(3 entries: books, article)
1. Tim Buchen, Antisemitism in Galicia: Agitation, Politics, and Violence against Jews in the Late Habsburg Monarchy. New York and Oxford: Berghahn, 2020.
Abstract: In the last third of the nineteenth century, the discourse on the “Jewish question” in the Habsburg crownlands of Galicia changed fundamentally, as clerical and populist politicians emerged to denounce Jewish assimilation and citizenship. This pioneering study investigates the interaction of agitation, violence, and politics against Jews on the periphery of the Danube monarchy. In its comprehensive analysis of the functions and limitations of propaganda, rumors, and mass media, it shows just how significant antisemitism was to the politics of coexistence among Christians and Jews on the eve of the Great War.
2. Jack J. B. Hutchens, Queer Transgressions in Twentieth-Century Polish Fiction: Gender, Nation, Politics. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2020.
Keywords: Polish Literature, Twentieth century, Queer theory, Nationalism
Abstract: Throughout the twentieth century in Poland various ideologies attempted to keep queer voices silent—whether those ideologies were fascist, communist, Catholic, or neo-liberal. Despite these pressures, there existed a vibrant, transgressive trend within Polish literature that subverted such silencing. This book provides in-depth textual analyses of several of those texts, covering nearly every decade of the last century, and includes authors such as Witold Gombrowicz, Marian Pankowski, and Olga Tokarczuk, winner of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature. The book demonstrates the subversive power of each work, showing that through their transgressions they help to undermine nationalist and homophobic ideologies that are still at play in Poland today. It argues that the transgressive reading of Polish literature can challenge the many binaries on which conservative, heteronormative ideology depends in order to maintain its cultural hegemony.
3. Ewa Stańczyk, "Szaber in post-war Poland: satirising plunder in Polish magazine cartoons (1945-1946)," Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, Online first: [published online 12 August 2020]
Abstract: This article explores the representations of plunder in Polish magazine cartoons between 1945 and 1946. More specifically, it discusses how instances of looting or szaber (as it was known in Polish), perpetrated in Poland’s so-called Recovered Territories following the expulsions of ethnic Germans, were portrayed by two major magazines, Szpilki and Przekrój. I propose that the satirical cartoons in question were an important (even if rhetorical) form of social engagement and criticism. In this article, I show that not only did it enable magazine editors to comment on but also to critically intervene in widespread lawlessness that erupted in the former German territories. Explored as historical sources, magazine cartoons can not only enable us to describe how graphic representations of plunder entertained, they also demonstrate how satire functioned as a specific cultural practice with which to shape the new post-war order. In that sense, this article reflects implicitly on how cartoons can be productively used as a category of historical analysis. Constituting a passionate response to both social disorder and dispossession that emerged in the aftermath of World War II, satirical cartoons captured the temper of the times in ways that were not accessible to other historical sources.