Matynia, Elzbieta

Elzbieta  Matynia
PhD, Sociology, University of Warsaw

Associate Professor of Liberal Studies and Sociology, The New School for Social Research

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Areas of Expertise:
Eastern and Central Europe; post-communist transformations; democratization; political transitions to democracy; women and democracy; transnational education; intercultural communication; the arts and politics
Elzbieta Matynia is the director of The New School for Social Research’s Transregional Center for Democratic Studies, whose year-round activities include summer institutes in Poland and South Africa, offering an opportunity for rigorous study and cross-cultural research on the critical issues facing today’s world. Ms. Matynia’s own research in political and cultural sociology focuses on democratic transitions in Eastern Europe and beyond and on the concept of borderlands in the emerging “shared Europe.” A 2010-2011 Fulbright scholar in South Africa, she is currently working on a book on democracy after violence. Her main areas of interest are political sociology, the history of social thought, the sociology of culture and art, and democratic theory and practice.
Courses Taught:
  • Cosmopolitanism and Its Discontents
  • Romancing Violence
  • Gender, Identity, and Agency in a Globalizing World 
  • Globalization and the Politics of Public Memory
  • A Global Consensus? Democratization, Gender Equality, and Cultural Recognition 
  • Ethnos and Demos: The Dynamics of Modern Nationalism
  • The Concept of Culture
  • New Europe and the Maladies of Post-communism 
  • Explorations in Modernity: Lessons from Central Europe
  • Theaters and Publics 
  • - Mikhail Bakhtin and Russian Formalism
Recent Publications:
"The Uncanny Era. Conversations between Václav Havel and Adam Michnik" (Yale University Press) May 2014
Performative Democracy (Yale Cultural Sociology Series, Paradigm, 2009)

“Feminism between the Local and the Global: A Task of Translation,” in Amrita Basu, ed.,
Women’s Movements in the Global Era (Westview, 2010)

Editor of special issue of the International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society, “1989 and Beyond: The Future of Democratic Politics” (fall and winter 2009)

“1989 and the Politics of Democratic Performativity,” International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society (fall 2009)

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