Home Morningside Events - Morningside Area Alliance Literary Talks Feeling Moved. Upward Mobility and Emotions in Socialist Poland

Feeling Moved. Upward Mobility and Emotions in Socialist Poland

Please join the Harriman Institute for a talk by Magda Szcześniak. Moderated by Malgorzata Mazurek.

In this presentation, Sczceśniak offers a theorization of socialist upward mobility stories, a heterogenous genre which aimed to capture the experience of class advancement in state socialism, on the example of the Polish People’s Republic. A key declaration of the new post-war state was the promise of mass upward mobility of the peasant and working classes. The new system’s introduction was to precipitate the improvement of material living conditions for working classes, their symbolic appreciation, and—perhaps most importantly—their participation in state management. The professed end goal was a classless society, if classes are understood as hierarchical groups remaining in conflict over differing interests and the ownership of means of production. Although this goal was never achieved, the socialist period in Poland was in fact a time of intense social mobility. Drawing on diverse representations—from propaganda newsreels through film and literature to working-class writing—Szcześniak will examine recurring figures and tropes of the newly identified genre. Socialist upward mobility stories developed over time in response to the evolving class politics of the state and transforming class relations and influenced the ways in which class was thought and lived in state socialism. Szcześniak argues that socialist upward mobility stories were characterized by four recurring ideologemes: the collective character of socialist upward mobility, the state’s role as benefactor, the diffusion of upward mobility, and a heightened emotionality.

Event Contact Information:
Eileen Huhn
(212) 854-6217
eph2125@columbia.edu

Date

Dec 06 2023
Expired!

Time

12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

TICKETS/REGISTER LINK

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Formats (virtual, in person, hybrid)

In-Person

Venue

International Affairs Building (Columbia University)
420 West 118th Street
Category

Organizer

Columbia University - Harriman Institute
Phone
212-854-4623
Website
http://harriman.columbia.edu/
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