Nov 9-12, 2022. 54th ASEEES (The Association for Slavic, East European, & Eurasian Studies) Annual Convention, Chicago.

A roundtable discussion about Agata Pietrasik’s “Art in a Disrupted World” (Warsaw Museum of Modern Art 2021), an important and unprecedented book offering a new look at artistic life in Poland in the ten years following the outbreak of World War II.

Highlighting examples of artworks by a number of Poland-born artists that were created in concentration camps, ghettos, in exile, and during the years of socio-political and cultural disintegration following the war, Pietrasik draws attention to the ethics of artistic practice as a method of fighting to preserve one’s own humanity amid dehumanizing circumstances. This significant new publication breaks out of entrenched historical timelines and traditional forms of narration to bring together drawings, paintings, architectural designs, and exhibitions, as well as literary and theatrical works created in this time period and tell the important story of Polish life in wartime. With the focus on this one decade, Pietrasik poses greater critical questions about the ability of traditional art history writing to accommodate artworks created in direct response to traumatic experiences.


Agata Pietrasik, Freie Universitaet, Berlin

David Anthony Goldfarb, independent scholar

Joanna Szupinska, UCLA

Julia Secklehner, Masaryk University, Brno

Magdalena Moskalewicz, School of the Art Institute of Chicago (chair and moderator)

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