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Chair in the History of International Migration Movements

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The Chair in the History of International Migration Movements was established in 1976 along with the creation of the interdisciplinary Institute of Polish Diaspora Research of the Jagiellonian University whose staff includes sociologists, linguists, literary scholars, and historians. Prof. Mirosław Frančić became the first head of the chair. In subsequent years, this position was held by Prof. Andrzej Brożek, Prof. Halina Florkowska-Frančić, and Prof. Adam Walaszek (since 1991).

The chair’s early research focused primarily on the history of the Polish diaspora in the U.S., Australia, Switzerland, France, and Canada; overseas Polish immigration in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; as well as the migrations of other national groups from the areas of partitioned Poland and later from independent Poland. Scholars from the chair have closely collaborated with, among others, the team conducting research on Polish economic emigration in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries led by Prof. Andrzej Pilch of the Institute of History of the Jagiellonian University as well as the Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Those connections are still important today; currently, the chair also collaborates with the Emigration Museum in Gdynia.

During the 1980s, scholars from the chair co-created fundamental bibliographical and archival guides on the history of the Polish diaspora and emigration. They have also conducted innovative projects on social memory about emigration from the Podhale region and a synthesis of the history of the Polish diaspora. For many years, scholars working for the chair have actively participated in the international discourse on migration and the history of ethnicity, maintaining extensive contacts with scientific centers in Europe, the U.S., and Australia, including the University of Lund in Sweden and Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. These contacts result in the exchange of publications, organization of international symposia, and joint research projects.

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  • Migration processes from the Polish lands as well as within and beyond Europe before 1945
  • The history of Polish ethnic groups in the U.S., Australia, and Scandinavian countries
  • The history of interethnic relations in the U.S. (1880–1940)
  • The history of child and second-generation immigrants in the U.S.
  • Polish political émigrés in the West after WWII
  • The Polish People’s Republic’s policy towards emigration and Polish Diaspora
  • Polish intellectuals in the U.S. after WWII
  • Political myths and notions in émigré communities
  • The collective identities of émigré groups
  • Migrations and ethnic relations in the history of Australia
  • Australian nationalism
  • The Swedish migration experience in America
  • The position of women in immigrant communities in the past and today
  • Children’s and youth literature and culture in the U.S.
  • American popular culture

prof. Adam Walaszek (supervisor)

  • Participation in the NCN grant American Polonia 1854-2004: NCN 0201/2512/2019 headed by Prof. Joanna Wojdon, University of Wroclaw. Completion date: 2022
  • Inter-Ethnic Relations in the United States in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
  • History of American Polonia Until 1939 
  • Childhood in Ethnic Groups in the United States in the 1930s

Prof. Jan Lencznarowicz

  • Monograph on the rise of modern nationalism in colonial Australia.
  • Monograph on the myth of Yalta betrayal as the foundation myth of Polish post-World War II political emigration.

Agnieszka Stasiewicz-Bieńkowska, Ph.D.

  • "Vampiric Transformations: Resisting Romanticism"; in cooperation with Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia.
  • “Tropical Gothic: Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences” (eTropic special edition).
  • Hospitality, Rape and Consent in Vampire Popular Culture: Letting the Wrong One In, Palgrave Macmillan, a monograph with multiple authors (editors: David Baker, Stephanie Green, Agnieszka Stasiewicz-Bieńkowska).
  • "Negotiating Cultural Differences in the Digital Communication Era" (National Science Centre, HARMONIA grant, 2012-2014).
  • International research project: "Approaching War: Childhood, Culture and the First World War" (2011-2016) (Leverhulme Trust).

The chair has organized and co-organized the following conferences, seminars, and panels:

  • Annual conference: The Association of European Migration Institutions (AEMI), Krakow (September 2012).
  •  “Common or Diverse Experiences? Comparisons between the Migrations of Poles and Other National Groups in the World,” session during the Second Congress of the Polish History Researchers in the World, Krakow (2012).
  • Co-organization of the conference: “The Polish Diaspora in America and the Wider World,” Commission of the Polish Academy of Learning for Polish Diaspora Research with Polish American Historical Association (June 2010).
  •  “Freedom of Choice and Coercion in the History of Polish Migrations”, session during the First Congress of Foreign Scholars of Polish History, Krakow (2007).
  • The organization, participation, and hosting of a panel during the World Congress of Historical Sciences; the session: “Mass Migrations: Their Economic, Political and Economic Implications,” Sydney, Australia (2005).
  • Co-organization of the symposium “Family, Intimacy, Privacy,” Seventeenth Universal Convention of Polish Historians, Krakow (2004).
  • Co-organization of the conference: “The Role of the Old and New Polish Immigrant Communities in the European Union,” Polish Academy of Learning, Krakow (2004).
  • “East-West Migration,” Annual Meeting of the European Migration Institutions Conference, Krakow (1996).
  • Two panels: “Communist Governments and Émigré Communities Abroad, 1945-1989,” Fifth World Congress of ICCEES, Warsaw (1995).
  • Roundtable discussion: “The Role of Émigré Groups in the Creation or Resurrection of New States in East Central Europe in the Twentieth Century,” during the Eighteenth International Congress of Historical Sciences, Montreal, Canada (1995).
  • “Polish-Americans in the U.S.: Cultural Aspects of Urban Life in a Comparative Perspective, 1880-1940,” international conference, Krakow (1995).
  • Two sessions: “Immigrants from Northern, Central, and Southern Europe, 1880-1939,” during the Tenth International Economic History Congress, Leuven, Belgium with the participation of twenty-five scholars from Europe, North America, and South America (1990).