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Stanczyk, Ewa

Ewa Stanczyk

EURIAS Fellow (1 September 2014 – 30 June 2015)

Children of World War II: Representation and Commemoration in Poland

Research Question

What are the official and non-official ways of representing and commemorating World War II children in Poland and, consequently, what does it tell us about the cultural concepts of childhood as well as Polish collective memory and national identity both under Communism and in its aftermath?

Project Description

This project explores the commemoration of World War II children in both Communist and post-Communist Poland. By discussing the ways in which the juvenile participants of war are portrayed in urban spaces, educational and school projects, museum exhibitions and popular culture, this project challenges the conventional notion of children as passive victims and poses broader questions about the shifting cultural perceptions of childhood. More generally, this study constitutes an important voice in the ongoing debate on the appropriation, sublimation and manipulation of the memory of World War II in post-1945 Europe and as such, provides a salient commentary to the resulting myths which shape the collective memory and affect contemporary identities, at both national and supra-national levels.

Selected Publications

1) “’Long Live Poland!’: Representing the Past in Polish Comic Books”, Modern Language Review 109/1 (2014): 186-206.

2) “Remaking National Identity: Two Contested Monuments in Post-Communist Poland”, Central Europe11/2 (2013): 126-41.

3) “Caught between Germany and Russia: Memory and National Identity in Poland’s Right-Wing Media post-2004”, Slavonic and East European Review 91/2 (2013): 289-316.

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