Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality, and to see the links to virtual rooms.

Accepted Paper:

Social deeds, building, and cosmopolitan subjectivity. On ethnographic-historical approach to affective work in Poland since late socialism  
Tomasz Rakowski (University of Warsaw) Piotr Filipkowski (Polish Academy of Sciences)

Paper short abstract:

In this paper we focus on how solid historical facts can be found in ethnographies of individual life stories of Polish builders and workers-peasants in late socialism. At the same time, we claim these experiences may be considered both as common affects and as emerging cosmopolitan subjectivities.

Paper long abstract:

The aim of this paper is to propose an experimental ethnographic-historical work that would align oral sources of fieldwork with historical factuality and thus anchor the historical facts anew in individual life-stories. Taking into account the extended critique of representation in historical narratives (H. White), and in archives (A. Stoler), we would like to go back to 'basic' (J. Topolski) or 'existential' (J. Pomorski) historical facts, as built on the ground of individuals’ lives – which should not be confused with the study of 'meaning'. It is instead a search for 'private facts' and '(inter)personal truths' that tend to be omitted by historical narratives. We argue that a sort of cosmopolitan subjectivity appears here, albeit in a quite different way. Drawing from the puzzling switch from individual microcosms to other, societal forms of life (of affect, imaginary, and practice), we examine the founding role of affective togetherness in individual narratives. The protagonists of this research are Polish urban construction workers and factory workers-peasants in late socialism, some of them building a parallel on their own, who participate in the collective affect of 'rebuilding' and 'building' Poland (P. Kenney, J. Stacul). We argue that this societal, visceral affective work may be considered as a particularly powerful mechanism, putting together individual microcosms with the experience of the common, thus paradoxically engendering a very particular, cosmopolitan subjectivity. These experiences and subjectivities require a new historical-anthropological narrative of late socialism and 'transformation' (not only) in Poland.

Panel Speak03a
Cosmopolitan interiority, cosmopolitan responsibility I
  Session 1 Monday 29 March, 2021, -