Episode 38: Beyond Political History: Social and Cultural Dynamics of Socialist Poland

In recent years, the narrative of the history of Polish socialism has changed as it moved beyond a narrow scholarly focus on political elites and party-state structures. In this episode, Thục Linh Nguyễn Vũ (RECET) speaks to Małgorzata Fidelis (University of Illinois at Chicago) about her work that examines everyday socialism through the prism of social and cultural history across various political moments in Poland. Zooming in on ordinary people and practices, Fidelis adds new layers to how the ebb and flow of socialism and transformation in Poland are understood.

Małgorzata Fidelis is Associate Professor of History at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is the author of Women, Communism, and Industrialization in Postwar Poland (Cambridge UP, 2010) and Imagining the World from Behind the Iron Curtain: Youth and the Global Sixties in Poland (Oxford UP, 2022). She also co-authored a book in Polish Kobiety w Polsce 1945-1989 Nowoczesność - równouprawnienie – komunizm (Universitas, 2020). Małgorzata Fidelis’ articles have appeared in journals including Slavic Review and the Journal of Women’s History.