Mag. Dr. Agnieszka Pasieka

Elise Richter Research Fellow

Contact Details

Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology
Universitätsstraße 7, 1010 Vienna
NIG, 4th floor
Room: B0406

T: +43-1-4277-49520
E-Mail: agnieszka.pasieka@univie.ac.at

Office Hours

Individual appointments via email:

agnieszka.pasieka@univie.ac.at

Teaching

Past Courses: u:find

Research Focus Areas

  • Religion
  • ethnicity
  • nationalism
  • majority-minority relations
  • pluralism
  • multiculturalism
  • political radicalism
  • qualitative methodology
  • Europe

Short Biography

I hold an MA in Sociology (Jagiellonian University in Krakow) and a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology (Martin Luther University / Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle/Saale) and in my scholarship I aim to bridge the disciplinary traditions of anthropology, sociology, and history. My research explores the questions of inequality, discrimination, and social hierarchies, and the ways different social actors address them.

My doctoral dissertation and the subsequent book, "Hierarchy and Pluralism. Living religious difference in Catholic Poland" (Palgrave, 2015) discussed the situation of religious and ethnic minorities in the context of church-state relations in Poland. It was based on a year-long ethnographic study of a rural community in Southern Poland, which, as a result of the region’s turbulent history, a
series of ethnic cleansings and migrations, is today both ethnically and religiously diverse and as such stands in contrast to the rest of the - rather homogenous - Polish socio-cultural landscape. I continued researching these subjects in my first postdoctoral project which investigated the intersection between religion, ethnicity and class. As a part of this project, I conducted a  historical-ethnographic research with the descendants of Polish immigrants living in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

My most recent research explores different facets of far-right activism. In the period between 2015 and 2018, I carried out a research project entitled "Transnational nationalism," which aimed to networks of youth far-right nationalist organizations in East Central Europe in the 20th and 21 centuries. Using historical and anthropological methodology, the study investigated the transnational dimension of far-right nationalist organizations: the networking of people, ideologies, and tactics between different nationalist groups which maintain distinct, and at times mutually exclusive, aims and interests. I am currently expanding this study in my project, "Living right: an anthropological study of far-right activism," which seeks to investigate new forms of civic engagement pursued by far-right movements and to understand their increasing appeal among “ordinary,” socially established citizens. Focusing on far-right groups acting within and between a dozen European countries, the project investigates the processes of translation between locally grounded and transnational far-right practices and ideologies and the tensions produced as they try to orient themselves around both transnational and local concerns.

Selected Publications

Books:

  • 2015 Hierarchy and Pluralism: Living Religious Difference in Catholic Poland. New York: Palgrave Macmillan

Articles and Book Chapters:

  • Forth. “Nationalists without borders: far-right encounters in contemporary Europe.” In:  Marc Goodale (ed.). Dark Shadows: Anthropology, Ideology, Violence. London: Berghahn
  • 2017 “Taking far-right claims seriously and literally: anthropology and the study of right-wing radicalism.” Slavic Review 76, no. S1: S19-S29.
  • 2016  “Weapons of the Weak or Weak Weapons? Women, Priests, and Power Negotiations in Roman Catholic Parishes in Rural Poland.” Studia Humanistyczne AGH 15(3): 35-49.
  • 2016  “Re-enacting Ethnic Cleansing: People’s History and Elitist Nationalism in Contemporary Poland.” Nations and Nationalism 22(1): 63-83.
  • 2014 “Neighbors: About the Multiculturalization of the Polish Past.” East European Societies and Politics 28(1): 225-251.

Current Positions

Invited Talks

  • “Finding a key: note on religious pluralism,” Keynote address, ISORECEA Conference "Un(b)locking Religion," May 2018
  • “Lived Catholicism, Invisible Catholicism” Keynote address, Conference “Lived Catholicism from the Baltics to the Balkans”, organized by the College of the Holy Cross and Pázmány Péter Catholic University. Budapest, March 2018
  • “The Transnational and the Local. Reflections on Right-Wing Nationalist Activism,” Faces of Eastern Europe Seminar, Institute for Human Sciences, Vienna, March 2017
  • “Nationalists without borders? The transnational and the local in the study of the European far right,” Department of Anthropology, University of Bern, February
    2017
  • “Pluralism from below: a case-study from the Polish-Ukrainian borderland,” Center for Baltic and East European Studies, Södertörn University, February 2016
  • “Hierarchiczny pluralizm? Różnorodność religijna w kontekście dominującej religii,” Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Warsaw, March 2015
  • “Pluralism from below: negotiating religious diversity in Catholic Poland,” University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, November 2014
  • “The Polish American Dream. Work and social mobility among ethnics in New England,” Ethnicity and Migration Discussion Group, Eastern Connecticut State University, Willimantic, April 2014
  • “How pluralism becomes hierarchical? Debating religious diversity in Poland and beyond,” Department of Anthropology, Yale University, New Haven, March 2014
  • “Religious pluralism in Poland, or how to study the non-being?” Faces of Eastern Europe Seminar, Institute for Human Sciences, Vienna, March 2012

Courses taught

  • “The material culture of the far right,” Institute for East European History, University of Vienna (Autumn 2017, Spring 2018)
  • “Neo-nationalism and the new right in contemporary societies,” Central European University, Budapest (Winter 2018)
  • “New approaches to the study of Eastern Europe,” Graduate seminar/Guest Lecture series, Institute for East European History, University of Vienna (Spring 2017)
  • “Religion and ethnicity in Eastern Europe – a historical-anthropological perspective,” Graduate Seminar, Institute for East European History, University of Vienna (Spring 2016)
  • “National identity in light of biographical documents.” Doctoral seminar, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw (Autumn 2014)
  • “Selected debates in social anthropology,” Graduate Seminar, Institute for Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Warsaw (Autumn 2014)
  • “‘Multiculturalism’ in Poland,” Undergraduate Seminar, AGH Faculty of Humanities, Cracow (Spring 2013)
  • “Anthropology of the State and Civil Society,” Graduate Seminar, Martin Luther University, Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle/Saale (Spring 2010)