Center for Anthropoligical Research on Museums and Heritage and the Institute for European Ethnology of the Humboldt University in Berlin cordially invite you to a zoom book launch of: Cross Purposes: Catholicism and the Political Imagination in Poland by Magdalena Waligórska (Cambridge University Press, 2023). Please join us for a virtual discussion with the author, chaired by Prof. Alexander Bevilacqua (Williams College), with comments by: Prof. Brian Porter-Szücs (University of Michigan) and Prof. Agnieszka Graff (University of Warsaw).
About Cross Purposes:
No other symbol is as omnipresent in Poland as the cross. This multi-layered and contradictory icon features prominently in public spaces and state institutions. It is anchored in the country’s visual history, inspires protest culture, and dominates urban and rural landscapes. The cross recalls Poland’s historic struggles for independence and anti-Communist dissent, but it also encapsulates the country’s current position in Europe as a self-avowed bulwark of Christianity and a champion of conservative values. It is both a national symbol – defining the boundaries of Polishness in opposition to a changing constellation of the country’s Others – and a key object of contestation in the creative arts and political culture. Despite its long history, the cross has never been systematically studied as a political symbol in its capacity to mobilize for action and solidify power structures. Cross Purposes is the first cultural history of the cross in modern Poland, deconstructing this key symbol and exploring how it has been deployed in different political battles.