Poland Member Submissions

Patrice Dabrowski's picture

(3 entries:  articles)




1.   Mark T. Kettler, "Designing Empire for the Civilized East: Colonialism, Polish Nationhood, and German War Aims in the First World War," Nationalities Papers (2019): 1-17. DOI: 


Keywords: Poland, Colonialism, Germany, World War I, Mitteleuropa, Imperialism


Abstract: This article critically reexamines how Germans understood Polish national identity during World War I, and how their perceptions affected German proposals for ruling Polish territory. Recent historiography has emphasized the impact of colonial ideologies and experiences on Germans’ imperial ambitions in Poland. It has portrayed Germans as viewing Poland through a colonial lens, or favoring colonial methods to rule over Polish space. Using the wartime publications of prominent left liberal, Catholic, and conservative thinkers, this article demonstrates that many influential Germans, even those who supported colonialism in Africa, considered Poland to be a civilized nation for which colonial strategies of rule would be wholly inappropriate. These thinkers instead proposed multinational strategies of imperialism in Poland, which relied on collaboration with Polish nationalists. Specifically, they argued that Berlin should establish an autonomous Polish state, and bind it in permanent military and political union with the German Empire. The perception of Poland as a civilized nation ultimately structured Germany’s occupation policy and objectives in Poland throughout the war, much more than stereotypes of Polish primitivity.


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2.  Luďa Klusáková,  Halina Parafianowicz, and Marlena Brzozowska, "The Strategic Use of Heritage Representations: The Small towns of Podlasie Province," Urbanities--Journal of Urban Ethnography 9, no. 1 (2019). 


Keywords: Small towns, Creatives in small communities, cultural heritage, development strategies, Podlasie (Poland).


Abstract: This article stems from a project researching good practices in the use and re-use by small towns of their cultural heritage. Heritage representations and related participative activities may contribute to urban renaissance, or completely fail if there are no favourable conditions. The selected case of Podlasie Voivodship, a Polish province on the border with Lithuania and Belorussia, represents a peripheral border region. Its settlement is to quite a large extent represented by small towns on the edge of the countryside. To test our hypothesis that towns in border regions across Europe use heritage in their development strategies and that these are comparable through the perspective of the use and reuse of the heritage, the representations of selected settlements were analysed: Tykocin, Supraśl, Hajnówka with Białowieża and Wysokie Mazowieckie. The authors are historians, and combine contextualization with observation of selected cases inspired by visual ethnography. In addition, the general public’s understanding of heritage has been explored through the analysis of 248 questionnaires answered by a focus group of secondary school students from Wysokie Mazowieckie. The findings presented in the article contribute to the debate on the role of Creatives in towns from the historian’s perspective.áková-et-al.pdf 




3.  Wiktor Marzec, “The Birth of the Militant Self: Working-Class Memoirs of Late Russian Poland,” East Central Europe 46 (2019): 29-51.

Keywords:  the 1905 Revolution – autobiography – militant self – working class writing – socialism

Abstract:  The 1905 Revolution was often considered by workers writing memoirs as the most important event in their lives. This paper examines biographical reminiscences of the political participation of working-class militants in the 1905 Revolution. I scrutinize four tropes used by working-class writers to describe their life stories narrated around their political identity. These are: (1) overcoming misery and destitution, (2) autodidacticism, (3) political initiation, and (4) feeling of belonging to the community of equals. All four demonstrate that the militant self cannot be understood in separation from the life context of the mobilized workers. Participation in party politics was an important factor modifying the life course of workers in the direction resonating with their aspirations and longings. The argument is informed by analysis of over a hundred of biographical testimonies written by militants from various political parties in different political circumstances.