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Presented By: Copernicus Center for Polish Studies

CCPS Lecture. Cuts: An Oral History of Transformation

Aleksandra Leyk, researcher, The Educational Research Institute (IBE), Warsaw; Joanna Wawrzyniak, associate professor of sociology, University of Warsaw

Cuts: An Oral History of Transformation Cuts: An Oral History of Transformation
Cuts: An Oral History of Transformation
Authors Aleksandra Leyk and Joanna Wawrzyniak will discuss their award-winning book Cuts: An Oral History of Transformation [Cięcia. Mówiona historia transformacji], which addresses how Poland’s rapid socio-economic transformation in the 1990s is remembered by those who lived it. Drawing on over 130 biographical interviews with chief executives, managers, trade union representatives, administrative staff, and shop floor workers of socialist enterprises privatized and sold to multinationals, Cuts shows the complexity, ambivalence, and tensions inherent to the experience and memory of socio-economic change. While the book highlights local reactions to the neo-liberal turn taking place globally, its lessons reach far beyond Poland.

Aleksandra Leyk is a researcher and public policy expert on adult education at The Educational Research Institute (IBE) in Warsaw. In the academic field, she specializes on the social consequences of capitalist transformations of work and the labor market.

Joanna Wawrzyniak is associate professor of sociology and director of the Center for Research on Social Memory at the University of Warsaw. Specializing on East-Central European memory processes, her current projects include memories of socialism, the neoliberal transformation, and deindustrialization processes in Poland. She also conducts collaborative research on cultural heritage and memory processes in Western Europe and East and South Asia. She is the co-author of The Enemy on Display (2015), the author of Veterans, Victims and Memory (2015) and has co-edited special issues for Contemporary European History; East European Politics and Societies; Polish Sociological Review; and volumes Memory and Change in Europe (2016) and Regions of Memory: Transnational Formations (forthcoming).

Registration for this webinar is required at

If there is anything we can do to make this event accessible to you, please contact us at Please be aware that advance notice is necessary as some accommodations may require more time for the university to arrange.

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