Ewa StańczykOct 11, 2022
Comics and Nation
Power, Pop Culture, and Political Transformation in Poland
Ohio State University Press 2022
Comics and Nation: Power, Pop Culture, and Political Transformation in Poland (Ohio State UP, 2022) offers a fresh perspective on the role of popular culture in the one-hundred-year history of the Polish state, from its foundation in 1918 to the present. Drawing on dozens of press articles, interviews, and readers' letters, Ewa Stańczyk discusses how journalists, artists, and audiences used comics to probe the boundaries of national culture and scrutinize the established notions of Polishness. Critical moments of Poland's political transformation --the establishment of the interwar Polish Republic, the Cold War, the liberalization of the 1970s, the 1989 democratic transition, the turn to memory politics in the 2000s--have all been reflected in the history of Polish comics. Stańczyk offers new insights into how the production of homegrown comics and the influx of foreign works enabled commentators to express their fears, hopes, and disillusionment with political, economic, and cultural changes in Poland and beyond. At its core, Comics and Nation rethinks the impact of popular culture and transnational exchange on Polish nation building, citizenship formation, and the legitimation of power.
Roland Clark is a Reader in Modern European History at the University of Liverpool, a Senior Fellow with the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right, and the Principal Investigator of an AHRC-funded project on European Fascist Movements.