The co-op bookstore for avid readers
Book Cover for: Cross Purposes, Magdalena Waligórska

Cross Purposes

Magdalena Waligórska

No other symbol is as omnipresent in Poland as the cross. This multilayered 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.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publish Date: May 23rd, 2024
  • Pages: 388
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 9.00in - 6.00in - 0.80in - 1.15lb
  • EAN: 9781009230971
  • Categories: Europe - General

About the Author

Waligórska, Magdalena: - Magdalena Waligórska is a cultural historian and sociologist. Her fields of interest include contemporary Polish and Belarusian history, nationalism and national symbols, Jewish heritage, Jewish/non-Jewish relations, and memory studies. She is currently leading a research group at the Department of European Ethnology of the Humboldt University in Berlin. She has published extensively on nationalism, Jewish culture, and Jewish-non-Jewish relations in journals including East European Politics and Societies, Holocaust Studies, East European Jewish Affairs, and Polin; Studies in Polish Jewry. Her first book, Klezmer's Afterlife: An Ethnography of the Jewish Music Revival in Poland and Germany, was published in 2013.

Praise for this book

'... a brilliant reading of modern Polish history [and] an inspiring example of practicing cultural history - a multi-threaded study of images, symbols, ideas, and practices, including points of protest and establishment of power.' Iwona Kurz, H-Soz-Kult

Reading Lists – History