Zygmunt Bauman: Life and Biography

Virtual Global Book Talk

The virtual platform HPS.CESEE: History of Science in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe and the journal Thesis Eleven - Critical theory and historical sociology are proud to present the global book talk Zygmunt Bauman: Life and Biography, with Natalia Aleksiun (Jena/New York), Peter Beilharz (Perth) and Izabela Wagner (Warsaw). It is part of a series of open zoom events aiming to foster the discussion of new books and approaches within the history of science and scholarship (broadly understood) in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe. This time we will discuss the brand new, and first biography of Zygmunt Bauman, written by Izabela Wagner [*].

Global thinker, public intellectual and world-famous theorist of ‘liquid modernity’, Zygmunt Bauman (1925-2017) was a scholar who, despite forced migration, built a very successful academic career and, after retirement, became a prolific and popular writer and an intellectual talisman for young people everywhere. He was one of those rare scholars who, grey-haired and in his eighties, had his finger on the pulse of the youth. Wagner’s biography brings out the complex connections between Bauman’s life experiences and his work, showing how his trajectory as an ‘outsider’ forced into exile by the anti-Semitic purges in Poland has shaped his thinking over time. Her careful and thorough account will be the standard biography of Bauman’s life and work for years to come.

The meeting is open to the public. To receive the link, please fill the contact data h e r e : h t t p s : / / f o r m s . g l e / 9 T q X 4 M X q w B Y R d 6 T d 9 ( f o r 2 0 October), forms.gle/FkSzf3ggQo5v6vS16 (for 22 October) or write to hps.cesee(at)gmail(dot)com. The link will be distributed 24 hours before the start of the meeting.

[*] Izabela Wagner: Bauman. A Biography. Cambridge: Polity Press 2020. ISBN: 9781509526864

The event is hosted by the platform hps.cesee: History of Science in Central, Eastern and the journal Thesis Eleven - Critical theory and historical sociology.

Peter Beilharz is an Australian sociologist, currently Professor of Culture and Society at Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia. Peter is a founding editor of the journal Thesis Eleven and Director of the Thesis Eleven Centre for Cultural Sociology at La Trobe. He is a fellow in Cultural Sociology at Yale, and a member of the Bauman Institute at Leeds. His research includes work on socialism and modernity, the idea of antipodean modernity, and ongoing work on Zygmunt Bauman.

Natalia Aleksiun is Professor of Modern Jewish History at Touro College, Graduate School of Jewish Studies, New York; currently Visiting Fellow at Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena. She specializes in the social, political, and cultural history of modern East European Jewry and have written extensively on the history of the Jewish intelligentsia in East Central Europe, Polish-Jewish relations, modern Jewish historiography, the history of medicine, and of the Holocaust.

Izabela Wagner is Associate Professor of Sociology at Collegium Civitas in Warsaw, Associate Researcher at DynamE (Dynamiques Européennes) at Strasbourg University/CNRS, and a fellow of the Institut Convergence Migrations in Paris. Her research includes sociology of scholarly and musical excellence, history of intellectuals, especially connected with events of 1968 in Poland, and refugees’ life in Europe. Her last book deals with the biography of Zygmunt Bauman, exiled Polish sociologist and internationally renowned thinker.

Programm (PDF)