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Join CREES Thursday October 13th at 4pm in the Kansas Room at the Kansas Union for our annual Backus/Ciencala Lecture. 


You can watch the talk via live stream as well.

Please click the link below to join the webinar:

Passcode: 043763


This year we welcome Dr. Malgorzata Fidelis (University of Illinois Chicago) who will give a talk titled “Poland and the Global Sixties: Reframing Narratives of Polish History.”

What are the stakes of placing Polish history in a global context? How “iron” was the Iron Curtain? And why is it so difficult to challenge the isolationist narratives of Cold War Eastern Europe? Through focusing on youth culture and especially youth magazines in 1960s Poland, the lecture asks these broader questions about reframing the conventional narrative of Polish history. The lecture aims to rethink Polish history in the “long sixties” by placing the agency of young people and their engagement with international youth culture at the center of the story. Rather than looking at young people in Poland as subjects to a “totalitarian” regime, it re-positions them as active participants of global conversations: from non-conformist lifestyles, experimentation with consumer products and technology, to counterculture and leftist politics. Ironically, the communist state facilitated young people’s transnational engagements in an effort to create a distinct version of socialist modernity. 


Malgorzata Fidelis is Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She teaches courses on Modern Europe, Eastern Europe, Poland, the Cold War, Women and Gender, and the Global Sixties. Her research focuses on social and cultural issues, particularly everyday life and the relationship between individuals and state power in post-1945 Eastern Europe. Her articles appeared in the American Historical Review, Journal of Women’s History, and Slavic Review, among others. She is the author of Imagining the World from Behind the Iron Curtain: Youth and the Global Sixties in Poland (Oxford University Press, 2022) and Women, Communism, and Industrialization in Postwar Poland (Cambridge University Press, 2010).

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