Gender and War: What We Can Learn from Applying Gender Perspective to the History of Modern Poland and Beyond – A talk by Malgorzata Fidelis, Ph.D.
Gender and War: What We Can Learn from Applying Gender Perspective to the History of Modern Poland and Beyond - A talk by Malgorzata Fidelis, Ph.D.
The lecture is part of the Studying Poland Today – talk series presented jointly by the Kosciuszko Foundation and the Project on Poland Past and Present (PPPP). The purpose of the series is, in general, to raise the level of expert knowledge about Poland in foreign countries and, in particular, to strengthen Polish Studies in the universities of the English-speaking world. This episode has been sponsored by Krystyna Piorkowska Fund.
The current War in Ukraine brings forward questions of the social dimension of modern warfare that we once thought belonged to the past or to places outside Europe. This lecture will focus on women’s roles in wartime, and gender as an organizing principle in the enterprise of war. It will do so by looking at some of the most cataclysmic events in the history of Poland and Ukraine in the 20th century, and how women unexpectedly became central actors in the drama of total war, occupations, the Holocaust, and ethnic violence. By exploring the issues of gender and war, the lecture will also address larger questions of how we could better understand the past with the help of a gender perspective.
Malgorzata Fidelis is an Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She teaches courses on Modern Europe, Eastern Europe, Poland, Women and Gender, and the History of 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 Women, Communism, and Industrialization in Postwar Poland (Cambridge University Press, 2010; Polish-language edition, WAB, 2015); and Kobiety w Polsce, 1945-1989. Nowoczesnoṥć, Równouprawnienie, Komunizm, co-authored with Katarzyna Stańczak-Wiṥlicz, Piotr Perkowski, and Barbara Klich-Kluczewska (Universitas, 2020). Her most recent book is Imagining the World from Behind the Iron Curtain: Youth and the Global Sixties in Poland, forthcoming from Oxford University Press in June 2022.