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EU Month of Culture Spotlight: Poland

As part of this year’s European Month of Culture, we focus on scholars from European Union member states who have conducted research at the Library of Congress Kluge Center.

Wish to apply for a fellowship at the Library? Applications are now being accepted for Kluge Fellowships. Scholars worldwide who have earned a terminal advanced degree within the past seven years are eligible. Apply today

Krzysztof Jaskulowski, Kluge Fellow

Krzysztof Jaskulowski

Krzysztof Jaskulowski was a Kluge Fellow in 2006. Photo provided by the scholar, used with permission.

Krzysztof Jaskulowski was in residence at the Library of Congress for four months from 2006 to 2007 researching theories of nationalism in the English-speaking world. Jaskulowski examined contemporary debates on nationalism and its origins, and investigated various theories on the rise and construction of Eastern European nation states.

Jaskulowski arrived at the Kluge Center as an assistant professor at the Institute of History at the University of Wroclaw, Poland. He received his doctorate from the same university in 2002, his dissertation examining the leader of the Welsh National Party Gwynfor Evans, President of the Plaid Cymru from 1945 to 1981. Evans was a staunch advocate of Welsh nationalism and sought for Wales to return to its pre-war roots. He also advocated for a return to the Welsh language; Evans eventually went on a hunger strike in order to force the British Broadcasting Company to institute a Welsh language television channel on British television—which he succeeded in doing in 1980.

Poland detail

Map of Poland. Image courtesy the CIA World Factbook. Source: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/pl.html

During Jaskulowski’s residency at the Kluge Center, he continued his investigation into Anglophone theories of nationalism. In his Kluge Center lecture in February 2007, Jaskulowski focused on Hans Kohn, a Czech scholar and activist regarded as the founding father of modern academic research on nationalism. Jaskulowski argued that Kohn was the first to adopt a more neutral stance toward the topic. Kohn attempted to analyze the phenomenon of nationalism in order to define it, classify it and explain it. Jaskulowski argued that not only did Kohn bring a fresh perspective to the subject, he was responsible for introducing one of the basic and long-lasting themes to the study of nationalism—a “moralistic distinction” between a good nationalism, which Kohn associated with the West, and a bad nationalism that was typical of the non-Western world. Jaskulowski examined three fundamental questions in relation to this idea: how did Kohn conceptualize the differences between the two types of nationalism? How and why did he come to his conclusions? And, finally, were Kohn’s discrimination between the two types of nationalism valid and useful?

As a result of his Kluge Fellowship, Jaskulowski published his 2009 book “Nationalism without Nations: Nationalism in Anglophone Social Sciences” (Foundation for the Polish Science). He has continued his research on nationalism and its origins with his 2012 book, “Symbolic Community: Towards an Anthropology of Nationalism.”

Poland map

Map of Europe with Poland highlighted. Image courtesy the CIA World Factbook. Source: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/pl.html

Today he is an Associate Professor in Sociology at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Warsaw and continues to actively research nationalism while publishing in both academic and popular publications. His scholarly interests include international migration and transnational mobility, European and American nationalism, and nationalism within popular culture, particularly the link between national identity and sports. His work sheds light on the foundations of a phenomenon that is so intensely felt in today’s Europe.

Learn more about Jaskulowski’s work:

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Additional posts in this series:

More about the European Month of Culture can be found here or on social media at #EUMC2016.

Check back all month for additional posts in this series.

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