Wiktor Marzec

Polish For the sake of viewer convenience, the content is shown below in the alternative language. You may click the link to switch the active language.

dr Wiktor Marzec


Researcher, member of the Center for Social Change and Mobility Research


historical sociology, historical discourse studies, intellectual history, labor history, public sphere


uw.academia.edu Home page


In Institute for Social Studies I investigate rebellion and reaction in the post-imperial borderlands between 1905 and 1921. Comparing Poland, Finland and other borderland regions of the Russian Empire I ask about revolutions that succeeded, failed or did not happen at all against the backdrop of nation building and state-crafting in the region.

Russian Poland was among the most militant tsarist borderlands during the 1905-1907 Revolution. Harboring long-lasting strikes and breeding bellicose street fighters, Poland witnessed an unprecedented political upheaval manifest in the emergence of mass parties, labor unions and a new public culture. However, only a decade later, when revolutionary movements again loomed large and shook the whole region, Poland remained relatively calm. Forging a new statehood rivaled the earlier popular drive toward social revolution. Despite the Bolsheviks’ march on Warsaw to spread the socialist revolution westwards, the popular mood stuck with national unity. Polish popular classes stood almost unanimously on the side of the Polish nation state, even after it failed to deliver its promise to be a socialist-leaning one. What then were the processes responsible for the withering-away of social-revolutionary tendencies?

The project is an asymmetrical comparison of the Polish rebellion, nationalist re-mobilization, and eventual integration of the subaltern classes, with other revolutionary sequences ending in distinct outcomes. The analysis of ideological landscapes will explain the occurring divergences. I will analyze sources on political languages as newspapers and pamphlets against the backdrop of sources documenting social unrest. Deftly integrating historical sociology, conceptual history and historical discourse analysis, my work addresses the entanglement of structural factors and intellectual transformations in political process in highly interdependent trans-national context. More on the project


I am a historical sociologist who works on popular unrest and transformation of public spheres in East-Central Europe. My expertise is located in-between historical sociology, historical discourse studies, intellectual history, and labor history. I am interested in revolutions, socialism, nationalism, labor, and state-crafting. Main current research concerns revolution, reaction and process of state building in the borderlands of the later Russian empire.

My previous work, first monograph and dissertation (now in process of transformation into a book) concerned the reconstruction of the political sphere during the 1905-1907 Revolution in Russian Poland. PhD in sociology and social anthropology, practice also in history.

I am a skilled researcher, effective administrator, inspiring speaker and aspiring teacher.


  • Sep. 2012 – June 2017 Central European University, Budapest, Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology and Social Anthropology; Dissertation “Rising Subjects. Workers and the Political during the 1905 Revolution in Russian Poland.” Defense summa cum laude on 22nd of June 2017, Committee: Judit Bodnár (supervisor), Balázs Trencsényi (internal examiner), Brian Porter-Szűcs (external examiner), Theodore R. Weeks (external reader), Marsha Siefert (chair)
  • Oct. 2009 – June 2011 University of Lodz, Institute of Philosophy;  MA in philosophy (summa cum laude), dissertation “Polish Marxist and Socialist Thought of Early 20th century in the Light of Post-structuralist Political Philosophy”
  • Sep. 2004 – June 2009;  University of Lodz, Institute of Sociology, MA in sociology, specialization: Culture, Communication, Media, dissertation “Consensual Sadomasochism: The Controversy on Violence”



  • September 2018 – September 2019 Centre for Historical Research, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Sankt Petersburg, Russia, post-doc
  • Spring – Summer 2018 Center for Advanced Study, Sofia, Bulgaria, in-residence advanced academia fellow
  •  Winter 2018 German Historical Institute, Moscow, Russia, research stay
  • Spring 2017 Institute for Human Sciences, Vienna, Austria, junior fellow
  • Fall and Winter 2015 – 2016 Re:work research Center, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany, Doctoral Research Support Program, junior fellow
  • Winter and Spring 2015 Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, US, visiting PhD student
  • Fall and Winter 2006 – 2007 University of Tartu, Estonia, student exchange program

Additional training

  • June 2018 Research Explorer funding research training initiative, Ruhr University, Bochum, Germany
  • May 2018 Institute for Human Sciences, IWM ERC Mentoring Program, Vienna, Austria
  •  Sep. – Oct. 2016 Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Maputo, Mozambique, (organized by re:work research center, Humboldt University, Berlin), International Summer Academy “Labour, Politics and Safety”
  • June – July 2016 European University Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder), Germany, Summer School of Interdisciplinary Polish and German Studies “Cultures in Times of Transition” and research stay
  • Aug. 2015 University of Copenhagen, Denmark, Concepta Summer School in intellectual history
  • Sep. 2013 University of Warsaw, Poland, Hegel’s Dialectic and the Method of ‹Das Kapital›, Warsaw Summer School



  • 2016 CEU Award for Advanced Doctoral Students
  • 2013 CEU Academic Achievement Award for First-Year Doctoral Students
  • Academic years 2007/2008, 2008/2009, 2010/2011 Scholarship of Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education for outstanding academic activity


As principal investigator

  • 2018 – ca. 2022 “The Revolution That Did Not Happen. Rebellion and Reaction in the Post-Imperial Borderlands 1905-1921: Poland and Finland in Asymmetrical Comparison”, research grant of Polish National Science Centre, Opus 14
  • Feb. 2013 – Feb. 2016 “Revolution 1905-1907 and emerging of the political. Political mobilization in early modern Poland in the light of post-structural political thought and discourse theory”, research grant of Polish national Science Centre, Preludium 3

As associate researcher

  • Sep. 2016 – present “The history of social and political concepts in Poland, 18th-20th century”, research grant from Polish National Program for the Humanities, associate researcher, cooperation on the theoretical background for a major publishing project, preparation of a few entries to an ongoing lexicon project
  • Sep. 2012 – Sep. 2016 “Four discourses of modernity – modernism of periphery on the example of Lodz (19th-20th centuries)”, research grant of Polish national Science Centre, Opus 2, associate researcher; main theoretical framework, mining and analysis of textual sources, editing of the final volume in English
  • Jan. 2010 – June 2012“Migrations of Modernism”, research project on migrant biography, historical contingency and 20th century social thought and art; publication of outcomes and additional translations, co-editor of the edited volume
  • Mar. 2006 – Oct. 2008 “Reconfigurations of Modernism”, research project and publication of translations and commentaries


Books (monographs)

  • Zysiak, A., Kaźmierska, K., Piskała, K. & Śmiechowski, K. (2018) From Cotton and Smoke: Łódź – Industrial City and Discourses of Asynchronous Modernity 1897-1994, Łódź: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Łódzkiego.
  • Rebelia i reakcja. Rewolucja 1905 roku i plebejskie doświadczenie polityczne, seria Horyzonty nowoczesności, Wydawnictwo UŁ i Universitas, Łódź-Kraków 2016
  • Reviewed in Slavic Review, Acta Polonae Hisorica, Przegląd Historyczny, Praktyka Teoretyczna, Gazeta Wyborcza, Polityka, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, Kultura Liberalna, Nowy Obywatel, HistMag, Kronika Miasta Łodzi.

Nomination for Poznań Literary Award 2018

In preparation:

  • Rising Subjects: Popular Unrest and the Genesis of the Polish Public Sphere 1893-1907


  • From Cotton and Smoke: Łódź – Industrial City and Discourses of Asynchronous Modernity 1897 – 1994, Lodz University Press-Jagiellonian University Press (distributed by Columbia University Press), Łódź-Kraków 2018, (with Agata Zysiak, Kamil Śmiechowski, Kamil Piskała, Kaja Kaźmierska, Jacek Burski)

Articles in English in peer-reviewed journals

  • ‘Socialisms in the Tsarist Borderlands. Poland and Finland in a Contrastive Comparison 1830–1907’, Contributions to the History of Concepts 2018, Vol. 13, No. 1, pp. 22-50 (Risto Turunen), JCR IF 0,12;
  • ‘The Birth of the Militant Self. Working-Class Memoirs of Late Russian Poland’, East Central Europe 2019, No. 46, pp. 29-51, JCR IF 0,1;
  • ‘Under One Common Banner. Antisemitism and Socialist Strategy During the 1905-1907 Revolution in the Kingdom of Poland’, Patterns of Prejudice 2017, Vol. 51, No. 3-4, pp. 269–291, JCR IF 0,378;
  • ‘Vernacular Marxism. Proletarian Readings in Russian Poland Around the 1905 Revolution’, Historical Materialism 2017, Vol. 25, pp. 1-40, in press, JCR IF 0,37;
  • ‘What Bears Witness of the Failed Revolution? The Rise of Political Antisemitism during the 1905-1907 Revolution in the Kingdom of Poland’, Eastern European Politics and Societies 2016, Vol. 30, No. 1, pp. 189-213, JCR IF 0,437;
  • ‘Die Revolution 1905 bis 1907 im Königreich Polen – von der Arbeiterrevolte zur nationalen Reaktion’, Arbeit, Bewgung, Geschichte. Zeitschrift fuer Historische Studien 2016, 15. Jahrgang – Heft 2016/III, p. 27-46;
  • ‘Reading Polish Peripheral Marxism Politically’, Thesis Eleven 2013, No. 117 (1), pp. 6–19; SciMago SJR 2013: 0,246
  • ‘The 1905-1907 Revolution in the Kingdom of Poland – Articulation of Political Subjectivities Among Workers’, Contention 2013, Vol. 1, pp. 53-72;


  • ‘Days of Labour. Topographies of Power in Modern Peripheral Capitalism’, Journal of Historical Sociology 2016, Vol. 29, No. 2, pp. 129–159, (co-author: Agata Zysiak), JCR IF 0,553;
  • ‘”Journalists Discovered Łódź like Columbus”. Orientalizing Capitalism in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century Polish Modernization Debates’, Canadian-American Slavic Studies 2016, Vol. 50, No. 2, pp. 213-243 (co-author: Agata Zysiak); SciMago SJR 2016: 0,101;
  • ‘Pathogenesis of the Polish Public Sphere. The Intelligentsia and Popular Unrest during and after the 1905 Revolution’, Polish Sociological Review 2016, No. 4, pp. 437-457 (co-author: Kamil Śmiechowski), JCR IF 0,121;
  • ‘Social-isms in the Tsarist Borderlands. Poland and Finland in a Contrastive Comparison 1830–1907’, Contributions to the History of Concepts (co-author: Risto Turunen), accepted, in print for 2018, SciMago SJR 2016: 0,111;

Articles in edited volumes

  • ‘Beyond group antagonism in asymmetrical counter-concepts. Conceptual pair order and chaos and ideological struggles in late 19th – early 20th century Poland”. In: “Hellenes” and “Barbarians”: Asymmetrical Concepts in European Discourse, ed. Kirill Postoutenko (New York: Berghahn Books, 2018, in print);

Under review:

  • ‘Sublating the hyphens. Internationalist working class militant biographies, identity, and sub-culture in late Russian Poland’, Jan Fellerer, Robert Pyrah, Marius Turda (eds.), Legenda of the UK Modern Humanities Research Association;
  • ‘Debating the Urban, the Rural and the Foreign. Łódź in Urban Discourse in Late Russian Poland’, Herder Institute; Urban Studies Series;
  • ‘Emotional Community of Nationalist Workers. Performing and Remembering Private Nationalism in late Russian Poland’, Maarten Van Ginderachter (ed.), Palgrave Macmillan. 

Recent articles in Polish in peer-reviewed journals

Articles in peer-reviewed edited volumes in Polish

  • ‘Obcy, który nie wrócił do domu. Emigracja Alfreda Schuetza i rozwój teorii socjologicznej’, in: Migracje modernizmu. Nowoczesność i uchodźcy, Tomasz Majewski, Wiktor Marzec, Agnieszka Rejniak-Majewska (eds.), NCK-Topografie, Warszawa-Łódź 2014;
  • ‘Osobliwe przypadki we wczesnonowoczesnej Łodzi’ (co-author Agata Zysiak), in: Rekonfiguracje modernizmu. Nowoczesność i kultura popularna, Tomasz Majewski (red.), WAIP, Warszawa 2009;

Other articles in edited volumes in Polish

  • ‘Rewolucja 1905: Brzozowskiego myślenie polityczności’, in: Brzozowski – przewodnik Krytyki Politycznej, Wydawnictwo Krytyki Politycznej, Warszawa 2012;
  • ‘Rewolucja 1905–1907 roku – ku nowoczesnej polityczności’, in: Rewolucja 1905. Przewodnik, Wiktor Marzec, Kamil Piskała (eds.), Wydawnictwo Krytyki Politycznej, Warszawa 2013;
  • ‘Chodziło o to, aby lepiej było żyć na świecie takim bitym i kopanym biedakom, jak my…: emancypacje 1905 roku’, in: Rewolucja 1905. Przewodnik, Wiktor Marzec, Kamil Piskała (eds.), Wydawnictwo Krytyki Politycznej, Warszawa 2013;

Edited books and journal issues


  • From Cotton and Smoke: Łódź – Industrial City and Discourses of Asynchronous Modernity 1897 – 1994, Lodz University Press-Jagiellonian University Press (distributed by Columbia University Press), Łódź-Kraków 2018, academic editing;
  • “Hellenes” and “Barbarians”: Asymmetrical Concepts in European Discourse, ed. Kirill Postoutenko (New York: Berghahn Books, 2018, forthcoming), technical editing;
  • Migracje modernizmu. Nowoczesność i uchodźcy, with Tomasz Majewski and Agnieszka Rejniak-Majewska, NCK-Topografie, Warszawa-Łódź 2014;
  • Rewolucja 1905 roku. Przewodnik, with Kamil Piskała, Wydawnictwo Krytyki Politycznej, Warszawa 2013;

Journal issues

  • Civil Society under Pressure. Historical Legacies and Current Reponses in Central Eastern Europe, Debatte: Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe, with Daniela Neubacher (in preparation for 2019)
  • Wyparte historie XIX wieku/Repressed Histories of the 19th Century, Praktyka Teoretyczna 2017, no. 1, with Michał Pospiszyl
  • Archaelogies of Contemporaneity. Historical Sociologies of the Modern, Praktyka Teoretyczna 2014, no. 3(13), with z Agata Zysiak and Jacek Burski
  • Dzedzictwo Róży Luksemburg/The Legacy of Rosa Luxemburg, Praktyka Teoretyczna 2012, no. 6, with Kamil Piskała.


  • European Labour History Network
  • Polish Studies Association
  • History of Concepts Group
  • Political Concepts standing group of European Consortium for Political Research