Cäcilia Wosnitzka

Porträt von Cäcilia Wosnitzka



Cäcilia Wosnitzka is a doctoral candidate at the Institute of Contemporary History at the University of Vienna since January 2023. She is a fellow of the Heinrich Böll Foundation and a member of the Doctoral School of Historical and Cultural Studies. Previously, she was a fellow at the Leibniz Institute for History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO Leipzig) and a research assistant in Dr. Margarete Wach's DFG project 'Visualizations of the Invisible' on Polish amateur film culture (1953-1989). After her bachelor's degree in cultural studies, she graduated from the German-Polish double master's program in European Studies between the European University Viadrina (Frankfurt/ Oder) and the Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza (Poznań), which she completed with distinction in 2021.
Her dissertation project is dedicated to female political exiles from the PR Poland and the diasporic spaces they shaped in West German democratic history (1967 - 1993).

Research interests: Central and Eastern European contemporary history, queer-/feminist epistemologies, theories of space, social movement history, reflexive migration history

Current Research Project: In Between ‘Fundamental Politicization’ and Politics of Détente: Diasporic Spaces of Female Polish Exiles in West German History of Democracy (1967-1993): The dissertation project is devoted to the hitherto unexamined exile biographies of female Polish exiles who applied for political asylum in the Federal Republic of Germany in the late 1960s and early 1980s. In exile, these women actively positioned themselves in West German civil society. They engaged with the East Central European dissident and exile community in the FRG as well as with the emerging Polish democracy movement, addressing a West German public as well. Along with the recourse to artistic-cultural practices to increase their own visibility and that of others, their political practice is characterized by the initiation of local, but at the same time transnational spaces. Against this background, the research project examines the constitution of such diasporic cultural spaces in terms of a history of encounter as spheres of political and cultural participation and as sites of democratic negotiation processes between the Polish/East-Central European diaspora and the West German public. How did the exiles locate themselves – and how have they been historically situated – in the complex historical context of one the one hand processes of fundamental politicization in the Federal Republic and Bonn's Ostpolitik after 1969 on the other side? How can the relation between the exile experience and political subjectivity be described? Considering foreign influences on the history of ideas in the FRG, the research project focuses on female political exiles from the People's Republic of Poland as actors in the history of West German democracy, it examines their political practices and thinking, and in this way opens up new, i.e., female, feminist and transnational perspectives on the intellectual history of the Federal Republic before 1989.