Postcolonial Europe

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Seeking the Authentic: Polish Culture and the Nature of Postcolonial Theory

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The notion of postcolonial theory has been floating around the Polish intellectual scene for the last ten years like a colorful balloon that nobody can ever quite capture or claim. Given the country’s experience of foreign occupation and domination throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries – and an earlier quasi-colonial history of its own in present-day Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine – postcolonial theory seems at first glance to open some intriguing possibilities in Polish historical, political, sociological, cultural and literary studies. Indeed, various scholars in all these fields have advocated a turn towards it, though the discussion has generally failed to advance far beyond repeated prefatory remarks and prolegomena. Postcolonial theory in Poland increasingly resembles an unrealized possibility that has somehow already exhausted its creative potential – a stillborn theory.

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Jerzy Stempowski, or how Poles should have bid Farewell to Ukraine

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Jerzy Stempowski was one of the closest collaborators of Jerzy Giedroyc, editor of the Paris monthly Kultura, from the time of the journal’s inception, and had a serious influence on its political standpoint.[1] As an author publishing on its pages, he co-created the particular profile of the journal and his texts became a crucial component of Kultura’s“Eastern European” discourse. It’s worth reminding ourselves that for a long time he occupied fourth position in the list of Kultura’smost frequently published authors.[2] Commissioned by Giedroyc, he wrote various kinds of text—from essays and reportages, reviews and verdicts of literary awards, to commentaries on current political affairs. He signed himself not only with his own name, but also with pseudonyms: “The Unhurried Passerby” (“Nieśpieszny przechodzień”), Paweł Hostowiec or Leon Furatyk.

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Stefan Żeromski’s "Ashes" as a Postcolonial Narrative

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During a trip to Poland in the 1970s I visited the headquarters of Tygodnik Powszechny in Kraków. Its editor, Jerzy Turowicz, proudly displayed in his office a portrait of Franz Joseph, Emperor of Austria and Hungary. From our conversation I learned that he was a great admirer of the Emperor. According to him, under the reign of the Habsburgs Kraków was a truly international city, and its artistic and intellectual life was flourishing.

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The Discourse of Europe and the Search for a European Identity

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The current „discourse of Europe” features an effort to „identify” a Europe that is good and noble, capable of serving as a spiritual basis for a new and (let us not fear the term) post-modernist economic system based on consumerism, multinational capitalism, and commitment to what is euphemistically called „the free market”.
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Central Europe as a Problem

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Towards the end of the nineteenth century there appeared in Germany the idea of Mitteleuropa, a concept related in discursive terms to colonial expansionism, infamous in its intentions. It is worth recalling, however, that the word "colony" (and its derivatives) comes from the Latin colonia, where it meant: a peasant enclosure, a settlement, in order to enter later - via the French colon (one who tills the soil, a settler) - eighteenth-century European dictionaries in its current, rather pejorative, and in any case widely disputed meaning. In the discourse of colonial expansionism, however, it retained a certain heroic aura, since it preferred settlers to nomads, those who cultivated anything at all to ignoramuses. The Latin colonia coincides here with the closely related term "culture" (from the Latin cultus, meaning cultivation, husbandry, breeding) in its original, agricultural association with that which is stable,
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A Theory’s Travelogue: Post-Colonial Theory in Post-Socialist Space

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Few historical events have affected social theory as much as the end of the Cold War. Almost overnight, an entire tradition of thought grounded in Marxism-Leninism, the official paradigm in the social sciences and the humanities in the state-socialist bloc,disappeared. The legitimacy of Marxism of various strands around the globe also suffered. Even less politicized disciplines, from literature to economics, had to reevaluate their hitherto well-established concepts. The once politically supported and burgeoning Sovietology was converted from a political science into a historical discipline.

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Western ‘Eurasianism’ and the ‘New Eastern Europe’: Discourse of Exclusion*

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The term ‘Eurasia’ has many meanings but all of them can be subsumed under two main rubrics. The first is purely geographical, referring to a formidable landmass stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific and considering Europe and Asia as a single continental entity, with a former as a peninsula of the latter. The second meaning is much more versatile but in all its multi-facet representations it refers typically to a Greater Russia, to some space dominated historically by the Russian Empire and its Soviet (and post-Soviet) reincarnation.
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Modern Polish Literature Through a Postcolonial Lens

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Castorp by Pawel Huelle, Poland's most accomplished contemporary writer [Halikowska-Smith, 2003] has frequently been interpreted as a counterpart to Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain. A reader of Mann's novel may remember that before his arrival at Davos, Hans Castorp spent four terms as a student at the Danzig Polytechnic. It is around this digression that Huelle builds his plot, inserting into the biography of Mann's protagonist an extensive Gdansk-based episode.
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Postcolonial Ressentiment — the Ukrainian Case

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A "negative" perspective as a starting-point for the interpretation of identity began with Friedrich Nietzsche's "Genealogy of Morals" (1887), where he introduces the idea of ressentiment and interprets it as part of an "overturn of the value-oriented view" [Nietzsche 1992, 451]. With time this notion acquired a broader cultural interpretation as a particular kind of "imaginary revenge" on an opponent that became an inspiration in the development of an individual "counter-existentia", or counter-existence. Nietzsche modified the habitual affirmative, self-assertive form of identification and talked instead about ressentiment as a method used by those who are incapable of counteraction in any practical way but rather choose to reward themselves with an imaginary revenge. This moment is positively creative, according to Nietzsche: the moment when the appraising look turns away from oneself and towards the outside.
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Alexander Etkind: "Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience", by Madina Tlostanowa

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Neil Lazarus: The Postcolonial Unconscious", by Blanka Grzegorczyk

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Katarzyna Marciniak and Kamil Turowski: "Streets of Crocodiles: Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland", by Magdalena Kania Lundholm

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Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

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Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

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Alexander Etkind: "Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience", by Madina Tlostanowa

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Neil Lazarus: The Postcolonial Unconscious", by Blanka Grzegorczyk

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Katarzyna Marciniak and Kamil Turowski: "Streets of Crocodiles: Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland", by Magdalena Kania Lundholm

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Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

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Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

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Alexander Etkind: "Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience", by Madina Tlostanowa

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Neil Lazarus: The Postcolonial Unconscious", by Blanka Grzegorczyk

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Katarzyna Marciniak and Kamil Turowski: "Streets of Crocodiles: Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland", by Magdalena Kania Lundholm

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Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

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Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

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Alexander Etkind: "Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience", by Madina Tlostanowa

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Neil Lazarus: The Postcolonial Unconscious", by Blanka Grzegorczyk

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Katarzyna Marciniak and Kamil Turowski: "Streets of Crocodiles: Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland", by Magdalena Kania Lundholm

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Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

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Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

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Alexander Etkind: "Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience", by Madina Tlostanowa

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Neil Lazarus: The Postcolonial Unconscious", by Blanka Grzegorczyk

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Katarzyna Marciniak and Kamil Turowski: "Streets of Crocodiles: Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland", by Magdalena Kania Lundholm

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Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

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Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

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Alexander Etkind: "Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience", by Madina Tlostanowa

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Neil Lazarus: The Postcolonial Unconscious", by Blanka Grzegorczyk

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Katarzyna Marciniak and Kamil Turowski: "Streets of Crocodiles: Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland", by Magdalena Kania Lundholm

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Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

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Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

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Alexander Etkind: "Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience", by Madina Tlostanowa

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Neil Lazarus: The Postcolonial Unconscious", by Blanka Grzegorczyk

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Katarzyna Marciniak and Kamil Turowski: "Streets of Crocodiles: Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland", by Magdalena Kania Lundholm

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Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

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Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

Read more...

Alexander Etkind: "Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience", by Madina Tlostanowa

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Neil Lazarus: The Postcolonial Unconscious", by Blanka Grzegorczyk

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Katarzyna Marciniak and Kamil Turowski: "Streets of Crocodiles: Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland", by Magdalena Kania Lundholm

Read more...

Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

Read more...

Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

Read more...

Alexander Etkind: "Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience", by Madina Tlostanowa

Read more...

Neil Lazarus: The Postcolonial Unconscious", by Blanka Grzegorczyk

Read more...

Katarzyna Marciniak and Kamil Turowski: "Streets of Crocodiles: Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland", by Magdalena Kania Lundholm

Read more...

Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

Read more...

Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

Read more...

Alexander Etkind: "Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience", by Madina Tlostanowa

Read more...

Neil Lazarus: The Postcolonial Unconscious", by Blanka Grzegorczyk

Read more...

Katarzyna Marciniak and Kamil Turowski: "Streets of Crocodiles: Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland", by Magdalena Kania Lundholm

Read more...

Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

Read more...

Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

Read more...

Alexander Etkind: "Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience", by Madina Tlostanowa

Read more...

Neil Lazarus: The Postcolonial Unconscious", by Blanka Grzegorczyk

Read more...

Katarzyna Marciniak and Kamil Turowski: "Streets of Crocodiles: Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland", by Magdalena Kania Lundholm

Read more...

Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

Read more...

Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

Read more...

Alexander Etkind: "Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience", by Madina Tlostanowa

Read more...

Neil Lazarus: The Postcolonial Unconscious", by Blanka Grzegorczyk

Read more...

Katarzyna Marciniak and Kamil Turowski: "Streets of Crocodiles: Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland", by Magdalena Kania Lundholm

Read more...

Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

Read more...

Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

Read more...

Alexander Etkind: "Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience", by Madina Tlostanowa

Read more...

Neil Lazarus: The Postcolonial Unconscious", by Blanka Grzegorczyk

Read more...

Katarzyna Marciniak and Kamil Turowski: "Streets of Crocodiles: Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland", by Magdalena Kania Lundholm

Read more...

Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

Read more...

Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

Read more...

Alexander Etkind: "Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience", by Madina Tlostanowa

Read more...

Neil Lazarus: The Postcolonial Unconscious", by Blanka Grzegorczyk

Read more...

Katarzyna Marciniak and Kamil Turowski: "Streets of Crocodiles: Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland", by Magdalena Kania Lundholm

Read more...

Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

Read more...

Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

Read more...

Alexander Etkind: "Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience", by Madina Tlostanowa

Read more...

Neil Lazarus: The Postcolonial Unconscious", by Blanka Grzegorczyk

Read more...

Katarzyna Marciniak and Kamil Turowski: "Streets of Crocodiles: Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland", by Magdalena Kania Lundholm

Read more...

Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

Read more...

Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

Read more...

Alexander Etkind: "Internal Colonization. Russia's Imperial Experience", by Madina Tlostanowa

Read more...

Neil Lazarus: The Postcolonial Unconscious", by Blanka Grzegorczyk

Read more...

Katarzyna Marciniak and Kamil Turowski: "Streets of Crocodiles: Photography, Media, and Postsocialist Landscapes in Poland", by Magdalena Kania Lundholm

Read more...

Sandra Ponzanesi and Bolette B. Blaagaard (Ed.): “Deconstructing Europe. Postcolonial Perspectives”, by Paulina Gąsior

Read more...

Gjoko Muratovski: The use of built environments in the formation and change of national identities: the case of Macedonia and ‘Skopje 2014’

Read more...