Ecocriticism in Poland: Then and Now


  • Wojciech Małecki University of Wrocław, Poland
  • Jarosław Woźniak University of Wrocław



Ecocriticism, animal studies, history of ecocriticism, Polish ecocriticism, comparative ecocriticism, empirical ecocriticism, new materialism


      The aim of this paper is to present a synoptic picture of the development and current state of ecocriticism in Poland. Understood in the generic sense of the study of literature and environment, ecocriticism had begun in Poland already in 1970s and has since then generated its own original tradition. Understood in the specific historical sense of a field devoted to the study of literature and environment that was consolidated in the 1990s in the USA and the UK and has then expanded both in disciplinary and national terms, ecocriticism was imported to Poland only in the beginning of the 21st century, but has managed do generate its own tradition as well. For a while, both these currents of Polish ecocriticism had run in parallel to one another, but have recently merged, stimulating new exciting developments. The paper will delineate these historical trajectories and recent developments alike. And it will also show how today’s Polish ecocriticism contributes to ecocriticism globally, not only by offering its own culturally unique perspective and archives, but also by proposing new methodologies, including so-called empirical ecocriticism, an emerging field that originates in part from Poland.


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Author Biographies

Wojciech Małecki, University of Wrocław, Poland

Assistant professor of literary theory at the University of Wrocław, Poland. His research interests include ecocriticism, animal studies, American pragmatism, aesthetics, and narrative psychology. Wojciech is a co-author of Human Minds and Animal Stories: How Narratives Make Us Care About Other Species (Routledge 2019), the author of Embodying Pragmatism (Lang 2010), which has just appeared in Chinese translation with China Social Sciences Press, and the editor of Practicing Pragmatist Aesthetics (Brill 2014). His empirical work on the social impact of animal narratives has been published in journals such as Poetics and PLOS One and featured in the media, including in Newsweek. He has also contributed to journals such as The Oxford Literary Review, Poetics, The Journal of Ecocriticism, PLOS One, Foucault Studies, Contemporary Pragmatism, and many others.

Jarosław Woźniak, University of Wrocław

Graduated from the University of Wrocław, Department of Polish Studies. He is working on his dissertation devoted to the performative turn in the literary theory. His research interests comprise the performative turn, the philosophy of the body, and ecocriticism.






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