Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena

Professor Maciej Czerwiński

January - October 2015
Mail maciej.czerwinski(at)

Maciej Czerwinski is Associate Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Jagiellonian University in Kraków. His work is focused on (cultural) semiotics, discourse studies (critical to a Marxist orientation), and rhetoric. He habilitated in 2013 at Jagiellonian University, where he also received his Ph.D. (2004) and M.A. (2000); and he was a Visiting Assistant in Research in the History Department at Yale University in 2003. He is the author of over 100 publications, including four books, two co-edited books, one historical monograph and many articles as well as literary criticism and essays on Balkan affairs; and he has participated in over thirty scholarly conferences. His earlier work was focused on sociolinguistic and stylistic variations in literary and non-literary discourses in Croatian and Serbian cultures. Recently he has turned his attention to the Croatian and Serbian (and to a lesser extent other post-Yugoslav) narratives in historiography and prose fiction, as well as - theoretically - the intersections between philology, philosophy of language and history.

Research project at the Kolleg

Images of World War II in Croatia and Serbia. Literature, Film, Popular Historiography

Although it was World War I that enabled the state of South Slavs to be founded in 1918, the most important moment in Yugoslav cultural memory is undoubtedly World War II. Key figures and events emerged in the period of 1941-1945 that have defined the historical imaginaries of the Serbs and Croats, both during the Communist state (1945-1990) and after its collapse (from the beginning of the 1990s on). Images of World War II are realized within a set of discursive 'tropes' such as the presence of certain collective figures (like the Ustashas, Chetniks, Partisans/Fascists/Communists, and respectively, Serbs, Croats, Muslims/Bosniaks) as well as concepts/ideas (such as Communism and Anti-Fascism). In literature and film they are represented as mere allegories. The aim of the project is to reconstruct such concepts and their dynamics in intra- and intercultural relations. Three sorts of data are taken into consideration: (1) prose fiction, (2) films, and (3) popular syntheses of national history. The combination of the historical and fictional will demonstrate to what extent the two imaginaries evoke similar, and, in other circumstances, mutually exclusive images of World War II and its main actors. Novels and short stories, movies and popular syntheses of national history are among the most influential sources for the circulation of cultural visions of the past and the construction of relevant historical consciousnesses.

Main areas of research

  • Former Yugoslavia
  • Cultural Semiotics
  • Rhetoric
  • Literary Studies

Positions and memberships

  • Member, Slavic Culture Committee of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences (PAU).
  • Member, editorial boards of the Croatian journal Fluminensia and the Macedonian journal Balkan Social Science Review.
  • Member, Ethnolinguistic Commission, International Committee of Slavists
  • Thematic Editor of the journal Sociolingwistyka


Kultura, dyskurs, znak [Culture, Discourse, Sign]. Kraków: Jagiellonian University Press 2015.

Semiotyka dyskursu historycznego. Chorwackie i serbskie syntezy dziejów narodu [Semiotics of Historical Discourse. The Croatian and Serbian Syntheses of National History]. Kraków: Jagiellonian University Press, 2012.

Semioza gatunku - semioza stylu. Studium nad chorwacką i serbską syntezą dziejów narodu [Semiosis of Genre - Semiosis of Style: A Study of the Croatian and Serbian Synthesis of National History]. Kraków: Jagiellonian University Press, 2011.

Język, ideologia, naród. Polityka językowa w Chorwacji a język mediów [Language, Ideology, Nation. Language Policy in Croatia and Language of Media]. Kraków: Wydawnictwo Scriptum, 2005.

Edited Volumes

with Magdalena Najbar-Agičić. Kraków-Zagrzebiowi/Krakov-Zagrebu. Reprint from 1881. Zagreb: Srednja Europa Press, 2011.

with Maria Dąbrowska-Partyka. Josip Juraj Strossmayer. Chorwacja, Ekumenizm, Europa [Josip Juraj Strossmayer: Croatia, Ecumenism, Europe]. Kraków: Wydawnictwo Scriptum, 2007.


'Gatunek jest znakiem - uwagi na marginesie dyskusji o tekście historycznym [A Genre is a Sign - Remarks on the Margin of a Discussion about Historical Text]', Pamiętnik Literacki 2 (2010): 179-196.

'Croatia in Europe: Ex occidente lux', Herito 11 (2013): 12-33. 'Nowomowa po jugosłowiańsku [Yugoslav Newspeak]', Studia z filologii polskiej i słowiańskiej 47 (2012): 137-159.

'Čovjek na mostu i neizbježna pripadnost grupi. O Andrićevu romanu Na Drini ćuprija [A Man on the Bridge and Inevitable Membership in the Collectivity: On (Ivo) Andrić's Novel The Bridge on the Drina', Sarajevske sveske 43-44 (2014): 521-536.

'Breme (post)komunizma. Hrvatski i poljski kulturni kodovi [The Burden of (Post)-Communism. Croatian and Polish Cultural Codes]', in Komparativni postsocijalizam: slavenska iskustva, edited by M. Kolanović, Zagreb: FF Press, 2013, pp. 47-80.

'Jak Kraków Zagrzebiowi... Historia relacji polsko-chorwackich w kontekście albumu wydanego w 1881 roku/Kao Krakov Zagrebu... Povijest poljsko-hrvatskih odnosa u kontekstu albuma izdanog 1881. godine [Like Krakow to Zagreb... A History of Polish-Croatian Relations in the Context of an Album Published in 1881', in Kraków - Zagrzebiowi, reprint from 1881, edited by Maciej Czerwiński and Magdalena Najbar-Agičić, Zagrzeb: Srednja Europa Press, 2011, pp. 7-31.

'Discursive practices and semiotic representations: Serbian rhetoric about Montenegro and Kosovo', Civic and Uncivic Values in Serbia: The Post-Milošević Era, edited by Ola Listhaug, Sabrina P. Ramet and Dragana Dilić, Budapest and New York: CEU Press, 2011, pp. 299-328.


review of Matteo Stocchetti and Karin Kukkonen, eds, Images in Use: Towards the Critical Analysis of Visual Communication (John Benjamins, 2011), in Discourse & Society 24, no. 2 (2013): 255-258.

review of Juan Manuel Hernández-Campoy and Juan Antonio Cutillas-Espinosa, eds, Style-Shifting in Public: New Perspectives on Stylistic Variation (John Benjamins, 2012), in Discourse & Society 24, no. 2 (2013): 831-833.

review of Christopher Hart, ed., Critical Discourse Studies in Context and Cognition (John Benjamins, 2011), in Journal of Language and Politics 11, no. 3 (2012): 469-473.

review of Anita Peti-Stantić, Jezik naš i/ili njihov. Vježbe iz poredbene povijesti južnoslavenskih standardizacijskih procesa (Srednja Europa, 2008) in Journal of Slavic Linguistics 20, no. 1 (2012): 111-119.

The full list of publications can be viewed here.