In February 2020, the Center’s guest residence hosts Elżbieta Kwiecińska, a PhD-Researcher at the European University Institute, Florence. She will work on the topic of “When empire meets architecture. The concept of the ‘Polish civilizing mission’ and Lviv’s architecture and urban space (1867-1939)”. The research is connected with her PhD project “A civilizing relay. The concept of the civilizing mission as a cultural encounter, 1815-1919”. In her PhD project, she aims to show how the Polish, Ukrainian and Jewish pro-Western intelligentsia have transferred, appropriated the ‘civilizing missions’ directed towards them, both as an intellectual idea and as a tool for legitimizing political power.
During her stay in Lviv Elżbieta plans to expand her research and merge intellectual history with urban studies. When residing in Lviv, she will gather materials for an article on how of the ‘Polish civilizing mission’ was reflected in Lviv’s urban space and architecture. Elżbieta is particularly interested in what meant ‘civilized’ and ‘backward’ in Lviv’s urban space? How was the ‘Polish civilizing mission’ and national domination exemplified in the historical centre? Where did Poles took their inspiration from: Habsburg, Prussia, or from more general European colonial depictions of non-European indigenous populations?