Oral History Seminars – Fifth Meeting

On May 24th, the fifth Oral History Seminar took place at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IFiS PAN). It was the last meeting in the pilot cycle. The subject of analysis was one of the interviews conducted in 2021-2023 by Dr. Marcin Jarząbek (Jagiellonian University) with individuals who had worked at the Polish State Railways (PKP) or in one of the companies that had emerged after the division and commercialization of PKP.

The interviews gathered by Dr. Jarząbek were autobiographical in nature, but the main area of focus was the professional work of the interviewees. Dr. Jarząbek aims to write a monograph on the socio-cultural history of labor in PKP during the second half of the 20th century and in the beginning of the 21st century. The work will be based on the interviews, archival research, and analysis of other materials from that era. During the seminar, we analyzed an interview with a PKP commercial service employee from southwestern Poland.

Over 20 people from several research centers in Poland participated in the meeting. At the end, the organizers encouraged participants to complete an evaluation survey, which will help in deciding whether to continue the project in the upcoming academic year. The pilot cycle of the Oral History Seminars was organized by the QDA, the Polish Oral History Association and the Faculty of Culture and Arts of the University of Warsaw.

A New Book Based on Materials Available in the QDA!

A book based on interviews archived in the QDA has just been published. Ryszard Jamka’s monograph titled “Panów piłą. Trzy legendy o Jakubie Szeli [Sawing the Nobility. Three Legends of Jakub Szela]” utilizes materials from research organized in 1950 by the Department of Sociology at the University of Warsaw, under the leadership of Stanisław Ossowski. That research focused on the memory of the Galician Slaughter in the Podkarpacie region (in Jakub Szela’s hometown) and near Tarnów (Małopolska region). Shortly after the completion of the research, the Polish authorities began to eliminate sociology as a separate academic field in Poland. The sociological departments at the University of Warsaw were dissolved, and Stanisław Ossowski was removed from teaching. Consequently, the research materials were not processed at that time. Currently, they are made available for scientific purposes in the QDA (dataset titled “Jasło Research by Stanisław Ossowski’s Team on Jakub Szela”).