Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena

Professor Agnieszka Kościańska

Fellow Agnieszka Kościańska

August - September 2016

Agnieszka Kościańska received her PhD in 2007 and habilitation in 2015 in ethnology/cultural anthropology from the University of Warsaw, Poland. She is an Associate Professor and Vice-Director in the Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Warsaw. She also teaches cultural anthropology at the Postgraduate Gender Studies Program, Institute for Literary Research at the Polish Academy of Sciences. In the past, Agnieszka Kościańska was a visiting scholar at Harvard University (2010-2011, Marie Curie fellowship), the New School for Social Research (2006, Kosciuszko Foundation grant) and the University of Copenhagen (2005, Danish Governmental scholarship).

Research project at the Kolleg

The History of Sexuality in Socialist and Post-Socialist Poland This research focuses on understanding the history of sexuality in Poland in a global context following the Second World War through today. Drawing on ethnographic and archival materials from Poland as well as secondary sources relating to sexuality from Central Europe, Western Europe and the United States, I present a counter history of sexuality that challenges assumptions about constant liberalization and the relationship between a 'backward' East and the 'developed' West. Specifically, I focus on expert discourses that inform the construction of sexuality, including medical (sexological), psychological, educational, legal and religious.

Main areas of research

  • Gender
  • Sexuality
  • Religion
  • History of science
  • History of sexuality
  • Poland
  • Central Europe

Positions and memberships

  • Member, European Association of Social Anthropologists
  • Member, Polskie Towarzystwo Ludoznawcze (Polish Ethnological Association)
  • Member, Polish Studies Association


Agnieszka Kościańska, Płeć, przyjemność i przemoc. Kształtowanie wiedzy eksperckiej o seksualności w Polsce [Gender, Pleasure and Violence: The Construction of Expert Knowledge of Sexuality in Poland], Warsaw: Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego, 2014.

Agnieszka Kościańska, Potęga ciszy. Konwersja a rekonstrukcja porządku płci na przykładzie nowego ruchu religijnego Brahma Kumaris [The Power of Silence: Gender and Religious Conversion - The Case of a New Religious Movement, the Brahma Kumaris], Warsaw: Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego, 2009.

Edited volumes

Kamila Dąbrowska, Magdalena Grabowska, Agnieszka Kościańska, eds., Antropologia wobec dyskryminacji [Anthropology Against Discrimination], Warsaw: University of Warsaw Press, 2015.

Agnieszka Kościańska, Antropologia seksualności. Teoria, Etnografia, Zastosowanie [Anthropology of Sexuality: Theory, Ethnography, Application], Warsaw: Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego, 2012.

Renata E. Hryciuk, Agnieszka Kościańska, Gender: Perspektywa antropologiczna [Gender: An Anthropological Perspective], Warsaw: Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego, 2007.

Katarzyna Leszczyńska, Agnieszka Kościańska, Kobiety i religie [Women and Religions], Kraków: Zakład Wydawniczy "Nomos", 2006.


Agnieszka Kościańska, Sex on equal terms? Polish sexology on women's emancipation and "good sex" from the 1970s to present, Sexualities 19, no. 1-2 (2016): 236-256.

Agnieszka Kościańska, Historia jako wiedza konieczna. Z antropologicznych badań dyskursu eksperckiego o seksualności [History as a Necessary Knowledge: The Anthropology of Sexuality], Rocznik Antropologii Historii 5, no. 8, (2015): 27-40.

Agnieszka Kościańska, Beyond Viagra: Sex Therapy in Poland, Czech Sociological Review 5, no. 6 (2014): 919-38.

Agnieszka Kościańska, Feminist and Queer Sex Therapy: The Ethnography of Expert Knowledge of Sexuality in Poland, in Rethinking Ethnography in Central Europe, edited by Hana Cervinkova, Michal Buchowski and Zdenek Uherek, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015, pp. 45-131.

Agnieszka Kościańska, The 'power of silence:' Spirituality and women's agency beyond the Catholic Church in Poland, Focaal-European Journal of Anthropology, no. 53 (2009): 56-71.

The full list of publications can be found here.