Sexualities Feb 2016 (Special Issue)
I completed my Ph.D. and my habilitation in cultural anthropology at the University of Warsaw, Poland. I am an associate professor in the Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Warsaw and a senior researcher in a HERA grant (Cruising the 1970s: Unearthing Pre-HIV/AIDS Queer Sexual Cultures, CRUSEV). So far, my CRUSEV research resulted in a performance: You, dear Doctor, are my only rescue! / Jest Pan, Panie Doktorze, jedynym ratunkiem! (Edinburgh, August 2017); performed also in Exeter in March 2018:
In the past, I was a visiting fellow at Harvard University (2010-2011, Marie Curie fellowship), the New School for Social Research (2006, Kosciuszko Foundation grant), the University of Copenhagen (2005, Danish Governmental scholarship), the Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena (2016, 2017-2018) and Edinburgh College of Art (2017, European Visiting Research Fellowship by the Caledonian Research Foundation and the Royal Society of Edinburgh). My research interests include gender and sexuality studies, religion, alternative spirituality, sexual and reproductive rights, post-socialism, history of sexuality, sexual violence, sexology and sex education. I believe in public and engaged anthropology.
This history of struggles against ignorance and double standards starts towards the end of the 19th century, when men learned sex from prostitutes, and when the prevalence of shameful diseases was an open secret. Kościańska guides readers through developments in the field of sex education throughout the 20th century. How did it come to be, that at the beginning of this new age storks suddenly ceased to deliver babies and stories about the birds and the bees no longer satisfied curious girls and boys? What does intercourse have to do with spotting moose? How was sex described in a school textbook scrapped by the communists for fear of offending religious sentiment? Finally, could folk songs convey more information than progressive self-help books? Among Kościańska’s protagonists are women and men who had the courage to change how sex was written about. Yet readers will be urged to keep their critical hats on in assessing the contributions of the cult figures of Polish sexology. This work is the first to critically examine Polish sex education in the 20th century.
The book is an analysis of the development of expert knowledge of sexuality in Poland in the period from the late 1960s to present. I assume that expert knowledge naturalizes and normalizes certain behaviours and identities, while others are denied the status of normality and naturalness. Therefore, the book is also a story about the history of sexuality in Poland under communism and the changes that have taken place within it as a result of the postsocialist transition. I argue that expert knowledge of sexuality is a product of the interactions between different groups of patients and physicians, as well as other milieus such as women’s movement From these interactions emerges a picture of good sex and bad sex, and of the specific gender roles associated with them.
Antropologia wobec dyskryminacji [Anthropology Against Discrimination], Warsaw: University of Warsaw Press, 2015, pp. 246. Co-edited with Kamila Dąbrowska and Magdalena Grabowska (edited volume).
Antropologia seksualności. Teoria. Etnografia. Zastosowanie [Anthropology of sexuality. Theory. Ethnography. Application], Warszawa, Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego, 2012, pp. 521 (edited volume/textbook).
Potęga ciszy (The
Power of Silence. Gender and Religious conversion. The Case of a New
Religious Movement, the Brahma Kumaris, in Poland),
Warszawa, Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego, 2009.