Professor Anna Malewska-Szałygin
My research interests include anthropology of politics and anthropology of common sense knowledge. My work focuses on common sense notions, imaginaries, metaphors produced, shared, and transformed in local discourses. In the contemporary variety of voices, I am mostly interested in the voice of uneducated people living in rural areas (often omitted or marginalized within public debate). I have conducted my fieldwork in Poland: in regions: Roztocze, Masuria, and Podhale. In subsequent research projects, I worked on: stories on the past of the countryside (1984-1986), local discourse on local government (1994-1996), images of power, state and democracy (1999-2005). My current research project is Ethnography of Media Audience and Local Common Sense.
Political anthropology, local knowledge, common sense, social uses of media, digital ethnography
Habilitation 29 April 2009 the University of Warsaw, Faculty of History. Habilitation thesis: Wyobrażenia o państwie i władzy we wsiach powiatu nowotarskiego 1999-2005, [Social Imaginaries on the State and Central Authorities in Polish Highland Villages 1999-2005].
PhD 03 March 1999 the University of Warsaw, Faculty of History, Dissertation title: Wiedza potoczna o sprawach publicznych. Wizerunek lokalnej sceny politycznej w latach 1989-1995 na podstawie badań prowadzonych w wybranej gminie mazurskiej, [Common-sense Knowledge about Public Affairs. The Perception of Local Authorities in Mazurian Villages].
MA 04 September 1986 the University of Warsaw, Faculty of History, Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology. Thesis: Historia w świadomości mieszkańców Narola, [Knowledge about the Past of the Narol Villagers].
October 2011 - till now Associate Professor, Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Warsaw
October 1999 - September 2011 Assistant Professor, Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Warsaw
October 1987- September 1999 Assistant, Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Warsaw
Faculty and Institute Service:
2008 - present Member of the Faculty Board, Faculty of History, University of Warsaw
2012 - present Member of the Financial Committee of the Faculty of History, University of Warsaw
2015- present President of the Scientific Board of the Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Warsaw
2017 – present Head of the Political and Economic Anthropology Section, of the Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Warsaw
2009-2016 Head of the Cultural Anthropology Section of the Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Warsaw
2012 – 2016 Director of the Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Warsaw
2000-2004;2008-2012 Deputy Director of the Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology University of Warsaw
Lectures and courses
All courses thought at the University of Warsaw, Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology:
Introduction to Ethnology (2006-present);
Political Anthropology (2007-2012);
Ethnography of Europe (2003-2011)
Digital Activism (2016),
Anthropology of Media Audience (2014-present)
Anthropology and Politics (2009-2015)
Interpretation of Cultural Phenomena (2007-2012)
Europe and Identity (2009-2012)
Common-sense and the Mythical Thinking (1999-2003)
Classical Anthropological Texts – workshop (1987-2004)
Texts about European Medieval Cullture – workshop (1987-2002)
Workshop Fieldwork methods for Network of Humanitarian Action, Master Programme at the University of Warsaw (2015)
Laboratories (8 weeks fieldwork with the group of students and 2 years lasting workshop of data analisys ):
1999-2000 Ethnopolitology – Local Discourse about the State and Power
1995-1996 Local Knowledge about Rural Community’s Political Scene
1992-1993 State Institution in Rural Community – Introdution of Self-governement
1989-1990 Partisan Ethos within Rural Community
Coordinator and Supervisor
Current doctoral supervisions: 6
Recently awarded Ph.D.: 2
Supervisor of MA theses: 35
BA theses: 37
Publications in English
Democracy and the Highlander. On the Diversity of Meanings, w: Twilight Zone Anthropology. Voices from Poland, (ed.) Michał Buchowski, Canon Pyon: Sean Kingston Publishing, 2019. The RAI Country Series, Volume Two, (ed.) David Shankland, ISBN 978-1-912385-06-5.
Social Imaginaries of the State and Central Authority in Polish Highland Villages, 1999-2005, translated by A. Korzeniowska, S. Sikora, Newcastle upon Tyne UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing 2017, ISBN 1-5275-0026-8.
Chris Hann's review:
Cultures or identities: analytical categories in action, in Colloquia Anthropologica. Issues in Contemporary Anthropology, A. Bentkowski, M. Buchowski (eds), Poznań: Wydawnictwo Nauka i Innowacje 2014, pp. 259-268 (ISBN 978-83-63795-86-3).
Evergreen Ethnographies, „Polish Sociological Review” 2012, vol. 179 (3), pp. 431-441, ISSN 1231 – 1413.
Post-socialism as a Diagnostic Tool. Common-Sense Concepts of Power and State in Southern Poland, “Ethnologia Europea”, 2011 vol. 41:2, pp. 71-80, http://www.mtp.hum.ku.dk
Is the phrase “post-socialist mentality” appropriate? Reflections on mountain-dwellers’ image of the state and the authorities, „Ethnologia Polona” 2010.
Local discourse on matters of the state: A Podhale case. In Exploring home, neighboring and distant cultures, eds. L. Mróz, A. Posern-Zielinski, Warsaw: DiG, 2008, pp. 41-58.
Market View of the Polish Political Scene, "Anthropology Matters", 2006, vol. 1
Tradition of the Usage of the Notion of Discourse and its Usefulness in the Studies in Anthropology of Modernity, "Etnografia Polska", 2004, vol. 48:1-2, pp.81-98,
Ethnopolitology — Talking with Highlanders about Politics. In: Between Tradition and Postmodernity. Polish Ethnography at the Turn of the Millennium, eds. L. Mróz, Z. Sokolewicz, Warsaw: DiG, 2003, pp. 37-52.
Common Knowledge of Public Affairs. The Image of Local Political Scene, "Etnografia Polska", 1996, vol. 40:1-2, pp.19-39.
Completed research projects:
2012 -2014 Ethnography of Media Audience and Local Common Sense - ethnographic fieldwork in Podhale Region, Poland. Research project financed with the Ministry of Science and Higher Education funds
The aim of the project is to document and interpret mass media influence on common-sense knowledge of less educated people and particularly of the ways, in which they appropriate the content and images produced by the media. The research will employ methods of ethnographic fieldwork and will be based in villages of Nowy Targ County. I would like to determine how do the less educated village inhabitants adapt resources of knowledge and symbolism imposed by the media to the local common-sense knowledge. How do they use them? How do they appropriate them in their own local discourses? How do they utilize them within different activities? How elements of media content are used within the dynamic process of identity construction, be it individual, local, regional or national? What role do they play in establishing power relations within the family, local community or the nation?
Research projects carried out at the Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Warsaw, Funded by Ministry of Science and Higher Education:
1999-2005 Ethnopolitology - Local Discourse about the State and Power - ethnographic fieldwork in Podhale Region, Poland.
1995-1996 Local Knowledge about Rural Community’s Political Scene - ethnographic fieldwork in Mazury Region, Poland.
1992-1993 State Institutions in Rural Community – Introduction of Self-government - ethnographic fieldwork in Milki, Mazury Region, Poland.
1989-1990 Partisan Ethos within Rural Community- ethnographic fieldwork in Goniądz, Podlasie Region, Poland.
1985-1986 Local Knowledge about the Past - ethnographic fieldwork in Narol, Roztocze Region, Poland.
English language conference presentations:
24-25 września 2019 Conference „Migration and the generational experience”, Prague, Czech Republic. Paper: Media Usage in remote Communications: migratory situations. Organisers: Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, Prague and Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology (V4Net).
August 2019 Inter-Congres IUAES (International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences) „World Solidarities” (ok. 800 participants), Poznań. Poland. Paper: Political Identities as strategic solidarities and their polarising power.[Panel : Beyond Identities? Strategic solidarities in/on the political].
April 2019 Cambridge University (Great Britain) BASEES conference (British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies). Paper: How Pre-modern Social Imaginaries Underpin Anti-liberal Rhetoric: Perceiving the State, Power, and Labour in Rural Poland, Panel: Digging Its Own Grave? Postsocialist Liberalism and the Counter-Movement in the Visegrád State conducting by prof. Chris Hann
October 2015 Postsocialist or Postpeasant? Images of Power and State in Southern Poland. Conference: Ethnology without Borders, Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Warsaw and Visegrad Foundation.
November 2014 Post-socialist or post-agrarian? Contemporary images of power and the state among country dwellers in the South of Poland. Conference: Polish Anthropology Day, Royal Anthropological Institute and Polish Anthropological Institute, London UK.
September 2014 Images of the Nation-state in Highlanders’ Local Discourses at the beginning of 21 st century. World Congress of the IUAES: State Origins and Related Subjects, Wigry (Poland).
Scientific prizes and awards:
November 2009 Individual award „Clio” of 2nd degree by the Rector Rector of the University of Warsaw and Members of the Scientific Advisory Board of the History Faculty, Warsaw University for the monograph Wyobrażenia o państwie i władzy we wsiach powiatu nowotarskiego 1999-2005 [Social Imaginaries on the State and Central Authorities in Polish Highland Villages 1999-2005], Warszawa: DiG 2008.
December 2003 Individual award „Clio” of 1st degree by the Rector and Members of the Scientific Advisory Board of the History Faculty, Warsaw University for the monograph Wiedza potoczna o sprawach publicznych. Rozmowy o władzy lokalnej w wybranej gminie mazurskiej w latach 1994-1995 [Common-sense Knowledge about Public Affairs. The Perception of Local Authorities in Mazurian Villages 1994-1995], Warszawa: DiG 2002.
2017-04 Erasmus program visit in Prague (Czech Republic). Lectures: The Term Postsocialism as an Analitical Tool ; Digital Activism.
2026-04 Erasmus program visit in Granada (Espange). Lectures: Evergreen Ethnographies - lecture about ethnographic monographies; The term Postsocialism as a Analitical Tool.
19.10-14.11.2004 Research stay at the Centre for Political Research, Faculty of Social Sciences, Leuven University (Belgium), funded by the Belgium government. Lecture: Talking with Highlanders about Politics held during a meeting of research group dedicated to post-socialist countries.
14-23.05.2004 Study visit at the Institute of Ethnology and Archeology, University of Copenhagen (Denmark), funded by the Danish government .
2017 Member of the Network "V4Net” switch at the Max Planck Institute for Social Sciences in Halle (Germany)
2019 -2020 Member of BASEES - British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies
2019 till now Memeber of International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences
2015- till now President of the Scientific Board of the Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Warsaw
2019 - till now Member of the Scientific Board of the Discipline 'Sciences about Culture and Religion', University of Warsaw
2016 - present Vice-President of the Committee of Ethnological Sciences, Polish Academy of Science
2011- present Member of the Scientific Board of the Polish Anthropological Institute
2011- till now Member of the Editorial Committee of the journal Ethnologia Polona
2014 – till now Expert of Polish Accreditation Committee
2014- 2019 Member of the Scientific Board of the Institute of Archeology and Ethnology, Polish Academy of Science
May 2019 – a rearrangement of the Exhibition in the Zofii Ryży Memory House, in Adampol- Polonezköy, in Turkey after renovation done by Foundation of the Common Heritage „Terpa”, funded by Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and Institute of the Polish Heritage Abroad 'Polonica'. The exhibition was arranged in 2002
2014 Cultural Preferences of the Employees in one of the Warsaw Corporations and their Perception of National Museum in Warsaw. For the National Museum in Warsaw co-authored with E. Klekot, P. Cichocki. (Fieldwork conducted with a students’ group).
2013 Polish Shopping Customs. For Carrefour Inc. Poland. (Fieldwork in five Polish cities conducted with a students’ group).