Individual grants

  • 2019

Artur Szarecki - "Musicking assemblages: popular music and new materialism"

New materialism refers to a series of theoretical approaches that criticize anthropocentrism, rethink subjectivity by playing up the role of non-human forces, emphasize the self-organizing powers of material processes, and explore complex and often discordant relations between those processes and cultural practice, as well as ethical and political concerns emerging thereby. As such, they are often in sharp contrast to the ontological presuppositions of mainstream social and cultural theory. Consequently, the project will involve a series of theoretical considerations that aim to rethink some of the foundational assumptions of popular music studies according to the “flat” ontology inherent to new materialist perspectives. This will entail developing the concept of musicking assemblages and attempting to map out and analyze several empirical case studies, like: TOYOMU’s reimagining of Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo; Mostly Other People Do the Killing’s recreation of Miles Davis’ classic album Kind of Blue; albums containing animal sounds an contributions, like One by a group called Be and the series “biomusic” by Anna Nacher and Marek Styczyński; and the YouTube phenomenon of “misheard lyrics.” In particular, the project will attempt to account for how processes of emergence, nonlinear dynamics, nonhuman agencies and affectivities manifest within these musicking assemblages. The overall aim is to overcome the anthropocentrism inherent in prevalent accounts of popular music and highlight the variety of material agencies and their complex interactions involved in music’s constitution.

  • 2017

Agata Zborowska“The Life of Things in Post-War Poland (1944–1949) – their Origins, Practices, Meanings from the Perspective of Cultural Studies” 

The purpose of the project is the analysis of the role and meaning of things in Poland between 1944 and 1956. This period of post-war scarcity was simultaneously a period of establishing a new economic order, in which consumption was often limited to the most basic goods. The research is thus an attempt at looking at things  not in the situation of their general availability and abundance, but lack and constant concern about them. It will thus be an analysis not from the perspective of a developed capitalist system, but a centrally planned economy, which was supposed to eliminate overproduction, but instead consequently lead to shortages. The subject of the proposed research will include both practices connected with things and images of things in the first years after the war in Poland. What needs to be researched is how the two following areas functioned and in what relation they remained: top-down area, connected with strategies, politics and regulations at the central level, and bottom-up area, including emotions and tactics of individuals (Michel de Certeau 2011). The point of departure of the proposed project is the hypothesis that concentrating on things in the period of scarcity will allow for a unique analysis of their functioning and for valuations not possible in other circumstances.

  • 2016

Clara Nina Zgola - "Literary Explorations of the City: Parisian Identities of Contemporary French Novelists"

The project is devoted to urban-literary practices of contemporary Parisian French writers: C. Arnaud, O. Rolin, H. Bleskine, F. Cusset, B. Duteurtre, N. Bouraoui, J. Sorman, M. Sonnet, R. Robin, L. Sebbar, A. Savelli, B. Guillot,J. Truong, J. Cornuault, R. Zylberman, T. Clerc, H. Millerand, P. Le Guillou, G. Gavarry, V. Ulive-Schnel, P.Král, A.-L. Milne, J. Kahane. They are a part of the trend of interest in urban culture, and also methods of researchsituated on the crossroad of many scientific disciplines. The specifics of that form of literary creation requires totake into account the multiple relations between writing practices and the urban environment. The study highlightsboth aspects of the processes: constitution of urban culture by literature as well as the impact on peculiar forms ofnarratives on its cultural environment. To more fully analyze the mentioned literature [life-writing andautobiographical genres such as "autobiogeography", creations out-of-genre, hybrid forms and intermediaprojects], I am using the term "urban-literary project"as an adequate concept for the number of phenomena. The research project highlights practices of writersinvolved in the avant-garde as well as counter and subculture contexts of the latest literature. It is an area not verywell known because the main interest is focused on "Paris the capital of modernity". In this context are considered important not only the latest representations of Paris [its images or figuresin the literature of late capitalism] but also all innovative or significant ways of experiencing, practicingand experimenting the city itself. According to this thesis, literature in question is a specific laboratory of gestures.Considering that aspect I am especially interested in the technics, tactics and artistic actions, wildly understoodurban literary projects, which cover social, political, autobiographic and aesthetic dimensions, as well processes,within which certain attitudes are shaped into forms of living and writing in a contemporary city.

  • 2015

Agata Zborowska - "The Life of Things in Postwar Poland (1944-1956). Practices and Images”

The purpose of the project is the analysis of the role and meaning of things in Poland between 1944 and 1956. This period of post-war scarcity was simultaneously a period of establishing a new economic order, in which consumption was often limited to the most basic goods. The research is thus an attempt at looking at things  not in the situation of their general availability and abundance, but lack and constant concern about them. It will thus be an analysis not from the perspective of a developed capitalist system, but a centrally planned economy, which was supposed to eliminate overproduction, but instead consequently lead to shortages. The subject of the proposed research will include both practices connected with things and images of things in the first years after the war in Poland. What needs to be researched is how the two following areas functioned and in what relation they remained: top-down area, connected with strategies, politics and regulations at the central level, and bottom-up area, including emotions and tactics of individuals (Michel de Certeau 2011). The point of departure of the proposed project is the hypothesis that concentrating on things in the period of scarcity will allow for a unique analysis of their functioning and for valuations not possible in other circumstances.

 

Katarzyna Kułakowska - "The counter-culture theatrical movement in Poland from the perspective of its female participants“

The purpose of the project was to explore and describe the experience of actresses associated with Polish counter-culture theatre as interpreted by them in the form of biographical narrative and theatrical activities they conducted. On the basis of preliminary diagnoses, I proposed a research hypothesis that being a woman in counter-culture theatre is a peculiar experience which ultimately contradicts the movement's main postulates.By analysing the movement's female participants' experiences as reconstructed by themselves, the project not only aimed at restoring the memory of the actresses whose creative work has been neglected in hitherto theatre studies synthetic works, but is also an attempt to re-read the history
of Polish counter-culture. Moreover, while treating theatre group as an "ideal type" of social and public life model, the project enabled reflection on basic cultural patterns, in particular those concerning gender paradigms 
of Polish counter-culture. Moreover, while treating theatre group as an "ideal type" of social and public life model, the project enabled reflection on basic cultural patterns, in particular those concerning gender paradigms.The most important research category in the presented project is experience which I define as something "lived through" (Wilhelm Dilthey). I assume that experience is incomplete until "the lived-through" is attributed with meaning during a creative retrospection (Victor Turner) which may result not only in a narrative but also, in the context of women that I study, theatrical activities. Hence, while studying the women's biographies, I determine their all creative acts as interpretations and representations of their own experiences, thus as an experience which they put in a structural framework. 

  • 2014

Agata Łuksza - „Glamour, Femininity, and Performance: Actress as an Object of Desire”

Marcin Napiórkowski - „Mnemonic dimension of the Political Transformation in the Light of Commemorative Resolutions Passed by the Polish Parliament in the years 1989–2014”

Artur Szarecki - „Popular Music and Post-hegemonic Politics”

Within cultural studies, the research on popular music's involvement in social life often aims to demonstrate how music contributes to establishing, maintaining or contesting relations of power. However, in this approach, music is primarily conceived as a symbolic phenomenon, influencing people's action through the transmission of meaning. Consequently, its political effects are understood as ideological. More often than not, this has led to marginalizing the embodied character of musical experience. Therefore, the aim of this project was to conceptualize and analyze relations between the materiality of music, conceived as a sonic phenomenon that hinges on vibrations, and social and cultural processes. Drawing on the posthegemonic framework, it attempted to demonstrate how sound can be employed to modulate habitual behavior of individuals and populations directly through affect.

This approach was developed on the grounds of two empirical case studies. Analyzing the violent incident during the concert of the Polish rapper, Peja, I argued, that the intensity of the acoustic experience have augmented his verbal expression, which contained a direct incitement to violence, prompting some of the concertgoers to aggressive behavior. Furthermore, I considered the corporate lib dub placing it within a wider history of practices that employed sound to directly affect the efficacy of work. Therefore, both cases involved the use of popular music as a means of social control, but its execution was not contingent on music's symbolic message, but rather on the underlying intensive processes that modulated the bodies’ capacities to act. Consequently, the posthegemonic approach can better account for the complexity of music's entanglement with power within contemporary societies, comprising a comprehensive analytical approach that does not reduce music's role to ideological legitimation, but considers its multiple capacities to materially affect the body as well.

Weronika Parfianowicz-Vertun - „Texts and Actions. Central Europe as a project in Polish and Czech Discussions in the 1970’s and 1980’s”

Institute of Polish Culture
Krakowskie Przedmieście 26/28
00-927 Warszawa
tel.+48 22 552 03 24
22 552 26 04

University of Warsaw
ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 26/28
00-927 Warszawa
tel. +48 22 552 00 00
NIP 525-001-12-66

Faculty of Polish Studies

Project and realisation:
rzeczyobrazkowe.pl