Dr Agnieszka Mrozik

Curriculum Vitae

Agnieszka Mrozik has been an assistant professor at the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences since 2012. She holds a PhD in literary studies (2012) and an MA in American studies (2005). Since 2008 she has been teaching feminist criticism, media discourse and popular culture analysis at the Postgraduate Gender Studies Programme at the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Between 2005 and 2010 she lectured in feminist criticism and twentieth-century women's literature at the Faculty of Polish Studies, at the University of Warsaw. Her doctoral dissertation examined identity politics in the feminist movement and women's literature in post-1989 Poland. She is currently working on a project titled, "Forgotten Revolution: Communist Female Intellectuals and the Making of Women's Emancipation in Post-war Poland".


Research project at the Kolleg

My project analyses the contribution of female communists to the process of women's emancipation in post-war Poland. One of my arguments is that their activity was mainly a consequence of their political beliefs. The emancipation of women was at the heart of communism as a project of building a modern society. In the overwhelmingly Catholic Polish society this commitment necessitated a thorough redefining of the traditional role of women as dutiful wives and mothers. My previous research proves that the issue of emancipation was also important to female communists for personal reasons: as women, who were treated unequally to men (including within the communist movement and the party, an issue they discussed in their memoirs) they felt compelled to act specifically against inequality of the sexes.My project has three main goals. First, I explore how, until the end of Stalinism in Poland (1956), female communists of the upper party ranks attempted to shape emancipatory discourse in the fields of culture, science and education, striving to influence the traditional thinking of Poles about gender roles. Second, I ask what happened to them and their message in the wake of the post-Stalinist "Thaw" (1955-57), which in Poland, transpired under the banner of the return to traditional concepts of the nation and gender hierarchy. And third, I analyse the collective memory regarding the place of communist leaders and their visions in post-1989 narratives of national history and the Polish women's movement.

Main areas of research

  • Women, gender and generations in communist and post-communist Eastern and Central Europe
  • Female communists in twentieth-century Poland: history, biography, and literature
  • Feminist criticism and women's literature in post-1989 Poland
  • Critical analysis of media discourse and popular culture

Positions and memberships

  • Member of the International Society for Cultural History
  • Member of the Polish Gender Studies Association
  • Member of the Editorial Board of the "Lupa Obscura" publishing series at the Institute of Literary Research Publishing House
  • Member of the Editorial Team of the cultural-political quarterly "Bez Dogmatu" [Without Dogma]