Research

My research explores science fiction and the visual cultures of Poland, the former Yugoslavia and East & Central Europe. My current book project, Working the Base: Alloys of Art and Industry in the People's Poland, is a cultural history of art festivals and amateur film clubs in the industrial workplace in late-socialist Poland.

A second project explores Ursula K. Le Guin's invented Central European country Orsinia. I recently led a seminar on the Orsinian fiction for Carolina Public Humanities and will present new thoughts on the subject at an upcoming talk for University of Glasgow on March 17

            In a new project, I work to recuperate the history of the Jewish Labor Bund – a political party in interwar Poland that espoused the principle of doykeit (Yiddish for “hereness”) and discouraged emigration to Palestine by advocating for viable living conditions within Poland. My project looks at interwar sports clubs organized by the Bund as a platform for cultivating intersectional solidarity. I investigate sport culture as a strategy for managing ideological conflict through play. My aim is to revive the history of the Bund and their sports clubs as a set of ideas relevant today as metaphors for thinking beyond conflict. My story "Planet Doykeit" (Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, 2019) draws from this history and exports it to the cosmos.

            My recent article "Civic Voyeurism: Józef Robakowski's Aerial Views of the Commons" can be read in the journal View: Theories and Practices of Visual Culture. I read Józef Robakowski's film From My Window (1978-1999) and focus on its offscreen voiceover to challenge its traditional interpretation as a parable of socialist surveillance culture. I introduce the optimistic notion of "civic voyeurism" and ask if observing (surveilling) one's neighbors can be an act of care. 

            I return to the peculiar effects of disembodied sound in a recent paper for the conference Beyond Borders: Empires, Bodies, Science Fictions organized by the London Science Fiction Research Community.

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