Professor Maciej Czerwiński

Curriculum Vitae

Maciej Czerwinski is Associate Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Jagiellonian University in Kraków. His work is focused on (cultural) semiotics, discourse studies (critical to a Marxist orientation), and rhetoric. He habilitated in 2013 at Jagiellonian University, where he also received his Ph.D. (2004) and M.A. (2000); and he was a Visiting Assistant in Research in the History Department at Yale University in 2003. He is the author of over 100 publications, including four books, two co-edited books, one historical monograph and many articles as well as literary criticism and essays on Balkan affairs; and he has participated in over thirty scholarly conferences. His earlier work was focused on sociolinguistic and stylistic variations in literary and non-literary discourses in Croatian and Serbian cultures. Recently he has turned his attention to the Croatian and Serbian (and to a lesser extent other post-Yugoslav) narratives in historiography and prose fiction, as well as - theoretically - the intersections between philology, philosophy of language and history.

Research project at the Kolleg

Images of World War II in Croatia and Serbia. Literature, Film, Popular Historiography.

Although it was World War I that enabled the state of South Slavs to be founded in 1918, the most important moment in Yugoslav cultural memory is undoubtedly World War II. Key figures and events emerged in the period of 1941-1945 that have defined the historical imaginaries of the Serbs and Croats, both during the Communist state (1945-1990) and after its collapse (from the beginning of the 1990s on). Images of World War II are realized within a set of discursive 'tropes' such as the presence of certain collective figures (like the Ustashas, Chetniks, Partisans/Fascists/Communists, and respectively, Serbs, Croats, Muslims/Bosniaks) as well as concepts/ideas (such as Communism and Anti-Fascism). In literature and film they are represented as mere allegories. The aim of the project is to reconstruct such concepts and their dynamics in intra- and intercultural relations. Three sorts of data are taken into consideration: (1) prose fiction, (2) films, and (3) popular syntheses of national history. The combination of the historical and fictional will demonstrate to what extent the two imaginaries evoke similar, and, in other circumstances, mutually exclusive images of World War II and its main actors. Novels and short stories, movies and popular syntheses of national history are among the most influential sources for the circulation of cultural visions of the past and the construction of relevant historical consciousnesses.

Main areas of research

  • Former Yugoslavia
  • Cultural Semiotics
  • Rhetoric
  • Literary Studies

Positions and memberships

  • Member, Slavic Culture Committee of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences (PAU).
  • Member, editorial boards of the Croatian journal Fluminensia and the Macedonian journal Balkan Social Science Review.
  • Member, Ethnolinguistic Commission, International Committee of Slavists
  • Thematic Editor of the journal Sociolingwistyka