Biopolitics and Everyday Life in East Central Europe: Discourses, Representations and Memory

Englischsprachiges Blockseminar von Barbara Klich-Kluczewska im Oktober und November 2018

Modern democratic, as well as authoritarian, political regimes are said to bear a potential of making use of biopolitical mechanisms which constitute along with modernity the important context for analysis of the ideas/concepts about model societies in East Central Europe in 20 century. I will refer to biopolitics following Michel Foucault's description whereby it is a "specific modern form of exercising power"; "a constellation in which modern human and natural sciences and the normative concepts that emerge from them structure political action and determine its goals", whereas human life becomes subject to sober assessment. According to Foucault's concept, the 'authority' operates not only through a negative repression but rather, through producing 'positive effects'. Thus, it acts by way of inspiration and encouragement, facilitation, offering of possibilities, production of models to follow and of desires in the spaces of everyday realities.

The main focus of the course is recognition of the different biopolitical activities from the perspective of institutions and regimes responsible for its implementations as well as the critical reflection (through memoires, belle letter and movies) of its practical results in the public discourses among other in Poland and Romania in winder context of Germany and USSR. The gender history stays here as an important framework for analysis of fertility policy, eugenic policy and more general context of family policy.


D. L. Hoffmann, Mothers in the Motherland: Stalinist Pronatalism in Its Paneuropean Context, Journal of Social History, 34, 1 (2000).

M. Gawin, Early Twentieth-Century Eugenics in Europe's Peripheries: The Polish Perspective, East Central Europe 2011, vol. 38, issue 1.

B. Klich-Kluczewska, Making up for the losses of war: Reproduction politics in Postwar Poland, in: Women and Men at War: A Gender Perspective on World War II and its Aftermath in Central and Eastern Europe, eds. R.Leiserowitz and M. Röger, fibre Verlag- Osnabrück 2012.

M. Turda, P. Weindling, Blood and Homeland. Eugenics and Racial Nationalism in Central and Southearn Europe 1914-1940, Central Eauropean University Press 2007.


Einführung: 26. Oktober, 10-12 Uhr, Ort: Institut für Geschichte, Emil-Abderhalden-Str. 26-27; Besprechungsraum 1.06.0, 1. OG

1. Block: 9.-10. November

2. Block: 16.-17. November

Anmeldung via StudIP und/oder direkt bei der Dozentin: barbara.klich-kluczewska[at][dot]pl