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University of Silesia in Katowice

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Faculty of Humanities
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Institute of History | research teams and individual researchers


What distinguishes the research conducted in the Institute of History is its focus on Silesian issues, the dynamics and nature of social changes in Polish lands in medieval, early modern and contemporary periods, as well as the studies devoted to broadly defined cultural and political borderlands. Our research is both on the level of micro-history, such as the studies devoted to the Second Polish Republic and World War II and on the macro-historical level. The latter is exemplified by monographs and shorter studies on the functioning of the Polish state in the Middle Ages, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth between the 16th and 18th centuries, the positioning and role of Poland in Europe between the 16th and 20th centuries, and of eastern and central parts of Poland against the contexts of Western Europe, the Habsburgs and the Papacy. Our research is partly carried out as grant projects under the National Programme for the Development of the Humanities: The House of Vasa and the House of Austria. Correspondence from 1587-1668; Fritz Bracht. Nazi governor of Upper Silesia during World War II; History and the Unconscious: The Theoretical Assumptions and Research Practices of Psychohistory; Polish People in the Imperial German Army; Poles in Kaiser’s Army, Documenta Polonica ex Archivo Generali Hispaniae in Simancas. It is also carried out in the Nova series and as projects funded by the National Science Centre: Adam Chmara (1721-1805), the Last Minsk Voivode in the World of Politics of the Stanislavian Era and His Archive; Images and Symbolism on the Seals of Cistercian Convents in Silesia in the Middle Ages; A Polish Courtier at the Court of the Jagiellonians and Elected kings. Position, value system, personal model; The Holy See in the face of the crisis of the royal power of John Casimir Vasa and the election of Michal Korybut Wisniowiecki (1660-1669); Cultural Policy as a Mechanism of Subordination in the Politics of the USSR in the Years 1955-1957/1958; The Case of Poland and Yugoslavia; Latin Dissemination of Conceptual Metaphors in Old Norse Literature as a Manifestation of Christianisation and Europeanisation of Medieval Scandinavia; Geopolitical Specificity of Post-Tridentine Apostolic Nunciatures (1562-1606). Many of our published research results have already earned recognition and received national awards.

research teams

team leader

Agata Aleksandra Kluczek, PhD, DLitt, Associate Professor

contact: agata.kluczek@us.edu.pl

topic of the research task
Literary and non-literary forms of creating the image of the history of the Greco-Roman Empire.

keywords: history of Ancient Rome, Roman coinage, circles of power, centre and periphery of the Roman world, military and medicine in old Rome

team leader

Prof. Jerzy Sperka

contact: jerzy.sperka@us.edu.pl

topic of the research task
Central problems in the political, social, economic, and cultural history of Poland and Europe in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period.

keywords: Medieval Scandinavia, The Kingdom of Poland in the 14th-15th centuries, Red Ruthenia, Upper Silesia, Queens’ courts, Silesian Piasts, knighthood and nobility, genealogy, The royal, municipal, and church chancellery in the Middle Ages

team leader

Prof. Ryszard Skowron

contact: ryszard.skowron@us.edu.pl

topic of the research task
The Republic of Poland, Europe and the wider world – diplomatic and court interactions in the modern era (16th-18th centuries).

keywords: House of Habsburg, House of Sobieski, the nobility of the Commonwealth, magnate courts, European courts, nunciature

team leader

Prof. Dariusz Nawrot

contact: dariusz.nawrot@us.edu.pl

topic of the research task
Polish lands during partitions – caught between defending tradition and modernisation.

keywords: Napoleonic Wars, Duchy of Warsaw, noble elites in the 19th century, industrialisation of Silesia, Pauline Fathers, Catholic Church in Silesia

team leader

Lech Krzyżanowski, PhD, DLitt, Associate Professor

contact: lech.krzyzanowski@us.edu.pl

topic of the research task
Social, political, and systemic transformations of the Polish lands in the first half of the 20th century.

keywords: hCieszyn Silesia, the judiciary in Silesia, Slavophilism, Silesian uprisings, political thought of the 20th century, women of the Second Polish Republic

team leader

Krzysztof Nowak, PhD, DLitt, Associate Professor

contact: krzysztof.nowak@us.edu.pl

topic of the research task
Socio-cultural changes and political conflicts in Polish People’s Republic in the reception of communist Europe.

keywords: Silesian Solidarity, Labour camps in Silesia, Polish stereotypes, Poland in the communist bloc, the society of the Polish People’s Republic, Yugoslavia and its disintegration

team leader

Prof. Tomasz Pawelec

contact: tomasz.pawelec@us.edu.pl

topic of the research task
Studies on the history of historiography and methodology of history.

keywords: historiography of the Polish People’s Republic, Second Polish Republic and the times of partitions, Intermarium in historiography

team leader

Wacław Gojniczek, PhD, DLitt, Associate Professor

contact: waclaw.gojniczek@us.edu.pl

topic of the research task
Archives and archive materials in Silesia.

keywords: Silesia in Polish archives, Silesia in foreign archives

team leader

Maciej Fic, PhD, DLitt, Associate Professor

contact: maciej.fic@us.edu.pl

topic of the research task
Social and political history of Silesia from 1740 to 1989

keywords: party system of Silesia in the 19th-20th centuries, Prussian Silesia, education in Silesia, cultural life in Silesia

individual researchers

Prof. Ryszard Kaczmarek

contact: ryszard.kaczmarek@us.edu.pl

topic of the research task
Changes in the natural environment in the Upper Silesian industrial district in the 19th and 20th centuries against a comparative background.

keywords: the natural environment of Upper Silesia in the 19th-20th centuries in the Ruhr region, Pas de Calais, the Ostrava-Karviná Zaglebie, Donbas

Przemysław Piwowarczyk, PhD

contact: przemysław.piwowarczyk@us.edu.pl

topic of the research task
Organisational and communication structures in late antique Christianity.

keywords: texts from Nag Hammadi, Gnosticism, Christianity, Manichaeans

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